The Collaborative Change approach is based as much on the need to deepen and diversify our understanding of human behaviour as it is on the benefits of meaningful participation. Central to achieving this deeper understand is the need to approach behaviour as being fundamentally contextually-determined, rather than self-directed.
Researching a paper recently, I came across this quote, which I thought perfectly captured the Collaborative Change approach to behaviour change based on this contextual understanding.
“Human beings are sponges. Sponges, of course, are animals who are saturated by the ambiance in which they live, and whose physiology presupposes the presence of that ambiance. It would not make sense to speak of the physiology of sponges on he one hand, and the water ‘context’ in which they live on the other hand; the water is part of the internal works by which these animals function.?”
—Anne Harrington, ‘Getting Under the Skin’, working paper, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2001