July 19, 2023
I am recently back from the Transformations Community gathering in Prague in the Czech Republic and still savoring and making sense of the time. That trip capped a flurry of work travel that began in May and took me from Jackson, Mississippi (Food Policy Council Network COLP) to New York City (Ford Foundation Global Leadership Meeting) to the Seacoast of New Hampshire (Food Solutions New England Network Leadership Institute) to Haudenosaunee Territory in Buffalo, NY (Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Network Voice Choice and Action Gathering) to the District of Columbia (DC Legal Aid Transformations Network) to water ravaged northern Vermont (Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont) to Eastern Europe.
All along the way, there were messages of what the times are calling for in terms of practicing resilience and transformation. Each of these deserves a fuller unpacking, and I offer them here for now, with much gratitude to many teachers along the way. I begin each of these with the word “remember,” as that was a core teaching from our gathering on Haudenosaunee lands, that one of our greatest gifts is to remember, and that so much of this is about remembering …
Remember that everything is designed to work together through reciprocal relations.
Remember where you come from, what your “creation story” is, as there is great guidance there.
Remember what matters most to you, your values, and align with them in practice.
Remember what is yours to do in this lifetime and in/with Life.
Remember to go below the neckline (to the heart and gut), without throwing out what is above it (the head).
Remember to practice belonging and accountability (they go together and support one another).
Remember to do intergenerational work/learning, thinking of those living, those passed on, and those yet to come.
Remember to bring in “the periphery” (whatever that means in your particular situation – this generally relates to power and access). There is much wisdom and fresh insight here.
Remember the importance of putting in place a “resilience or transformation infrastructure” (think process, roles and relationships) – this does not necessarily happen on its own.
Remember when it makes sense to “institutionalize” and do so in ways that do not kill spirit, vitality and diversity.
Remember not to make assumptions and be prepared to be surprised.
Remember to have faith in the unseen, the power of “practical magic.”
Remember to break bread with one another, to talk with one another and to keep leaning in to the (apparent) differences. Learning awaits!
Remember to find what grounds and nourishes you (individually and collectively) and cherish/honor it.
Remember to listen …
October 31, 2013
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this week the Vermont Farm to Plate (F2P) Network held its third annual convening. This marked the move to the third year of the F2P Network’s existence, and another significant milestone.
At the first convening in 2011, there was a mix of enthusiasm, optimism, curiosity, impatience, and some reticence. Many were intrigued by the notion of this new form of multi-organizational collaboration seeking to double local food production in 10 years time, boost the state economy, and address issues of food access and security. Read More
April 4, 2013
|Photo by Roland Tanglao|http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/76395670/in/photostream|
Some very compelling points are made by Carol Sanford stemming from her work with “responsible businesses” about the importance of how people understand accountability. She cites pscyhological research that suggests that having a sense of personal responsibility for outcomes (or an “internal locus of control”), whether those outcomes are good or bad, equates with higher degrees of happiness, health, and creativity. The converse occurs when people attribute success and failure to outside forces. “Only when people are accountable for their own decisions can they develop the rigor and discipline called for in high-quality decision making,” Sanford writes. Read More
May 24, 2012
|Photo by Paul Downey|http://www.flickr.com/photos/psd/506328659/|
The following post was written by Adam Pattantyus, VP for Development of EASE (Environmental Accountability for a Sustainable Earth) and friend of IISC. Adam and his colleagues are thought leaders around integrated systems for supporting and augmenting large-scale social change. They are also purveyors of a collaborative on-line stakeholder engagement tool that incorporates financial exchange to leverage the power of purchasing to fund community initiatives. Here Adam reflects on some of the shortcomings of social change efforts with respect to integration and recapturing and reshaping the marketplace for community and civil society benefit, for which his work with EASE is meant to provide an answer. He also speaks to the importance of engaging cross-sectoral work in the pursuit of lasting change.
As a participant and leader in change and social change over the past 20 years, here are some typical blind spots that I see as holding back social change efforts: Read More