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Barbara Holtmann's Collaborative Communities Talk Examines Needs

 - Dec 22, 2013
Barbara Holtmann attests to the fact that complex problems can not be rectified with simple solutions in her collaborative communities talk.

She notes that society has a tendency to focus on the problem at hand, rather than examining the root cause. For instance, many social issues are caused by cycles of violence, oppression, neglect and abuse; however, the resolutions we put into action rarely address them. Instead, Holtmann works to turn the question around, asking: 'What does it look like when it's fixed?' ("it" arguably being society.) The answers were collected via drawing, and most of them depicted similar aspects: safe roads, places of order, clean toilets (an issue that speaks to the basic dignity of individuals,) shelter, better education, places for play and leisure, and for women, a lack of curfew.

Holtmann discusses her partnership with Johannesburg Welfare, which seeks to leverage strength and vision to create a shared space. The collaboration recognizes each party as an indispensable asset to achieving their goals. They've devised a system that models each element depicted in the drawings, measuring it for effectiveness. The system also allows for "stakeholders" to contribute what they offer in achieving each element, opening a collaborative space that encourages social change.