“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein
Paying attention to our world is increasingly a commitment to deeper thought and reflection about what may happen, what could be possible, what is my role as a person engaged in this time and place?
At the 2018 Living Knowledge conference just finished, we had the opportunity and privilege to participate with people from all over the world in conversations about what is important for humanity in 2018. The projects who participated came to report on their work being carried out in diverse focused communities and areas of life, and whose leaders came to share, reflect and exchange with others the challenges and options which could collectively enrich our individual communities to grow and thrive.
We met academics frustrated with the confines of an academie which discourages new ideas from community without the endorsement of academic forethought and advice. We listened to people learning from their communities about the significant knowledge that resides in and needs to be shared by the people with lived experience and understanding.
The youth sector community is a case in point. We presented research about effective strategies to offer young people the opportunity to re-engage with mainstream society as wisdom learned from the young people outside of traditional supports. The impact of listening to them, and gaining their trust, grows forward with adapting methods and learning in step with what they teach us about what they know and need to thrive.
The Blue Ocean Approach to creating new ways of engagement is clouded by the contexts of reluctance to listen, unwillingness to engage with no power lines to define difference, and perhaps most resistance of all resides in the belief that young people are where they are because of who they are and thus we absolve our responsibility to them – except to hold arms-length options in case they change enough to be able to succeed with our ideas.
Somehow our current perspectives of ‘methodology’ must be rethought and rebuilt with the knowledge we gain from the people who know the lived experience of reality. “Living Knowledge” is born of reality. Naming real starting points is critical to develop the planned steps toward stated goals to change ‘what is’ to ‘what is possible.’