Here I’m re-posting what I wrote on facebook as I worked to contend with the pain of this powerful #metoo moment. It is important to be clear about this. I’m not writing from abstraction. I hold positions of leadership. I seek to call people to a higher standard. When I fail, when I make mistakes or miss my blind spots, the impact is greater, and messier. This is a commitment that comes out of real hurt and real learning.
Our first newsletter was supposed to go out on the New Moon of September. That’s when Hurricane María struck and the land of my birth experienced the first climate catastrophe caused by human made global warming. The island went dark. The diaspora went into despair. The waters and the winds struck with unfathomable fury.
The disaster is still unfolding.
The #metoo campaign is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen on social media. It is absolutely devastating. And it is also liberating. Silence, shame, hiding - these are the tools of oppression. I am disturbed by the masculine silence. Are you a man struggling with how to show up? Let's talk about it.
I can tell you that there are people who punctuate their lives with acts of devotion, who make sacred offerings with every meal and who sing prayers into every hearth. And I can tell you that they are beautifully perfect as much as they are also flawed. They have moods, preferences, blind spots and human stuff as much as any of us. But they show up. They say yes to the work. They try harder. They try again. They do it with devotion. They do it with love.
What are the social and rights-based implications of the “quantified society?”
This was the mind blowing question behind one of the most interesting gatherings that I facilitated this summer. Artificial Intelligence is advancing at a relentless pace. And the most powerful corporations on earth now have unimaginable troves of data about our most intimate behavior. We don’t seem to have the bandwidth to deal with the implications. And yet answering this question is a democratic imperative.
We have always known that laughter is the best medicine. Grandmothers have always told us so. Today’s science is catching up with ancient wisdom, and the myriad physiological benefits of laughter continue to be revealed. In our high stress, often depressed society, laughter becomes the most precise medicine for our day.
Last week I was truly honored to facilitate the staff retreat of UltraViolet, the organization that defines itself as “a movement that is shifting culture and policy to defeat sexism.” Their work could not be more relevant for our political moment.
Learning from Your Project X
Launching and piloting Your Project X was a phenomenal experience. I am so grateful for the Boston Founding Fellows, the first participants in our Boston Career Change pilot. It takes courage to be first.
I'm excited about the turns that YPX is taking. This project is right where it needs to be, the team is learning and iterating, it is practicing what we preach.
After a lot of personal reflection, I have decided to step out of the project. I have full confidence in this idea, I love the team that is bringing it together, and I know that it will iterate its way into something pretty amazing.