Why The Evolutionary Leadership Workshop?

Why The Evolutionary Leadership Workshop?

The impulse to develop the Evolutionary Leadership Workshop was the desire for creative freedom. I work for institutional clients, the client is the convener and I’m invited in to design and facilitate the experience. It is beautiful work and I am privileged to do it. But it is work that demands compromise. The client has their own goals, their sense of what is possible and their own set of constraints.

I set out to create a space that was free of such compromise. I decided to try being the convener. And I developed a workshop where I could apply the very best of what I have learned in service of what I see as our highest purpose.

Intention. Connection. Experimentation. These are the tenets of the Evolutionary Leadership Workshop.

A New Economy

A New Economy

We live in a suicide economy. We are caught in a system of extraction that is decimating the planet and has the species on the fast track to an evolutionary crash.

We have a crisis of the imagination. In the words of Fredric Jameson, “it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of [globalized, unbridled] capitalism.”

But ours is not a dark story. Ours is the story of evolution. And everywhere around the world people are daring to imagine something new. Everywhere we find people who hold the wisdom we were taught had been lost. Everywhere there are folks who are practicing, inventing, remembering, experimenting with better ways of being human together. And isn’t that what an economy is for?

Preemtive Mercy

Preemtive  Mercy
  • Movements are not made by individuals.

  • Movements are definitely not made by men.

  • Our preference for simple stories seduces us into the myth of the charismatic leader.

  • If we don’t pay attention we will miss out on what is emerging RIGHT NOW as a new movement emerges from decentralized groups of people coming together to live our way into a new day.

All of this is true.

AND we can still celebrate the grace of the prophetic voices. The resonant voice of women of color like Adrienne Maree Brown is for me an example of that.

Redeeming Masculinity

Redeeming Masculinity

When I launched the Better Men Project I chose to focus on cisgender (term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth) heterosexual men in committed relationships. The intention was not to exclude other men, but to humbly begin the process based on the experience that I know. You have to start somewhere. And it is good to start with yourself.
My dear friend Felix Endara was generous enough to sign up for an interview anyway. Felix is a trans man. I had no idea until the moment of our interview. I have been working with Felix for years. It turned out to be the most powerful interview that I’ve had during this process.
Who better to speak to the redeeming aspects of masculinity than people who have had both experiences, the experience of being assigned female at birth and the experience of transitioning to life as a man. I write with Felix’s permission and with his eyes on these words. 
 

Better Men Project Update

Better Men Project Update

This is a time of pain and self-reflection. Men in these interviews speak of the limits to our cultural idea of masculinity. They speak about having access to a limited range of emotion, of only being taught domination, or not always knowing how to speak to what we are feeling. These men are increasingly aware of the ways in which we have been crippled by patriarchy. Some make a direct connection between patriarchy, the climate crisis and our pillage of the earth.

Solidarity Summit

Solidarity Summit

We find anti-blackness in many migrant communities, Islamophobia and anti-migrant sentiments in Black communities, and our whole society is guilty of making Indigenous people invisible. It makes no sense for these communities to distrust each other even as we are all threatened by bans, walls and the criminalization of our very existence.

Presence

Presence

When I ask a group to talk about what it is like to be with someone who is really present, they say words like: comfortable, safe, being held, alive, joy, energizing, grounded.

WOW.

Consider being so present that others feel joyful around you, alive, energized, grounded. Wouldn’t this be an amazing way of being?

We can be this generous.

Local Economy Summit

I am passionate about my work with BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, working on the phenomenally ambitious goal of changing our economic system.

This work is absolutely necessary.

I have the privilege of serving on the design and facilitation team of the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship. This is two years of deep, focused work with a carefully curated group of twentyfour local economy leaders.

This week I get to facilitate at a different scale. The BALLE 2017 Leadership Summit. One hundred and sixty people brought together by an understanding that the path to creating healthy, equitable economies starts with weaving the right relationships together.

The Leadership Summit is designed to do just that – harness the wisdom, resources, and knowledge of this movement to create solutions that work. Participants will include members from all cohorts of the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship, the Community Foundation Circle, the Local Economy Investor Circle, and other invited guests.

This is how you nurture an ecosystem.

Our extractive economic system works against life itself. It is bad for people and bad for the planet. The Local Economy Framework is on the side of life. It says:

BALLE Framework 2.jpeg

BALLE is part of an interconnected global ecosystem of people and organizations working everyday towards the necessary goal of changing the economic system. This week’s summit is an integral part of a movement that means to save humanity from itself. And I’m proud to be a part of it.

It Was Me

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.