Thursday, October 7, 2010

There’s more to it than technology…

Last Saturday I went to a job fair in Brussels. It was a nice initiative but there were certainly depressing undertones. I saw many intelligent, capable and extremely qualified friends walk around in search of work. I felt that if you made the image before you black and white and gave everyone a bowler hat it really wasn’t far from a scene you would find in America, 1929. I digress.
After aimlessly wandering around for a while I left because I had to but I did return for a talk on “greening the economy” and I am extremely glad that I did. (I would like to mention however that this blog is about more than being green, it’s about being good, but being green is part and parcel of that.) During this talk I got to thinking: where is there room for development? Then, like a red apple falling from a green tree it hit me.

“The thing is, we would all like to change people’s attitudes but you can’t do that for a living!” said one of the participants in the audience. “Nonsense!” I say. What kind of an attitude is that? So, we need to change the attitudes of the people who already follow the cause.

The focus in the room was on technology, carbon rating, engineering projects and those with ‘stem’ skills as they like to call them. Other ideas were discussed but it seemed like everyone felt that green development was essentially technologically driven field and the thought of things outside this were approached like some strange new land: some were keen to get exploring but some wanted to stay on the beach until they knew better. I’m not saying there are those who don’t want to explore, of course there are, but I was suddenly shocked to think that some people didn’t think we could change attitudes as a living.

So, how do we start exploring? We need engineers, we need science but I say remember there’s more to it than technology. Let’s get exploring, see if we can indeed change people’s attitudes for the better, whatever we do in our everyday lives we can always pass on the message.