Access to knowledge and skills will play a vital part in our ability to mitigate and adapt to the challenges and opportunities that we face over the next few decades.
It is crucial that we develop our learning at all levels from informal community education through primary and secondary schools to further and higher education. Our current learning system is currently mechanistic, reductionist and driven by competitive perspectives that fragments rather than draws people together. There has to be a deeper understanding of how services are received by our communities and how land is managed to meet immediate and future needs. It is essential we take a more holistic and collaborative perspective to share concerns, ideas and innovative solutions, to develop a synthesis of disciplines.
The ability of people to learn together is very important and communities must maximize the capacity to develop intergenerational education and understand the narrative aspects of our lives, linking past, present and future. This education has to be flexible and we need to maximise the resources we have to make the most constructive impact. New distributed ways to access learning have to be developed maximizing the use of community infrastructure be it current school buildings or other assets. Through intergenerational learning we must build active communities, promote citizenship, address exclusion and share a desire to improve our long-term wellbeing.
Skills and Knowledge
We have to recognise the distinct roles that knowledge and skills play in developing communities. The gathering, transmitting and acquisition of knowledge is vital in order for people to understand the complex system in which we live and the inter-relating aspects of our lives. It is crucial that people start to understand the nature of the long-term decisions we have to make in order to create sustainable communities. We have to assist people to recognise the holistic nature of how the decisions we make and the actions we take influence the environment in which we live. Creative thinking plays an important role in our ability to adapt to the uncertainties that lay ahead and collaborative learning will allow us to work together on solutions to the problems and opportunities that arise.
We have to distribute leadership and enable people to understand what is meant by progress and what should be measured in order to establish strong resilient communities where long-term wellbeing is paramount. We have to link the developments in science and technology to the concept of sustainable living. We have to develop learning that nurtures new economic models, an entrepreneurial spirit that keeps wealth creation at the local level while at the same time creates an understanding of global interconnections. We need to develop the ethos of co-production between professionals and communities.
The development of craft skills will become more important in order for our communities to maximise the use of resources and deliver services as a local level. It is also important that the humanities and arts play a greater role within our economic system embedded in the social context of Cornwall's communities. There will be a requirement to create jobs and wealth that does not destroy the environment in which we live or create dangerous competition for increasingly scarce resources. A greater emphasis on emotional intelligence will assist in enabling people to understand the interrelationships at local and global levels. This will include the need to develop learning that increases an understanding of ‘permaculture’ (a design system for sustainable living through the creation and maintenance of land use practices that meets our fundamental needs, such as food, water and shelter). We need to build an understanding of nature, of the attachment to place and of the linkages between individuals, communities and the environment enhancing and promoting the unique culture of Cornwall.
If you would like to talk about any of the above issues please contact Ian at ianj [at] ccvf [dot] co [dot] uk
If you have any ideas or would like to join us on our journey please get in touch.