04 December 2008

Peripheral Participants

These are the ideas I'm after.

When I think of how the periphery have the potential to contribute to the whole (specifically in the context of those who face challenges in the developing world), I start to consider how this model could be translated back in Rwanda.

Because it speaks of good governance. The fact that citizenship is developed "by the people for the people" is recognizable. I realize we live with incredible freedoms to do so, but if this idea could be shared with a rural town in Rwanda, would the same potentials be realized? I get a bit of hope inside thinking about the "what if's".

The tools I'm trying to figure out in the process of this are being considered and evaluated through a lens that isn't my "home town"(like this Vermont case), which adds some complexity to my process. Language, beliefs, needs and values are relevant in this research (for them and me). In my case, I want to consider how a cultural probe (Gaver) might illuminate ways to bring a community on the other side of the globe into their own change (without assuming I know what that change should look like). Because many initiatives are developed without consulting the people who will be affected by them, I like what this town in Vermont is suggesting by including their peripheral actors. And perhaps by understanding deeper needs, future innovations can be approached without messing with what already works.

By the people, for the people.

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