Most organizations focus on empowering people to the point at which they overlook rather than strengthen existing leadership roles and solutions. In this manner, we end up with an imposition of solutions from outside that neither respects nor draws on local experience, wisdom, or the community-driven solutions that can be sustainable and relevant. While expertise can play a role, ensuring that communities have a “real voice” — with which their insights are sought and their needs, ideas, and assets are imbedded in any proposed “solution” — is most critical for a long-term, lasting impact.
By its very nature, empowerment is the process of giving power to others without respecting the potential that they already possess. Despite their good intentions, major organizations often fail to recognize that the people who live in the communities they serve are capable, skilled human beings who can contribute not only to their own success, but also to the success of humanity as a whole. This misconception leads to confusion and a skewed understanding of what communities need, which in turn leads organizations to offer solutions that are too often not sustainable.
Every voice matters; every story matters. Recognizing our shared humanity gives rise to peaceful, stable, and progressive societies.
At Inclusivus, we operate under a simple but radical motto: Listen first. We work with community representatives to secure opportunities to speak for themselves and act on their own behalf through the following initiatives:
- We assist communities with InPowering storytelling so that individuals can amplify their voices and stories.
- We promote effective practices that are based on community-driven solutions in order to improve lives and the circumstances of communities.
- We influence global perspectives and insights through awareness and education to improve development outcomes for the most affected populations.
Our job at Inclusivus is to identify and advocate for the removal of the structural barriers responsible for historical and social injustice. In addition to working with individuals and communities through InPowering storytelling methods to catalyze progress, the Inclusivus Get InPowered podcast highlights individual innovators, advocates, activists, and agents of social change across various sectors who act as transforming powers in their communities and the world at large. In each episode, we talk with InPowered women and men who inspire action and create more inclusive communities.
We work to ensure that the global community recognizes these men and women as problem-solvers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and global citizens whose insights and skills can help make the world better for all.
Because all progress is the direct result of community members’ efforts, the power remains in their hands, which ensures not only that they will recognize their own InPowerment, build on their natural asset bases, and feel pride, but that they will also be able to sustain their efforts and continue to learn from their successes for years to come.