Carin Boersma – Mutual exchange is the key to the future

written by Damini Purkayastha, 6 September 2013, filed as article

ANS_03712TEDxDelft speaker: Carin Boersma

Binaries limit progress and create boundaries where there should be exchange. For Carin Boersma, Program Officer at Oxfam Novib, understanding this is the key to moving forward.

Oxfam Novib is a Dutch developmental organization that works across 94 countries to create a world without poverty. Unlike other organizations, Novib’s strength lies in exchanging ideas and working with local partners in target nations.

Boersma, who has spearheaded the Novib project for the past six years, believes mutual exchange is the key to the future. In her talk at TEDxDelft, she will take a look at the prevalent local attitude towards developing nations and challenge the current model of top down information and economic exchange.

“No one should assume that they know what is best for others. It is important to learn from each other and see what solutions others have to offer. If knowledge remains a one way process, it will be limited and not fruitful. There has to be an open and honest dialogue,” says Boersma.

Born in The Hague, Boersma lived in Zwolle for a while before returning to The Hague for 15 years. Currently, she lives in Haarlem. Her conviction in this philosophy goes back to a three year project she did in Suriname with an NGO. “At that time I was an idealist, I thought that I could help them. But I soon realized that my knowledge wasn’t working. I needed to throw away my knowledge and understand what they knew,” she says.

While, she agrees that there already has been a change in attitude, she feels there’s still a long way to go. She will share her thoughts, knowledge and dreams with us that are needed to get there.

Read more about Oxfam Novib.

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