Building a bridge of trust

Written by Gonnie Been, Operations Director Index Initiative, World Benchmarking Alliance Secretariat

[IMAGE 0]The launch of the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) on 24th September 2018 in New York transformed the WBA from an idea into reality. We can feel the momentum building, which creates a sort of satisfaction, but also a tension, as we can’t miss this opportunity to act.

During the consultation phase, participants emphasised that we need to utilise what is already out there, learning from and building on existing initiatives to ensure the WBA will be something different, something new. We have a tremendous opportunity to create something beautiful that not only leverages the brilliant work being carried out by many already, but also bridges the gaps between all of us and what is required to achieve the targets put forth by the SDGs. Amidst the chaos and intensity of the past year, we feel encouraged by the glimpses of potential power behind what we can accomplish together.

Our great ambition from the outset meant that we had to begin boldly, driven by the hope of uncovering answers to all those difficult questions facing us. Ultimately, we weren’t able to learn everything. Whilst our intensive consultations – online and offline, structured and spontaneous – have given us invaluable knowledge and insights, we recognise that there is still plenty to learn. And, trust that we will continue to do so. With the continuing endorsement of our Allies and supporters, we feel confident to go ahead. During our first Allies meeting in June of this year, we were told to start moving – to put our words into action. Time is marching, and the 2030 horizon feels closer each day. This means we will work together to build the bridge as we walk over it.

So, this blog is a pledge for trust. One that speaks so much louder in actions than just its words. Trust based on actions implies a way of working which we will establish within the movement as we continue to grow. Trust that we promise to turn the idea of the WBA into a reality that will encompass all we have heard and learnt over the past year. Trust that we will continue to learn from one another. And lastly, trust that we will make mistakes or, at times, do things differently, which will look like we aren’t living up to our promises. This is what makes us human. If we do so, please forgive us and tell us immediately, so that we can talk about it and move forward together.

It is our belief that this level of openness is crucial to building an effective culture of trust that flows through the WBA – trust that is necessary to build a bridge whilst we walk over it.


This blog was part of the final publication we published in September 2018, prior to our launch. You can read the entire publication below, to find out what we have learned, what insights people gave us and how we experienced our consultation phase. 

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