We seek experts out because, even in a world where there is no more “secret sauce,” the vast majority of us still take the shortest route to the best possible outcome.
Peace building professionals should have gained knowledge of this, either through practical experiences at the peace building table, or just through watching humanity stumble through this thing called life.
Is it any wonder then, that our professions—from the law to engineering—still view credentialing as the “coin of the realm” and seek to convince clients (who don’t know enough to question otherwise) of the veracity of their pedigrees?
This tendency to seek the shortcut, the easy answer, and to give ideas and philosophies which seem complicated the short shrift, has also lead to a loss of practical, moral wisdom. A loss of Phronesis, if you will.
The peace building professional who seeks to ensure that her clients are self-determined and are allowed the space to enact further damage on themselves and each other, is worthy of far more credentialing than the individual who knew all the right answers on the last State Board exams.
The field of peace building is at a crossroads—and has been for about the last ten years.
The practitioners, credentialers, academics, and others who hold the reigns of power, have to decide if Phronesis is more important than field level shorthand, and whether or not honoring the former rather than the latter, will lead to a stronger field or a weaker one.
Clients and the market can’t direct the field around this, they can’t point the way.
Data and technology will not save us either. Artificial intelligence is just that, artificial, and lacking in profound moral and ethical wisdom. And big data is only information without interpretation and action.
Phronesis is what needs to be acknowledged so that clients’ best interests are protected.
But who will take up the banner?
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org