The Barefoot Guide to Learning Practices in Organisations and Social Change

Paper: 978 1 85339 962 6 / $29.95
Published: December 2016  

Publisher: Practical Action
224 pp., 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"
b/w illus throughout

Series: The Barefoot Guide 2
Organizations that are strong and wish to contribute to positive and sustainable social change have to be able to learn. The same is true of individuals who want to have a positive impact on their surroundings. They need to learn – from their communities, from their colleagues, from their mentors.

But how can we go about becoming learning organizations and people? The Barefoot Guide 2 starts by asking the questions: How are we already learning? How can we start to become a healthier learning organization? What is at the heart of our work? It then leads us through topics such as linking individual and organizational learning, creating a learning culture, community mobilizing and development, adult learning, funding, evaluation, facilitation, and creative writing.

The Barefoot Guide 2 is a practical resource for leaders, facilitators and practitioners involved in social change who want to improve and enrich their learning processes. But this is not just another book on organizational learning and social change. It is different in that it was not written by one person, neither is it a collection of essays written by different people. This book is the joint effort of a group of development practitioners from across the globe, all passionate about learning and bringing their different experience and expertise to the book.

The Barefoot Guides are created by writers’ collectives drawn from the Barefoot Guide Connection -- a global and local community of social change leaders and practitioners, from many countries, sharing diverse practices to deepen and develop approaches and initiatives to contribute to a changing world.

Table of Contents:
1. First Steps
2. I am. We are
3. Lively Spaces
4. Moving Tapestries
5. Weaving Learning into Change
6. Humble Offerings
7. Our Feet on the Ground
8. Horizontal Learning
9. The Heart of Change
10. Unlearning
11. In the Sea of Change
12. Harvesting Experience
13. Mirror Mirror
14. Writing to Learn. Learning to Write
15. Creative Space

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Reviews & Endorsements:
The Barefoot Guides use simple methodologies that allow people to bring the best of their experiences to share through the book. They show that all we need is to be awake to learn, to create, to innovate and by the end of day we can create a transformational approach. All of us can do it, even those who do not know they can, truly they can do it too….all of us can change lives!”
- Mário Albino Machimbene, KEPA, Maputo city, Mozambique
“This exceptional series is hugely accessible yet deeply rooted in solid theory and extensive practice across a wide range of contexts and fields. Expect from it something truly unique in its combination of insight, reflection, experience and highly usable mixed text/visual presentation. It is not 'dumbed down.' I have seen it bite as deeply at high academic and professional level as well as at grassroots community leadership level -- an astonishing achievement worth honouring.”
- James R. Cochrane, Emeritus Professor, Religious Studies, University of Cape Town, and Adjunct Professor, Dept of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine