Blog / 30 November 2011

Dream or reality?

Dream or reality?


Visions do not only stick to music. They can move the world. The most striking example is probably still Martin Luther King, whose dream raised the greatest emancipation movement in history.

In the Netherlands we are realistic. We do not talk about visions, but prefer scenarios. Dreaming is not our thing, but we are good at planning to achieve optimal results. Lately we intend to listen to visionaries more often than usual. Five years ago for example, a whole movement developed around Cradle to Cradle. The vision of an architect and a chemist portrayed a world in which waste no longer existed and all circular courses in society were closed. Nowadays the Dutch are looking at Paul Pollman for inspiration, who by regarding sustainability as theend goal motivates his Unilever into progressive entrepreneurship.

The visions we know, and which - consciously or unconsciously - move us towards the decisions we make are limited to views of people within the borders of Europe and the US. However, our thoughts and actions in the West affect daily life in developing countries. Therefore, the time has come to seek the views of people from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Those images are also a driving force behind major changes.

Partners of Both ENDS have these visions. Such as M'Bigua who sees a world in which free flowing rivers are the base of societies with sustainable transport systems, vital local economies and water management by communities themselves. Keystone dreams of an India where peace has returned to the great inland forests and where the natural wealth not only delivers great pictures, but also water, food and a healthy environment for everyone - Peace returns to Paradise. Yacouba Sawadogo from Mali realises his vision where farmers improve their income and livelihood through 'zai', a traditional technique in which trees are planted in pits filled with manure. In this way the moisture is held longer,so heavily degraded land becomes suitable for farming.

In the following months Both ENDS and Cordaid will look for the views of thinkers and doers from the South. The images that these southern visionaries evoke will inspire and help us in our daily activities into making small steps toward a great world. And to speak with Lennon's words: "I hope one day you'll join us. And the world will be as one."

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