JK Galbraith wrote: “You will find that the State is the kind of organisation which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too.”

I’ve been dying to use that quote. 

Knowledge management in the land and water field really is a scandal. Heavens knows how many tens of millions have been spent on academic research which, simply because it is so befuddled with caution, jargon and passionlessness, has been virtually useless to people in the field, or, god help us, real people in real communities. I know, reading that stuff is exhausting.

So, now, it’s lovely to see some passionate people reclaiming an area that passionless government and academia have handled so badly. 

I just checked out the web site of Siwan Lovett and colleagues’ The Australian River Restoration Centre. Like OzGreen it’s an interesting species of private/NGO hybrid, in this case dedicated to sharing knowledge about what works in repairing our land and waterways.

Siwan is a social scientist who focuses on the human side of change (and a refugee from NRM research funder Land and Water Australia). The centre’s mission statement says:

We seek to create a sense of belonging by sharing knowledge with anyone who is passionate about rivers and people. We want to inspire behavioural change by acknowledging the emotional connection we have to the landscapes in which we live. We also have a lot of fun and love what we do!

How delightfully non-biophysical!

I notice they are interested in the way conversations spread knowledge in organisations. I’m interested in facilitating conversations that empower (see my last post), so we have a lot in common.

Brilliant work guys!