Thinking For Impact: Introducing The Racs Think Tank

The advent of the RACS Think Tank reinforces our commitment to positively impacting and transforming society through constructive dialogue, innovative conflict resolution techniques, and thought leadership. This week, RACS Marketing and Communications Manager Kirsten Arendse looks at the who, what, when, where, and why. 

REIMAGINING CONFLICT

At RACS, we believe that conflict can be a catalyst for deep, meaningful change and transformation rather than solely giving impetus to chaos and division. To this end, we committed earlier this year to create valuable thought leadership content to unpack, address and transform conflict dialogues and situations. 

CRISES IN CONTEXT

A large proportion of the complex crises we face today stem from systemic inequality, oppression, and injustice, which continues to disrupt our democracy.

Adopting a systematic approach and critical systems thinking is crucial for the RACS Think Tank to bridge the gap in this space. And given the current socio-economic and socio-political climate in South Africa, it’s important to provide a diverse and inclusive space for everyone to share, engage, participate, and contribute. In doing so, we will slowly reveal the root causes hampering our growth and the barriers impeding South Africa’s transformation, bringing us closer to more effective interventions.

FROM AN IDEA TO A THINK TANK

We are excited to announce that — after much discussion, we are formalising the RACS Think Tank. 

The RACS Think Tank aims to:

  1. Operate as a creative research hub, committed to furthering research, dialogue, and producing and implementing effective conflict resolution strategies. 
  2. Compile an extensive journal and body of knowledge. The goal is to equip people with valuable resources that truly embrace transformation. It seeks to enable individuals with the skills to adapt to change responsibly, providing them with an understanding of how conflict manifests, the ways to manage it and positively leverage this effectively. 
  3. Be a constructive space for people to participate in the fair distribution of knowledge and acquire the tools needed to shape their desired futures.

THINK TANK TRIO

RACS team members Lorna Balie, Ihsaan Gasnolar and Kirsten Arendse, are the brains behind the RACS Think Tank. The trio has worked together closely to create a system that will enable RACS to contribute to existing conflict resolution academic journals, creating engaging content (i.e., thought leadership blogs and online dialogues), and shared tools circulated through workshops and conferences. 

INSPIRED THINKING

The RACS Think Tank takes its cue from the pivotal work of existing think tanks such as the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) based in Cape Town.

Our team are conflict resolution practitioners, not just specialists, with extensive experience working on the ground. Our team has produced and implemented tried-and-tested conflict resolution methodologies, techniques, and interventions as active change agents.

RACS is also one of the very few multifocal dispute resolution practice actively involved in empowering individuals, communities, and other sectors. The various practice areas are a testament to that, with a broad-based focus on all kinds of disputes — from commercial and transport to learning and development.

Because conflict is multidimensional, a multifocal approach is crucial to addressing the conflict situation. Conflict can manifest in various ways, at different times, or even simultaneously. The relevance of the Think Tank lies in the very understanding that there are multiple parts to the whole, each barring its own intricacies. 

The RACS Think Tank demonstrates our commitment to empowering people and cultivating strong, sustainable people-based solutions. 

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Kirsten Arendse
Kirsten Arendse