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December 29, 2011

People Power

The Black Mesa Water Coalition is an inspiring group of Navajo and Hopi young people who organized to protect the Navajo aquifer which was being depleted by coal production and transportation processes. They are a great example of people power, coming together and winning important gains for their community. And, they are an important reminder about the many ways in which Native people in the U.S. continue to face structural barriers to their own well-being. As we move the conversation about structural racism forward, I have to ask myself, as a black woman who grew up on land that was taken from the Wampanoag people, how can I be an effective ally?

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December 28, 2011

A Year of Multitudes

multitudes

|Photo by ad551|http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaddaamn/5196833268|

As 2011 comes to a close, we here at IISC can look back on a year full of multi-stakeholder change work. I think I can speak on behalf of the entire team when I say that it has been our pleasure to contribute our process design, facilitation, and collaborative capacity building skills to a range of differently scaled social change efforts, linking arms with convenors and catalysts in a variety of fields.  These have included (to name a few): Read More

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December 27, 2011

Interaction

I’ve been reflecting on five years of work here at the Interaction Institute for Social Change.  As inside so outside.  My life has changed dramatically over the last five years.  And so has the world.  Seriousness about social transformation, commitment to the evolutionary process, a burning thirst for justice – a posture that demands sharp attunement with the present moment.

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December 22, 2011

40 Questions

“It is my working assumption that the following forty questions must be definitively answered before we may realistically discuss our respective philosophies and grand strategies. . . . ”

—R. Buckminster Fuller

A question mark and an exclamation mark made from jigsaw puzzle pieces, next to each other, dissolving on the white background.

|Photo by Horia Varlan|http://www.flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/4290549806|

Picking up from yesterday’s post, here is Bucky’s list of 40 strategic questions: Read More

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December 21, 2011

Catching Up With Bucky

Clearly a man ahead of his time, R. Buckminster Fuller’s thinking seems to become more and more relevant.  His invitation is for us all to be comprehensive anticipatory design scientists, to engage in the “design science revolution.”

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December 20, 2011

Got Racism?

We’ve been having a good conversation at IISC about ways to challenge and re-frame race discourse in ways that are truthful, loving, compelling, welcoming and so much more. Last week, I posted a video from Jay Smooth about shifting from a discussion about “being” to a discussion about “doing.” Let’s keep the conversation going.

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December 19, 2011

Fair Chance America

The following post is from Founding Board Chair, Thomas J. Rice.  It is a little longer than we  post, however, we hope that you will find it is rich in content and helps continue to challenge the way we think about various systems and movements.

Historian James Truslow Adams defined the American Dream when he coined the term at the depths of the Great Depression. What we seek is “a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone.” If there’s one thing we could all agree on, we have lost our way in this quest. And there’s no GPS to find our True North, or the way home.

Enter the Occupy Movement, a spontaneous cri de coeur from a millennial generation that feels betrayed and abandoned by the people and institutions they believed in. No American Dream for them. Their prospects are bleak, in no way better or richer or fuller than their parents. In spite of great effort and expense to move up and out, the millenniums are back in the nest, in serious debt from college  loans and working at some menial or dead end job with no health benefits.

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December 16, 2011

Live Love

Here at IISC we talk about having three lenses for the work of collaboration.  One of those lenses is the lens of love.  I have worked and played with Anasa Troutman in all kinds of formations over the years, most recently as part of the same Networks and Decentralized Organizing Community of Practice.

I thought that her stance for Love is a very real call for those of us interested in the practice of social transformation.  What do you think?

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December 15, 2011

Wanted: A Living System Blueprint

I have previously written in this space about a state-wide early childhood system change effort in Connecticut, for which my colleague Melinda Weekes and I are currently serving as the lead process designers and facilitators. For the past year, we have been engaged in a robust and somewhat emergent process of exploring some of the underlying systemic dynamics surrounding early childhood development and care in the state, and beginning to re-imagine that system, in all of its complexity as it holds the vision of nurturing whole children, from informal to formal elements, from grassroots to grasstops.

At this point, we are poised to think more deeply about what it would mean to create a “blueprint” for that system, acknowledging that this blueprint could never cover every component and dynamic in the system, nor would we want it to be static. Read More

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December 14, 2011

Network Thinking

networks

|Photo by Simon Cockell|http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjcockell/3251147920|

Last week, I had the opportunity to work with a cross-sectoral group of emerging and established leaders from around southern Maine through the Institute for Civic Leadership, an initiative IISC had a hand in establishing some 18 years ago.  For the past six years I’ve offered three days of collaborative capacity building entitled “Facilitative Leadership and Teams” to each successive cohort, and it’s been interesting to see how the offering has evolved over time.  Throughout there has been an interest in looking at how to leverage what is now an incredible base of 500 + individuals who have been through this leadership program.  And so this year we dived formally into network building strategies. Read More

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December 13, 2011

I'm writing an eBook

All right friends, it’s time.  I’m going to write my first e-book.  I’m going to do it in 30 days using the process outlined here.  Today is day 1.  I will be posting daily updates to my Facebook and twitter feeds.

I need your help.  I want to write about “teams, work and complexity,” I don’t have a title yet.  But it doesn’t matter what I want to write about if you don’t want to read about it!  The first two days of the process are about asking you for a topic.  See what copyblogger says:

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