Learning Communities LO6009

William J. Hobler, Jr. (bhobler@cpcug.org)
Wed, 6 Mar 1996 18:39:18 -0500

Replying to LO5962 --

Joe Racine raises many disturbing questions as he describes extending
a learning organization to the 'community'. He first has a litany of
requirements on ordinary citizens.

>citizens must learn to routinely take advantage of those opportunities.

> People must learn factual information about public issues.

>They must learn the value of collaboration and respect ..

>Citizens need to learn that their opinions can make a difference, ...

>They must not only see such participation as an opportunity, but,
>rather, as a responsibility.

>People also need to learn to trust government to carry out policies.

>Citizens need to have a clear understanding of community values

>Citizens should explore alternative futures beyond those

>They need to learn the concept of sustainability, the intergenerational ...

> they need to learn about themselves ....

This is a tall order, which IMHO, is virtually impossible if we mount
some big program. While I believe that within the small community of
a company there is enough communal interest to run a successful
program. Most US neighborhoods are not that cohesive. I think the
story of the Hispanic Community in San Antonio, in which one local
Hispanic politician has worked a long time to raise the awareness of
his constituents is instructive. A learning community starts with
two people learning together. Only when these two are successful
will their small community grow.

Joe then takes on the government

>Government needs to learn that command and control policy-making doesn't

>Officials need to expand the notion of government as legislator,... to include
>the role of facilitator.

>Government needs to learn to accept managed risk, even if it yields
>short-term political discomfort and negative headlines.

In the atmosphere of distrust of government from federal to local, even if
these things are learned - will people be ready to collaborate? I don't
think so. But the individual government employee in concert with an
'ordinary' citizen can start a movement. My current book is 'How Culture
Works' by Paul Bohannan. He starts with the interaction of two people as
the elemental unit of a culture.

Let me ask, how many of the readers of this list extend their insight and
learning into their local community? I know one who works with her local
school system. I know that I procrastinate - I'm off at a client's site 5
days a week - I don't have time (hogwash!).

But I think that this is just what it will take to energize our local
communities, smart people like you getting involved at the grass roots.

bhobler@cpcug.org ( William J. Hobler, Jr.) Bill


"William J. Hobler, Jr." <bhobler@cpcug.org>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>