Common Tripping Points

By Emily Knight

Recently, I have had the pleasure of sitting in on a few conversations in communities who have mobilized and come together to tackle big messy problems in their domain.

These conversations converge on vastly different topics, ranging from, “how do we support those living with dementia” to “how do we support the art of activists”. You would think that these two conversations would be deeply different. They concern vastly different stakeholders, focus on different goals, and exist in different social and institutional systems. However, as a neutral third party, I quickly noticed that the themes that these conversations got hung up on were deeply similar.

These common tripping points seem to continue to show up: ineffective communication, redundancy of initiatives, and the constraints of our economic system. If these are the barriers we all get hung up on, how much time are we wasting overcoming them?

How could we learn from those outside our community how they have overcome these barriers?

How could we answer all of our big messy questions faster, by learning as a society how to tackle these common tripping points?

These questions themselves are big and messy. I believe that one of the first steps to finding an answer is breaking down the physical barriers between our perceived different industries. Spaces built on collaboration, like the Trico Changemakers Studio, are starting points for this. I believe the ripples of connection and learning that can come from simply entering into a shared space are powerful enough to start to tackle these common tripping points.