Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Saturday 29 December 2007

Mobilizing knowledge for sustainable development

Do we have a coherent theory of change? Do we know what the role of knowledge is in a change process? Do we fully understand the concept of knowledge? Do we understand the psychology of language? Do we know how to listen and then to formulate messages? Do we understand the difference between mobilizing knowledge and accumulating knowledge? Do we know the power of changing our own mindset and behavior by practicing and getting more familiar with new ways of doing things differently? These questions were discussed by looking at examples of change during the Tiblisi+30 International Conference on Environmental Education workshop on 'Mobilizing Knowledge for Sustainable Development'.

Massive change in Brazil occurred when it faced an oil crisis a few years ago. Consumption of energy was drastically reduced within the span of one year, through a mass participation programme. TV and advertizements bombarded people with stories and messages all through the day. A range of participatory and networking activities helped generate word of mouth and the knowledge people individually needed to contribute. Changing habits is very difficult, but it can be done if we really want to. When the urgency of change is felt. When the pain of change is less than the pain of not changing. When leaders ‘live the change they want to see in the world’, as Ghandi said. When messages and knowledge deeply ‘resonate’ with the people. When knowledge transcends theory into know-how and action.

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