Thanks to my colleague Ashley Welch for sending along the link to this video while I’ve been feeling a little under the weather. It was a great quick boost and reminded me of how silliness matters in what can otherwise become very serious work. And laughter is a legitimate and effective practice for resilience and development.
Please share with us your favorite silly and/or laughter inducing media!
Regular readers of this blog will know of my work around and passion about food systems. Food, as Growing Power founder Will Allen once put it, is “the great connector.” So much comes together in what we eat, including: chains (more ideally cycles) of producers, processors, distributors, retailers, consumers, and composters; global and local providers; considerations of environment, economy, and equity/access; cultural traditions; and of course community when we bake and break bread together. On this July 4th holiday, as conversations heat up around the region, country, and world, about the importance of remembering what literally sustains us, I want to celebrate the food movement and share 10 of the more inspiring and instructive articles, reports and videos I have come across in the past year or so. Enjoy and Happy Interdependence Day! Read More
I’m feeling some Michigan pride, in the midst of some important work with the Council of Michigan Foundations and the ongoing economic struggles of my home state. And I’m even more impressed after seeing this video, which was produced by the community of Grand Rapids after it was named earlier this year as one of America’s cities in greatest decline by Newsweek magazine. A local visionary, artist, and rabble rouser pulled the community together to film this show of solidarity in ONE TAKE! There is a story here, about collaboration, about collective leadership, about what it takes to galvanize people. Check it out, and watch the whole thing if you can. It gets better and better.
“Networks are not just about sharing the pie. They are about growing the pie.”
– Ellen Kahler, VSJF
It has been a privilege and an inspiration to spend the past two days working with my colleague Beth Tener and the amazing team at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) to help launch the Farm to Plate Network. Over 150 people came together to connect and take the conversation deeper around how they want to work together to double local food production in the state over the next 10 years, as a way of boosting economic development, increasing jobs, and ensuring that every resident has access to healthy food. A big rallying cry has been the devastation that Tropical Storm Irene wrought on the farming community. And as we learned from former Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee during a very enlightening presentation about the Great Flood of 1927, once again Vermonters responded in ways that have impressed those (including the American Red Cross) who came to help, with their self-organizing and neighborly efforts to get one another back on track.
In an encouraging speech to launch the proceedings, Governor Shumlin highlighted the challenges and opportunities that stem from the changing climate that is predicted to increase precipitation 20% in the state in years to come. “Our best days are ahead of us if we can pull together,” he said. Read More
Thanks to the Knight Foundation and the Monitor Institute for this wonderful report, which helps to put networks more firmly on the social change map and in the minds of funders. Check out the full report here and/or listen to a webinar on the subject by clicking here.
|Photo by scalespeeder|http://www.flickr.com/photos/scalespeeder/2652863086|
We are big believers here, at IISC, in pulling on all of the senses and our full selves to create engaging experiences that bring out the best that people individually and collectively have to offer for the sake of social change. Often meetings and convenings only scratch the surface of our many sensibilities, as if we were simply brains on sticks, without bodies, without hearts. Subsequently much is lost that we may not even be aware of. As Kare Anderson writes, “Even apparently small physical experiences make a big emotional and even learning difference.”
Sometime ago I caught this heart warming short film on @NurtureGirl‘s blog – Nurture.biz – and since it has come up in conversation a couple of times lately, I thought it would be a good time to share it forward. It is so important to contemplate our own individual power to make things beautiful.