At The Opportunity Collaboration
“Each person here is a window to something beautiful.”
During this fourth year of the Opportunity Collaboration in Mexico, PDF Executive Director Paul Haible participated again in the international gathering of Global South leaders and practitioners. This is where the global community of organizers interfaces with the new intersection of social entrepreneurs, funders (mostly from the U.S.), human rights defenders and technology developers, to explore opportunities for new partnerships, collaborations and innovation in the pursuit of economic justice.
Haible acted again this year as moderator of one group in the ongoing Colloquium, a daily morning conversation among the same fifteen participants over the four days of the meeting. This is the self-learning, leadership development track of the Collaboration, where participants discuss motivations, power, gender issues, leadership capacity and self-reflection, strengthening each person’s ability to address the Opportunity Collaboration’s core theme: the alleviation of poverty.
All attendees are deeply engaged managing public health campaigns, developing water systems, working with AIDS orphans, training educators, making grants and investments, working in countries across the world from Haiti to Pakistan to Equatorial Guinea. This is a practical, hands-on, no PowerPoint meeting, done eye-ball-to-eyeball, as one practitioner put it this year.
One challenge, for PDF and others, is to bring U.S. issues that we know so well into the international limelight--to gain airtime and visibility for community struggles in the U.S., to enlarge the understanding of these as equally critical and worthy of our attention as those in communities across the Global South.
A collection of folks who work primarily in the U.S. are busy building those bridges among the international movements for human rights and social, economic and environmental justice. We see a big opportunity to strengthen relationships that bind communities across the spectrum, enhancing the international consciousness of the Opportunity Collaboration. PDF is honored to be a part of this new configuration, to help shape the global conversation among this community of practitioners.