A NATION IN CRISIS
In 2016 we embarked on a journey to understand why all the development efforts, from CSI investments to government policies are still falling short, decades after our country became a democracy. We wondered what those reimagining South Africa are doing differently to the rest, and what we can we do to support them.
CAN UBUNTU SAVE OUR FAILING SOCIAL SYSTEM?
Humanity is resilient, unrelenting, adaptable and anti-fragile. Everyone human has the right to dignity. South Africa is a group project.
No party politics.
No divisive propaganda.
Ubuntu is the thing that connects us. We have yet to discover what we can do if we work together toward a collective vision.
We have a sense of it, but it is beyond our imagination. Why, because we don't entertain it enough. f the bet is on the power of our collective humanity, and we are all in.
Reimagining SA is a big calling. Anyone who has tried walking away from a calling will know it doesn’t end well No matter how impossible it seems. For an organisation this poses challenges in move from idea to growth.
We have covered a lot of ground staying the course, so far, this is what we learned (by doing)
1. We used to believe that civic awareness was teachable.
Education assumes there is somebody who knows and somebody who doesn't. People know what they want and need.
2. THERE IS NOTHING SIMPLE ABOUT CONVENING MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE
The first conversation series on accelerating social housing in South Africa was building good momentum. Then COVID hit.
Inviting people to dialogue is one thing, putting the right group of people in a room together is another.
Firstly, there is no guarantee the right combination of participants will show up. This is especially true for the people whose voices are most needed in the room.
Those with barriers to access.
Those who are spoken for by others.
Those for whom time spent in dialogue, means time away from the hustle that feeds the kids.
TRUST BUILDING is a delicate art
It takes commitment and capacity to bring community to the table . Letsema Process
Working with our client on an intensive stakeholder engagement project, it took two years of intensive groundwork, to host over a hundred people in dialogue. (text: honouring impacted stakeholders of which 94 of the delegates were family members.)
Contrary to our lack of capacit to bring community to the table meaningfully during the ABSA dialogues, we achieved successful attendance through relationship building with the families prior to our first dialogue.
We learned by paying regular visits to willing family members in their remote rural homes across the country was key to trust and relationship building. (add bishop quote on praying)
Our plan to overcome the challenge of an excluded community voice is by taking this same approach into a second multi-layer engagement we will convene this year.
We worked with them to
Assess business chanelenges and opportunites in socio economic and land management engagements
This helped them transition from catalyst to partner
To do this we needed to observe dyanisi and assess angles isolate patterns invited to join their meetings for a year
This put us in a prime position to ….