“Life comes when you give people a chance to contribute something.”
– Coralie Winn
IISC board member Jamil Simon brought staff attention to the film The Human Scale a few weeks ago during a discussion about building the capacity of cities to collaborate amidst growing demographic complexity and other social as well as environmental challenges. The film is screening this very evening in Somerville, Massachusetts.
From the film’s website: “50 % of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Read More
The “No Labels” political effort feels more like the work of well resourced spin doctors than an emergent political movement that can address the paralyzing institutional polarization that might bring our country to its knees. I was struck by this quote from a New York Times story focused on Bloomberg’s role:
In fact, though, the rise of the independents represents a movement in exactly the opposite direction — away from party organizations altogether… This isn’t so much a political phenomenon as it is a cultural one. In the last decade or so, the Web has created an increasingly decentralized and customized society, in which a new generation of voters seems less aligned, generally, with large institutions. MoveOn.org and the Tea Party groups, for instance, were born as protests against the establishments of both parties, and they empowered citizens to create their own agendas, rather than relying on any elected leadership. Read More
I’ve been doing more and more work with arts organizations lately – events like Creative Change and groups like the Arts and Democracy Project. I’ve been seriously considering the role of the arts in our quest for social transformation, and I have to agree with my future wife, Samantha Tan, who is an artist herself – “We’ve exhausted out left-brain approach, linearity found its limits and the problems that we face are now calling on our full self, art is the way.”
“The revolution will not be tweeted” – No sh*t Sherlock! But let me start with what I did like about Malcolm Gladwell’s annoyingly limited article. Revolution can only happen in the real world, it is neither virtual nor abstract. Revolution can only be measured as actual, successful and good when it has a real impact on increasing people’s capacity – people’s power – to determine their own destiny. A true revolutionary act, the sort of revolutionary act that re-defines power relations, will always be a risky endeavor – power most often has to be taken, for it rarely ever surrenders itself. Read More
Tomorrow’s post is about Creative Change, the retreat I just facilitated in Santa Fe – the intersection of arts and social justice. With that in mind, and in solidarity with working people who are celebrating Labor Day, I thought it would be good to share the following video clip – an excellent example of creativity for social change:
The recent Shirley Sherrod debacle unfolds with a thousand lessons, among these are the very fact that whether we have a black President or not, the issue of race is alive and well in the United States. The incident also points to the potentially explosive concoction of new media technology and a 24hr “news” cycle, of the politics of spectacle and a culture of fear among our “leaders.” Even as technology is changing everything – our deepest wounds are yet to heal, and our suppressed demons continue to show their many heads.
This being said – I am an optimist! I trust the directionality of our current paradigm shift. Read More