Conversation Week - The Barbados Findings (1) From 'Me' to 'We'
posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 04:44 PM
The output from the recent Conversation Week Barbados session which was hosted by Sherrilene Collymore of the Human Quality Headquarters, raised the question of the adequacies of present systems of education in addressing the pressing needs of humanity and the world in general today.
Responding to the question, “How do we move from ‘me’ to ‘we’?”, participants representing a range of diverse backgrounds and professional experiences, all brought their own perspectives, which spoke to the need for individuals to feel that they are a part of the bigger picture, in the form of the community.
They bemoaned the fact that our educational system emphasised competition among your peers (who gets the most stars, the highest marks, etc.) rather than connection and co-ordination, leading to what was described as ‘fragmented existences’ among people.
All participants saw the need to embrace and encourage all people to be creative and suggested that policy makers establish a vision for its people, one which represents the individual in his community, and then further to creatively communicate this vision and its benefits across levels, optimising the use of intriguing techniques such as story telling and the use of fact bases to engage.
Of concern to participants was the observation that many people do not know ‘who they are’ and have not sought to find out how they are viewed by others in their environment. Also, the lack of emphasis on building capacity for embracing change, such as knowledge-seeking for the purpose of reducing uncertainty and fear-based reaction, was highlighted as a deficiency in the present educational system.
All participants were keen to be part of solution, wherever the opportunity presented itself.
All and all, the first ever Barbados Conversation Week event proved to be a fantastic opportunity to address some of the world’s most pressing issues from the local perspective. Many of the ideas presented here have scope for application more widely throughout the world. We hope that they will be taken into consideration as policy planners address their public’s needs, in designing social services for them.