The irony when things we ponder about the subjects of our content-related work are actually a part of our own realities and lives… I am and I think always will be unable to separate myself from the subjects of my analysis – the citizens, the public, whatever.
One of our favourite words at work is multistakeholder. Linked to that are broad buy-in and ownership. The meaning and gist of all three are very similar: namely, there are a multitude of stakes, or perhaps a multitude of people holding different stakes, or even maybe a multitude of people with stakes. I think the third. Success of any reform, change, new policy, project or program is more certain the broader the buy-in – that is, the more diverse the support. And when you look at the words, buy-in literally means ownership. A multitude of people need to own the thing; if it’s theirs, they will care about it.
And I think that’s what’s lacking in my professional focus. I don’t have a stake in this. Beyond the obvious stake of being a living creature on this planet, I mean. Beyond the general, existential stake we all have. I don’t have skin in the game. Climate and energy is something I care about, but I don’t burn with it – it doesn’t get me up in the morning. I don’t feel ownership over the energy transition.
Is this problematic? In advocacy work and campaigning, do we ultimately have to have complete buy-in of the thing we are advocating? Faking is probably not gonna cut it.