Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

"Don’t fight culture (If people cook by stirring their stews, they’re not going to use a solar oven, no matter what you do to market it. Make them a better stove instead.) "

This, for me, is one of the critical problems facing those trying to do something positive in the world. History is my passion and the study of it - especially in the South African context - has showed me how often people have tried to impose their culture and ideas upon others. And do you know what history shows us? It never works. Culture is fundamental and trying to force people to change, to fit into YOUR culture is not only rude but is not going to facilitate your ultimate goals. In order to change anything we need to work from the ground up - to TALK to the people affected by the changes we are trying to implement, to try to UNDERSTAND what their lives are all about. I have often thought, when reading about new initiatives and programs designed to alleviate poverty or to reduce carbon emissions from fuel wood burning in rural areas, that there seems to be very little communication with the people who will be affected. Simply telling someone that their means of cooking and heating is environmentally unsustainable and that they should stop using the resources in these ways does not solve the problem. Only by illustrating the full extent of the problem in a way that can be understood and by acknowledging that sometimes the use of those 'unsustainable' resources is their only means of survival can we effectively manage and change the situation - and even then, this is going to involve much more than simply encouraging people to take the 'moral high ground'. Only by acknowledging that different people believe in different things and adhere to different mores can we begin to build solutions and technologies that will work in those circ**stances.

Views: 25

Comment by Alberto Filippelli on March 3, 2010 at 4:36pm
Nice text. But i think that culture is something different from Evolution ( the society evolution). every Colture in this planet got to be respected and studied, 'cuz we need to know each other ,without precondition.
Hi from Italy!
Comment by Paul Shovlin on March 3, 2010 at 4:44pm
I would add that innovatively addressing problems from within a cultural context is important...Sometimes, problems (deforestation) can come from a particular cultural perspective. Imposing a solution from the outside may not work, but figuring out a solution based in another source from the cultural context can be beneficial.
Comment by Chelsea Howe on March 3, 2010 at 4:46pm
Hey Sarah! It's great to have people with a history background coming in. The best way to ready ourselves for the future is to learn from the past, and you're totally spot on about how culture-change has worked in the past.

One quick thing - if you could include "Learn1" in the title of your blog post, it would really help us mentors and game runners out :) It makes it a lot easier for us to figure out quickly what missions people are working on and spot the stand-out entries as they appear!
Comment by Sarah Ashleigh Macqueen on March 3, 2010 at 7:28pm
Thanks for the comments guys - I've never done anything like this before so it's nice to be heard :)
Comment by Bruce Haynes on March 4, 2010 at 5:08pm
Thanks for this addition to this global conversation Sarah! I vote to give you one VISION because you emphasise the importance of dialogue , look forward to networking!
Comment by Sylvain Ratelle on March 12, 2010 at 8:23pm
Sarah, I agree with you, the locals have the direct knowledge, having their direct imput helps for a sustain program, I will follow your blog, Regards
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on March 13, 2010 at 10:48am
this post has struck a chord with what i believe. i reckon we can leverage diversity by accepting a sense of difference. i face this challenge all the time as part of my consulting assignments. most organisations globally are unable to leverage diversity simply because they seem to be stuck in the notion that they can employ people from diverse backgrounds or diverse nationalities who must come together and form teams and function all in the backdrop of a corporate culture defined by the employer's majority shareholders...so we have more conflict to an extent that except big businesses, every employer these days seem comfortable to provide economic and job opportunities to the people they are most comfortable with...in management speak: alignment....in a way you have no choice but to accept it simply because of the recession, opportunities have dwindled. there is a need to understand this inter-connectedness with mindset, opportunity, imagination, diversity and social innovation to understand what kind of perspective we are facilitating for tomorrows problems.
Comment by Nicolai abruzzese on March 22, 2010 at 6:50pm
You just said the truth not only about the real problems, also the fact that some thingsneed to be heard from the inside, not from the outside.


You need to be a member of Urgent Evoke to add comments!

Join Urgent Evoke

Latest Activity

Ning Admin is now a member of Urgent Evoke
May 17
N updated their profile
Sep 25, 2020
Sophie C. commented on Asger Jon Vistisen's blog post Stinging Nettle
"I love that you've brought this to attention. An extensive database of uncommon but resistant and hardy plants/foods could be developed and organized by climate. Ease of growth and processing should also be taken in to account. I will try to…"
Aug 19, 2020
Meghan Mulvey posted a blog post

Fourth of July on the Lake

This past weekend was the annual celebration at the lake house in Connecticut. It is amazing that the lake is still so clear and beautiful after all these years. The watershed association has done a wonderful job protecting these waters from the damaging effects of development.The wood grill was finally ready to cook on, so we didn't miss the propane tank fueled grill anymore. The food actually tasted fresher than in the past and was easy to keep fueled.Dad was very proud of the solar hybrid…See More
Jul 6, 2020
Asger Jon Vistisen posted a blog post

Stinging Nettle

In this blog post I will focus on a plant that is abundant in our nature, and which is immensely nutritious. It's of course the Stinging Nettle. Let's start with the chemical constituents of this plant:37 % Non-Nitrogen-Extracts19 - 29 % Ash9 - 21 % Fiber4 % Fat22 % ProteinOnce the leaves are drid, their protein content can reach an astounding 40 %, which is much higher than beef, which even under the best of circ**stances can never exceed 31 % protein. In addition the Stinging Nettle consists…See More
Apr 13, 2020
Jonathon McCallum posted a blog post

The meal

It is 7'oclock, I was late home from work due to an assignment that i wanted to get ahead on. By the time I get home I am feeling extremley tired and I cannot be bothered to make a proper meal. I walk to the fridge and open it to see what there is for me to eat. All of the out of date foodstuffs have been automaticaly thrown away by the fridge, they will be recycled tomorrow as animal feed or something. I see i have organic local eggs and some local cheese. Foods are vacc** sealded for easy…See More
Mar 10, 2020
Jean Paul Galea shared a profile on Facebook
Mar 1, 2020
Kevin posted a blog post


FutureToday is 2020/1/1. It is just like yesterday. The war is still continuing. It has started since 2010. In 2010, that year was a horrible year. Almost every energy ran out. Every country’s governments were crushed down at the same time. There were riots everywhere. All of the big company’s bosses were killed xdeadx in the riots. Troops fought each other everywhere. Food was bought up xawayx at once. There were no more food supplies in any shops. The economy was all crushed down. All the…See More
Jan 1, 2020
Namwaka Mooto posted blog posts
Jan 13, 2016
T D updated their profile
Sep 3, 2015
Brook Warner posted blog posts
Aug 25, 2015
Santiago Vega posted blog posts
May 5, 2015
Santiago Vega commented on Santiago Vega's blog post Act 8
May 5, 2015
Santiago Vega posted photos
May 5, 2015
Rico Angel Rodriguez posted blog posts
May 2, 2015
Rico Angel Rodriguez posted a photo

public servants

The exchange works directly for state and public workers and servants. It gives them credit in exchange for the amount of public work they contribute to the community. The more constructive they are based off a base rate the more credit they recieve.
May 2, 2015

Follow EVOKE on Twitter

Official EVOKE Facebook Page

EVOKE RSS Activity Feed

© 2023   Created by Alchemy.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service