"...many economists had overlooked the neural and psychological processes underlying choices... many others had refused to let the inconsistency of empirical research mar the perfection of their models. Yet, it was unclear how much longer they could withstand the relentless weathering of psychological research." Peter Politser, M.D., Neuroeconomics: A Guide to the New Science of Making Choices
Can a garden grow in the desert? It certainly can, but it depends upon the people who develop expertise and passion for them. In cities like Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, there are significant gardens where one would not have expected them.
Creating and Sustaining Development
As the leaders of governments, corporations, universities, and non-profits weigh policies and projects for sustainable urban development and rural development, surprisingly key elements have been left out. These various groups tend to forget about the crucial development of the minds and brains of societies that are stakeholders for such projects.
China is a country that is densely packed with recent urban and rural development projects. These projects are truly massive in scope, including thousands of museums and concert halls in addition to copies of European city centers. The dramatic 180 degree turn from the China of the 1970s not only caught up with foreign nations but has now surpassed most of them. This could only happen because the leaders and the citizens were largely aligned with each other.
In addition, it is important to note that similar to Saudi Arabia and other Asian nations, China's leadership states that it is intent upon building up the minds and the brains of its people. Few projects in other nations hold that priority. While many European countries do measure happiness, it seems that fewer projects truly address what would help people to thrive.
When Development is Devalued
When the values and perspectives of leaders and designers become more distanced or discordant from the people, unrest builds. If leaders and designers do not understand a society, do not lead and/or work with that society, and fail to use their projects to fully help their people, then people will ignore, deface, or destroy a project no matter how splendid and costly. In fact, the rising cost of projects can cause more angst if people cannot understand and appreciate them.
A designer may carefully consider the environmental impact and plan accordingly with the best practices, but if politicians or a people don't know and/or don't care, then that project is less likely to get recognition and participation. Economists may praise particular projects, but as Peter Drucker had realized, economists tend to overlook the people themselves.
Therefore, the problem that must be addressed regards the minds and the brains of people affected by projects.
"Whether tending a garden or an organization, it takes a knowledgeable, dedicated gardener or leader to help plants or people bloom and grow... most seeds cannot simply be thrown into a garden and expected to grow on their own. Some seeds will grow only in certain soils... Like people, they need to be planted in the right place and nurtured." Jean Otte, Changing the Corporate Landscape
Unique Global Development Consulting from ECRIT
ECRIT endeavors to promote peace with economic development. That economic development, however, must truly include people at every level for a number of reasons, and that inclusion must nurture their own mentality for success.
It is not enough for stakeholders to appreciate a development project at some level. Significant sustainable economic development in any location requires the development of local talent, expertise, and passion for businesses and non-profits organizations. Their personal development of success must begin with an understanding and cultivation of their brains and their minds. Their personal and family development must then be stimulated to include serious ongoing efforts for both individual and group success that will then improve their community and society.
If those people do not understand how important and complex a project is, ECRIT then endeavors to understand them and to find a way to harmonize the divergent perspectives in a society.
ECRIT draws upon many specialized fields in psychology to derive an understanding of stakeholders. With that knowledge, engagement can be refined, plans can be enhanced, and strategies may roll forward while crises are prevented.
"Some seeds, like some people, take longer to sprout... it takes bamboo many years to break the surface from its seedling stage. It can be very disappointing and frustrating for people who do not understand the growth pattern of bamboo or do not have the patience to wait. However, once the bamboo surfaces, it grows incredibly fast in a short period of time..." Jean Otte, Changing the Corporate Landscape