By Balaji Gopalan, Centre of Gravity
The idea of Centre of Gravity is nothing new. The oldest cave painting is probably 10,000 years old. Long before we started our journey in a corner of Bangalore, communities have been sitting around telling each other stories, passing on values and visions to one another and to the next generation. All along the history of mankind, there have been leaders who knew what it ook to inspire a nation to walk towards a different future.
However, communication seems to have lost its way with the coming of age of advertising – with the best minds of the society – artists and intellectuals focusing all their energies to get a housewife to buy a particular brand of detergent or a teenager to choose a pair of jeans with a great attitude. Right from our college days, many of us had a strange suspicion that there must be more to communication than selling soaps and shampoos. This search to find greater meaning and joy with our work eventually led us to form Centre of Gravity in late 2005.
We have come to see that communication has a larger role to play in society than advertising. It can motivate mothers to adopt healthier behaviours like washing hands with soap. It can educate school owners and teachers on new ways of teaching and learning. It can promote a good cause like human rights. It can stop a dangerous one like Genetically Modified food. It can simplify complex concepts like micro-health insurance and financial performance. It can inspire students and professionals to choose more meaningful careers. It can help an organization express itself in myriad forms. It can be the voice for the voiceless.
Having peeled off the many layers of advertising over the years, we seem to be finally seeing and practicing communication for what it truly is – a tool for inspiration, understanding, self-expression, education, promotion of all that is good.
Centre of Gravity is working on generating demand for toilets in Davangere district, Karnataka, as part of this Behaviour Change Communication project.