Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

In life, I believe, the only way to live is to do. So if one has a dream and it involves you achieving some sort of action, then you must go where it is your dream plays out and get into the action. If your dream is to build the world's fastest car, go to the Grand Prix, quite literally.

There is no hope of achieving your vision if you don't act on it, and the best place to find inspiration for your next action is to be in the environment where the action takes place. So if you want to grow a tree, you better go to the garden.

In reference to social innovation, when one spots a social problem that one would like to solve, you would have to start by going to the problem and having direct experience and knowledge of it. There is no way of dealing with social issues without being socially involved in it.

However, this is becoming an interesting debate with the advent of the internet. The internet allows us to go places and connect socially with people we have never met so this means that we may be able to go to where the action is without physically going there nowadays.

In spite of this, I am still a strong believer in enthnographic research methodologies and therefore I would argue that physical presence and real world interaction is vital for any social innovator to be successful in their endeavour. Without the richness of personal experience, ideas and solutions are lifeless and irrelevant.

A social innovation cannot take place from the ivory towers, it can only happen from the ground.

Views: 23

Comment by Ken Eklund on February 18, 2010 at 8:23pm
These are wise words, Batandwa, and I think we can find examples throughout history where people made decisions about a place that ignored the wisdom that comes from actually being there.

But as you say the Internet offers at least the hope that we can change this. We're seeing examples of people getting socially involved and contributing solutions from afar. And I would add that the Internet offers the hope as well that we can make more decisions collaboratively, especially since, as we realize how interconnected we all actually are, we are taking on more issues collaboratively. Do you see any active roles for people who cannot possibly "get to the Grand Prix"? Is there still a way they can contribute to building the world's fastest car?
Comment by Ronald Kasendwa on February 21, 2010 at 7:45am

I strongly agree with the contents in your post. We can also cause change if we happen to get in to the system first. We can also get solutions to the problems we have experienced before - thats when we can even be able to grade the needs and wants very well.
Comment by Bruce Haynes on March 4, 2010 at 10:14am
I also agree with this Batandwa, there's a saying: "80% of success is showing up", what differentiates a dreamer and an entrepreneur is implementation, I look forward to networking with you as am also interested in urban agriculture.
Comment by Charlie on March 4, 2010 at 10:33am
Great post!
Comment by Nick Heyming on March 9, 2010 at 2:11am
Word. It raises the question though, what if you're already there?
Comment by openalex on March 10, 2010 at 1:24am
Great post.
Comment by Deborah Cazden on March 10, 2010 at 9:31am
I agree with you on all counts. I do feel that the internet allows those of us who cannot travel, whether it be because of economic reasons, family, disability, etc to get involved. Not everyone has the ability to travel, but that one person can give an idea to someone who can. In this way we NEED to collaborate to maximize the ability to help others.


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