Urgent Evoke

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collaboration not colonialism - Learn1

So many of these insights boils down to humility and approaching the people facing the problem as partners as opposed to objects of charity. It requires listening and hearing what is being communicated rather than swooping in with "certain" knowledge beforehand. It requires observation and seeing what is actually in front of you and lifting the veil of one's assumptions and pre-conceived notions and biases. And it requires meeting people as equals, as partners, in fact as "wealthy" partners -- - because people everywhere -- no matter how impoverished their situation -- are wealthy in knowledge and skill of their own particular situation and how to survive it. And in that wealth are the seeds of the solution.

This requires great humility from the person or organization that wants to help. Humility and a willingness to be wrong and to check one's ego at the door. And I am not sure that most people think of these traits as being useful when they think of entrepreneurship. So it's an interesting tension and one that it is useful to be conscious of.

Views: 36

Comment by Douglas Ryan McPhee on March 3, 2010 at 4:00pm
I agree with you completely
Comment by Ayala Sherbow on March 3, 2010 at 4:06pm
I should add that I can not claim this idea as my own. I have been privilidged to see it implemented first hand by Muhummad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank. He approached the problem of poverty in Bangladesh with huge respect for the people living in that situation and with the idea that they already had many of the skills they needed to improve their own lives.
Comment by Bruce Haynes on March 3, 2010 at 9:18pm
Ayala im so excited by the way you see the world, great to know there are people like you on the planet, i gave you a point for local insight for breaking away from the colonial mentality, thank reality for mohammed yunus! add me as a friend and keep me posted on your evidence aye? i like the way you think:)
Comment by kiyash on March 4, 2010 at 9:03am
I give this +1 entrepreneurship because I think this is, as you say, a rare trait in entrepreneurs, and yet, it's so crucial to a real sustainable success. Thank you for sharing these ideas, and welcome to EVOKE!
Comment by Iftekar Ahmed on March 9, 2010 at 4:26am
Ayala, it is nice to hear my views resonate in your posting as well (as I think you might have read in my blog). Though one thing that I would add is often those that reach out to help do not necessarily mean to be disrespectful. From their perspective, it can be frustrating as well to see all the desperation, poverty and meaningless waste of resources (and sometimes even life) when most is preventable. And so an approach some take to be "more efficient" and prevent their own burnout is to take a more prescriptive approach , which in the long run leads to a waste as well since their solution is not organic and therefore never sustainable.
Comment by Ayala Sherbow on March 9, 2010 at 4:37am
Iftekar, I think that's an interesting insight. It is much harder and takes more energy to work collaboratively and from the ground up. And people who care so much and work so hard to try to improve things do get burnt out. Your comment reminds me that reaching out to the "helpers" with compassion and respect and even empathy is necessary.
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 9, 2010 at 4:47am
A social innovator first listens, observes. Innovation for innovations sake? Traditional cultures have rich traditions of solving problems with very little resources, limited time and energy. I believe useful innovation comes from a deep understanding of traditions and the real needs of the the people you are working with. It´s not about helping, it´s about collaboration and innovating respecting cultural traditions and not trying to impose external cultural values.
Comment by Cian Gregory Accuardi Shelley on March 9, 2010 at 5:04am
HEAR HEAR
Comment by Hayden Darrell Linder on March 19, 2010 at 12:57pm
I gave you a +1 for Collaboration because the spririt of what you said IS the spirit of collaberation. Then I scrolled down and saw you give credit to Muhummad Yunus and realized that +1 was perfect.
I'm looking forward to what else you have for the world.
Comment by Colinos on April 3, 2010 at 11:26am
It's very easy to feel a subtle arrogance about the wh*** development situation. Sometims we assume that just because we live in a soiety that we perceive to be more successful, that somehow we know better.

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