An interesting thing to explore here is our hang ups about people not talking to each other face to face. A mountain of interaction is happening in the online / digital space, facilitated by technology, arguably we are spending too much time idly chatting to each other and not taking enough time to quietly contemplate the bigger picture. Tom advises 'invest effort in facilitating conversations between supporters, rather than conveying information to supporters.' Do we need to think about the content of the conversations we are facilitating?
This relates to the next point too, in labeling all intrinsic values 'compassionate' values (and all extrinsic values 'self-interest' values) Tom is trying to simplify the language, but it is problematic in that it immediately narrows our thinking. Compassion is just one value among many other intrinsic values that cluster around it. The research shows that the large majority of people value intrinsic values more than extrinsic values, and that even those who are extrinsically orientated do in fact also hold intrinsic values that can be activated, nurtured and reinforced. And vice versa of course. I think the key thing with this is that the research is showing that 'appealing to both ‘compassionate’ and ‘self-interest’ [simultaneously] is as ineffective as appealing to ‘self-interest’ alone' (see p. 10). One tiny appeal to extrinsic values can undo all the hard work that has been put in to appeals to intrinsic values.
It is, in an 'enlightened self-interest' sort of way, but what is happening is an activation of our benevolence values, which are a subset of our intrinsic values. If we activate benevolence values, this has a bleed over effect, activating other intrinsic values. Again this is problem with simplifying the language.
Agreed, this is absolutely key. But do the SDGs provide the way too? I have been wondering whether it would be worth doing an analysis of the impact that the SDGs is having on building relationships between, for example, the environment and development sectors?
5 – CALL-OUT PUBLIC POLICIES AND INSTITUTIONS THAT EMBED ‘SELF- INTEREST’ VALUES – seems like a call for simpler times: the 1950s spring to mind.
My interpretation of this is that bodies and institutions whose purpose it is to work in the public interest are not fulfilling that purpose if they are complicit in reinforcing extrinsic values. It applies to Government bodies as well as many NGOs. And does 'simplicity' have to be understood as a regressive thing, something we return to? I think we can progress towards simplicity, or to be more philosophical about this, we can progress towards a situtation where things are not too simple, but not too complex - both have their virtues. This aligns a lot with concepts of sustainability and steady states I think.
Of course, we all have self-interested values to some degree: family / children / locality. Sometimes self-interest is community interest which is a good thing sometimes.
Agreed, this is 'enlightened self-interest' and benevolence again.
I think it is there, see section 3. 'We are too ready to settle for what is politically feasible today' he says this:
Although we may not choose to frame it in these terms, many of us have given up on helping to deepen public appetite for ambitious political change. Our focus has turned to working with what’s possible within the constraints of today’s political opportunities. As a result, our perception of the role of members and supporters has subtly changed: we have increasingly come to view supporters as a source of financial revenue, rather than a means of applying collective political pressure.