November 20, 2017
“We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand.”
– URSULA K. Le GUIN
Image by Stephen Bowler, shared under provisions of Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.
A note on the quotes below (and the Le Guin quote above): I am grateful for the beautiful piece by Evan Bissel, “Frames for Life, Liberation and Belonging,” which appears in the Othering and Belonging Journal. This piece lifts up some central elements of an emerging and humanizing narrative for our times, with focus on themes such as transition, liberation, belonging, commons, interconnection, abundance, sacred, curiosity, play, and place. I strongly encourage readers to check it out, to sit with the piece and let it soak in, and to share it.
This post follows the thread of a conversation that has been evolving across events I have been involved with the past few months, and a bigger and broader conversation that is clearly informing it. This is certainly not a new conversation, but there seems to be a renewed or perhaps more public vigor to it, at least in multi-racial and multi-generational social change groups and initiatives with which I have been involved.
It has cropped up in a network leadership program where a discussion about the difference between working for equity and working for justice pointed in the direction of the need to pursue liberation, and not simply inclusion and accommodation in fundamentally harmful systems. Read More
February 21, 2013
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
|Photo by David Hogg|http://www.flickr.com/photos/davehogg/74341943|
Winter is certainly a time that can test our resolve in the Northeast. This winter in particular feels like it has done that on many fronts, including the volatility of the weather and the seemingly exceptional virulence of multiple strains of viruses making their way through the region. And this is to say nothing of the ongoing personal and social challenges with which many of us are wrestling. Read More
August 17, 2011
“Chaos is the primal state of pure energy
for every true new beginning.”
– William Bridges
|Photo by James Cridland|http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/3947254236|
To say that these are uncertain times would be stating the obvious. And yet I’ve found myself uttering this increasingly to the organizations and initiatives with whom I am working, often met by a temporary sigh (ambiguity loves company, or at least momentary normalization). This uncertainty was perhaps best captured by a client who recently said, “We went into transition in 2007 and never came out!” At IISC and our partner organization, Interaction Associates, we’ve also been feeling the strain of this extended global “groan zone” in which we find ourselves. And amidst the angst there are some exciting conversations happening on both sides of the Interaction house that I (no longer so secretly) am hoping will tear down some walls. William Bridges, in his classic book Managing Transitions, talks about the work of transition as not simply being about “getting through intact” but about emerging different and better. I am convinced that this is a call to rethink some of the sectoral divisions we have established that are not serving us well. Surely we can do and be better, as is suggested by the re-posted Guardian Sustainable Business blog post that follows. Interaction Brothers and Sisters, readers from all sectors, prophets of profit, what are your thoughts about Jo Confino’s words below and how might we create “a framework for more harmonious balance” to take us the next step in our collective evolution? Read More
December 14, 2010
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