Indigenous peoples, who are among the poorest and most marginalised in their societies, want to tell their story and be heard. OCA, our solution, is a stage for powerful stories to be told by indigenous speakers. It allows the spreading of their ideas, practices, technologies and knowledge with the world. In summary, indigenous peoples telling the story they want to tell, in a way that is authentic to them and amplifying that to a global audience.
Indigenous peoples make up 5% of the global population, 370 million people. They occupy over 20% of the land and water, which represents 80% of the world’s biodiversity. They are however 15% of the world’s extreme poor and one third of the world’s rural poor. In summary, indigenous peoples are among the poorest and most marginalised in their societies (World Bank).
The majority of research on the world’s indigenous peoples has concentrated on the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and more recently Latin America. The opportunity for indigenous communities to tell their own story in their own way is rare. This has exacerbated the marginalisation of indigenous communities, leaving them feeling isolated and unheard.
Many indigenous people still live in very close contact with the land, with a respect for and understanding of their natural surroundings. The public failure to both access and recognise the value of traditional knowledge and technologies presents a significant missed opportunity. As indigenous people’s insight presents an untapped toolbox to develop responsive and shared solutions to the most pressing global challenges of our time.
Direct user research and interviews with indigenous people in the Xingu has demonstrated a strong wish to have their voices heard and desire to collaborate on shared issues. This has informed the slogan for OCA ‘how do we live together.’
OCA is a stage for powerful stories to be told by indigenous speakers to spread their ideas, practices, technologies and knowledge with the world. The focus is on indigenous communities telling the story they want to tell, in a way that is authentic to them. Doing this will build awareness and empathy.
The pilot project is comprised of:
• The Fellowship – working with sixteen indigenous peoples from the Xingu to support them in telling their story in a compelling way e.g. confidence workshops.
• The Stage – providing a physical platform for their story to be told via an in-person event in Sao Paulo attended by up to 500 people, with free or discounted tickets for specific priority groups.
• The Dissemination – a strong focus on sharing the knowledge and outcomes from the event via social media. TED talks for example have collectively received over one billion views on social media. Following participation in OCA, participants will be encouraged to and linked up with other opportunities and forums to tell their story.
If indigenous peoples have a forum to spread their insights, they can inform non-indigenous communities on how ecosystems can better live in balance / best live together. This ultimately affords the potential to inspire collaborative new ways to tackle shared global challenges e.g. deforestation and climate change.
Turning TED (talks) on its head! The solution is unique because:
– We are providing a forum for new voices and insights that could help shape solutions to shared global challenges. The status quo has failed to tackle shared global issues, new insights are needed. We need new perspectives and OCA provides that.
– It responds to a growing interest and demand to hear from non-traditional voices in public discourse.
– It supports new thought leaders of tomorrow and gives them an opportunity to build their profile.
– There is strong alignment and potential to make progress on multiple SDGs and the issue we are working on goes to the very heart of Leave No One Behind.
In the short term, the impact focusses on:
– increasing awareness of indigenous peoples in the Xingu and the issues that affect them;
– creating an inclusive and safe space for their voices to be heard;
– providing a forum and opportunity to reach those in power and offer them new insights; and
– knowledge sharing of indigenous skills, experience and technologies.
Metrics e.g. feedback from participants and attendees and social media coverage.
In the long term, the impact focusses on:
– indigenous peoples who participated in OCA both participating and spreading their message in other forums;
– indigenous knowledge and insight having sustained increased profile;
– greater shared understanding and collaboration between groups on shared issues e.g. deforestation; and
– indigenous knowledge being acted upon.
Both quantitative and qualitative ways to measure the above will be developed.
There is potential for the project to also be scaled and for it to be used with other indigenous communities beyond the Amazonian region (akin to TED X).
We plan to continue to build out the design through co-development of OCA with the indigenous peoples in the Xingu.
We have already met with a representative of Impact Hub, a global connected and locally rooted network who is keen to further explore our ideas. They can particularly support with sourcing the potential fellows working in conjunction with indigenous communities and strengthening links with a broader network of local NGOs.
We have also made connections with those interested in / working on indigenous issues in Australia and Thailand. In the short term and before the formal launch of OCA, we also plan to speak to like minded organisations e.g. Rainforest festival.
The next stage is project refinement and additional customer and market research. We are particularly keen to be connected with: – NGOs working with indigenous communities; and – organisations who have experience in co-design and work on issues related to behavioural insights and change. In the medium term, we will be very keen to speak to businesses and other potential corporate partners.