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


Saturday 29 September 2007

Triggering positive change

Will a comprehensive portfolio for investment opportunities in sustainable development in the four eco-networks trigger positive change? Will municipalities, local entrepreneurs and NGOs write proposals to get funding under EU structural funds for regional development? Will they have the capacity to write them? To implement them? To comply with all EU rules and regulations? Questions that intrigue me.

I day-dream that the money now used in this rather ambitious project, is used in a few small - strategically chosen - projects. For example to introduce improved potato cultivation or local cattle breeding. To set up a partnership to collect, clean, dry and market local herbs, honey, syrup from pine branches, berries (for jam), walnuts, sweet chestnuts and hazelnuts, mushrooms etc. To market a yearly local festival of folklore, crafts and arts. To turn authentic village homes into guest houses. To stimulate solar energy. To manage municipal waste. To restore public parks.

What I have learned is that investments in small concrete improvements of socio-economic conditions of communities trigger more success elsewhere. Concentrate on doing one thing well. Easy-to-do projects that promise immediate and visible success. Publications do not trigger change. People do. And action speak louder than words. Word of mouth then creates positive change.

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