Last weekend was spent with my colleagues of the last 18 months benefiting from the inspiring facilitation of Simon Longstaff from the St James Ethics Centre on a wrap-up ‘integrity weekend’. The weekend was the culmination of our previous involvement as Fellows of the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship (an 18 month program to increase the capacity for ethical deliberation among selected leaders towards a good society).
The key take-away message for me was a question from a broader conversation that unfolded on the weekend:
Is it worth making a profound difference in a small pond?
A powerful question when combined with a comment from Steve Killelea earlier last week from the Institute for Economics and Peace who is responsible for the Global peace Index. Steve’s comment was about closing the gap of “emotional distance” by which people are removed from each other. His argument was that by closing this gap, we reduce the likelihood of stereotypes emerging.
What has this to do with small ponds and profound differences? And does this have anything to do with extreme poverty?
Consider that the phenomenon of deliberately connecting with other people who you don’t know has the potential to lead to all sorts of favourable unintended consequences. Profound differences.
I contend that maybe we ought to focus our energy and attention into the small ponds where we find ourselves. The connectivity of the World 2.0 should pick this up to enable it to flourish. Of course, that on its own is neither a strategy nor a coherent pathway forward for action.
The 10 City Bridge Run aims to raise the awareness of an individual’s capacity to act to influence extreme poverty. This for most of us will occur in each of our own little small ponds working with others. Joined up, this gives promise to profound differences. The mega-global campaign of which there are many have their place, but they can’t solve the problem. Neither can government or business on its own. Somewhere in the journey, people need to be engaged and involved.
Check back in to this blog to hear my thoughts on how this might be achieved.