Shared – dare I call it – WISDOM

  • Ask of all theory & practice – what is it in the service of? – before supporting or copying it
  • Work mostly with ‘small meaningful achievable initiatives’ vs. ‘Olympic-scale projects’ (most of these are abandoned or fail, & have numerous negative side-effects)
  • Don’t get stuck in endless ‘measuring studies’ (‘monitoring our extinction’) – these are often designed to postpone change that is perceived as threatening to existing power structures
  • To achieve sustainable progressive change, focus (at least first) on enabling the ‘benign’ agendas of others vs. trying to impose on them your own ‘benign’ agendas
  • Focus on enabling the potential of people, society & nature to express itself – so that wellbeing, social justice & sustainability can emerge (in integrated, synergistic ways)
  • Collaborate across difference to achieve broadly shared goals – don’t end up isolated, alone in a ‘sandbox’
  • Don’t let ‘end point’/goal differences prevent possibilities of early stage collaboration
  • Outcomes are only as good & sustainable as the people creating & implementing them – so start with the people; & remember that we are a relational/social species!
  • Use the media – let me repeat – use the media! – such ‘political’ communication is key to change
  • Work with business & the public/community; government will always follow, but rarely lead!
  • Celebrate publicly at every opportunity – to enable the good stuff to be ‘contagious’
  • Keep working on & implementing – especially with others – your (shared) benign visions
  • Most of what is remains unknown – which is what wise people are able to work with; so devote most effort to developing your wisdom vs. your cleverness, which is just concerned with the very limited pool of what is known (Einstein was clear about this!)
  • Always be humble & provisional in your knowing, & always open to new experiences & insights
  • Take small meaningful risks to enable progress, transformational learning & development
  • Devote most effort to the design & management of systems that can enable wellbeing, social justice & sustainability, & that are problem-proof vs. maintaining unsustainable, problem-generating systems, & devoting time to ‘problem-solving’, control, & input management
  • Work sensitively with time & space, especially from the position of the ‘others’ (ask: who, what, which, where, when, how, why, if & if not?)
  • Act from your core/essential self – empowered, aware, visionary, principled, passionate, loving, spontaneous, fully in the present (contextual) – vs. your patterned, fearful, compensatory, compromising, de-contextual selves
  • See no ‘enemies’ – recognise such ‘triggers’ as indicators of woundedness, maldesign & mismanagement – everyone is always doing the best they can, given their potential, past experience & the present context – these are the three areas to work with
  • Be paradoxical: ask for help & get on with the job (don’t postpone); give when you want to receive; give love when you might need it, or when you might feel hate
  • Learn from everyone & everything, & seek mentors & collaborators at every opportunity

(these were compiled in 2005, based largely on my university and international development experience over the past 60+ years, as possible ‘testing questions’ for all theory & practice


Ref: Professor Stuart Hill