December 23, 2013
The following blog post was written by our friend Julie Quiroz at The Movement Strategy Center. We hope you enjoy it at as much as we did!
Remember this spring, when the Associated Press finally dropped the I-word, and youth of color defeated prison-to-pipeline policies in Los Angeles public schools?
Or remember back in February when 50,000 people rallied in DC against the XL Pipeline? And then in October when the protests of 5,000 young people linked the pipeline, fracking, and the whole mess of fossil fuel development?
December 5, 2013
|Photo by Manuela de Pretis|http://www.flickr.com/photos/24141546@N06/8559396140/in/photolist-e3n9gw-cTpPPN-d1dvTd-d1dvC9-d1dvto-d1dvjW-d1dvbm-cZuvob-cZunHN-9zX8Sz-ax3pnQ-e4wUZj-eaf1p3-bEqAP4-9zJw2f-brvfdL-bEqguP-brvtTs-bEqo76-8Eev3a-bdwXog-9kfqCB-9HgmuC-7L5k6b-ax9ASs-9Nt9k5-c62iqA-bEqygR-f5eTyJ-f4ZDuv-bEqzcZ-bEqoDB-brvFWY-brvpph-83RYMt-bEqrup-fCnaiV-bEqfpi-bEqkhM-bEqpCK-bEqnBe-bEqkVM-bEqdpz-e46RkD-e46RGP-e4cw9J-e4cwju-e46Sxk-e46Rqx-e4cubU-bEqzCR|
When I take time to slow down, as I was able to do over the holiday break last week, my interest is refueled in practices that support our ability to maintain perspective and a sense of effective agency in the world. My line of inquiry is not simply around what can keep us energized, pull us back from the edge, or deal with burn-out, but focused on how we can align our internal state with external aspirations in an integrated way and grow ourselves so we can help evolve larger systems. My thinking and reading often takes me back to the work of Barbara Fredrickson, the emotions scientist based at the University of North Carolina, as well as to a host of others in the fields of positive and social psychology. Having revisited some of these writings over the break, here are 10 recommended practices for personal and social resilience and development: Read More
September 24, 2013
I always describe IISC as a “Collaboration Shop.” The founder of Interaction Associates, David Strauss, authored the seminal book “How to Make Collaboration Work.” I’m all for people working together to achieve a common goal. I make a living helping them do that.
September 23, 2013
Several persistent questions keep us learning and experimenting.
How do we avoid re-traumatizing people of color in this work? Often, people of color in racially mixed learning spaces bear the burden of teaching through telling their own stories. While sometimes liberating, this can also re-open wounds and create resentment at having to prove one’s reality to people who may be reluctant to accept what they have not experienced. And, over time, it can be disheartening to keep extending grace to different people in different spaces for the same mistakes. Racially homogeneous caucuses are one useful antidote. How else can we avoid these dynamics, particularly working in mixed-race settings?
September 15, 2013
The following post is part 2 of a 2 part series on some collaborative tools and strategies to help us change our selves, change our organizations and change the world. We hope you find it helpful. We encourage you to join the conversation!
We are compelled by a quote from Theory U, attributed to William O’Brien “The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener.” Collaborative tools and strategies are only truly useful in the hands of practitioners whose hearts are big enough to hold the complexities, struggles, hopes and fears that accompany the work of transforming racism. Read More
September 12, 2013
“If what we change does not change us we are playing with blocks.”
– Marge Piercy
|Image by Nico Paix|http://www.flickr.com/photos/91845235@N00/6523944047/in/photolist-aWuVgV-84KnUQ-9p5Xr2-e7QpWv-fr9W96-bYrHxs-aamm8N-bfB8Bn-bh5d8M-9JejMT-bh4YjD-bq9z27-bD4txZ-bD4tye-dgEWqj-8AwwCb-a2hh5y-aGsxtr-7Rg5mV-7Rjmeb-7Rjm9U-7Rjm79-7RjmfS-7Rg5rR-7RjkVE-7RjmeU-7RjkUJ-7Rg5uK-7Rjm1C-7Rjmdh-7Rg5hM-7Rjmch-7Rjm95-7RjkS5-7Rg5iR-7Rjm2o-7Rjm5s-7Rjmgo-7RjkTS-7Rg5nM-7Rg5vv-7Rjm6m-7RjkWW-caM8Bm-dgtEDV-9p5VLa-7CdrXE|
At IISC we see taking a developmental view as being critical to effective collaborative and network-based approaches to social change. This is largely because of the complexity of the issues we are striving to address with our partners and the “adaptive” nature of the work. It is also because we hold an evolutionary perspective; that is, we see change and development as being part of the underlying dynamic of reality. As scientist and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once declared, “We are moving!” And so we are interested in paying attention to and working with evolution as it occurs at different levels – individual, team/group, organization/institution, community, etc. Read More
September 10, 2013
I’m proud to call Billy Parish a friend; he is an incredibly sweet person. I am a fan of his commitment and imagination. I’ve been hearing about his company, Mosaic, since it was but an idea. I was blown away to see it featured in today’s New York Times – A Bet on the Environment. Read More
September 2, 2013
Appreciating this reflection by my friend Augusto Cuginotti. In the context of the USA I can already the resistance, “I came to work, not to be vulnerable.” In fact, we spend a lot of time designing spaces that protect us from vulnerability. But then, how will we ever sail towards what we do not yet know?
“Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable” -Joyce Brothers
August 14, 2013
|Image from Lefteris Heretakis|http://www.flickr.com/photos/95935106@N00/3665497225/in/photolist-6zUCC2-6BpvKw-6GGt4g-6GGXZc-6GGYot-6GHhqz-6GHp7H-6GHpp4-6GHqMH-6GLRUo-6GM1BA-6GMkcC-6GMrR7-6GMsPL-6GMtfG-6GMuoE-6TQXh7-6TQYpj-7bbit4-7bbkSv-7bbne6-7bf7K5-cBB2DY-edAhP2-cf78xW-cBAZTs-cBB4id-cBB5wU-9Nzeot-9NC3F5-eNPtU8-dnk5ox-dw5A4n-f7FkSo-a62gzE-9sPsft-b34pnk-dw5Buk-8bqEKN-8bqEMy-8bnotB-8bnowM-8bnoux-8bqEqN-8bnojc-8bqEyf-bG7p8c-8bqEAY-8bnovv-8bqEty-8bnocX|
Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a gathering, convened by the Garfield Foundation, of “network building” practitioners interested in advancing this field for the sake of making more progress around fundamental social change, including greater social equity and sustainable communities. The launch point for our discussions was the successful RE-AMP network that Garfield has supported for several years now in the midwestern United States. We began by looking at a framework for change that has emerged from RE-AMP’s experience, while acknowledging that this is a data point of one. From here we talked about what we are all learning in our respective experiences, and perhaps more importantly, what we do not know. There were several themes that I heard emerging in our conversations, and I wanted to highlight one in this post, which is reflected in the title – how we begin and bound our efforts matters. Read More
July 29, 2013
We facilitated a network focused on improving early childhood education and care. The initial focus was to build leadership capacity and facilitate strategy development with stakeholders across a state to design a more holistic statewide structure for decision-making related to early childhood. Read More
June 27, 2013
|Photo by Kevin Dooley|http://www.flickr.com/photos/12836528@N00/3258088498/in/photolist-5XUycC-5ZvJmF-6gFWtt-6gFWvZ-6gL89J-6Heyht-eafRy7-eafJZN-eaa4RT-9zXw32-9PjRyc-dUBdPR-ePgpZs-bquGjc-e5ErAJ-eiS65F-eiXPrU-eiS5Dk-eiXPfN-eiXP7y-7KUZXR-7KYVF3-7KYY9h-7KYVi5-eak2pE-arc5cE-eafK69-eafK7L-bPDQRR-bswXdc-8WhZdA-8WhXgs-8WeT5F-8WhY57-8WhWxY-8WhXMQ-8WeUqp-7KYZ1N-7KUZiK-7KYWu9-7KYZcA-7KYWd7-7KUYg2-7KUXtF-7KYWPu-7KYZi3-7KYUWU-7KYXPu-7KUZux-7KYTFd-7KUYmi|
It would seem that the only way for our organizations to be of ongoing service to the larger living systems of which they are a part is for them to be adaptive and in a state of ongoing learning and development, to have a fluid state of “fit-ness” and ability to contribute generative value to the larger whole. The only way for this to happen is for the sub-teams and individuals that comprise these organizations to also be in a state of ongoing learning and development. In order to help others grow, we must commit to growing ourselves. The leadership imperative then, is to model a commitment to personal development and to create conditions that encourage ongoing internal qualitative growth. Management and management alone is “horizontal,” over time becomes firefighting, and eventually flatlining. Leadership is “vertical” and takes everything to the next level.
What are you doing to create the time and space for evolution?
June 7, 2013
Andrea Nagel and I have been facilitating retreats for the Social Justice Funders Network (SJFN) of Massachusetts for the last year and a half or so. What an honor! Network members include individuals who work at foundations both small and large across the state and who have intentionally created a space for learning and relationship-building across roles, institutions, and issues. Read More