30500_539339255501_6583165_nI was not expecting to launch a company, and had not considered what to call it. So it’s probably fitting that this name came to me during the night time, when I couldn’t sleep! I was restless, and for some reason the word dreamers was going round my mind as I juggled with it as an acronym for different skills and approaches I wanted to express. But, as I settled on the name I also realised that it is saying something more about an approach to development, that was in some ways counter to the logic bound ways I had been working within the ‘international development structures’, but which in ways paradoxically was closer to expressing the unpredictable nature of the real world.

Dreams can’t be bought or sold, and it’s often not possible to buy a particular development outcome, or demonstrate its value or money or genuine impact. Dreams are often expressed best in music and poetry and convey feelings that go beyond logic. They are full of creativity, unexpected events and often strange outcomes. Yet, when we try to put our dreams into words they often convey something very powerful about the human spirit and longing for change and something better in the ‘real world’. They have the power to inspire, create shared action and movements and change behaviours that can seem impossible to confront.

Most famously Martin Luther King ‘had a dream’ which slowly but surely has changed the world. Other famous leaders like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela have also inspired us not only with words but the power of action.

John Lennon sang ‘you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one’.

Referencing Lennon, Yusuf sings ‘I have dreamt of an open world, borderless and wide, where people move from place to place and nobodies taking sides’.

What is your dream for development? What change would you like to see in this world? Alone we cannot easily make our dreams come true, but with the power of the web and collective action, we can in Tim Unwins idea of collectives of collectives connect people who share like-minded dreams and start to create a future in a new way, not bound by models of economic growth or logical results based frameworks. Such models and tools have their place, but probably not in the dream-world where you expect the unexpected, and hope not to wake up at the wrong point!

for the Digital Age