Voting Matters

Voting Matters

Stacy Abrams spoke the truth in her response to the State of the Union:
Voter Suppression is Real. “From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy.”

I spent a few days facilitating a gathering of people doing work that is not glamorous or sexy. But that matters everything. Advocates. Litigators. Census Organizers. People facing down a wave that means to roll back freedom. I am proud to report back that these good people are holding the line.

Nourishing aWE

Nourishing aWE

Our faith in institutions has shifted. But we still long for spiritual community. My friend Casper Ter Kuile recently wrote a powerful reflection on our need for spiritual containers. I have been contemplating it ever since. Nisha Purushotham and Jen Kiok, two women from our Evolutionary Leadership Community have recently launched a powerful experiment in holding such a spiritual container. Last month I was able to participate with my family. And it was medicine. It was grace.

A Higher Demand

A Higher Demand

We are rarely called to live into the higher virtues. Grace. Forgiveness. Compassion. Love and Letting Go.

The opposite tends to be true. Our culture encourages punishment, vengeance. Tearing down. Making things right by dehumanizing the other. There is little room for error. And so there is little room for growth.

Our moral stance tends to be static. We are rewarded for knowing right from wrong. For declaring it and enforcing it. But not so much for bringing others into the fold.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this.  It is a rigidity that has been with us for a while. But the last presidential election brought it sharply into view. Faced with hate come into power, we gave ourselves license to hate.

Grace and Responsibility

Grace and Responsibility

As I turn towards a new year, and the evolution of my own work, I am bringing more of my attention to the idea of radical responsibility. Radical responsibility is the centerpiece of the couple’s work that Samantha and I facilitate. It is a stance that refuses to blame. It means turning toward conflict with a very specific question: how am I responsible for the situation?

Radical responsibility seeks to honor the resilience, power and grace of our ancestors. It says: terrible things happened to us, terrible things happening even now, but we are still here. And we did not get here by chance. We bring our attention to each and every way in which we hold power. We seize on every prayer and every lesson that has been passed down by our ancestors. And we honor them with our courage and our strength.

The Intimacy of Men

The Intimacy of Men

I wonder about the men who are out there, needing to be held. Devoid of true friendship with other men. Needing to learn to love themselves. I wonder how much of Patriarchy's thirst for power and domination could be quelled by fulfilling this basic human need? How much more emotionally present could men be if we allowed ourselves this medicine?

Cohesive Leadership

Cohesive Leadership

I always say I am committed to doing work that changes everything. So when I choose to work with an organization I want it to mean more than facilitating a one-off event that feels good in the moment but loses momentum as soon as you get back to work. I’m want to facilitate a lasting evolution.

If you work within even a basic hierarchy. If an individual or a team has a higher pay, or if they have any say about whether someone else gets paid, that responsibility demands clarity and leadership cohesion. It demands courage and truth. Do this first. Keep coming back to it. This is how you lead.

Information Overload

Information Overload

Information is a shiny object. It used to be scarce. It used to mean power. So we sought it. And we hoarded it. We exchanged it with care and discrimination. We offered it with purpose.

Today we are drowning in information. But that doesn’t make it less titillating. So we keep consuming it. We keep trying to drink from the firehose. We think we’ll make sense of it later. We take, we read, we watch, we share, we click. But the flood is actually endless.

NetGain: Platform Accountability

What do Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Youtube have in common?

You are what they mine

digital.png

Your attention is your currency. It is your most precious resource. It defines your experience of life.

We are talking about the most powerful corporate entities in human history. And they are not accountable to anybody. Their power is too new, too different, to fit our current regulatory frameworks.

They know everything about you. But they are not being governed. We are not in charge. They are.

We need an unprecedented innovation to challenge any of these platforms.

Either that, or we figure out how to govern them.

Democracy flails at the mercy of fake news. The taxi industry is erased and the precariat are left to compete for the bread crumbs. Local economies disappear behind Amazon’s tyranny of convenience (prime member here). And we miss our own experience just so that we can share the picture.

Do you remember when Silicon Valley promised us utopia? This is not it.

Last month I facilitated the NetGain Partnership’s Maine Convening. The Ford, MacArthur, Knight, Mozilla and Open Society Foundations bring together brilliant minds to grapple with the question of platform accountability. This is unsung work. It’s not glamorous. It is overwhelming. And it has massive implications.

We don't have answers.

We have climate change. An obsolete governance structure. And a whole new economy held in the grip of these platforms. So what can we do?

Gather in person. Ask big questions. Resource this work. And experiment.

This is the important work of the NetGain Partnership. But as big as these foundations are, we are still talking David vs. Goliath.

But these technologies depend on us, on our participation, on our attention. We do have choice. And we can craft alternatives. It will take time. This is the work of a generation.

Immediately, you can:

Over time, you can:

  • Pay attention. Make political demands. This should definitely be a bipartisan issue.

  • Learn about things like Amazon and the potential of antitrust intervention.

  • Make demands of the platforms themselves. You are their customer and their product.

We must find ways to meet this moment.

Where is your attention?