Trends

The challenge of international development requires a medley of ideas. At the Multilateral Investment Fund, we work in an array of topics that are at the forefront of efforts to spur the economic development of the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each week, this blog "Trends" brings you our latest research and thinking. 

Our complete list of blogs can be found here.

Multi-stakeholder alliances: learning to see the world through the eyes of the others

By Francisco Larra Bujalance

Six blind Hindustani men set out to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the animal’s body. The first man approached the elephant, and happening to fall against his broad side, at once called out, "The elephant is very much like a wall!" The second, feeling the tusk, cried, "What we have here is so very round and smooth and sharp that it is mighty clear the elephant is very like a spear!" The third happened to take the squirming trunk within his hands and said, "My God, the elephant is very much like a snake!" The fourth reached out an eager hand and felt the animal’s knee. He said, “It’s clear enough the elephant is very like a tree!" The fifth, who happened to touch the ear, said, "Even the blindest man can tell the fact that an elephant is very much like a fan!" The sixth seized on the swinging tail. "I see," he said, "the elephant is very much like a rope!" And so, these Hindustani men disputed loud and long, though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong. (This parable is attributed to Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and teacher of Sufism.)

Multi-stakeholder alliances: learning to see the world through the eyes of the others

By Francisco Larra Bujalance

Seis hindúes sabios, inclinados al estudio, quisieron saber qué era un elefante. Como eran ciegos, decidieron hacerlo mediante el tacto. El primero en llegar junto al elefante, chocó contra su ancho y duro lomo y dijo: «Ya veo, es como una pared». El segundo, palpando el colmillo, gritó: «Esto es tan agudo, redondo y liso que el elefante es como una lanza». El tercero tocó la trompa retorcida y gritó: «¡Dios me libre! El elefante es como una serpiente». El cuarto extendió su mano hasta la rodilla, palpó en torno y dijo: «Está claro, el elefante es como un árbol». El quinto, que casualmente tocó una oreja, exclamó: «Aún el más ciego de los hombres se daría cuenta de que el elefante es como un abanico». El sexto, quien tocó la oscilante cola, acotó: «El elefante es muy parecido a una soga». Y así, los sabios discutieron largo y tendido, cada uno excesivamente terco y violento en su propia opinión y, aunque parcialmente en lo cierto, estaban todos equivocados. Parábola atribuida a Rumi, sufí persa del s. XIII.