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Two-eye seeing


When facing complex problems like #climatechange, we need people from different disciplines to find solutions.


And this is hard because sometimes the culture, paradigms and approaches between groups and organisations are very different.


When I work with #socialentrepreneurs, a common problem is how to engage with other stakeholders and bring them on board when they have different perspectives.


How can you talk to the #foodindustry leaders and engage them in your work about promoting healthy eating? How can you talk to the #retail sector about gender inequality and invite them to join forces to close the gap?


That's what #indigenouspeoples have been facing for decades when finding solutions to climate change and environmental degradation. Their views and approaches were not considered because the dominant narrative was that Western science had the solution.


Recently, the National Science Foundation (NSF) decided to create a bridge between traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and Western science through what some investigators called "two-eye seeing", which means that:


Indigenous knowledge will not be regarded as an accessorise to Western Science and will enter into dialogue on equal footing with Western Science.


This includes acknowledging the tension between both systems:


- Indigenous knowledge is place-specific; Western Science seeks universal standards.

- Indigenous knowledge focuses on the relationships between people and their environment, whereas Western Science doesn't necessarily consider this dimension.

- The community manages Indigenous knowledge, whereas Western Science is managed through patents, studies and publications with restricted access.


What does "two-eye seeing" look like in practice?


- Indigenous leaders agree on the information collected by researchers, the relationship between components of the research and how the results will benefit the community.


- Data will be managed in a way that benefits the community. They will be able to decide what goes in and what doesn't.


Now, imagine what a two-eye seeing can do for your project.


What happens when you bring together methodologies and approaches on equal footing? What happens when you give communities and organisation a way of working that respect their values and who they are?


#Collaboration and #stakeholderengagement shouldn't be only a result-orientated exercise but a dialogue between people to create the most aligned solutions to a problem. -------------------------------------

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