II. Potential roles of ISABS
Facilitating Social Change Facilitators through T Groups
ISABS does not work directly with the community, or with issues affecting the nation. However, it has the ability to develop the skills of those who are working with the above: the civil society organizations, the NGOs, the Govt. missions and the CSR initiatives. All of these organizations are trying in their own way to get different sections to work together as teams (e.g. organizations representing poor women or tribals), or to build bridges between different stakeholders in situations of latent or real conflict.
It is in this context that ISABS can play a hugely significant role, by providing answers to some of the following questions. How do different sections of the community learn to work with each other, to trust each other? How can they learn to develop the skills of being able to work together in a way that is able to surmount the challenges of different needs and drives? How can organizations that are otherwise committed to solving fundamental national problems be prevented from self-destructing?
ISABS can help provide answers thanks to its mastery of the T Group approach. This approach, perfected by generations of ISABS professionals, is ideal for people to understand the kind of work they need to do with themselves, and the kind of behaviours they need to adopt in order to work effectively with others. Thus, ISABS can play a far more significant national role, than it has hitherto.
Other Products for Social Change Facilitators
Over and above conducting T-Groups for Social Change Facilitators – and helping them develop greater insights and skills into how they can work with groups, ISABS can offer other products too that can help Social Change
Facilitators. Some of these could include:
- Large System Change Facilitation.
- Developing Skills in Negotiation, Dialoguing and Conflict Resolution.
- In-depth understanding of authority and power issues.
- Systems thinking
- Promoting genuine learning through understanding double loop learning.
- Organizational Development and Change.
Developing a larger pool of facilitators directly working in Social Development
There would be three steps to developing such a pool:
- Substantially increase the number of labs – Basic and Advanced – being conducted in languages other than English – Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Telegu, Marathi etc. Conducting such labs would create a large enough pool from which potential PDP candidates could be identified and developed.
- Develop conceptual material – either through translation, or originally – in non-English languages.
- Strengthening / Modifying/ Developing programs meant for social change facilitators.
Increasing awareness of Social Issues within ISABS
While it is not necessary, or possible, that all ISABS members work directly on social issues, or even work with Social Change facilitators, it is important that its members should have awareness about the burning social issues of the day – gender or caste based discrimination, communalism, marginalization of tribals and other communities, sexuality and reproductive rights, youth development etc.
Such awareness could be built using some or all of the following methods:
- Articles in Here and Now
- Holding Thematic labs (Extension Motivation, Gender etc) during the National event.
- Holding sunrise seminars during events.
- Using learning event spaces and opportunities and/ or hold e-group discussions or other discussions on social issues within the ISABS community.
- Organise brainstorming and planning sessions with members and invited people from the social sector in different regions. For this the regional representatives will be involved to organise the meetings. The Social Development committee members will try to participate in these meetings wherever possible without incurring major expenses.
Creating opportunities for dialogue and interactions.
ISABS will also promote and possibly create common spaces where individuals from the social development sector, government sector and the corporate industrial sector come together to exchange, learn and sensitise each other