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The Value of Friendship and of Technical Expertise

In the global village, we need to emotionally connect with people while living and working far away, combining technical expertise with the true value of Friendship

From left: Tabitha, Ms. Hindou and myself, during an Expert meeting on Knowledge co-production between Indigenous communities and scientific community on Climate Change adaptation and mitigation strategies and plans in Africa, 28 June 2018

“You cannot talk about us without involving us” – I got inspired by the words of Ms. Hindou , Indigenous peoples Leader and negotiator at the table of world leaders during the Paris Agreement and the UN talks, dialogues and negotiations on Climate Change. How the Voices of the indigenous people can be heard, to share knowledge and insightful information on their territories and communities, to influence policy making and to create a more sustainable world, where mobility of people and economic growth are ensured. 

I would sum it up as “Share what you know. We will support you with technical expertise, and you will help us unravel the mysteries of nature, that we can only study in terms of numbers, meteorology, science and statistics”. There is so much more than that. There is deep observations of the moon, the stars, the flowers and the trees. There is the movement of the clouds and the cycle of seasons, that help the pastoralists communities predict weather changes and the rains, for them to prepare the moving to other territories, with their livestock, and undertake a trip to ensure the well-being of their communities and their herds. Moving for necessity. Therefore, planning and organizing before departure.

I was extremely fascinated by the friendliness and the openness of pastoralists communities, willing to teach and learn. To listen and to share. The humility starts with Learning, which is a continuous process of questioning, debating and positively discussing, and making sure that the best for the communities is put in place. This requires dialogues, sharing of information, active listening, empathy, compassion and innovation in thinking and in finding creative ways to solve local and global issues.

Living in a global village of the XXI century, Technology can play a key role in connecting communities and in sharing experiences and best practices. However, predictions from Mckinsey& Company envisages that the need for some skills, such as technological as well as social and emotional skills will rise, even as the demand for others, including physical and manual skills, will fall. 

In the technological era then, empathy and compassion, coupled up with creativity and innovation will thrive. Therefore we must prepare to include in our school curriculum, technical skills as well as emotional intelligence and higher cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, decision making and complex information processing

Communication will be an essential skill to travel and move around the world, for studies and for work. The need for connection, which is intrinsic to human nature- as social animals- Artistotle docet– we will be able to make more Friends and to rely on one another in the digital world connecting words, where everybody and nobody’s present, at the same time, but not in the same space. 

For this, a need for positive and harmonious environment, wherever we happen to be working, Good and supportive relationships with colleagues, valuing good team work, respect for diversity, inclusion of all in the dialogues, professionalism and integrity in decision making.  A world where we can all help each other thrive, accepting that we can only rise together, support one another, and let people fly high, letting them go and continuing their lives. 

The way to go is Professionalism and Friendship, connecting but Dreaming Big and allowing and accepting other people to Dream and Achieve their Life objectives. Accompanying, but not imposing, caring but not pressuring. Sharing and Getting involved– in professional life- but not committing to same-place geographical presence, 24/7. 

Learning from Africa. Sharing and Caring, but let People Free to go, to choose and accepting what happens. Changing what you can and you wish in your Life path, but not trying to change people or ask them to follow you if they do not want to.

Sharing here a photo I took today in Nairobi, in a new pop up store, made of colorful lamps and wood. This is the mantra of positivity and cherishing Life everyday, embracing the right attitude of living with a Purpose of existence, appreciation and laughter that we all need in this world. Together

Loving each day– Ronan Keating

@GaiaParadiso


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