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.

We have completed the Digital Transformation for NGOs Project.

Digital Transformation for NGOs Sivil Dusun

Sustainability Steps Association has implemented the Digital Transformation for NGOs project within the scope of the European Union Sivil Düşün Programme.

Non-governmental organizations and social cooperatives operating in Turkey has severely affected by the epidemic. 29% of them had to stop their activities due to the epidemic. They canceled their events such as seminars, conferences and trainings. They postponed their advocacy work and campaigns.

Considering that NGOs were ignored during the epidemic and were at risk; we as Sustainability Steps Association implemented the Digital Transformation for NGOs project within the scope of the European Union Sivil Düşün Programme.

Our aim was to increase the digital knowledge and skills of NGOs and cooperatives, to transfer their seminars, training and workshops to the online platforms and to ensure that they produce effective visual, audio and written content for digital media.

40 NGOs and social cooperatives working in the fields of gender, disability, human rights, youth and environment from 22 cities in Turkey has attended the training program.

  • • They acquired a knowledge of how to use event, training and meeting tools more efficiently and effectively.
  • • They became aware of social media and digital media tools that would increase their visibility.
  • • They accessed digital tools that they can use free of charge for non-profit organizations.
  • They learned about creating and managing a campaign strategy.
  • • They received training on how to write a press release and how to prepare an effective e-bulletin.
  • • They also had the opportunity to share the digital tools they are using with each other.

Introductory videos of the 8 NGOs were prepared and presented them for their use.

With Solutions Workshop, we focus on solutions rather than problems.

Solutions workshop for sustainable development goals

Since 2016, we realized we transfer to the online environment and Solutions Workshop we held with participants from different provinces of Turkey.

The Solutions Workshop aims to help participants find solutions to existing environmental and social problems by focusing on their areas of interest and expertise. Participants are enabled to experience how they can find solutions to the problems they see in their surroundings by producing projects. Sustainable With the workshop aiming to mobilize individuals and institutions to achieve the Development Goals, the participants understand the connection between 17 Global Goals, produce high-impact solutions to the problems they identify in line with their interests and expertise, and find the opportunity to implement the solutions they produce by projecting them.

During the 19 May Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, organized by Learning Designs Gameathon Young program, we took part in our Solutions Workshop. We have produced solutions to the problems young people face in their environment, steps We have determined and solutions Sustainability for the Global Goals. On May 28, we held our Solutions Workshop with teachers in Muğla.

Within the scope of June 5-11, Environmental Protection Week Young Red Crescent Zeytinburnu Branch We held a Solutions Workshop with volunteers focusing on environmental problems.

We were at the Informatics and Digital Transformation Workshop organized by Tepebaşı Municipality

eskisehir tepebasi municipality emrah kurum

We attended the Informatics and Digital Transformation Workshop where Tepebaşı Municipality brought together academicians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private sector and public representatives on June 28, 2019.

President of Sustainability Steps Association, Emrah Kurum performed a presentation titled “Effective Digital Transformation Steps” at the opening of the Workshop. He clarified identifying the problems correctly, associating the identified problems with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how we can use digitalization to produce solutions to the problems and proposal model and inspiring digitization clusters from world on the creation of clusters by bringing together different specialties.

IBM Turkey and Middle East Public Projects Deputy General Manager, İhsan Müderrisoğlu shared his knowledge and experience by “Digitized Public and Its Projects” presentation with participants and Tepebaşı Municipality Information Technologies Manager, Suat Yalnızoğlu gave information about the municipality activites in the field of informatics in his presentation.

We shared the works of our association at #TSGA Open Stage event.

Turkey social entrepreneurial network TGSA emrah kurum

Sustainability Steps Association President Emrah Kurum shared their projects and activities at the Turkey Social Entrepreneurship Network #TSGA Open Stage event where social entrepreneurs have the opportunity to promote their projects on June 19, 2019.

Social entrepreneurs and NGOs who performed a presentation; Barrier-Free Career which carries out activities to provide equal opportunity on employment and career for disabled people in business world, Sustainability Steps Association which organized projects to make happen the necessary transformations in institutions and society in the field of sustainability, Tolkido which facilitates the language and speech trainings of children with autism with individualizable and voiceable education cards, Kale Group which supports social enterprises at different stages with the Ibrahim Bodur Social Entrepreneurship Awards, Mush4you bringing nature-compatible solutions to daily use products with mushroom-based biomaterials, Istanbul Development Agency which supports social entrepreneurs with projects such as SOGIP and SOGENÇ, Waste-Free House that aims to reconsider our homes according to the zero waste mentality, Wisdome which aims to create an Interactive Sustainability Curriculum intended Sustainable Development Goals by developing cooperation with teachers, Blindlook which aims to facilitate the access of visually impaired individuals to social entertainment and interaction areas. The participants had the opportunity to meet and have conversations after the presentations.