October 8, 2012
The following blog post was reblogged from Emergent By Design. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!
*Our source was initially and inadvertently omitted. We apologize for the mistake.
I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of organizations over the years that want to shift their culture to become more diverse, inclusive and equitable. The article we are posting below is about changing culture in general. What specific applications do you see for shifting organizational culture toward greater diversity, inclusiveness and equity?
September 25, 2012
I’m a process junky. I believe that good process makes it possible to do things that would be impossible otherwise. Any effort ambitious enough to try and shift a system from competition to common intention is an effort that must rely on good process. Good process provides and often temporary social architecture that is designed and facilitated to maximize generative collaboration.
September 21, 2012
The following is a letter by Akaya Windwood, President of the Rockwood Leadership Institute and member of the IISC Board of Directors.
About a week ago I was in my car on my way home, and traveling toward me on the busy sidewalk was a young man (20-ish) on a skateboard. It took a moment for me to register that he had a toddler-aged girl on his shoulders. Neither of them had helmets or shin pads or any protection whatsoever.
My first thought was “Stop! Get that child off his shoulders — they could both be killed if he hits a rock! This is child endangerment!!!” All my alarms started clanging, and I was on HIGH alert.
September 18, 2012
I love the fact that the mainstream can’t get its head around what #occupy is all about. I am glad the movement does not fit a pre-existing paradigm.
I love the fact that occupiers themselves find no consensus on what #occupy is all about. It means the movement is still emergent and therefore most alive.
July 24, 2012
I met Katya Fels Smyth about four years ago at the Opportunity Collaboration, I remember sitting next to her on the bus to the conference site and being immediately intrigued by her passion and by the very idea of a Full Frame Initiative. It so happens that Ceasar McDowell, our new IISC President is on the Board of the Full Frame Initiative. We are truly proud to have him be our “Fearless Leader.” The following blogpost was written by Katya for the Case Foundation’s Fearless Campaign. Here is my favorite line: “be agnostic as to ‘issue’ but laser focused on people”
July 17, 2012
Marty Kearns, our friend at Netcentric Advocacy, tackles an important distinction and invites us to strategize with the difference in mind. I found this this to be an excellent piece for advocates.
Organizing and Mobilizing – 2 Distinct Strategies in Your Advocacy Effort.
I have been struggling lately to get more clarity on the concepts of organizing and mobilizing. These are terms of art in my world but often see the concepts mashed together. These terms do not mean the same thing in an advocacy context and BOTH are very important.
June 29, 2012
There is a lot of conversation in our sector about the generations…the boomers, the x’s, the y’s, the millenials now all working together. Someone recently mentioned they read that four generations can now be found in our organizations. This phenomenon is often presented as a problem to be overcome rather than an opportunity to be seized. In fact, combining the openness and technological know-how of youth with the patience and experience of older folks may finally be just the right ingredients for real social transformation.
As the founding Executive Director of IISC and the matriarch ( I am widowed) of my family, I am continually enriched and enlivened by the young people in my life. I have always found my children to be among the most interesting people I know; Kristen Hughes, Joe Hughes, Brendan Hughes, Christa Scharfenberg, David Scharfenberg.
June 26, 2012
Today I am inspired to write about the hag. This is timely in that I am staring right into my 63rd birthday, born in 1946, the year that ushered in the baby boomers for better or for worse (depending on your point of view). It is also timely because like many others in the social sector, I am a founding executive director seeking to make room for the next generation of leaders (see future blogs) and challenged to re-imagine my continued contribution to social justice.
Not to be a caricature but again like so many of my cohort who were called to service by President Kennedy and came of age in the civil rights era, my life’s work was initiated as one of the first Vista Volunteers stationed in the border town of Laredo, Texas. It was there that I learned first hand about oppression, racism and injustice as well as hope, change and activism. I knew the work I wanted to do in the world. I was young then, not yet a hag.
June 12, 2012
I’m a big fan of “Open Space,” I like trusting people who have passion. I believe in the power of connection through self-organization. It is too often that the most interesting conversations at the conference actually happen at the break or at the bar or at the after-party. Let’s move what matters to the center! Here is a helpful reflection by my friend Chad Jones.
Open space is a way to break up the mundane, old ways of conferences. Just as we are realizing that rote memorization does not work in the classroom, and education needs to be shaken up. Our meetings and multi-day conferences need strong winds of new ideas and currents of new ways.
June 5, 2012
Last week we started to take a look at Kevin Kelly’s take on the benefits of swarm systems. We are wondering what are the implications for movement builders. We looked at how important it is for us to be adaptable.
Kelly also says that swarm systems are evolvable. He says that these are:
May 14, 2012
Two things reminded me of the power of design and physical space this week. First, in a workshop for Juvenile Justice leaders, the 12 participants were seated at three tables. It was a cozy arrangement and the tables were useful for handling the volume of materials they were using. After a morning focused on race, class and culture dialogue skills, we brought the chairs together in a circle in the front of the room to close a segment of the conversation. I asked folks how that arrangement felt and they say “Good!!” There’s nothing like removing physical barriers and enabling everyone to see everyone else easily to foster relational and conversational intimacy!