What if there was a place in cyberspace where a Pakistani human rights advocate could find 20 different proven ways of influencing communities to outlaw child marriage?
What if, in this same cyber-place, a woman in a US company could find 20 proven ways to convey a message about the benefits of gender balance on boards … without using the term ‘glass ceiling’?
What if an African solar energy expert could quickly access online training in persuasive communication and behavioural change, to learn how to boost community support for her recommendations?
What if these three women, along with millions of their sisters and brothers, could freely visit this online oasis of insight any time they liked, to source and study effective ways of influencing change around all our complex global issues, from domestic abuse, poverty and human trafficking through to climate change, renewable energy and alternative economic models?
What if, at the base of this cyber-place, was a diverse, online group of wise women, whose life purpose was to develop and distribute the most effective methods of influencing individuals and organisations to move this planet towards a state of social, environmental and economic sustainability?
What if all these women had a holistic understanding of the interconnectedness of complex global problems … their root causes in terms of human values, beliefs and behaviours … and therefore the fundamental changes that were needed? And what if they all had expertise in the art and science of influence … the talent and experience to know what works and doesn’t work when trying to persuade others to adopt nurturing rather than damaging ways of working and living?
What if many of these women who were currently living in the developed world also belonged to the diaspora of various less developed countries, creating natural threads of empathic, cultural connection? (Those in the diaspora are not subject to the same rules, regimes or circumstances that may be disempowering those back home. Importantly, diaspora members bring the advantage of having a spiritual and cultural consciousness both inside and outside of the systems and traditions of their homeland.)
What if this group was mostly composed of women who were able to engage in this mission full time, because their actions were funded by the resources available to millions of other women? Many of the well qualified women holding a deep desire to be part of this group would currently have private and professional commitments limiting their available time and energy. The first step towards the liberation of our planet and its people must be the liberation of a relatively small group of women to fully devote themselves to this mission. For these women, over-commitment or burn-out would not be a concern. They would be extremely well supported, for the simple reason that, together, they would be playing one of the most crucial roles in world history.
What if this group operated independently of the stifling rules, policies, structures, systems and agendas of most government, business and civil society organisations? However, what if the vast networks of women radiating out from this group actually permeated all of these power structures, linking those working inside various systems with those on the outside?
What if this group focused on positive, creative, digital methods of influence and activism that universally connect head with heart, thoughts with feelings, and mind with spirit … resulting in messages and campaigns that were engaging and inspiring, and instantly shareable worldwide.
What if this group’s first priority was to nurture, amongst other women across the globe, a culture of consciousness, confidence and optimism … to strengthen feelings of support and solidarity … to build unity around the core message, ‘Enough is Enough’?
What if the efforts of this group, combined with the efforts of their influential contacts, steadily increased alignment and collaboration between NGO’s, corporations, government departments and community groups?
What if their efforts also increased the levels of common understanding and shared expertise between the people working in diverse areas such as human rights, economic development and environmental sustainability?
What if the damaging consequences of patriarchy could be gently but rapidly eroded, just as tiny drops of steady rain can weaken the soil supporting a mountain slope? And what if the positive, nurturing aspects of patriarchy could be preserved in the process? Bit by bit, nudge by nudge, gentle push by gentle push … in the boardroom, around the water cooler, at the bus stop, on the village green, in the classroom, across the dinner table, outside the church … a major shift, but without going to war.
What if, during this same period, millions of men in positions of power increasingly heard consistent messages from all the girls and women in their personal and professional lives? Gentle but assertive encouragement to start behaving in this manner … and stop behaving in that manner. The right words said in the right way … by each man’s wife, sisters, daughters, mother, neighbours, colleagues, friends. The right images … the right sounds … the right stories … reaching inside each man and strengthening the bond between head and heart … and permanently driving a wedge between what really matters and what doesn’t.
What if wise women could save the world?