Merging Knowledge

The Merging of Knowledge is a technique to help people facing extreme poverty and social exclusion dialogue and exchange ideas with policy makers, business leaders, social workers, and teachers. The goal of this strategy is to overcome differences in speaking and thinking, life experience, and perspectives, and to allow for constructive exchanges. By creating an environment of respect and patience founded on the understanding that inclusive processes lead to change, Merging of Knowledge is able to bridge gaps between different walks of life. To learn more about how to create the conditions for necessary for this approach, read ATD Fourth World’s Guidelines for Merging of Knowledge.

The impacts of this methodology, created and adopted by Fourth World members, have been profound. Our long-time friend Donna Friedman shares her 20 years of experience on collective efforts to impact the root causes of poverty, using the Merging of Knowledge approaches. Read her article here.

MergingOfKnowledgeMore in depth information can be found in ATD Fourth World’s book on the Merging of Knowledge. Here is praise for the book by Harold Richman, academic and policy research expert:

“The groundbreaking search for useable knowledge of poverty and exclusion described in this unique book demonstrates the role that can be played in the formulation of that knowledge by academics, by professionals, and by the poor themselves.

Here, at last, is a deeply serious and innovative effort to blend the special perspectives of academics, professionals, and the poor into a new and respectful synthesis.

This book demonstrates what it takes to really hear and use what each participant (and especially the poor) brings to the table.

Every reader – student, teacher, researcher, professional, activist, policy maker – will think differently about what contributes to knowledge after reading this book.”

University Press of America – 2007 – 490 p.