Love and CollaborationDecember 22, 2009 Leave a comment
Part 4 of Three Lenses for Collaboration
The work of social change takes place in history, we are not the first ones doing this work, nor will we be the last. We are part of that noble arch bending itself towards justice. In the United States the history of social change is punctuated by the prophetic voice of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King called us to beloved community and at the Interaction Institute we look at collaboration as a way to meet his call. I like to call this the lens of love.
This is also the lens that brings forth the inner side of leadership. If we are going to co-create new ways of being-with, each of us as individuals will also have to define new and fuller ways of being. To learn to be in community, we also have to learn how to be. This is a truth at the heart of collaboration, in order for us to work together in ways that maximize our collective freedom, we must each gain deep understanding of what it means to be free.
To build community is to engage the inter-subjective, and to engage the inter-subjective we must also engage the subjective. Who and how I am will have definitive implications on who and how we are. We can collaborate through a series of work agreements that allow us to work together to achieve a common goal – IISC’s proven methodology is very good at helping groups achieve this sort of collaboration. But we are an ambitious group, we are serious about social transformation and we are committed to our learning edge. This is how we dare to go beyond what we are already good at and how we step into the work of facilitating new ways of being. This is how we enter the quest for an inner side of leadership and our response to the call to form beloved community.
In Commonwealth, the seminal work of my idols, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, they propose that: “When we engage in the production of subjectivity that is love, we are not merely creating new objects or even new subjects in the world. Instead we are producing a new world, a new social life… Love is an ontological event in that it marks a rupture with what exists and the creation of the new (180).” Ours is a world historical moment, one in which the very existence of our species is at play, we look at collaboration as the only way to step up together, it is a way to break away into something better, something that is both generative and sustainable, something thrivable and lasting, something that knows how to live through interconnected complexity, something that is grounded in Love.