Okay, so the environmental group I’m working with? The one I just blogged about? You might have guessed by now that it’s ECOSLO. Well, they’re taking part in Art After Dark, and last night they had Adam Hill, the new District 3 County Supervisor, as their guest. And I’m affirming that they are definitely doing good things. I met some very cool people there (in addition to Adam, of course).
However, the event was attended by about 45 people, max. I know, because I was there the whole night, lurking. (That’s me: I lurk). And the type of people who attended were the type you’d expect: the wonderful, the well-meaning, the converted.
Total mildly curious and/or drunk attendees? Zero.
Now, maybe I’m being totally unrealistic, but I would have liked to see three times that amount. I mean, it was a chance to meet with a supervisor (and for some of us, a former instructor)! Not only that, but he’s cool. Actually cool. A politician. I know.
I’m drifting. Back to my point. Which was…. If an organization wants to stay viable it has to practice a certain amount of openness and inclusiveness. This has always been a truism, but now, with the current green zeitgeist racing through our collective consciousness, the time is perfect for opening heretofore closed doors.
Have to you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, thinking certain things actually brings them into existence? (Some physicists do, but they’re crazy.) Or maybe because you’re thinking of something you are more aware of similar phenomena? Anyway, I had just written the last post about inclusivity when I came across this article, tweeted by one of our followers. In the wonderful article (that is now in my “special” folder on my laptop), the author, Andrew Outhwaite, lists common barriers to achieving effective, long-term change. This one REALLY nails my thesis on the head:
Barrier: Being too identified with your own profession/network/clique, and its language, symbols, models, paradigms and habits can seriously inhibit inter-network collaboration, even within the sustainability movement.
Community-Enabling Technology: Encouraging information Cross-Pollination. Universities (e.g. BTH, UTS and RMIT) are encouraging transdisciplinary research to enable innovation across departmental, sectoral and epistemological boundaries.
Time to broaden the horizons, methinks. And to prove that I’m not letting any grass grow under my observations, I’m off to meet with Chris McCann, a student a Cal Poly who’s part of the Empower Poly Coalition and the business community. Let the synergies begin!