We have all likely participated in a meeting, webinar, conference call, workshop, conference or engagement event where we recognise that the potential of the group is not being maximised. I myself often wonder how to overcome challenges related to designing, fostering, facilitating and engaging in meaningful dialogue that results in improved communication and outcomes.
On November 21st and 22nd, a community of practitioners, policymakers, business leaders and prominent experts will come together to continue to discuss how we can translate the concept of natural capital accounting into action.
In order to do so, the World Forum on Natural Capital will not only make use of world-class speakers, cutting edge case studies and interactive breakout sessions but it will also provide the opportunity to move the debate towards meaningful dialogue. This will involve carefully overcoming the common practices of exchanging monologues, delivering pre-packaged arguments, hearing only dominant voices, posturing, the use of specialised jargon, polarised and oversimplified arguments, confrontational exchanges and tokenism[i] that are so often present during meetings, workshops, conferences, debates, deliberation and dialogue.
The World Forum on Natural Capital aims to create an opportunity for meaningful conversations to take place in an effort to develop our collective capacity to deal with the complex issues facing natural capital. Our ability to foster, facilitate and engage in dialogue and knowledge exchange will be the measure of the success of this inaugural event.
By learning from and building upon our shared knowledge of the successes and challenges of implementing natural capital accounting, we can avoid duplicating efforts and we can encourage increased clarity and alignment of approaches.
By engaging with the concepts of natural capital, participants will not only gain knowledge related to how natural capital opportunities and risks could affect their bottom line and access to the latest developments and practical tools; they will also provide invaluable energy and insight into how we can collectively transition to the next stage of action and implementation.
Personally, I am looking forward to attending the World Forum in order to contribute to the dialogue. It is only by engaging in meaningful conversations, events, debates and decision making processes that we can create change in an effort to address the current challenges facing natural capital.
Finally, I would be interested to hear how readers of this blog think the World Forum on Natural Capital can create a platform for passionate engagement and interaction to enable increased uptake of natural capital accounting. How can debates, tensions, conflicts and differences be used as catalysts for collective inquiry and action? And how can we all ensure that the dialogue continues beyond the events two day lifespan?
Jessica Boucher is a CSR Asia Associate
Join the conversation about the World Forum on Twitter by following @NatCapForum and using #NatCap13 you can also leave comments in the box below.
[i] Stakeholders can sometimes see conferences, participatory processes and engagements as tokenistic. This can result due to a lack of clarity concerning the purpose of the process and can lead to an increase in cynicism or conference/consultation fatigue.
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