Archive for the 'Global Perspectives' Category

Powers of Observation

Written on April 9, 2014 at 2:27 am

When my kids were young and we travelled we used to play this game “How do you know you’re not at home?  What’s different about our surroundings here?”  Over time they got good at going from observing the obvious: different dress, different language being spoken, different seasons, etc… to the more sophisticated – what range of different languages were being spoken, what types of groupings of people might be more/less common, etc… As I travel I find myself playing a similar observation ‘game’.

There is increasingly more written about the importance of listening and some good tools are available, but …


Learn Share Lab on Co-Creation

Written on February 20, 2014 at 12:23 am

A small but diverse group from 12 countries and many fields of practice came together recently to explore the concept of co-creation at the Learn Share Lab.  The event modeled a co-creative approach itself, featuring 14 case studies of co-creative initiatives, discussed both in facilitated and open space sessions, which were guided by a number of the workshop’s participants.

In two days of animated large and small group discussions, some themes about co-creation that surfaced included:

Co-creation can be a challenge to define but some core concepts (patterns in organization and methodology) may be identifiable.  Some discussed by the workshop’s …


Navigating towards cultural change

Written on January 24, 2014 at 3:19 am

A Twitter conversation around the effectiveness of advocacy campaigns and my recent travels to several countries where garbage disposal is a major problem have me thinking about this question of how we bring about significant cultural change.   In the U.S. it took decades to change the culture around garbage disposal and personal littering habits with numerous strategies including the use of effective public service announcements.

The cartoon character “Meena” is another example of how it can take a long time and many varied strategies to change long-standing mindsets.  Meena was a project originally initiated by UNICEF that helped …


End of the Year Reflections

Written on December 15, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Traveling, especially by train, often provides time for reflection and writing. I am spending the end of the year traveling in India. Here are some of my reflections on the year that is about to end:

1. Post-2015 – Although many deadlines can seem artificial, years can be useful barometers for looking at what has been accomplished, what still remains to be done, and what changes are needed. The end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) period in 2015 is one of those. The past year has been full of discussions about what the MDGs have accomplished and what should …


Asking the Tough Questions

Written on November 12, 2013 at 7:44 am

Through the wonderful technology of livestreaming and a number of conference organizers who planned livestreaming into their events, I was able to travel recently to conferences and workshops in Rome, Washington, DC and London while still carrying on work based elsewhere.  Here is some of what I have been listening in on and what I’ve been learning:

  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s FailFaire -  October 29, 2013  –  Some takeaways:
    • Of course it’s not just about saying we’ll do something, the doing is always harder.  As organizations and managers can we ask ourselves: “How do we set up