Monday, May 06, 2024

Think Globally, Act Locally

 A significant portion of my professional life has revolved around knowledge work, delving into analytics, and navigating the realm of words, documents, and evidence. It's a landscape of abstraction, particularly in the context of international development where my focus on knowledge management often leads me far from the tangible impacts we aim to achieve. While you can envision how your efforts contribute to projects worldwide, the chain of impact often feels elusive.

A couple of years ago, I made a deliberate shift towards more hands-on involvement, seeking tangible actions beyond the confines of my analytical mind. Volunteering became my avenue for hands-on local engagement, with two organizations in Arlington:

  • Arlington Neighborhood Village, where I assist older citizens with garden tasks and engage in regular conversations with those who may benefit from more social contact.
  • EcoAction Arlington, where I engage in various activities, from park clean-ups to improving housing for low-income residents, promoting energy and water conservation.

In embracing this ethos of localization, I've come to realize that sustainable development isn't bound by geography. It's a universal principle, applicable everywhere. I take comfort in being able to act locally in alignment with global sustainable development goals.

Through volunteering, I've gained insights into the diverse fabric of my community, encountering individuals and systems that enrich my understanding of local dynamics and governance structures, imperfect as they may be.

Receiving the Impact Award from EcoAction Arlington last week was a humbling affirmation of these efforts.

Holding my Impact Award.  Photo by Alexandra Fillip. 

No comments: