October 10, 2011
The first person I met when I went to Dewey Square was a mom, about my age, who came down to see what her son was involved with. I have sons in this age range myself. Occupy Boston has me thinking a lot about what kind of elders we need and what kind of elder I hope to be.
In my college days, I had the privilege of knowing Bob Moses, of Freedom Movement reknown. He mostly spoke to us about issues of the day, always in a way that challenged our thinking and pressed us to think about what was calling our generation forward. He had taken a page from Ella Jo Baker’s book, focusing on building our capacity and confidence to shape our own agenda. We rarely talked about his Movement experiences and I was a little intimidated about asking a living legend about those days.
Early attempts to link Occupy Boston and community efforts focused on related issues have me thinking how best to share lessons and wisdom without squashing the enthusiasm of the younger folk. Younger folk—what kind of elders do you need? And older folk—what kind of elders do you want to be?
October 7, 2011
Ellen Ochoa is best known for being the first Hispanic woman astronaut, having made 4 space voyages, since being recruited by NASA, in 1991. But, she is also a noted inventor, with three patents for her work in optics, is a trained classical flutist and private airplane pilot
October 3, 2011
“My heart is moved
by all I cannot save
so much has been destroyed.
I have cast my lot
with those who age after age,
and with no extraordinary power,
reconstitute the world.”
I spent a couple of hours at Occupy Boston this weekend and a couple more hours on line reading about Boston, New York and the burgeoning movement in cities across the country. The issues in Boston are wide and varied, including student debt, unemployment, corporate “personhood” and greed, foreclosure prevention, and “deep green resistance.” Everything is loosely connected under the banner of the “99%” who want to “take our country back.”
September 19, 2011
A few weeks ago, in a post called Who do we think we are?, Curtis Ogden, retold the story of a Native American elder. At the start of a meeting about ecology with non-Native physicists, she concluded her introduction by saying “This is who I am. The features of the land determine my conduct, responsibility, and ethics. Now I want to know to whom I am talking, before I say anything else of substance.” This gave rise to Curtis’ question “What do we lift up as markers of our identity?” The ensuing rich discussion focused on the links between our identities and the land.
September 16, 2011
Indian American author. Lahiri’s debut short story collection, Interpreter of Maladies (1999), won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and her first novel, The Namesake (2003), was adapted into the popular film of the same name. Lahiri is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama.
June 29, 2011
“It is time we recognized that ‘the system’ is how we work together.”
|Image from Carlos Gershenson|http://complexes.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html|
I’m writing this post from Quincy, Massachusetts where I’m attending the International Conference on Complex Systems. My head is very full and there is much to process that will no doubt spur further posts. A question I brought with me into these proceedings is what we are learning from complexity (in fields such as systems biology, network theory, epidemiology) about developing stronger collective regenerative capacity, the ability to work with each other and our various contexts in order to both survive and thrive (co-evolve). So here is a first take, in alliterative fashion: Read More
May 13, 2011
“I write because I am a Black woman, listening attentively to her people”.- Maya Angelou, 1984
February 22, 2011
Photo by: Allie
When I walk out of my door in the morning I am forced to look at a note that I’ve written to myself – “Do the Thing.” Sometimes I will also place this note on my meditation cushion, so that I have to pick it up and move it right before I turn within. I’ve been thinking a lot about the persistent gap between “talking/thinking about the thing” and actually doing it. It is a gap that runs the gamut, I find it in my own individual life and in organizational life, I find it in our political discourse and within the social larger movement.
Perhaps the gap is inescapable. It is possible that we live through aspirations. It is possible that we think and talk about the thing in order to slowly catch up with it through the grind of real life.
And we do know that reflection is a good thing, that we learn through conversations, that it is important to articulate our vision.
I’m not trying to deny or undermine these things.
I just think that it is good to mind the gap. When we mind the gap we are less abstract. When we mind the gap it becomes harder to talk about goodness and justice while treating each other badly.
As a “process consultant,” a designer of interaction, I also think that minding the gap is what inspires me to strive for a generative experience – and actual taste of the thing we are working towards.
When aiming for transformation we must create transformative spaces. Do not have “another meeting” where you talk about social change. Design transformative spaces that give you a taste of it. Mind the gap. Live in the world you are trying to build. How you get there is as important as getting there. Do the thing.
February 8, 2011
I’m keen on developmental theory. And I’m particularly interested in the implications of the Wilber-Combs Lattice. I don’t want to distract you with the esoteric, but I do think the picture is worth including.
The most important contribution of the Wilber-Combs Lattice is the distinction between states and stages. Stages (vertical axis) are developmental – they are sequential, you can’t skip through them and they progressively transcend and include each other. States (horizontal axis) on the other hand, are available to all stages.
What does this all mean? Read More
February 7, 2011
Photo by: Fzyaso
The following is a repost of a Huffington Post blog by Alicia Anstead, including reference to the work of IISC’s own Melinda Weekes.
Tonye Patano, a black actor in New York City, was so consumed last year by reading a script about minstrelsy, she was late for an audition. The story had rattled and repulsed her. But she couldn’t put it down. The day when she finally headed to the audition, she heard a group of young black teens on the street riffing in racially charged language.
“It was their way of relating to each other,” said Patano. “My response in my spirit was: ‘Young man, do you hear what you’re saying?’ But they were owning who they were, not caring about anyone’s judgment. Even if I don’t agree with it, they had made the language their own.”