True communication is learning as much as teaching

Communication for Purposes Baris Dogru Ekoiq Magazine

The media, which helps people to create and support ideas, also appears as a power that directs the society. It affects the way we behave. It is changing the traditional roles and operations of institutions. Providing accurate and solution-oriented information, designing and presenting media formats that have the potential to influence people play an important role in promoting changes in society.

With the power of communication, we can establish civilizations, create new spaces, change the existing order, and provide solutions to social problems. At the summit held in Rio in 2012, problems such as poverty, inequalities, and climate crisis were collected under the title of Sustainable Development Goals and the solution of these problems was aimed until 2030. The more visible and talkative we make the solutions, the more we can encourage governments, public and private sector institutions to be responsible, and the closer we get to the solutions of the problems. So, how will we communicate to make these solutions visible? Turkey’s first sustainability-focused, green business and lifestyle magazine Editor in Chief EKOIQ should pay attention to what we asked for effective communication of Peace Towards sustainability communicators.

“Sustainability has a very complex theoretical and practical background”

In fact, the answer to this question is not as complex as it might seem. Whatever a true communicator needs to pay attention to, just pay attention to them. The real problem; I think it lies in our lack of a proper, meaningful, contemporary and true answer to what a true communicator should pay attention to.

It might sound like a complicated answer, but it’s actually not. The root of this answer lies in my understanding of sustainability. So let’s open this up a little bit …

Sustainability has a very complex theoretical and practical background. I say past, but nothing goes. This complexity is not only a problem of the past but also of the present, as it has not been well analyzed and analyzed.

Transmission or communication?

My answer is plain and simple: Sustainability is the search for an answer to the huge problems that civilization posed but could not solve. Hence, the effort to respond to all of the deeds of humanity, the problems between itself and nature (which also breed each other), and therefore the effort to define and create a new civilization. You can see this better when you look at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Apart from these 17 goals, does civilization have a problem? No, because these purposes are too extensive to leave anything out.

Therefore; There is a separate problem in each part of a civilization whose foundations and assumptions are rotten. Communication is one of them (whether individual, citizen to citizen, institutional, institutions to individuals, or institutions to institutions). We are talking about “Communication”, which plays an important role in creating a new modern civilization by getting rid of the traditional structures of humanity. From this great humanitarian action, which is called communication, but actually often happens as “transmission.” In fact, even when you look at it only grammatically, the fact that the name of this field is “communication” not “transmission” is sufficient to show that reciprocity, interaction and dialogue are essential and indispensable features.

But the word is one thing, the job is different. A whole history of communication can be read as a history of monologues in this sense. It has been the science of developing “silver bullets” that will hit, deceive and persuade the target audience, the main body of communication. The point we have come together with the propagandists, spin doctors, PRs and advertisers of this communication world, who knit a steel armor so that the words of critical thoughts and trends do not leave the slightest trace, is a planet struggling with 1.5 degrees warming in the physical field, inter-human beings. In the relationship, there was “post-truth” unfortunately… What else could be left of so much lies and manipulation!

Our subject is human!

So the first question is, “What should communicators pay attention to for effective sustainability communication?” Even if we exclude “sustainability” from the question, not much changes. Maybe we can even throw away the “effective”. The question is easier to understand: What should we pay attention to for communication?

Maybe we can start by realizing that there are subjects in front of us… By understanding that people are not passive objects to take pills. Therefore, by realizing that our work is based on dialogue, not monologue… And then with the fact that we don’t know everything right; Perhaps we can continue by realizing that our truths do not have to be everyone’s truth.

Then maybe we can see that people (employees, consumers, stakeholders, civil society, citizens, whatever you put in here) can have knowledge and experience above our estimates when the right tools and channels are created.

Therefore, we can perhaps see at this point that communication is not a constantly speaking mouth, but an ear that can listen and understand very carefully. I think it is possible for us to see that a true communication is learning as well as teaching.

And at the end of this whole journey, maybe new horizons may open before us. And in those new horizons, maybe we can start talking at another level about employee or customer engagement, innovation, sustainability, efficiency and reputation. And maybe the real work will start then, when we can really communicate…

Views expressed here Sustainability Steps Association belongs to. Hence in no way Consulate General of the Netherlands can not be considered as official opinions of.

Solutions to Problems Meeting focused on gender equality

Solutions to Problems Meeting

In partnership with UNDP Turkey and Zorlu Holding, Sustainability Steps Association organized the Solutions to Problems Meeting under the title of Goal 5: Gender Equality

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Secretary General Şengül Altan Arslan, Garanti BBVA Diversity and Culture Leader Tuğçe Kayaalp Yesilyurt, AÇEV Gender Equality Studies Manager Hilal Baykara and Kızlar Sahada Founding Partner Kiraz Öcal participated as speakers and UNFPA Gender Program Coordinator Meltem Ağduk as the moderator. Fenerbahçe Opet Women’s Volleyball Team Player and UNDP Gender Equality Advocate of Turkey Bahar Toksoy Guidetti also took part in the opening of our event and shared her projects for girls in Turkey.

Ensuring equality, benefits for all

Tuğçe Kayaalp Yeşilyurt talked about their work and said: “When we started to work on gender equality within the organization, our primary goal was to raise awareness. We tried to share with our employees the idea that achieving equality will benefit everyone, both men and women. “

Municipality is a place where mostly men work. However, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality adds a gender equality perspective to its works. Stating that violence is a priority issue for the municipality, Şengül Altan Arslan said that they established the Women’s Solidarity Unit and are preparing a local equality action plan.

Stating that football is the most gendered and discriminatory branch among sports, Kiraz Öcal stated that since football is not considered to be a sport for women, women of any age are not given a chance in football. Kızlar Sahada collaborate with women’s football clubs to find long-term solutions to this problem.

Hilal Baykara, who emphasized that the problem is thought to be women, that the boards of directors consist solely of men, the difficulty of the inclusion of women in the male-dominated culture, and the oppression of women are not visible in policies and practices, stated that the idea of trying to repair and educate women every time to ensure gender equality is not correct.

We focus on solutions rather than problems with Solutions Workshop

Solutions workshop for sustainable development goals

We transferred the Solutions Workshop that we have been conducting since 2016 to digital and we realized our project with participants from different cities of Turkey.

The Solutions Workshop aims that the participants find solutions to existing environmental and social problems by focusing on their areas of interests and expertise. Participants are enabled to experience how they can find solutions to the problems they see around them. With the workshop that aiming to mobilize individuals and institutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), participants understand the link between the 17 SDGs, produces high-impact solutions to the problems that they identify in line with their interests and expertise and find the opportunity to apply the solutions they produce.

On 19 May the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, we took part in the Gameathon Youth program with our Solutions Workshop organized by Öğrenme Tasarımları We produced solutions to the surrounding problems, determined their action steps, and linked the solutions to the SDGs with young people. We carried out our Solutions Workshop with teachers in Muğla on May 28, 2020.

We did a Solutions Workshop with the volunteers of the Young Red Crescent Zeytinburnu Branch, focusing on environmental problems within the scope of the World Environment Day.

Career Impact Project Started

Career Impact

Sustainability Steps Association implemented the Career Impact project with SEGM.

The Project started with the aim of understanding sustainability, designing and implementing effective projects, developing leadership skills, learning networking methods, making personal development plans. It aims to strengthen the place of university students and new graduates in society and business life.

20 young people participated in the project that we opened on June 8. They received online training on personal awareness, individual motivation, effective communication, leadership and management, creative thinking and problem-solving skills, time and stress management, and sustainability. At the Solutions Workshop we held on the last day, young people identified the problems in the Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities and Goal 13: Climate Action from the Global Goals. They presented their solution suggestions and determined the action steps. Created project teams are working on their projects until 20 July and young people receive one-on-one mentoring support during this process.