If anyone asks me what I do for a living, I say that I work in international development. If they persist and want to know more (and I can’t calculate how many taxi drivers in how many countries I have had this conversation with) I say that I work with business, government and civil society organisations to build greater self-reliance at national and local levels and reduce dependency on external aid. Most taxi drivers wisely stop asking questions at this point!
To un-pick the jargon (or to create new jargon!) much of my work for the past 25+ years has involved engaging with the three different ‘sectors’ in society to help them to work together in a more ‘joined up’ way to create sustainable societal, economic and environmental development.
It has been exciting to see this work evolve and prosper as partnerships for sustainable development become increasingly accepted as the way forward – the way to contain ‘unleashed capitalism’ to quote one of the lecturers on the Cambridge University post-graduate course in Cross-Sector Partnership that, on behalf of IBLF, I helped to start in 2002.
“We are unlikely to find practical and lasting solutions to the worst horrors we face – whether in the form of pandemics, poverty, climate change or cross-cultural enmity – unless we learn how to collaborate. At its best partnering is both a practical and an inspirational mechanism for collaborating and managing change. As such it has the potential to richly contribute to a globally sustainable future.”
From: TALKING THE WALK by McManus & Tennyson published by The Partnering Initiative / IBLF (see links below)
My main aim in this current phase of my working life is to try and inspire and empower the people I work with so they feel they can make a real difference. This is stimulating, rewarding and challenging in equal measure.
I really like responding to new challenges and am, I hope, open to new ideas and opportunities to make a difference – get in touch if you have any good ideas to discuss!