The Power Of Co-Creation

Big Issue|Issue 286

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The Power Of Co-Creation
Stanley Henkeman, Executive Director of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, delves into the power of co-creating a better future as South Africans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
Stanley Henkeman

“Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they will become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they will become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The concept of co-creation refers to working with others (as partners) to establish something new or improve on an existing reality. It is normally a dynamic process with positive intentions, although the outcome could be positive or negative.

Co-creation requires collaboration, innovation, commitment to working together and a shared vision of the outcome. It is inspired by a vision or dream of a different future. It is premised on a dissatisfaction with the status quo followed by a search for an alternative. Participants in the process all acknowledge that the present situation is unfair, unsustainable and will potentially lead to negative fall-out. This, I contend, is exactly the situation that persists in South Africa.

Co-creation is more common than most people realise. We are involved in co-creation activities every day. When we discuss something that needs to happen with someone, participate in decisionmaking (even at meetings), add our voice to a cause and support local businesses, we are co-creating a stronger community.

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Issue 286