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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Fort Leavenworth, KS
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    1,512

    Lightbulb Recruiting for SWC members because....

    I promise this is not a NPR or PBS funding drive

    However, we can tell by the number of new members and the number of visits to the site that clearly there are more people who come to read and consider what is being written, then those willing to participate. This is perfectly OK.

    However, I would like those both inside and outside the council to consider some rationale for greater participation.

    - I first came to the council back in the Summer of 06 at the advice of Tom Odom. While I was comfortable on CoPs (Communities of Practice), they had largely been confined to those limited to military participation. Immediately, I was exposed to guys like "Slapout, Steve Blair, Marc T" who provided me perspective in the areas of Law Enforcement and Cultural Anthropology which helped me tremendously to do my job working with indigenous forces in a COIN environment. I also met guys like John Bellflower who helped shape Joint Service perspective and development for future jobs. I also met some outstanding retired and contract workers who provide institutional and conventional wisdom as well, superb critical reason and logic, and often - unorthodox problem solving that conserve resources. I've also had the opportunity to consider and express my personal views in the light of others who differ - and I like to believe we have both benefited from these discussions.

    - Much of the knowledge that is shared often happens behind the scenes through PMing and emailing - once a person is identified as having a skill set, that person is often solicited on a 1:1 basis for specific thoughts or requests - we build knowledge in this way and form networks for problem sets.

    - Often a new member might be hesitant to express and opinion, so it stands to reason that a non-member might be hesitant to sign up to be a member. We often see posts where a new member qualifies their participation as being without experience or "in light of a prestigious group" - I have not figured that one out yet - but we'd prefer you not to feel that way - the concern or interest that brought you to the site, and willingness and energy to devote your time combined with your personal and professional experiences are very important to a nation at war in a world that has a suite of connected issues that effect us all in our every day lives. We only ask that when providing your argument - you do so with as little bias as possible, and use your best judgment as to how you reason.

    - Recently one of our (the Council's) new members asked a question about his value as a member given he was in the marketing field and not the uniformed service - I responded that his thoughts are invaluable to me as the many problems, conditions and challenges that face us revolve around people. In many ways - given the tendency for people to identify themselves with groups - a profession that advocates, sells and appeals may be more relevant then my own - if I show up in ACUs and my mustache it probably means we already have a serious problem - his opinion may help us avoid that.

    -Given that I was thinking about the many other professions that can us better understand our environment and challenges through the cycle of conflict prevention/preserving a peace, conflict resolution, conflict termination/implementing a lasting peace and came up with a list of professions I wish were represented here:

    Education Professionals - I'm talking from elementary teacher to high school principal to professors of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences.

    Medical Professionals
    - Doctors, nurses, nutritionists, administrators, Insurance agents, etc.

    An Economist - Understanding market forces is critical I believe.

    The NGO community - You have capacity and understanding that may help us avoid terrible consequences for all involved

    Geologists, meteorologists, climatologists, and Geographers - your understanding of the environment may help build capacity, consider options, identify problems and trends and understand the physical world which impacts lives.

    Civil Engineers, sociologists, and those who deal with people and where people live - This is about humans and their environment - your understanding about how people live is paramount to preserving the focus on people.

    Small business entrepreneurs - helping people to find independence in financial terms and preserve their dignity is one of the keys toward building tolerant, pluralistic societies free from that type of large scale violence and instability - people find much less to differentiate themselves from others if their basic needs are met.

    Journalist or media professional - you bring the perspective of considering and evaluating vast amounts of information and commenting on it for public consumption. You are in tune with how people listen and perceive and your objectivity may prevent miscommunication and adverse consequences.


    This list is not exhaustive and I apologize if I did not name a particular profession or interest. I hope you will consider that if you are engaged in something, you probably have something to offer. If you are wondering why you should offer your perspective freely - I suggest you consider the world that we live in. You need only Google a Friedman, a Kaplan, a Barnett, or Huntington - or anyone else who has considered the current world and its future to recognize that globalization is a continuing theme and that because of technology it is occurring faster - what goes on outside of where you live does impact where you live. Your efforts may help prevent or alleviate not only personal and wide spread suffering, but may make your own life, those of your family, friends, and citizens better. Yo may preserve and foment a better life for our posterity. It is certain that at times there will be friction and that we will disagree, that is OK - it is even healthy! I hope that if you can participate, or know someone who can participate and bring insights - then you will do so and urge them to do so.

    Best Regards, Rob Thornton
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 09-06-2007 at 05:28 PM.

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