As a learning community, we are engaged in one single enterprise: to develop a new shared work ethic. Work is more than just having a job to pay the bills. Through our work, we serve society and contribute to the betterment of the world. Through our work we develop ourselves. What have we learnt about this new work ethic that is steadily emerging?
Over the years, an evolving framework for action has emerged with concepts, language and practical instruments that build capacity in people to transform their workplaces. We have identified a few areas that represent to us the frontiers of learning about this transformation process:
- Starting meaningful change: Building a community can start in a variety of ways. But instead of elaborate kick-offs or large gatherings, it usually starts with a simple conversation between two people desiring meaningful work. What personal capacities are required to initiate a process of meaningful change and how does one develop these?
- Creating an environment of trust: one of the most critical conditions to transform into a community is the ability to create an environment of trust where people feel safe to be open and truthful. What is needed for such an environment to emerge? What personal capabilities are required? What forces impede in the establishment of such an environment?
- Creating spaces where hope can grow: a transformation process requires a sustained effort by a group of people who are able to read their own reality and are able to collectively act, reflect, and consult on next actions. How are these groups formed and sustained?
- Creating a movement: sustainable change happens where a growing number of people are involved in thinking about change. What experiences have been generated in ensuring the participation of more and more people in one collective endeavour?
- Promoting solidarity: in communities, relationships between people are characterized by mutual support and friendship. What have we seen about the changing relationships between people in organisations? How is a spirit of solidarity and friendship strengthened?
- Strengthening unity: to channel the energies of a diverse group of people into one common purpose requires the ability to promote unity. What have we learnt about this process? What capacities are needed? What structures and processes strengthen unity and what diminishes unity?
As people around the world gain experience and insights into these questions, these will need to be shared and disseminated freely to others in the community. In this way, we are engaged in a process of generation, application, and dissemination of knowledge about unlocking the immense potential and energy that we have at our disposal to create a better world together.