Organizations today to be consistent and respond to what their communities want must:

  • Be transparent so say what they do, whether it is good or bad. In any case, sooner or later, things are known.
  • Be authentic by adopting their own speech and expressing their own values by speaking with their own voice, not the voice of others.
  • Be responsible, which means knowing that the choices they make will inevitably have an impact and suddenly take responsibility for the social, economic and environmental impacts they create, whether positive or negative.
  • Be human meaning to know how to adjust to your community and showing empathy within your ecosystem.

Each organization must have empathy for its partners and collaborators at every stage of the organization’s development: employees, suppliers, ambassadors and partners.

What matters is the meaning, the emotion, the authenticity, the vision, listening to your community / ecosystem, integrating it into your development and putting it at the heart of your organization.

3 thoughts on “EMPATHY IS THE FUEL

  1. Laura, you are so right!

    Empathy is the fuel! For me too. It is because of having been around in these villages and having worked with the women of Okokrum, close to Capetown/Ghana at the coast. And in Guatemala Xetapan, Kind of the same in other villages. I cannot really feel separated from those people. And I want to come back, as I have what they need: water for the long dry season. Water in 5 m3 cement water vessels. Remember our work at the Student Workforce? It is more of just that. Work has advanced in the mean time.

    My question to you: I look for a place to do a pilot project, to build a few of such tanks. But it should be all self-reliant. Together with the families in a village, we do the work, they pay for their own cement. It is all innovative, never done like this before. Exceedingly cost effective. Cement for making tiles, then constructing the vessel from these tiles, then plastering that frame-from-tiles.. Right now I am preparing. Coming weeks we build such vessels with refugees, in a center near Amsterdam. We learn, practice, improve and make a movie! Specially I want to prove that the cost for cement will be around 60 euro’s, because in an other project for water harvesting that was the contribution that villagers could afford per family, while the actual cost was many times higher.

    With that movie we work with villagers who have no other source of potable water nearby. Too many situations like that still exist. Also because of climate justice, we have to show this option is real and make sure that we teach and make them teachers for viral spread of this solution.

    I just happened to see your name at LinkedIn, then read you founded Phoenix. I hope that you can do the linking in your network that will bring me and my Demotech friends to the right place.
    Anyway, I thank you for the great stance of ‘Empathy is the Fuel”, I know it is true. Let’s see where it brings us.

    Warm greetings from the LBB / Maastricht
    Reinder / Demotech

    mail: info@demotech.org

    1. Hello Reinder,

      It is really cool to read about what you are doing.
      I need to know precisely who you need to be linked to in order to see how I can help you.
      Could you please send me more details at : laura@phoenix-paris.com ?
      I am thinking about some NGO’s or locals depending on where precisely you need to settle.

      I wish you all the best in the development of your project.
      Take care,

      Peace & Love.

  2. Laura, good to get your fast response!

    How did you get to include Empathy in your thinking? In general people don’t think that way, nor that it can be a force for good!

    What I need:

    – there are already some options for where to go. Of an NGO that works with subsidised water tanks, also 5 m3, villagers assist the expert team, organized by a Dutch friend of mine, he wants to help finding a project site. But he works in Guinee Bissau, that’s too wet, too tropical, too hot, too low-level. And therefore may kill me in a few days.
    So I look for a dryer, higher, slightly cooler area, that has the same problems of no water in a long dry season. Guatemala, along the Pacific, there is was high, 1000 – 2000 meters, a bit cooler and sadly also desperately poor.

    – such a place, a bit closer by, like Morocco. It would be so good to be able to visit often, help solve problems, make sure reporting is done correct, additional videos. The other solution is to have the backing of a funder, that would energize this project. It is the traveling and the reporting that is costly.

    – and I would love so much to work with people that understand that project financing corrupts NGOs. I know because it happened too often with my rope pump design. Do you know them, the Gandhi-self-reliant practicants? That know the power of it, if done perfect, meaning all over, not partly?
    No problem with grands for the actual research, nor for the teaching, also not for the good videos that have to be made for later instruction. But not for implementation, when users can afford it.
    Yes, possible only if the design enables self-reliance. I want to make sure in the coming weeks that this becomes true for the Water Vessel. Right now I work with a refugee center near Amsterdam. With refugees that otherwise just wait, I’ll try this out.

    Would be great if you come up with some answers. Take your time for it.
    And I’ll study your blog or webpage. It looks good!

    Warm greetings,

    Reinder / Demotech

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