TED talk: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! (Ernesto Sirolli)


Ernesto Sirolli is an Italian who invented   the system Enterprise Facilitation, an enterprise facilitator who serves as the initial point of contact for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, and who provides confidential, free services. Sirolli has an interesting view on how sustainable cooperation should be:  the social workers have to shut up and  listen to the local people instead of telling them what to do. Don’t offer advice, offer people with passion the information they need!

That last sentence perfectly summarizes our project,  Humasol listens to what the local people want and were told that they need cheap hot water.  We have the knowledge to get cheap water, thus it is our goal to tell and show them by participation how to build our solar boiler model.

Sirolli was right about the importance of passion, but you have to see the bigger context, with passion he means inspiration. By involving the local people you create motivation. That’s also why true belief by the local people in the projects really matters to our company, Humasol vzw.


5 thoughts on “TED talk: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! (Ernesto Sirolli)

  1. deckersbram says:

    Very interesting TED video, it made me think about a movie/documentary I saw in middle school about a project to aid African fishermen by providing nets but the whole project resulted in overfishing and an empty lake and a drama for the local community. I can’t remember the name though, I will post it when/if I remember. Might be interesting to check out

    • Sounds interesting. But the problem of overfishing is also very common in certain civilized communities, certain fish like Tuna are on the way of becoming extinct. But I certainly agree this is not sustainable development cooperation, on short term it has positive influence but the long term is disastrous. How do you think this should be solved? What about making them aware of the consequences and teaching them the basics of populations? Or maybe the government or some other organizations should set some laws about the amount they can fish..

      • gabuglio says:

        I think setting laws is the only solution but it will be never 100% effective.
        The laws will be broken for different reasons. In third world countries they might broke the law because they aren’t aware about their actions and the consequences of their actions. In this case it would be very important and I think also effective to explain to the people what the consequences of exaggeration is.
        On the other hand, there will always be bad people who only think about themselves and will do for example overfishing of hunting to make a lot of money. An example is the hunt on pinguins, ice bears,…

      • Yes but there obviously will be always people who will brake the law but they will have to be punished like the do in all other democratic country’s. I think the only problem is convincing the local government (which is still a dictatorship in many cases) to make such a law.

      • gabuglio says:

        Yes, that’s wath I ment by saying there will always be bad people who only think about themselves.
        Maybe changing a dictatorship into a democratic country can go hand in hand with sustainable development?

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