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


Sunday 22 July 2007

Communication residue Summer Course

I learned a lot about CEPA in the Spanish context. But what mental imprints are left behind from three days in Colmenar Viejo, Spain? I use for this communication residue exercise the same four touch points as I described for the WEEC 2007.

Sustainability: walking 20 minutes back and forth from the ‘hostal’ every morning and afternoon to the meeting venue, was a wonderful extension of informal communication and learning. So were the lunches and dinners: a ‘slow food’ experience. I noticed some car pooling and bicycles. There was not much paper. It was all small scale.

Learning: my impression is that most academic lecturers must have some kind of an education ‘deficiency’. Lecturing (fortunately mostly with support of visuals) is used as the only communication vehicle for keynote speeches, round tables and workshops.

Environmental communication: mainstream academic thinking seems to be focused on a systematic analysis of the role of communication in creating environmental issues (e.g. advertisement for cars and other consumption goods, green advertising) and less as an instrument to support learning for change, which was mostly illustrated by professionals from local and regional government. Personally I learned it is better to talk about communication and learning for change than to use the term CEPA.

Spain: the venue of the meeting was the ruins of the old grain storehouse of the city, next to the main 13-century church (picture, storks on each pinnacle!). Inside the old walls a modern glass and steel structure was erected that very well blended with its historic context. It all helped to place the culture of sometimes too many words in its proper context. Seeing some of the countryside and ancient culture and enjoying an erudite conversation over a beer in the house of the main organizer, it all contributed to my appreciation of this part of Europe.

A next time I would love to provide some suggestions and help to make such a summer course more an experience for the participants of new learning and participation.

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