A little while ago, I stumbled upon an episode of a Swedish daily radio show. Not something I listen in on regularly, but this time it caught my attention. Special guest was Emma Stenström, Associate Professor at Stockholm School of Economics talking about how narrow we assort, communicate and get new (?) influences. And by trying this, I started connecting the dots in how to work with my clients to invite them to a new bubble at least for a moment.
Emma has a cool project with her students, challenging them to make contact with people of other beliefs, political views or just socio-economic groups that they seldom meet. To help the students see things from another perspective and mindset. Because Emma believes this is necessary if you are to manage people or lead businesses and enterprises (which her students often end up doing) in a sustainable way. (Listen to the episode here.)
I don’t just listen to daily radio shows. I also try to invest in myself and developing my competence attending seminars, trainings and blocking time for solo reflection. On that topic, I took part in a two day training with Thomas Jordan on “Complexity and perspective awareness”. Two days learning about and experimenting with models and theories to reveal different ways of vieing a problem or a challenge ending up in an insight that we (and I) stress development processes and growth to an extent that backfires on ourselves.
Thomas is also part of IDG – Inner development goals which is an initiative that defines five categories of capabilities, qualities and skills we need in order to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals . And this is an interesting project!
I definitely see myself as conscious and well educated when it comes to sustainability and environmental issues, working with several non-profits like IPEN and ChemSec and I also invest in understanding what a sustainable worklife really is through co-founding the innovation hub CoCreate at Garveriet in Floda.
But still – taking on the 17 goals personally or in my work life and emit that I actually have some kind of impact have felt overwhelming. Until recently when I start connecting the dots visiting a few different bubbles like the ones described in this post.
When my six-year-old son asks me what I do at work, my answer is simply “I help people collaborate and a lot of that is about asking them questions to make them think for themselves because they, just as you, most often have the answers themselves. They just need a little time to think.”
And that is exactly how my work connects to being a small but stubborn force to give the people I meet space for reflection and new perspectives – reaching the inner development goals. By inviting them to another bubble.