Sunday, July 6, 2008

Freedom of Speech

I met Debbi Winsten two weeks ago at a lunch sponsored by this group. She is a passionate advocate for helping other folks - particularly folks in the developing world - SPEAK OUT.

She uses "simply technologies" like mime, gestures and drawings to engage groups and facilitate communication with non-literate populations.

Talking with Debbi, I was reminded of two things:

1. I regularly take for granted the TREMENDOUS opportunity I have to write and teach and be heard by others.

2. Good communication is not about tools it's about CONNECTION and EMPOWERMENT and the successful TRANSFER of KNOWLEDGE from listener to listenee.

It doesn't make a bit of difference how communication is achieved. What matters is that people are seen and heard and valued and that hopefully from this exchange all good things - like improved water systems, better health care, greater access to education, etc. - result.




Debbi Winsten "empowering citizen voices" said...

This author is a keen listener – she may have coined this evocative word: listenee. Minor detail, though: Debbi uses simple tools to talk with anyone, anywhere. Together, we use whatever technology is appropriate and available -- because people who are poor or illiterate are not stupid: they are more resourceful than we are, as Jocelyn asserts.

Imagine how differently you might feel if you’d never heard your own voice… it’s an indelible experience to realize how others hear you -- one that we take entirely for granted as we blithely leave voicemail messages.

When people gather and present information that is important to them, and keep track of it by drawing in the dirt with sticks, if necessary, they harness local wisdom for positive and sustainable change! They inspire me, just as our social media savvy guru does. Thanks!

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