Reconciliation of the multiple knowledges involved in international development depends, in the first instance, on all participants hearing the multiple languages of the people involved. A dream that surfaces and resurfaces throughout human history is the dream of a world in which all peoples can hear each other. For the 12 years period from 1992 to 2004, the Local Sustainability Project worked with over 300 communities in four different countries on resolving sustainability issues.
This article argues for the development of an open and inclusive language that respects the original languages, allows all the speakers to be heard and opens up fresh avenues for collective learning. It argues against the proposition that the limits of a language mean the limits of the speaker's world.