Let's Talk by Rod Bulman
What happens at a Community Forum should definitely not stay in a Community Forum. I have been privileged to facilitate some awesome community forums over a number of years and I always come away encouraged and often inspired.
This month after a meeting I witnessed what I can only call networking-for-real. I am sure you have also received these invitations to a business type function and the programme promises that after the main event there will be “Networking”. I guess that means I’ll buy you a drink if you buy one for me.
Well quite a lot, actually. We are often asked about our name, Phelamanga; where it comes from and what it means. Well here is the true story.
When we founded our business in 1996 our whole family was involved. At the time we were feeling very insecure and apprehensive about our new venture. Rod had resigned from his job and we were stepping out in faith. One of the first orders of business was to decide on a name. We wanted a name that expressed our commitment to participating in the development of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic South Africa.
Granny used to say in exasperation, “words fail me” when she believed a decision made by someone else was foolish or inadequate, but what happens when it is not words that have failed, but the imagination.
When we see ‘systems’ failing and inappropriate decisions being made is it because our words have failed to convince or because our argument was not persuasive enough? Look at what is happening in any field you care to name, but especially in the area of environmental governance. Is it really just greed that drives a developer to site his (or increasingly her) new building so that a wetland must be drained or a dune demolished? Is it really just corruption that causes an official to give the OK to these dubious plans?