As some of you may know, over the next nine months I am facilitating a
multi-disciplinary dialogue around the question of "what are needs". We
started the dialogue in August with 14 impressive experts from diverse fields
ranging from philosophy to ethics to social work to economics (here is a list
of participants <https://sites.google.com/site/whatareneeds/the-team>). All
of the participants have devoted a fair amount of their career to the topic of
needs, albeit from very different perspectives and with varying goals.
For the dialogue we are (a) facilitating structured activities through the
website <https://sites.google.com/site/whatareneeds/> and other online tools,
and (b) having parallel email dialogues since everyone is already using email
on a daily basis. On the site you can see, for example, that we started out
with visual images of how we (and our disciplines) view needs and then moved to
the discussion board to list questions (without answers) that we would like to
explore in the coming weeks. At the end of August we also posted a summary of
the email discussions to the forum in order to document and share our
conversations. You might also find the Filing Cabinet
<https://sites.google.com/site/whatareneeds/file-cabinet> of interest, it is a
collection of all the varied articles that we have mentioned or shared in the
discussions. It is already a very impressive collection and growing every week.
The dialogue has been quite interesting and given many opportunities to examine
the numerous perspectives on needs; what they are, what they are not, and the
various types of needs defined at times in somewhat divergent ways. At times
it has gotten quite theoretical, but there have also been practical aspects
derived from the conversations.
For now I am just inviting others to check-in and see what we are up to. After
we make more progress then we may broaden participation in the discussions in
order to capture more perspectives.
Ryan Watkins, Ph.D.
George Washington University
www.WeShareScience.com (an online science fair)
www.NeedsAssessment.org (all things needs assessment)
www.RyanRWatkins.com (resume, books, articles, etc.)
Follow @WeShareScience on Twitter <https://twitter.com/WeShareScience>
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