Posted in What We Are Reading

September 6, 2012

We Are Moving, Part 2

evolution 2

|Image from Anders Sandberg|http://www.flickr.com/photos/arenamontanus/273180669|

Yesterday I posted a bit of a summary of Carter Phipps’ provocative new book, Evolutionaries, which included the suggested trajectories from a variety of evolutionary thinkers and observers, including greater (and increasing rates of) external and internal complexity, convergence, creativity and change.  The implications I left off with included a call for a stronger embrace of our creative self-starting (entrepreneurial) potential and also the necessity of engaging in more intentional and skillful collective (cooperative or collaborative) effort.

To take this another step, there is much in the evolutionary (biological/physical and philosophical/spiritual) literature that validates and extends our thinking about how to work with life and dynamic systems to steward change in broadly desirable, just, and life-affirming directions.

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September 5, 2012

We Are Moving, Part 1

 “Innovation is as much a function of the right kind of relationships as it is of a particular kind of individual vision.”

-Carter Phipps

I capped off my summer reading with what was for me a fascinating and important book – Evolutionaries by Carter Phipps.  Phipps is the editor of EnlighteNext magazine and enthusiastic about the evolutionary worldview and how it is showing up in many different fields, from biology to sociology to philosophy and theology, transforming our very understanding not simply of the cosmos, but of ourselves.  Over the past few years, readers of this blog have probably picked up on the interest that my colleague Gibran Rivera and I share with Phipps when it comes to the evolutionary worldview.  Evolutionaries does a wonderful service in deepening and broadening as well as bringing much more nuance to this perspective, rendering it more timely, accessible and applicable to the work of social change. Read More

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July 13, 2012

Musings from the Blogosphere

IISC is proud to release our first eBook, Musings from the Blogosphere, featuring the writings of our founding Executive Director, Marianne Hughes. Marianne recently left her position as executive director to take some well deserved time off before returning in the fall to continue her client work as a senior consultant. Click here to read a PDF version of this special compilation of posts from our blog, or look for it in the iTunes bookstore to read a free, interactive iBook version.

And, stayed tuned for more free eBooks from IISC in the coming months!

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May 31, 2012

Sacred Stories

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

William Stafford, from “A Ritual to Read to One Another”

Photogenic Able Martinez Volunteer Docent Guide - loves his work and it shows.  Piedras Blancas Lightstation Lighthouse, San Simeon, CA.  Public tour 18 Feb 2009.  Led by docent volunteers Able and Toni Martinez (abellighthouse {at] charter d o t net.  Photo by Michael

|Photo of Able Martinez by Mike Baird|http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/4369050515|

This is a slightly edited re-post of something I wrote a couple of years ago, and it came back to mind during conversations these past few days with a group of conservation biologists about how to create more of a compelling case for their work, and also to better understand where various stakeholders (allies and adversaries) are coming from with respect to preserving precious natural resources.  The point has been made several times and in different ways that narrative speaks louder than numbers, and that in our change work, it helps if we become acquainted with the stories of others, and work ultimately at weaving ourselves into something more collective.   Read More

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April 5, 2011

Walk Out Walk On

I have devoted most of my life to the quest for justice, the path has been beset by victory and loss, hope and frustration.  I often find myself contending with a deep awareness that too many of us – including the radicals and do-gooders that I count among my friends – including my own self!  All of us seem to be stuck in a paradigm that has reached a dead end.  And yet it is all we know.  And so we give our hearts and our passion, our energy and life force to a process that often seems doomed.

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February 4, 2011

Driving Social Change

Driving Social Change

“How do societies create the breakthroughs needed for a more just, tolerant, healthy, educated, and equitable world? How do they challenge the prevailing wisdom without losing hope? How do they enact lasting change and protect it from the inevitable backlash?” This age-old question is subject of Paul Light’s new book, Driving Social Change, from John Wiley & Sons publishers. The Nonprofit Quarterly features a summary of the book in their most recent issue.

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January 28, 2011

How To Say "Yes"

trivial pursuit

|Photo by Claus Rebler|http://www.flickr.com/photos/zunami/3160939004|

Peter Block has had considerable influence with a number of us here at IISC through his recent writings – Community: The Structure of Belonging and The Abundant Community.  These have inspired me to dip back into some older publications of his, most specifically the wonderful book, The Answer to How is Yes: Acting On What Matters.  What I appreciate about this particular work is both its timeliness and his constant reminder that “Transformation comes more from pursuing profound questions than seeking practical answers.” Read More

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January 28, 2011

How To Say “Yes”

trivial pursuit

|Photo by Claus Rebler|http://www.flickr.com/photos/zunami/3160939004|

Peter Block has had considerable influence with a number of us here at IISC through his recent writings – Community: The Structure of Belonging and The Abundant Community.  These have inspired me to dip back into some older publications of his, most specifically the wonderful book, The Answer to How is Yes: Acting On What Matters.  What I appreciate about this particular work is both its timeliness and his constant reminder that “Transformation comes more from pursuing profound questions than seeking practical answers.” Read More

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January 20, 2011

The Inner Story Grows

mind the gap

|Photo by limaoscarjuliet|http://www.flickr.com/photos/limaoscarjuliet/3305886294|

Leave it to David Brooks to put a nice point on our string of posts this week and last on the importance of tending to our “interior condition.”  Brooks’ recent article in The New Yorker (“Social Animal: How the new sciences of human nature can help make sense of a life”) pulls together much of the brain research that is pointing us in the direction of redefining (or is it rediscovering?) what matters most in our lives.  Without going into a lot of the details, I wanted to highlight some of the points the article raises, and then heartily encourage you to make it part of your weekend reading (and then get back to us here with some of your reactions!): Read More

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January 18, 2011

Meditation for the Love of It

MeditationLoveOfIt300dpi5x4

One of the guiding mantras here at the Interaction Institute is the idea that “the success of an intervention is directly proportional to the inner condition of the intervener.”  This idea and our commitment to “the love that does justice,” help us to uphold those practices that nurture our inner condition and facilitate our capacity to love.  It is with this commitment in mind that I share the following review:

Sally Kempton has written a wonderful book.  Meditation for the Love of It is a breath of fresh air in this current wave of meditation literature.  Pleased as I am by the booming interest in the practice of meditation, I am often frustrated by what feels like a one sided perspective of a beautifully multi-faceted tradition.  A masterful teacher, a great writer who is able to transmit her own direct experience of the Self, Sally Kempton makes accessible a rich meditation tradition that could otherwise be relegated to the inaccessible realms of esoterica. Read More

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