In today's world driven by data, studies, analysis, reports now accessible to all through new technologies, it seems that pretty much anyone could become an expert in anything, which you would hope could help make better decisions for the future of our world.
Yet it seems that from some of the highest ranks of governments, global corporations and international organizations filled by all sorts of experts and highly-skilled individuals, terrible decisions are made every day seriously impacting the well being of entire populations and the planet.
What if true expertise, the one able to eradicate the biggest issues of our times, was to be found anywhere near any certification/degree programs?
What if experts as we know them today were just, after all, "laundry men for another time"?
What if true expertise lied in the hands of women, even more so grandmothers?
That's the powerful lesson learned through Bunker Roy, founder of the Barefoot college, empowering women to transform their communities, acting as agents of change in eradicating global poverty.
1) Learn by testing yourself and going outside your comfort zone.
Bunker Roy would have never discovered the power of communities and women in rural India had he been following an already mapped out brilliant traditional career path. Instead he decided to go against his family will, live in a village and dig wells.
2) Knowledge, skills and wisdom can be discovered where you least expect it.
One of Bunker's most precious discovery leading to the creation of the Barefoot college is that poor people are the ones gifted with the most knowledge, skills and wisdom.
3) Look for the person, not the degree.
Realizing the power of those extraordinary skills nobody knows about, Bunker decided to create the Barefoot college reflecting those incredible skills and serving as the incubator for creating social enterprise.
4) Look for women, look for grandmothers!
They have the most respect from the community as well as extraordinary leadership and communication skills. Grandmothers specifically love to train (passing as much as they can to the next generation before they die) and are not interested in degrees.
5) Competence, Confidence and Belief.
Those are the three key ingredients to professional success according to the Barefoot method. When certified and endorsed by the community those indispensable skills will lead to "universal solutions" and powerful changes for the best of the world.
6) The way forward is bottom up.
Bunker's "Solar Energy Project" started in India training just a few women and grandmothers then continued in Afghanistan, Africa, the Philippines, making women the first solar engineers in those countries! Not only did this help managing economic resources but improved the very conditions of those women, changing their status of "women" as "engineer" ("Today I am not a woman, I am an engineer").
7) Innovation comes from below, the community, people learning together, creating a feeling of solidarity among each other.
8) Listen to the people and what they have to say.
You'll be amazed at how much you can learn from them seeing them coming up with solutions.
9) Follow your guts.
No need for big data driven recruiting tools in the barefoot method. Just listen to your body, follow your instincts and you'll know if that person is right for you.
10) Tell a woman.
Not sure about the best communication tools to use? Telemarketing? Telegram? Telephone? Nope... just "Tell a Woman" according to the Barefoot method.
Forget about the degree, forget about the data, forget about the "experts"!
Let's embrace a new era of "sacred activism" coming from a place of love, action and "radical creativity."
Let's make a change, for the better.