Archive for September, 2009

Leadership in a connected world

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Here is someone who puts words on the unstructured thoughts in my head: Jack Ricchiuto writes about The Future of Leadership in a Connected World. I love the clear message he gives. This leadership must provide and facilitate the conversations that lead to:
and culture!
Simple, but there is HUGE truth in it; and it has a lot of consequences!

We cracked something open…

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Chris Corrigan, a dear friend from the Art of Hosting community is a real story teller! One of his latest stories of hosting meaningful conversations is on his blog; and here is for me the essence of it:

We have a choice. We can meet in ways that get nothing done in the
name of “information sharing” and “accountability” or we can
meet in ways which allow our hearts to set the agenda, and our hands
and feet to see it through to action. We didn’t begin massive amounts
of work last night, but we cracked open something – a possibility
that it could be different.

End of Money and the Future of Civilization

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

I have long been looking at money and the whole money system to know that something needs to change. But my knowledge is and was too small to get my finger behind it.

I now came across an interview and a description of a new book, written by Thomas Greco. With thanks to the PeertoPeer website and Michel Bouwens who did the interview, and Dave Pollard for the link.

Sustainability one – or more – steps further

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

I wa just reading a post on the Worldchanging website (Subscribe yourself to their newsletter, every time with 4 good posts – it keeps you updated on what is going on on the positive side these days). The post makes clear what is the difference between sustainability and thrivability.

The word thrivability is made famous by Jean Russell and her blog by exactly this name.
Its definition could be:

“our path out of unsustainable practices toward a world where all people have a high quality of life, a voice, and a nurturing earth supporting them. Using whole systems approach, it demands that we evolve our way of being together, of collaborating, so that our collective wisdom and action bring forth a flourishing world and thriving life.”

Maybe at first sight the difference with sustainability isn’t that great. But here is what Arthur Brock wrote:

Thrivability builds on itself. It is a cycle of actions which reinvest energy for future use and stretch resources further. It transcends sustainability by creating an upward spiral of greater possibilities and increasing energy. Each cycle builds the foundation for new things to be accomplished.

Thrivability emerges from the persistent intention to create more value than you consume. When practiced over time this builds a world of ever increasing possibilities.

This difference links with a dissertation abstract The Rediscovery of Place that I read recently, written by Nick Wang, in which he points out the differences between psychological levels in how we deal with place.
He names as third level (level 1 and 2 are not so interesting in this regard): The Psychology of Wholeness, a living systems actualisation – which goes beyond a self-actualisation. It is the capacity to co-evolve in harmony with the greater living systems. “At this level humans actively work to help enable and even improve the workings of natural living systems.” “This goes beyond the vision of creating ‘green’, energy self-sufficient cities to that of creating urban socio-ecological landscapes that are integral members and contributors to the ecological systems in which they exist.”

And recently he has added a next level, which even goes further, called The Psychology of Spiritualization, which is about field regeneration, or about to spiritualize existence. “With each place there is a right action that best coalesces with the spirit of that place.”

It is good that people start seeing beyond sustainability, beyond just surviving. The new paradigm is much more than that. It is about Radical Collaboration, but which much more than other businesses or people… with the whole of life I guess.


Saturday, September 12th, 2009

"Then creation recognized its Creator in its own forms and appearances.
For in the beginning, when God said, "Let it be!" and it came to pass, the means and the Matrix of creation was Love,
because all creation was formed through Her as in the twinkling of an eye."

The Holy Spirit as Sapientia
St. Hildegard von Bingen

Where we are heading

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

A few days ago I came across the blog called The Archdruid Report. To me he writes with a kind of presence, reality about where we are with our human civilisation.
This is the last paragraph of his blog post of today:

So many of us want things all one way or the other, all good or all evil, without the terrible ambivalence that pulses through all things human as inescapably as blood. So many of us want to see today’s civilization as humanity’s only hope or as ecocide incarnate, and long for a future that will be either the apotheosis or the final refutation of the present. It’s far less popular, and arguably far more difficult, to embrace that ambivalence and accept both the wonder and the immense tragedy of our time. Still, it seems to me that if we are to face up to the challenges of the future that’s bearing down on us, that difficult realization is an essential starting point.

… the wonder and the immense tragedy of our time…

I agree with the writer that not many people are able to face the tragedy of what is going on. Most people stay in happy denial, not even thinking of a tragedy. Recently, in many conversations, we talked about holding the pain of the past, and holding the pain of the land AND connecting this with holding the potential of the future. I’m well aware that this is not an easy thing to do; it asks a big stretch in our hearts and in our bodies. But to me it seems like nothing less is asked from us these days…

… the wonder and the immense tragedy of our time…

Goed nieuws uit Vlaanderen

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Jammer dat ik er nu pas van hoor, maar in Genk is een geweldig project aan de gang! Ik heb er pas vandaag van gehoord, maar wil het toch kenbaar maken aan alle Vlamingen die deze blog lezen.
Het project loopt in Genk en zet een veertigtal mensen in, die eerst een training kregen in communicatie en het zijn deze mensen die allerlei gesprekken gaan voeren, gewoon met de mensen die ze tegenkomen.

Zoals Stien schrijft in hun blog: “Niet zomaar het zoveelste inspraakproces, maar een wervelende spiraal van mensen uit alle hoeken van de samenleving die houden van hun stad en zin hebben om andere mensen in beweging te brengen.”

Dat is de echte Art of Hosting spirit – mensen brengen tot zelf-organisatie, en niet over hun hoofden heen. Ik ben zeer blij te horen dat er initiatieven als dit lopen in Vlaanderen! Moest jij er nog andere kennen, laat het aub weten!

Symptoms of Inner Peace

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Posted by David Sibbet, but worth re-publishing!

Symptoms of Inner Peace

. an unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment

. loss of interest in judging others or yourself

. loss of interest in conflict

. loss of ability to worry (very serious symptom)

. frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation

. contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature

. frequent attacks of smiling through the eyes from the heart

. tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen

. tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fear based on past experience

. susceptibility to love extended by others and the uncontrollable urge to extend love

If you have all or most of the the above symptoms, be advised that your condition of peace may be incurable. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting these symptoms, remain exposed at your own risk. These conditions of peace are highly infectious.

Unknown Author


Generation M Manifesto

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

This is a must read for all of us! A blog post with 256 comments so far!

Dear Old People Who Run the World,

My generation would like to break up with you.

Everyday, I see a widening gap in how you and we understand the world — and what we want from it. I think we have irreconcilable differences.

You wanted big, fat, lazy “business.” We want small, responsive, micro-scale commerce.

You turned politics into a dirty word . We want authentic, deep democracy — everywhere.

You wanted financial fundamentalism. We want an economics that makes sense for people — not just banks.

You wanted shareholder value — built by tough-guy CEOs. We want real value, built by people with character, dignity, and courage.

You wanted an invisible hand — it became a digital hand. Today’s markets are those where the majority of trades are done literally robotically. We want a visible handshake: to trust and to be trusted.

You wanted growth — faster. We want to slow down — so we can become better.

You didn’t care which communities were capsized, or which lives were sunk. We want a rising tide that lifts all boats.

You wanted to biggie size life: McMansions Hummers, and McFood. We want to humanize life.

You wanted exurbs, sprawl, and gated anti-communities. We want a society built on authentic community.

You wanted more money, credit and leverage — to consume ravenously. We want to be great at doing stuff that matters.

You sacrificed the meaningful for the material: you sold out the very things that made us great for trivial gewgaws, trinkets, and gadgets. We’re not for sale: we’re learning to once again do what is meaningful.

There’s a tectonic shift rocking the social, political, and economic landscape. The last two points above are what express it most concisely. I hate labels, but I’m going to employ a flawed, imperfect one: Generation “M.”

What do the “M”s in Generation M stand for? The first is for a movement. It’s a little bit about age — but mostly about a growing number of people who are acting very differently. They are doing meaningful stuff that matters the most. Those are the second, third, and fourth “M”s.

Gen M is about passion, responsibility, authenticity, and challenging yesterday’s way of everything. Everywhere I look, I see an explosion of Gen M businesses, NGOs, open-source communities, local initiatives, government. Who’s Gen M? Obama, kind of. Larry and Sergey . The Threadless , Etsy , and Flickr guys . Ev, Biz and the Twitter crew. Tehran 2.0. The folks at Kiva , Talking Points Memo < , and FindtheFarmer . Shigeru Miyamoto , Steve Jobs , Muhammad Yunus , and Jeff Sachs are like the grandpas of Gen M. There are tons where these innovators came from. Gen M isn't just kind of awesome — it's vitally necessary. If you think the "M"s sound idealistic, think again. The great crisis isn’t going away, changing, or “morphing.” It’s the same old crisis — and it’s growing.

You’ve failed to recognize it for what it really is. It is, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, in our institutions: the rules by which our economy is organized.

But they’re your institutions, not ours. You made them — and they’re broken. Here’s what I mean :

“… For example, the auto industry has cut back production so far that inventories have begun to shrink — even in the face of historically weak demand for motor vehicles. As the economy stabilizes, just slowing the pace of this inventory shrinkage will boost gross domestic product, or GDP, which is the nation’s total output of goods and services.”

Clearing the backlog of SUVs built on 30-year-old technology is going to pump up GDP? So what? There couldn’t be a clearer example of why GDP is a totally flawed concept, an obsolete institution. We don’t need more land yachts clogging our roads: we need a 21st Century auto industry.

I was (kind of) kidding about seceding before. Here’s what it looks like to me: every generation has a challenge, and this, I think, is ours: to foot the bill for yesterday’s profligacy — and to create, instead, an authentically, sustainably shared prosperity.

Anyone — young or old — can answer it. Generation M is more about what you do and who you are than when you were born. So the question is this: do you still belong to the 20th century – or the 21st?


Umair and the Edge Economy Community


Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Via Toke Moeller and it speaks to my heart, gut and mind!


To be committed means we are willing to make a promise with no expectation of return; a promise void of barter and not conditional on another’s action.

In the absence of this, we are constantly in the position of reacting to the choices of others.

The cost of constantly reacting to the choices of others is increased cynicism and helplessness.

The ultimate cost of cynicism and helplessness is we resort to the use of force.

In this way the barter mentality that dominates our cultures helps create a proliferation of force.

The use of force is the essence of the past we are trying to transform.

Commitment, the antithesis of entitlement and barter, is to choose a path independent of reward.

It is a choice made in the absence of reciprocity.

This is the essence of power.

Peter Block from Civic Engagement Series; writer of the book Community; The Structure of Belonging