Deciding from our air-conditioned offices
This Saturday, I had the pleasure to take part at TEDxSP, an independently organised TED event. From 07h30 to 20h00, more than 30 people passed their message to a super qualified 700 people audience.
Right in the beginning, journalist Denis Burgierman sad something somehow obvious, but that touched me importantly. He said: “We have the bad habit of solving problems in an air-conditioned room and imposing the solution to others. The problems are not theoretical, they are on the streets. And they can only be successfully addressed if the people affected by them are involved.”
The point of Denis’ lecture was that Brazil is rich in many things, especially in problems. As weird as it sounds at first, for him the abundant interesting problems is one of our biggest assets, because they channel creative people’s passion and efforts, generating a very attractive and flourishing environment. Therefore, specific problems are solved, more people engage in solving more complex problems and we can form a bank of creative solutions adapted to our times, which can be replicated in other places.
When working for big organisations, we often feel contributing for building large scale solutions to important issues, such as poverty, shortage of opportunities, low quality education and, in my case, pathways for bringing sustainability into the management of different organisations. However, commonly we do such from our acclimatised offices, based on cold data and on what we think we know about the problem.
Well, turns out it could be better to be “less efficient”, do less stuff, so we can free our agendas to interact with the ones directly involved in the situation. This way, we can build stronger solutions, help forming a community in the process and individually learn.
I am certain we become better people in the proportion we learn to respect other points of views and stories. And we can only learn that lesson by wholeheartedly engaging with others.
So, why is it we don’t do it?