Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Teaching is one of the most powerful things you can do

The secret of innovation, Provide skills, not just finished technologies, is incredibly powerful because it creates lasting change. Skill gives people to make changes, but it also empowers them to engage their problems.

Technology only solves a specific problem. On the other hand, a skill allows people to develop solutions to an entire class of problems.

For example, giving a farmer a truck allows him to transport products and supplies. Using the same amount of money to teach people how to repair cars and fabricate parts does several things. First, more cars can stay on the road, and that provides transportation to more farmers (not just one).

Second (and perhaps most important), people can apply those mechanical skills to other areas. Now, they can build and repair pumps (for wells). They can create machines to grind grain and wash clothes.

A society changes once people have the confidence to create solutions. The people are no longer passive players, dealing with what they have been given. Individuals can look around at the problems and figure out what to do. Everyone benefits from a good solution. Plus, the innovative individuals have a chance to sell their product and services, which grows the local economy.

A piece of technology has a finite life; knowledge can be passed down infinitely. Giving things to people is a short term solution. We must find ways of closing the knowledge gap to create real, lasting change.

Views: 42

Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on March 14, 2010 at 5:39pm
Couldn't agree more - an Evoke point for KS. At AMREF where I work we call this community partnering. We work together to develop and implement solutions that are defined by the community.
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 14, 2010 at 6:54pm
Totally agree with David and Shakwei.
Comment by Michele Baron on March 16, 2010 at 6:19am
closing the knowledge gap and enabling ongoing communication for knowledge replenishment or updating.
Comment by Raymond M. Kristiansen on March 16, 2010 at 7:49am
this is a well-known maxim, thanks for posting it.

so: how do we go ahead?

I am interested in the example Shakwei gave - community partnering. How did it work there? What were the challenges? I see that Shakwei works with eHealth, which is an interesting field.

We need more Case Studies, not just the maxim. Case studies that truthfully describe the wh*** process. From the idea (like that maxim: teach people how to fix things), to the end result. All the frustrations. Lessons learned.

Case Studies like that are all over the place, from all kinds of countries. Mostly, those reports are gathering dust after being read by a small handful of people (mostly representants of the ones giving the money to the project)
Comment by NANGAR SOOMRO on March 16, 2010 at 8:00am
Good Post !


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