I was thinking recently about the fact that living and working in San Francisco, I rarely encounter anyone who isn’t voting for Barack Obama and doesn’t find gay marriage utterly uncontroversial—and thus I find unfathomable those distant people who hold passionately opposing opinions.
That’s life inside a bubble—pleasantly reinforcing and comfortable, but challenging when you’re trying to understand and communicate with people living outside of it, doubtless in a bubble of their own. Many sustainability organizations have this problem when communicating with certain target audiences. Technical knowledge, a particular perspective on problems, and immersion in internal achievements are just a few of the transparent walls separating them from their audiences.
They know they need to breach these walls, but they can’t help but filter information about audience perspectives through their own bubble perspective. The result is a not-quite connection.
Thinking outside the bubble is hard to do when you’re still in it. We all need to get out more.