my background
  terry gibson
     
 

I've been working with on communications and learning for over twenty years in the UK and in over 30 countries in the South. My focus is increasingly on mobilising the ability of communities to create knowledge and take action.

 

I worked previously with large corporations including Astra Zeneca, British Gas, BT, Centrica, Co-op, IGE and JCB to create training, attitudinal change and induction resources. Over the past 15 years I've turned my focus to learning and action in the developing world.

One early project which has been critical in my thinking was 'On Solid Ground'.

This project captured the experience of a number of agencies

responding to the 'Hurricane Mitch' disaster in Central America so that other agencies could learn from their practice. Rather than taking in film crews I decided to work with partners Arca Associates to train local people to tell the stories themselves. It would be easy to claim more for this project than was the case, but there were striking examples of people in storm-affected villages interviewing each other and capturing their concerns and ideas about the impacts and about their hopes and fears. Teh project hinted at the possibility of building peoples' confidence to discover their own knowledge and to act on it. Projects like this one shifted my focus to communications and learning as an integral part of change processes  in different communities, whether geographically defined or organised by interest, practice, purpose or any other 'boundary'.

My work and research are now both concerned with a unique community - the Global Network for Disaster Reduction (www.globalnetwork-dr.org). As Operations Director I lead the action research conducted by over 500 member organisations in 70 countries, leading to fascinating challenges in network building, shared learning and shared action. (check out resources and links)

This is the focus of my practice and research . . . Change Communications

 
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Communications are always about making a change, but my question has always been . . . . how?