The Power of Collaboration!
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb
The right hand side proverb sums up my most important learning from my time spent working in the alternative sector. I have seen this play out not just when it comes to organizations and initiatives but also at a deeply personal level. Collaboration is the only way for us to move forward and live sustainably. Competition has got us where we are.
But before we get into the importance of collaboration, I believe there’s something even more important that’s needed before we can start collaborating. And that’s connecting. I believe true collaboration organically happens when individuals and organizations are looking to build stronger connections with others working on similar missions. This opens up more than just avenues for collaboration via shared projects and co-holding of events, it opens up the possibility to build deep connections and long-lasting friendships.
I say this not philosophically but from experience. Most of the friends that I’ve made over the past 8 years, thanks to Bhoomi, have been people passionate about sustainability and education that I’ve connected with at events, conferences, unconferences, meet ups organized by various initiatives across the country. I’ve been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to be part of alliances and events like Vikalp Sangam, Indo German Dialogue on Green Urban Practice, Indian Mulitversity Alliance, Learning Societies Unconference, Youth Fest 2069 and many more.
I have connected with many at the above meets who have been kind enough to facilitate modules for fellows at Bhoomi College. Others connections have led to hosting of events like the international Learning Societies Unconference in 2017 and collaborating with The Logical Indian for a series on Menstrual Health and Hygiene.
Bhoomi has been one of the four core members of Vikalp Sangam, a coming together of initiatives working in the alternative sector since its inception in 2014. Our magazine, that we ran from 2010 to 2018, spanning 30 issues on various themes including holistic thinking, positive action and sustainable living was primarily a collaborative project made possible by the kindness of authors and publications who were ready to share their creative work with us. The magazine itself was knowledge material that Bhoomi shared with colleges and schools for many years free of cost.
Collaboration is one of the core principles of nature and at Bhoomi we strive to make it an integral part of the processes that we follow in all of our projects. Collaboration requires humility and the willingness to create and share a vision that can be co-held by many members of a community. This is by no means an easy task but what results from such deep collaboration is worth the effort.