home Collaboration, Culture, Education, Indigenous, Local Encouraging Engagement (2016)

Encouraging Engagement (2016)

Photo: Ron Mader, Playground (Some rights reserved)

One of the greatest challenges for those working in conservation and tourism, economic development and job creation is how to develop engagement with the public — critical if we wish to encourage sustainable practices.

Engagement (aka ‘meaningful interaction’) needs to be central to our work, not an add-on. We need an engagement strategy as much as any communication strategy. How will we collaborate?

We can come to agreements easily enough but getting the work done requires collaboration and continuity that is often missing in a world with a short attention span. How many aspirational documents do not deliver practical actions?

If we want meaningful change, we have to engage! Just how do we achieve a creative, passionate and storied participation in the world? If we don’t factor long-term continuity or sustainability into the equation, it will be impossible to create buy in. Activism yes, but it needs to be a sustained activisim. A ‘click here’ and ‘support the cause’ mentality — aka ‘clickvitism’ — is not the same as building long-term relationships.

Question: how do you measure your engagement in activities organized by others and how you try to engage others in your work? How do your expectations and responsibilities change depending whether you are interacting face-to-face or remotely?

With better understanding, we can pay better attention to global events, including the World Conservation Congress taking place this week in Hawai’i and the December Convention on Biological Diversity in Cancún, México.

How well do global events engage and interact with remote participants? These critical conversations can be improved if the events are shared with those outside the room in real time. Is #biodiversity or #conservation a trending topic? If not, why not?

Certainly we need to insist and reward good usage of plain language. Far too many of the critical concepts are understood only by the insiders. #IUCNCongress Bingo can be a fun game to play, but it’s nothing you’d likely share with friends and family.

Bonus points: let’s master the concepts using other languages. Translations, please! #UsaTuVoz (Use your voice).

Personally, I want to find friends who can translate and expand upon the usage of the important concepts in their Indigenous languages, calling out to those who speak Adnyamathanha, AyuukDiné (Navajo)Māori , PauiteQuechuaSámiand Zapotec for starters.

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