Communities are elephants

Updated: Mar 30

When I finished at university, I was asked if I wanted to stay on and work towards an academic career. I knew this would be the wrong thing for me personally, but at the time, I

didn’t really understand why. Thirty years later, having worked with academics from various disciplines, I have seen how the need to become sufficiently expert in one discipline to succeed professionally makes it very hard to do true cross-disciplinary research.

This is very evident when looking at the different forms of thought leadership in social transformation - particularly those with a focus on community:

All approaches are vital, but individually they are like the Indian parable of the blind men trying to describe an elephant - each runs their hands over a different part of it, so none of them get the full picture.

The result is that each approach has its own issues:

The theory of Supercommunities draws together ideas and best practices from all these sources, along with other ideas (collaboration, wellness, community capitals / assets, finance for social trading, and more) needed to create an integrating framework. If we want to understand the community elephant, we need to join hands around it.

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