Posted in Sustainability

February 23, 2012

Macy on Uncertainty

Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. She is a respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, and interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application. The Great Turning, to which she refers in this clip, is a name for the “adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.”

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February 21, 2012

The Sabbath Manifesto

 

The issue of personal ecology is one of my biggest concerns in our ever accelerating world.  It is the biggest pain point I find among leaders and organizations.  It is a sense of being overwhelmed, of trying to do too much, of never having a break.  And worst of all – it can be addictive.

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February 20, 2012

Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network

In 2010, IISC had the privilege of work with Raab Associates to facilitate the development of Boston’s Climate Action Plan. Boston Latin School’s Youth Climate Action Network figured prominently in the development of a very successful community engagement session for Boston’s young people. They continue to move forward. Check them out! Here’s an excerpt of their presentation…

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January 31, 2012

Prepared to Fail

The following post is reblogged from Seth’s Blog. We hope that it will enrich your life and much as it has ours.

“We’re hoping to succeed; we’re okay with failure. We just don’t want to land in between.”

–David Chang

He’s serious. Lots of people say this, but few are willing to put themselves at risk, which destroys the likelihood of success and dramatically increases the chance of in between.

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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 1, 2011

Saving Our Tailings

recycle

|Photo by lydiashiningbrightly|http://www.flickr.com/photos/lydiashiningbrightly/3016016887|

One principle of living systems is that one person’s waste is someone else’s food.  This is how nature works, which is wonderful, and . . . unfortunately many of us are eating our own unhealthy waste in the form of industrial chemicals and other toxins, precisely because we seem to lack an overview of the cyclical nature of things.  On the upside, there are many ways that we could be much more efficient and even generate better health and greater wealth if we could think and act upon this notion of recycling and reusing waste.

This can include looking at how what is generally cast off as by-product might be used for creating additional value.  Read More

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October 27, 2011

Going WITH Life

“We can only have honest, effective hope if the frame through which we see is an accurate representation of how the world works.”

– Frances Moore Lappe

river

|Photo by Jim Bahn|http://www.flickr.com/photos/gcwest/6142854588|

With a warm welcome and opening offering of D.H. Lawrence’s poem “Escape,” Danny Martin and I launched into our session last week at the Bioneers by the Bay Conference entitled, “Belonging and Becoming: Practices for Regenerative Leadership.”  The framing of our 90 minutes was the call to connect more deeply with the ways of complex living systems, to align ourselves more fully with life so that we might thrive as a human community.

During the first half of our session we took the poet’s suggestion to escape the “glass bottles of our egos” and access “unlying life” by engaging in some paired storytelling focused on the values that have guided us in our lives.  This was our effort to cultivate a deeper sense of belonging in the room, and we were amazed to hear how much people took from listening to one another for even 10 minutes.  Read More

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September 14, 2011

Choosing Reality

A mentor of mine says that one of the most important disciplines we can individually and collectively engage in is to repeatedly ask and attempt to answer the question, “Where am I/we now?”  This is something of a daunting task when it comes to our global climate, and yet embracing this current reality is key to creating the future we would want to see inherited by generations to come.  In this spirit, we are all invited to join The Climate Reality Project to hear more of the truth about climate change from those who are experiencing its impacts around the world, and watch the live stream here starting at 7pm CT today (September 14).

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August 25, 2011

Love and Sustainability

loving sustainably

|Photo by Shykh Seraj|http://www.flickr.com/photos/51937229@N05/5648441691|

Perhaps feeling wistful in these late summer weeks as we lean towards fall, I seem to have a penchant for all things poetic. Who better to read then, than my friend and colleague Danny Martin, who blogs at a site entitled, “The Art of Working WITH Life.” Danny wonderfully and naturally spouts poetry, his own and others’, as he reflects on what it means to live and lead sustainably. In a recent post on relationships, he writes, “sustainability is about learning to work with differences in a way that will allow us to address the challenges of everyday living and also thereby deepen the relationship with the world we live in.” In other words, it is about learning to love, or as Humberto Maturana has defined it, “respecting the other as a legitimate other.” I have noted that the whole notion of love resonates more and more deeply with people in leadership trainings. The mention of the word does not lead to the same kinds of winces, embarrassed grins, and occasional rolling of the eyes as it did even 3 years ago. What’s love got to do with it? “Everything!” a couple of people shouted in my most recent training in Connecticut.  As we discuss it, we revolve around the many different splendors and interpretations, but at the end of the day most everyone agrees that while it may be difficult to define love, we know when it’s absent. And we know we suffer for its loss.

So with thanks to Danny for drawing my attention to them, I pass along these poetic ponderings of Czeslow Milosz, and invite you to consider the link between love and sustainability: Read More

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