BrainstormThis: A Monthly Forum on Development

“BrainstormThis” is a discussion forum for members of research institutions, non-governmental organizations, community councils, and funding organizations to gather to focus on a single grand goal: making sure the “help” offered to improve the health and well-being of people around the world actually helps.

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More about the Forum

Discussion format:
Once each month, we will post a new topic or question for discussion. This will always happen on a Wednesday, Greenwich Mean Time. During that week you are encouraged to think, read, create threads, and respond as much as you want. On the following Wednesday (7 days after the original post) we will host a Live Chat where people can work together in real time to summarize of all the viewpoints shared during the week’s discussion. This summary will be saved on the discussion board.

Discussion can certainly happen after the one-week focused discussion, but concentrated posts and responses allow for faster building and trading ideas. If there is a new burst of activity on an old post, we may schedule a special Live Chat to re-summarize thoughts.

The time of the Live Chat will vary each month to try to include as many participants as possible from time zones across the globe.

Why Wednesday? Wednesday misses weekends no matter what time zone you live in, or what days comprise your weekend.

How we got started:
We’ve all heard the stories of wells abroad dug by well-meaning Westerners that were abandoned a year later? In September 2016, the Center for Applied Collaboration on Human Environments hosted a multi-day workshop to start chipping away at the question: Why do development goals come up short, and why do we continue to let them come up short despite evidence that our methods are ineffective?

After 2.5 days of storytelling, brainstorming, and discussion, the group of participants agreed that there are no absolute best practices for effective development —because every situation is different — but that there could be some best processes.

BrainstormThis is our effort to keep those thought-provoking discussions going to isolate best processes, and to get more voices and perspectives into that discussion. So, invite your colleagues (and your adversaries!) to join us in talking about how to fix a Development system that is full of hope, yet full of mismatches.

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