Thursday, November 15, 2012

Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree







"So, how do we have these conversations more easily and more often? Well, the University of Delft requires that its PhD students have to submit five statements that they're prepared to defend. It doesn't really matter what the statements are about, what matters is that the candidates are willing and able to stand up to authority. I think it's a fantastic system, but I think leaving it to PhD candidates is far too few people, and way too late in life. I think we need to be teaching these skills to kids and adults at every stage of their development, if we want to have thinking organizations and a thinking society.
The fact is that most of the biggest catastrophes that we've witnessed rarely come from information that is secret or hidden. It comes from information that is freely available and out there, but that we are will fully blind to, because we can't handle, don't want to handle, the conflict that it provokes. But when we dare to break that silence, or when we dare to see,and we create conflict, we enable ourselves and the people around us to do our very best thinking.
Open information is fantastic, open networks are essential. But the truth won't set us free until we develop the skills and the habit and the talent and the moral courage to use it.Openness isn't the end. It's the beginning."