How to Tailor Public Communications about HIV/AIDS to Different Worldviews
Barrett Chapman Brown, Co-Director Integral Sustainability Center, Integral Institute Boulder, Colorado, USA
Don Edward Beck, Ph.D. CEO, Spiral Dynamics Group, Inc. Co-Founder, National Values Center Denton, Texas, USA
Version: May 8, 2008
How to Tailor Public Communications about HIV/AIDS to Different Worldviews
Barrett Chapman Brown Don Edward Beck, Ph.D.
Why do some communication campaigns about preventing HIV/AIDS deeply impact a wide population, while others fail to achieve their potential? What communication styles and types of spokespeople are appropriate for which audiences? How can investments in HIV/AIDS prevention communication be increasingly optimized?
Each year, scores of communication professionals worldwide search for better answers to these questions. This document discusses the fundamentals of tailoring HIV/AIDS communication to the variety of worldviews within any audience. Five worldviews are explained and then demonstrated through imagery and language used for HIV/AIDS campaigns. The document ends with a strategy for increasing the likelihood that a public communications campaign will appeal to multiple worldviews simultaneously.1
A worldview is loosely defined as “the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.”2 The five worldviews discussed here are cross-cultural and have been identified through decades of research on values, self-identity, morals, and consciousness.3
As an example of HIV/AIDS communications that appeal to three different worldviews, consider the following:
1 Worldviews are only one of several vital factors in a successful public communications campaign. This information is intended to complement current best practices in HIV/AIDS awareness programmes.
2 www.dictionary.com. A comprehensive definition is available from the American Psychological Association.
3 Values research by Clare Graves (2005), Don Beck and Chris Cowan (1996); self-identity research by Jane Loevinger (1976) and Susanne Cook-Greuter (2002, 2004); morals research by Lawrence Kohlberg (1971, 1981); orders of consciousness research by Robert Kegan (1982, 1998).
The poster on the left seems to appeal more to a worldview in which one is predominantly looking out for oneself. “Act to save your life, because you can die from HIV/AIDS,” suggests the poster. The middle poster seems to appeal to a worldview that is committed to following social rules— such as being faithful and monogamous—and taking care of oneself. The poster suggests, “Act to do the right thing to protect yourself and your partner.” The third poster seems to be tailored to a worldview that sincerely cares about discrimination, social isolation, and unfair treatment of others. This poster calls for the viewer to “Act to stop the psychological pain and social damage occurring for others.”
The general thesis of this document is that each of these HIV/AIDS communications will resonate more deeply with certain worldviews, and is not as effective with others. Numerous examples of worldview-specific communications—as well as thorough descriptions of each worldview—follow below.
When working with worldviews, it is vital to remember that these are not rigid categorizations of people. The worldviews identified here do not fully represent the complexity and depth of individuals and their cultural contexts. However, a palette of worldviews can be used to lightly delineate similarities in the general perspectives which groups of people hold. A professor at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA, uses the analogy of the “dotted- line” theory: we’re not using worldviews to draw rigid, hard boxes into which to place people, but rather using a dotted-line to outline some of the high-level similarities amongst different populations.4
As described in figure 1, worldview similarities should not be confused with the aspects of humanity which are common to everyone. Nor should they overshadow an appreciation and honoring of the profound uniqueness of every human. Worldviews merely offer a way of loosely grouping similar perspectives on life.
Figure 1. Worldviews help us to loosely understand
some of the high-level similarities amongst different populations
Transformational Communication and Translational Communication
Approaches to HIV/AIDS education sometimes attempt to transform a person’s worldview, trying to change an individual’s fundamental perspective so that she behaves differently. This may be effective at times, yet the reality of changing a worldview is often a long, difficult, and resource- consuming process. Harvard’s Robert Kegan notes that it takes approximately five years to completely change a worldview if the right conditions are present.5 A complementary and potentially more effective approach is to translate HIV/AIDS messages into the worldview(s) of the population.
Already, many successful HIV/AIDS campaigns translate their message into the worldviews held by the intended audience. This paper aims to help propagate that practice and bring additional insight to it. The practice of translation to a worldview means to carefully frame an HIV/AIDS
message so that it resonates with the audience’s central perspective on life, aligning with their deepest values, motivations, and general mindset. Fundamentally, translation to a worldview is a way of truly honoring a person where he is, without trying to change him.
4 Ryland White, personal communication, March, 2003
5 Kegan, The evolving self: Problem and process in human development, 1982
The chart on the following page describes the values aspect of five common worldviews. Each worldview has a unique way of understanding the world and thus, HIV/AIDS. Each worldview resonates with a specific communication style and different types of authorities. A different color is assigned to each worldview for easy reference.6 The chart is followed by a more detailed summary of each worldview and examples of worldview-specific HIV/AIDS imagery and language. We will finish with a general strategy for how communicate about HIV/AIDS to multiple worldviews simultaneously.
6 Color scale from theoretical framework used to describe different value systems in Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996.
What’s Important (Values)
Aspects May Be Found In Storytelling based in animism, magic, or some tribal traditions; belief in voodoo-like curses, good-luck charms, family rituals, ancient grudges, superstitions; gangs, athletic teams
Appropriate Sources of Communication
Appropriate Approach (Hot Buttons)
Demotivators (Cold Buttons)
Magic or unseen forces; ancestral ways; customs; rituals and rites of passage; omens; council of elders; lineage; shamans and witches
Counsel from revered elders, chieftain, or shaman; from within the family/tribe/clan; through spirit/Natural realm signals; the word and ways of ancestors
Refer to traditional rituals, ceremonies, icons; reference mystical elements, superstitions, magic; appeal to extended family, harmony, and safety; honor blood bonds, the folk, the group, taboos; rely little on written language and facts; use storytelling, emotions, drama, songs, dances, imaginative 2D images
Disrespect chief, tribe, elders, ancestors; desecrate sacred grounds; violate taboos or ritual ways; introduce ambiguity; threaten family
Assertion of self over the system; obtain power and be free; respect; the “Law of the Street”; impulsivity and immediate reward; toughness; “hands on/ street/survival” skills
Rebellious youth; frontier mentalities; feudal kingdoms; epic heroes; wild rock stars; gang leaders; soldiers of fortune
Person with recognized power or something to offer; straight-talking Big Boss; respected, revered, or feared other; celebrated “idol” with reputation; someone of proven trustworthiness Rightful, proper kind of authority; a higher position in the One True Way; down chain of command; according to rules; person with position, power, and rank; in compliance with tradition and precedent One’s own right-thinking mind; successful mentors and models; credible professionals; sources which are advantageous to the self-image, result from one’s own observations, or are based upon experience Consensual, communitarian norms; enlightened colleague; the outcome of sharing and participation; the result of self-growth; observation of events; the here and now; appeals to affect/ feelings/emotions
Demonstrate “What’s in it for me, now?”; offer “Immediate gratification if...”; challenge and appeal to machismo/strength; point out heroic status and legendary potential; be flashy, unambiguous, reality-based, and strong; use simple language and fiery images/ graphics; appeal to narcissistic tendencies
Challenge power or courage; shame or put down person/ group; move onto turf; be derisive and laugh; taunt as an outsider; appear or talk weak; make excuses
Maintain order and follow the law (divine law or state laws); keep harmony and stability; follow higher authority and rules to avoid punishment
Puritan ethos; totalitarianism; codes of chivalry and honor; charitable good deeds; religious or secular fundamentalism; patriotism
Invoke duty, honor, country; use images of discipline and obedience to higher authority; call for good citizenship, stewardship, self-sacrifice for a higher (religious or secular) cause; appeal to traditions, laws, order, and being prepared; draw upon propriety and responsibilities; show how behavior will insure future rewards, require delayed gratification, assuage guilt
Attack religion, country, heritage, or standards; desecrate symbols or Holy Books; put down the One True-Way; violate chain command; disregard rules and directives; appear unfair or sleazy; use profanity
Progress, prosperity; independence; financial success and the ”good life”; science, technology, universal rights, invisible economic hand; improve life through competition
Emerging middle classes; colonialism; political gamesmanship; sales and marketing; fashion industry; Chambers of Commerce; materialism; utilitarian perspectives; industrial agriculture
Appeal to competitive advantage and leverage; draw upon success, progress, and status motivations; inspire to face the challenge; call for bigger, better, newer, faster, more popular; cite experts; use scientific data, calculated risks, proven experience; show increased profit, productivity, quality, results; demonstrate as best option, strategy; show as way to preempt government intervention
Put down profit or entrepreneurism; talk about collectivization; challenge compulsive drives; deny rewards for good performance; force sameness; trap with rules and procedures; seem inflexible or ordinary; treat as one of the herd
Liberate all humans and life from greed and domination; protect the global commons; promote community and unity; share resources; connect with Spirit; consensus; social responsibility; political correctness
Social services; Netherlands’ idealism; sensitivity training; cooperative inquiry; postmodernism; political correctness; human rights, diversity issues; green politics; corporate citizenship
Create a sense of belonging, sharing, harmony; show sensitivity to human issues, Nature, and others; call for an expansion of awareness, self- understanding, and liberation of the oppressed; use symbols of equity, humanity, and bonding; use gentle languaging and Nature imagery; build trust, openness, exploration for growth; present real people and authentic emotional displays; encourage participation, sharing, consensus, teamwork, community involvement
Assault the group’s goals and ideals; try to get centralized control; reject the collective for individual accountability; deny affect and feelings; degrade quality of life or environment; rely on “hard facts” and exclude people factors; act elitist
Table based upon values research by Clare Graves, Don Beck and Chris Cowan. Adapted, with permission, from Spiral Dynamics (www.spiraldynamics.net).
The Purple Worldview
The purple worldview is characterized by words like superstition, allegiance, obedience, and kinship. For people holding this mindset, the world feels like a “magical” place, guided by rules that can’t be understood. In this worldview, impulses are central in helping an individual to affirm his identity, and he never questions his way of living. Orientation is almost entirely to the present, as opposed to the past or future. Others are understood in terms of what they can give him, and decisions of right and wrong are made based on either what an outside authority deems, or what benefits him. Troubles are often seen as located in a place—not in a situation and certainly not in himself. There is a literal inability to take the role of another. Physical causation is understood, but there usually is no sense of psychological causation. Learning happens by conditioning, rather than conscious awareness or intent. There is a tendency to find meaning centered in one’s home, traditions, and group. People with this worldview hold great respect for others not based on merit but rather on connections (an ancestor) and status (an elder).7
Values of the Purple Worldview8
Bottom line: Safety and security.
Basic theme: Keep the spirits happy and the ‘tribe’s’ nest warm and safe.
What’s important: allegiance to chief, elders, ancestors, clan; obeying the desires of spirit beings and mystical signs; living by the prescriptions of totems and taboos; preserving sacred objects, places, events; rites of passage, seasonal cycles, tribal customs; kinship and lineage.
Aspects may be found in: Belief in voodoo-like curses, good-luck charms, family rituals, ancient grudges, magical ethnic beliefs and superstitions; gangs, athletic teams.
Appropriate Communication to the Purple Worldview9
Appropriate sources of communication: Counsel from revered elders, chieftain, or shaman; from within the family/tribe/clan; through spirit/Natural realm signals; the word and ways of ancestors; traditional ways.
Appropriate approach (hot buttons): Refer to traditional rituals, ceremonies, icons; reference mystical elements, superstitions, magic, signs, omens, the desires of spirit beings; appeal to extended family, harmony and safety; give tokens and tangible goods; appeal to respect for elders, ancestors, and powerful figures; honor blood bonds, the folk, the group, taboos; reference home and hearth, and traditional ways and customs; use familiar metaphors, drawings, and emblems; rely little on written
7 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Loevinger, Ego development: conceptions and theories, 1976, p. 16; Kegan, Noam, & Rogers, “The psychologic of emotion: A Neo-Piagetian view,” 1982, pp. 109-110; Graves, The never-ending quest: Clare W. Graves explores human nature, 2005;
8 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Wilber, A theory of everything: An integral vision for business, politics, science, and spirituality, 2000
9 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996
language and facts; use storytelling, emotions, drama, songs, dances, imaginative 2D images. Demotivators (cold buttons): Disrespect chief, tribe, elders, ancestors; desecrate sacred grounds; violate taboos or ritual ways; introduce ambiguity; threaten family.
Communications that May Appeal to the Purple Worldview about HIV/AIDS
Voodoo and HIV Prevention in Benin
Voodoo places of worship double as HIV/AIDS prevention centers in Benin. The innovative approach is funded through the Multi-country HIV/AIDS Program
(MAP). Under that program, voodoo leaders undergo training. Previously, priests and priestesses were enforcing high-risk HIV/AIDS behavior, including rituals that use one blade for scarification on people, as well as sexual ceremonies involving groups. It is the kind of program that is key to keeping prevalence rates low in traditional communities.10
A Superstition Working Against HIV/AIDS Communications
Virgins have a magical power to rid themselves of impurity after sexual contact. Therefore, sex with a young girl prevents HIV infection, while sex with a virgin cures AIDS. The younger the virgin, the more potent the cure.11
10 The World Bank, “Voodoo and HIV prevention in Benin,” n.d.
11 Loosli, "Traditional Practices and HIV Prevention in Sub-Saharan Africa," 2004, p. 15
12 Omolu/Obaluaiye: God of smallpox and epidemic diseases. He has the ability to create sickness and to cure. 13 Voodoo priest speaking about HIV prevention in Benin
The Red Worldview
This worldview is characterized by words like power, heroism, and respect. For those with this perspective, the world seems like a dog-eat-dog place where one needs to exert power and outsmart or dominate “opponents”. There is an appreciation for the “Law of the Jungle” and an attitude of “What’s in it for me, now?” Emotionally, joy arises with the execution of physical or behavioral competence, and fear appears at the thought of being caught violating a rule by someone more powerful. People with this worldview tend to seek immediate gratification and attention, and expect respect. Self-control occurs through the anticipation of immediate, short-term rewards and punishments. There is an understanding of the notion of blame, but it is externalized to other people or circumstances. Little to no capacity to feel guilt exists; one can do anything and still feel that one is doing right. An individual with this worldview may become hedonistic, opportunistic, deceptive, and focused on controlling others. Appeals to this worldview are best crafted using simple language and a sense of strength and heroic status.14
Values of the Red Worldview15
Bottom line: Power and action.
Basic theme: Be what you are and do what you want, regardless.
What’s important: Power, spontaneity, heroism, immediate gratification; standing tall, calling the shots, receiving respect, and getting attention; being daring, impulsive, enjoying oneself without regret; conquering, outsmarting, dominating.
Aspects may be found in: The “terrible twos”; rebellious youth; frontier mentalities; feudal kingdoms; epic heroes; wild rock stars; gang leaders; soldiers of fortune.
Appropriate Communication to the Red Worldview16
Appropriate sources of communication: Person with recognized power or something to offer; straight- talking Big Boss; respected, revered, or feared other; celebrated “idol” with reputation; someone of proven trustworthiness; proven tough entity.
Appropriate approach (hot buttons): Demonstrate “What’s in it for me, now?”; offer “Immediate gratification if...”; challenge and appeal to machismo/strength; point out heroic status and legendary potential; use heroic images; offer more clout, personal power; appeal to looking good, getting due respect, gaining control over nature; be flashy, unambiguous, reality-based, strong; use simple language,
14 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Loevinger, Ego development: conceptions and theories, 1976, pp. 16-17; Kegan, Noam, & Rogers, “The psychologic of emotion: A Neo-Piagetian view,” 1982, pp. 112-113; Graves, The never-ending quest: Clare W. Graves explores human nature, 2005, pp. 226- 228.
15 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Wilber, A theory of everything: An integral vision for business, politics, science, and spirituality, 2000
16 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996
fiery images/graphics; appeal to narcissistic tendencies.
Demotivators (cold buttons): Challenge power or courage; denigrate person/group; move onto turf uninvited; display more powerful weapons; be derisive; make gestures, name-call; taunt as an outsider; appear or talk weak; make excuses.
Communications that May Appeal to the Red Worldview about HIV/AIDS
Pop Culture Music about HIV/AIDS
Yo, let's talk about AIDS (go on) to the unconcerned and uninformed You think you can't get it? Well you're wrong
Don't dismiss, dis, or blacklist the topic
That ain't gonna stop it
Now if you go about it right you just might save your life Don't be uptight, come join the fight
- Lyrics from “Let's Talk About AIDS” by Salt N Pepa17
Super-Hero on AIDS Prevention
“Bleachman” – OBJECTIVE: To educate [Intravenous Drug Users] about the risk of HIV transmission and the effectiveness of using bleach to clean hypodermic syringes. To motivate IVDUs to adopt safe needle using and sexual behaviors to limit the spread of HIV. METHODS: A super-hero character was developed with extensive use of focus groups and field testing. BLEACHMAN appears in posters, brochures, billboards, bus cards, newspaper ads, television commercials, and on t-shirts. He also appears live (in an 8 foot super-hero costume with a bleach bottle for a head) and leads regular street outreach efforts. On the streets, accompanied by t- shirt wearing volunteers, BLEACHMAN talks to IVDUs and distributes bleach and condoms.18
17 Salt N Pepa, “Let’s talk about AIDS,” n.d.
18 Peppas L., Durazzo R. & Napolis A.J. “Bleachman: A super-hero teaches AIDS prevention,” 1989
The Blue Worldview
The blue worldview is characterized by words like conservative, purposeful, authoritarian, and absolutistic. For people holding this mindset, the world seems to be an ordered existence under the control of an ultimate (religious or secular) truth. Life has meaning, direction, and purpose with predetermined outcomes. The task of living is to strive for perfection in one’s assigned role. There is a tendency to be strongly conventional and conformist, fundamentalist, and obey the rule of Order; disapproval from the in-group is a potent sanction. People with a blue worldview often believe that there is one right way and only one right way to think about everything; that everybody has their proper place; and that laws, regulations, and discipline build character and moral fiber. Group differences are observed, but individual differences tend not to be noticed. There is a trust for in-groups, with a rejection of out-groups. The appearance of “forbidden” thoughts or desires triggers guilt and acts of atonement. Impulsivity is controlled through guilt, by finding purpose in causes, and dedicating oneself to crusades. There is an appreciation for niceness, helpfulness, and cooperation with others.19
Values of the Blue Worldview20
Bottom line: Stability and purposeful life.
Basic theme: Life has meaning, direction, and purpose with predetermined outcomes.
What’s important: Sacrificing self for a transcendent Cause, (secular or religious) Truth, Mission, future reward; laws, regulations, rules; discipline, character, duty, honor, justice, moral fiber; righteous living; controlling impulsivity through guilt; following absolutistic principles of right and wrong, black and white; convention, conformity.
Aspects may be found in: Puritan America, Confucian China, Dickensian England, and Singapore discipline; totalitarianism; codes of chivalry and honor; charitable good deeds; religious fundamentalism (e.g., Christian and Islamic); “moral majority”; patriotism.
Appropriate Communication to the Blue Worldview21
Appropriate sources of communication: Rightful, proper kind of authority; a higher authority in the One True Way; down the chain of command; according to book’s rules, regulations; person with position, power, rank; in compliance with tradition and precedent; revered Truth keepers; as directed by divinely ordained Power (secular or religious).
Appropriate approach (hot buttons): Invoke images of duty, honor, country, righteousness, discipline, and
19 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Loevinger, Ego development: conceptions and theories, 1976, pp. 17-19; Graves, The never-ending quest: Clare W. Graves explores human nature, 2005, pp. 252-256
20 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Wilber, A theory of everything: An integral vision for business, politics, science, and spirituality, 2000
21 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996
obedience; call for good citizenship, responsibility, stewardship, delayed gratification for future rewards, self-sacrifice for higher cause and purpose; appeal to traditions, standards, norms, laws, stability, order, being prepared.
Demotivators (cold buttons): Attack religion, country, ethnic heritage, or standards; desecrate symbols or Holy Books; put down the One True-Way; violate chain of command; disregard rules, directives; appear unfair or sleazy; be wishy-washy; use profanity.
Communications that May Appeal to the Blue Worldview about HIV/AIDS
African Armed Forces Brochures and Billboards
Fighting AIDS is also our responsibility. The soldier protects the nation and the condom protects the soldier.22
Compatriots, a strong Nation needs a strong Defense Force. Protect yourself from HIV and STD infections.23
An Islamic Perspective
Our Holy Prophet Mohammed, (peace be upon him), has stressed the importance of health at many times. He once said to his one of his companion, “O’ Abbas ask Allah for health in this world and in the next” (Al-Nasa`i). “No supplication is more pleasing to Allah than a request for good health” (Tirmidhi). The Prophet Dawud (pbuh) said, “Health is a hidden kingdom”. Our bodies are trust from Allah that must be returned one day and we will be asked how looked after it. Therefore we should avoid any act which will harm our physical or spiritual health.24
A Christian Perspective
Defeating HIV is going to take generations of the faithful. How will Christians decades from now look back on what we did and did not do through our families, churches, and governments? What will they say about us when we Americans decided that $15 billion over five years was all we were willing to spend to defeat HIV globally?25 26
22 Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program. “Media promotion photos: Billboards,” n.d. 23 Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program. “Media promotion photos: Billboards,” n.d. 24 PositiveMuslims.org, “HIV/AIDS and Islam,” n.d.
25 Christianity Today, “Close encounters with HIV,” 2006
26 It should not be implied by the placement of this quotation within the Blue worldview that all Christian or Islamic or any religiously-informed HIV/AIDS communications solely fall within this worldview. There are examples of religious communications that appeal to every worldview. Additionally, the placement of these communications does not imply anything about the speaker/developer of the communication, it only suggests which worldview in the audience might resonate the most with the communication.
The Orange Worldview
This worldview is characterized by words like materialist, achievist, high-rationality, and strategic. For those with this as their predominant mindset, the world seems to be: a marketplace full of possibilities and opportunities; or a rational and well-oiled machine with natural laws that can be learned, mastered, and applied for one’s own purposes; or a chessboard on which games are played as winners gain preeminence and perks over losers. The person with the orange worldview evaluates and chooses rules for himself, and may even circumvent the law in support of his own code; exceptions and contingencies to rules are recognized. This worldview is concerned with equal opportunity, fairness, justice, and universal care; it is worldcentric, and understands granting equal rights and opportunity to all as the only logical and honorable answer to inequality. The US Constitution, for example, arose out of this worldview. People who are centered in an orange worldview tend to seek truth and meaning in individualistic terms and are “scientifically oriented” in the typical sense (hypothetico-deductive, experimental, objective, mechanistic, operational). Secular values reign supreme; the power figures of the state, organization, or corporation, rule. They are often highly achievement and improvement oriented, especially toward materialistic gains, seeing themselves as the self-authoring, masters of their own destiny. People with an orange worldview develop the scientific processes that set, test, and constantly strive to enhance objectives in an attempt to reveal the mysteries of the universe, control nature, and shape the future. They rely on technology to pragmatically solve problems; they leverage their influence and trust the free marketplace to spread “improvements.” Within the orange worldview, the laws of science guide politics, the economy (invisible hand), and human events. Those holding this worldview tend to embrace lifestyles that are high-tech, energy-dependent, status-conscious, upwardly mobile, and progress-oriented.27
Values of the Orange Worldview28
Bottom line: Success and autonomy.
Basic theme: Act in your own self interest by playing the game to win.
What’s important: Progress, prosperity, optimism, and self-reliance; strategy, risk-taking, competitiveness; goals, leverage, professional development, mastery; rationality, objectivism, demonstrated results, best solutions, technology, the power of science; use of the earth’s resources and technology to spread the abundant “good life”.
Aspects may be found in: The Enlightenment; Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged; Wall Street; emerging middle classes; colonialism; political gamesmanship; sales and marketing; fashion industry; Chblues of Commerce; the Cold War; materialism; The Riviera.
27 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Loevinger, Ego development: conceptions and theories, 1976, pp. 21-22; Graves, The never-ending quest: Clare W. Graves explores human nature, 2005, pp. 308-310
28 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Wilber, A theory of everything: An integral vision for business, politics, science, and spirituality, 2000
Appropriate Communication to the Orange Worldview29
Appropriate sources of communication: One’s own right-thinking mind; successful mentors; credible professionals and “gurus”; scientific findings; elite contacts; data from one’s own observations, experiments, or proven experience.
Appropriate approach (hot buttons): Appeal to competitive advantage and leverage; draw upon success, progress, abundance, winning, achievement, status motivations; inspire to face the challenge; reference bigger, better, newer, more popular, state-of-the-art; cite experts; show increased profit, productivity, quality, results; demonstrate as the best option, strategy; treat like VIP.
Demotivators (cold buttons): Demean profit or entrepreneurism; talk about collectivization, accuse of games, demean outcomes; challenge compulsive drives; deny rewards for good performance; force sameness; trap with rules, procedures; seem inflexible, ordinary; treat as one of the herd.
Communications that May Appeal to the Orange Worldview about HIV/AIDS
On the Challenge of HIV/AIDS
An HIV vaccine is our best long-term hope for controlling the global AIDS epidemic, but it has proven to be a tremendously difficult scientific challenge .We have all been frustrated by the slow pace of progress in HIV vaccine development, yet breakthroughs are achievable if we aggressively pursue scientific leads and work together in new ways.30
- Dr. José Esparza, senior advisor on HIV vaccines for the Gates Foundation.
On a Strategic Approach to HIV/AIDS
Twenty-five years into the epidemic, the global response to AIDS must be transformed from an episodic, crisis-management approach to a thoughtful, long-term response that emphasizes the use of evidence-based strategies and recognizes the need for long-term commitment.31
On the Systemic Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS
Studies on the impact of HIV/AIDS on various business sectors reveal increased labour costs for employers because of low productivity, absenteeism, shortage of labour, and fewer work hours. In other words, HIV/AIDS may pose the greatest challenge to sustained economic development in Africa. As such, understanding its implications for future development, economic policy and strategic planning demands our immediate attention.32
29 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996
30 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “Foundation funds major new collaboration to accelerate HIV vaccine development,” 2006
31 UNAIDS, “Global Report on HIV/AIDS,” 2006, p. 282
32 Amoako, K.Y., “The impact of HIV/AIDS on growth and poverty reduction in Africa,” 2004
The Green Worldview
This worldview is characterized by words like relativistic, communitarian, and egalitarian. For those with this mindset, the world seems to be a human habitat in which we share life’s experiences. The general perspective on life from this worldview is to seek peace within the inner self and explore with others the caring dimensions of community. There is a tendency to be communitarian, humanitarian, and ecologically sensitive, showing considerable affective warmth, sensitivity, and caring for the earth and all its inhabitants. Those who hold this worldview believe in diversity and multiculturalism and that the human spirit must be freed from greed, dogma, and divisiveness; feeling, sensitivity, and caring are considered to supersede cold rationality. People with a green worldview tend to cherish the earth, Gaia, and life, and emphasize dialogue, relationships, peacekeeping, prioritizing the well-being of people, and group effort for its own good. Reconciliation and consensus are deeply valued. There is a drive to know their own inner selves, be sensitive to the feelings of others, and a tendency toward emotional and spiritual issues. Psychological causality and psychological development are both understood and embraced as natural to life. As their focus shifts outward, they work to spread the Earth’s resources and opportunities equally among all.33
Values of the Green Worldview34
Bottom line: Community harmony, equality.
Basic theme: Seek peace within inner self and explore, with others, the caring dimensions of community. What’s important: Sensitivity to others, environment; feelings, caring, harmony, equality; reconciliation, consensus, dialogue, participation, relationships, and networking; human development and spirituality; diversity, multiculturalism; relativism, pluralism; distributing earth’s resources, opportunities equally. Aspects may be found in: helping professions (e.g., social services, feelings-oriented business activities); John Lennon’s Imagine; Netherlands’ idealism; sensitivity training; cooperative inquiry; postmodernism; politically correct; human rights, diversity issues.
Appropriate Communication to the Green Worldview35
Appropriate sources of communication: Consensual, communitarian norms; enlightened colleague; the outcome of sharing, participation; the result of self-growth; the here and now; appeals to feelings/emotions; team’s collective findings.
Appropriate approach (hot buttons): Create a sense of belonging, participation, sharing, teamwork, consensus, harmony; show sensitivity to human issues, Nature; invite expanded awareness, self-
33 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Loevinger, Ego development: conceptions and theories, 1976
34 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996; Wilber, A theory of everything: An integral vision for business, politics, science, and spirituality, 2000
35 Beck & Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change, 1996
understanding, and liberation of oppressed; use symbols of equity, humanity, and bonding; use gentle languaging and Nature imagery; demonstrate openness, build trust; present real people and authentic emotional displays; show respect for political correctness, inclusion, social responsibility, and awareness. Demotivators (cold buttons): Assault group’s goals, ideals; divide group; try to get centralized control; reject the collective for individual accountability; deny affect, feelings; degrade quality of life. environment; rely on “hard facts” and exclude people factors; act elitist, exclusive; support aggressive competition.
Communications that May Appeal to the Green Worldview about HIV/AIDS
On Inclusion, Stigma, and Discrimination of People Living with HIV/AIDS
We, African civil society organisations, seek to focus on the following issues:
Inclusion of People Living with HIV/AIDS. No campaign to address the challenge of HIV/AIDS can possibly succeed without the full participation of PLWA at all levels, including policyrnaking and policy implementation. People Living with HIV/AIDS are human beings, members of their community and citizens, and their human rights must be respected in full .
Overcoming Denial, Stigma and Discrimination. An absolutely fundamental requirement for overcoming the HIV/AIDS pandemic is eradicating denial, stigmatisation and discrimination. Discrimination is manifest in many ways including employment, housing, education, foreign travel, insurance, health care and other social amenities and citizenship rights. We need to create a culture in which HIV/AIDS can be acknowledged without fear. Honesty and transparency from leaders who are themselves HIV positive is crucial. Hypocrisy and secrecy are the allies of HIV/AIDS, and they are our enemies.36
On Cultural Sensitivity and AIDS Communications
This framework suggests that culturally sensitive AIDS interventions for African Americans should be based on the recognition that Blacks' judgments about the credibility and attractiveness of a source may be affected by the race of the communicator (a source characteristic), the extent to which the message is directly relevant to the cultural identity and community experiences of audience members (message characteristics), and the extent to which individual audience members are highly distrustful of Whites in general or AIDS information from White-identified sources in particular (receiver characteristics).37
36 “The African consensus and plan of action: Leadership to overcome HIV/AIDS,” n.d.
37 Herek, G.M., Gillis, J. R., Glunt, E. K., Lewis, J., Welton, D., & Capitanio, J. P. “Culturally sensitive AIDS educational videos for African American audiences: Effects of source, message, receiver, and context,” 1998
On Language and AIDS
What we need is more than description, but a turn to local geographies to ask how the process of becoming "marginalized" occurs, and why so many of the poor must resort to the language of the rich to stigmatize themselves and subsequently adopt the language of individual "responsibility" for the sake of survival. The answer, once again, becomes one of resources and institutions and power inequalities. We need to examine the basic processes of power, not merely its end pathologies. Because only in our understanding of the processes of power can we hope to find the answers to offer the institutions, and only in our understanding of the processes of power can we hope to take back the meaning of AIDS.38
38 Basu, Sanjay, “Institutionalized AIDS and the quest for social responsibility: Revisiting basic questions on World AIDS Day,” 2003
Conclusion: Communicating to Multiple Worldviews Simultaneously
A variety of worldviews are present within any audience. Additionally, individuals don’t merely operate with one worldview. Some people may be “in-between” and thus grounded in multiple worldviews. Therefore, a realistic strategy for HIV/AIDS communications is to craft language and imagery that appeals to multiple worldviews simultaneously. This is akin to crafting a multicultural communication that has a broad appeal to multiple cultures, as opposed to a culturally-specific communication that appeals to only one. Here is a simple 1-2-3 process for simulcasting, or developing communications that resonate with multiple worldviews.
First, identify the two or three predominant worldviews within the audience. It is possible to scientifically estimate an individual’s worldview, but in most cases communications designers need to intuitively approximate the predominant worldviews in their audience.39
Second, develop a message about HIV/AIDS for each major worldview within the audience. Draw upon relevant authorities and sources, as well as using the “appropriate approach” guidelines in the chart above. Finally, combine the separate communications, being careful not to trigger any demotivators. As long as no “cold buttons” are pressed, people will tend to hear only that which resonates with their worldview. As with any communications strategy, repeatedly test to see what ultimately works with an audience and leverage other lessons learned.
The following are examples of public communications about HIV/AIDS by Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton. Both appeal to multiple worldviews in these excerpts, predominantly focusing on Blue, Orange, and Green.
Communications that Appeal to Multiple Worldviews about HIV/AIDS
However, the fight against AIDS is one of the greatest challenges the world faces at the start of the 21st century. I cannot rest until I'm certain that the global response is sufficient to turn the tide of the epidemic .History will surely judge us harshly if we do not respond with all the energy and resources that we can bring to bear in the fight against HIV/AIDS .[E]very global citizen [should not] forget the millions of people suffering from HIV and AIDS and not to reduce them to mere statistics. We share a common humanity with our brothers and sisters suffering in this epidemic .We urge countries to make the policy changes that are necessary to protect the human rights of those who suffer from unfair discrimination.40
- Former South African President Nelson Mandela, Closing Ceremony of the XV International AIDS Conference, 2004
39 To measure an individual’s approximate self-identity, see the Sentence Completion Test developed by Jane Loevinger at Washington University; to identify someone’s general Order of Consciousness, see the Subject-Object Interview developed by Robert Kegan at Harvard.
40 Mandela, Nelson, “Transcript of a speech from the closing ceremony of the XV International AIDS Conference,” 2004
It is truly a struggle being played out all across the world and increasingly of course in Africa, where entire families are being struck down, vibrant communities decimated and the social and economic foundations of whole nations are at risk. All because of AIDS and because the global community has yet to do everything in its power to prevent, treat and defeat it .The statistics are terrifying: over 40 million people around the world are currently infected, about 30 million of them in Africa .Its hard to imagine the scale of the pandemic let alone to contemplate its ravaging affect on so many innocent women, men and children .Aids is not just a human health issue, it is also an economic issue, a national security issue, an issue with global ramifications .Part of the job before us is to build better systems in Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere in the developing world so that we can more rapidly, efficiently and inexpensively deliver life saving medicine to people with AIDS .One day Aids will be history and people in the future will look back at this time and ask did we do the right thing? Did we act responsibly in the face of global crisis?41
- Former US President Bill Clinton, video address for the 2003 International HIV/AIDS Communications Forum
As a final note, please remember that any tool can become a weapon if used irresponsibly. This communications tool should, above all, be used with the greatest of integrity and in a spirit of true service to the audience. Used as such, it provides a tremendous opportunity to help reach the hearts and minds of people everywhere whose efforts are vitally needed to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. For further details, please consult the original sources cited.
41 Clinton, William J. “Transcript of President Clinton’s video address,” 2003
I would like to deeply acknowledge the work of Ken Wilber, Don Beck, Chris Cowan, Clare Graves, Jane Loevinger, Susanne-Cook-Greuter, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Robert Kegan. Without their diligence and research this communication would not be possible. Ken Wilber, Don Beck, and Susanne Cook-Greuter have provided considerable personal support to my understanding of this material. Additionally, I am indebted to and grateful for the research assistance of Brooke Radloff, Eric Fedus, and Rita Brown. – Barrett Brown
About the Authors
BARRETT C. BROWN serves as Co-Director of the Integral Sustainability Center at Integral Institute, which applies AQAL Integral Theory to sustainable development issues. He represents Kosmos Journal and the AQAL Integral framework at the United Nations, holding UN consultative status through the Center for Psychology and Social Change. Since 1995, Barrett has worked throughout the Americas in the areas of sustainability, management consulting, human development, and communications. He is an advisory board member for: Kosmos Journal, an integrally informed journal on global issues; the Shift Foundation, which works with young global leaders; and IntegralCity.com, focusing on urban sustainability issues. Barrett is also a senior management consultant for Stagen and a doctoral student in the Human and Organizational Systems program at Fielding Graduate University. He has presented and trained widely, including at the 2002 United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (side event), JFK University, the School for International Training, and the Bioneers Conference. Barrett, his wife Rita, and daughter Sophia live in Dallas, Texas, USA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DON EDWARD BECK Ph.D. has designed and implemented transformational practices for almost thirty years in corporate, governmental and community settings worldwide through Spiral Dynamics Integral. His unique values-based model charts the evolution and emergence of human nature - a bio- psycho- social-spiritual map of living human systems that focuses on natural designs and offers integral solutions that are ecological, systemic and life-affirming. His design for post-apartheid South Africa is described in his book The Crucible: Forging South Africa's Future. He is co-founder of the National Values Center, CEO of the Spiral Dynamics Group, Inc., founding associate of Ken Wilber's Integral Institute, and the co- author of Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change. He can be reached at DrBeck@attglobal.net.
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