In Ripples from the Zambezi, the author, Ernesto Sirolli, turns the top down model of grand economic development on its head. Instead, his focus is on nurturing the passion and creativity of individuals.
- A belief in the intrinsic goodness of human nature.
- If people don’t ask for help, leave them alone.
- There is no good or bad technology to carry out a task – only an appropriate or inappropriate one. Something big, modern, and expensive is not necessarily best; it all depends on the circumstances.
In rural South Dakota, a penniless cattleman developed a welding repair business in a small town. Within two years, it employed 27 people who processed $90,000 worth of orders a month.
The success of Sirolli’s model depends upon empowering people rather planners and policy makers. “The future of every community,” Sirolli writes, “lies in capturing the energy, imagination, intelligence, and passion of its people.”
For more information on Sirolli’s methods, check out the Sirolli Institute’s website at http://www.sirolli.com/.