Leave No One Behind

Leave No One Behind

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One of the core principles of The Dandelion Foundation is the commitment to Leave No One Behind. This is a frame that allows a different type of innovation and view of the world.

It’s easy to find answers that, on the surface, seem to work, and to rush ahead with implementation – but most thinking delivers a solution for the majority, alone. The fact is: we lose people at the margins with this thinking.

When you design systems and solutions that work for everyone rather than most, you come up with creative ways of doing things differently that have much wider benefits.

It takes patience and trust to be truly inclusive. It doesn’t mean that everyone gets what they want, by any means; but setting this standard does deliver results. And people are more satisfied with decisions made, because everyone feels heard in the process.

I have learnt that taking the time to consider everyone often delivers better solutions. Some of the best ideas lie on the edges of any system. New ideas and approaches are never mainstream.

That’s why I like islands. The very nature of them – cut off from the mainland and subscale in infrastructure – means that you sometimes have to do things in very different ways. Small and unconsidered places like this often have the best new ideas, with the potential to scale them up for wider use, in the future.

Thinking of my own life, I restructured much of how and what I do because I didn’t want to leave my family behind in the process. It would have been relatively easy for me to go off around the world doing my own thing, but I would have been leaving those I love behind. My life is far richer because I have taken the time to innovate to achieve it all as a family, together. I’m by no means perfect, but a lot of good has come from my refusal to go in the easy, individualist direction, at the cost of the whole.

Scaled up to social or global levels, consider the implications of this thinking and its relation to issues like climate change, mass migration and the rise in populism. In leaving people, communities or nations behind, we create issues that halt our individual and collective progress in the long term. We need to make an effort to think of others rather than ourselves, otherwise we are held back by the friction of those actions.

A great saying aligns with this thinking: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

In my experience, making an effort to leave no one behind delivers far more, over time.

To moving forward, together.


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  1. Thank you Marc for sharing your thoughts. Likened very much to Umbunto which talks about doing whatever we do to serve all and for the next seven generations. It is also what I heard Charles Eisenstein share about including everyone. He talked about the 1% and for sure let’s take them out, that would make a difference until the next 1% appear. He went on to propose we include the 1% as after all, they are human beings like the rest of us. Colin

  2. Susan Hayward says

    Great blog. Some thought-provoking points – thank you 🙂

  3. Thanks Marc. Have you seen the movie Trolls? It’s a great kids film that shares this message beautifully. I recommend you watch it if you haven’t already?!

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