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Leadership and Imagination: A cool story, resources, and tools

Really, the only way to start this blog is with a story I heard from Irvans Augustin of Urban Impact Labs, at a convening of the Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunities Initiative funded by the Kresge Foundation. A group of organizers in Miami wanted to do something about transit problems.They looked at the lack of transit access in high-density neighborhoods where the FEC railroad line passed and didn’t stop. They brought together community organizations and identified a perfect underpass parking space for a pop-up train station adjacent to the FEC line that would be an ideal transit stop. They came up with a brand for a transit system, the Purple Line, a transit line that would provide equitable service to neighborhoods throughout the city. They then began to plan a train station opening at this location and with the social media buzz in people’s minds it became a real grand opening for a train station. Within a couple of months’ people started coming up and saying how cool that there would be a station in this location. For the weekend-long grand opening, 25 collaborating businesses organized the event with container cars, artists who decorated the parking lot with transit maps, train noises, local restaurants serving food and a DIY crosswalk. Thousands of people attended the Purple Line opening, and many expected a grand opening for an actual train station. Even a public official who thought it was a real train station opening showed up.

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Webinar : Successfully Transitioning Your Organization to a Network Mindset (Video & Slides)

Friday, June 10, 2016

10:00 -11:00 am Pacific | 1:00 - 2:00 pm Eastern

 

Working in networked ways is fundamentally different than traditional ways of working. Organizations can commit to a network approach yet not fully realize all the pieces and behaviors needed to make it actually work.

Carole Martin and Beth Tener will share their insights as coaches/facilitators with a wide range of social change network initiatives. They'll explore what they have been learning about which networks get traction and grow and which ones stumble, related to these themes:

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Recruitment Multipliers

I was invited to be part of a fishbowl conversation on leadership development at the Peace and Security Funder’ Group meeting in Portland by Dahnesh Medora, Building Community Portfolio Director at the Meyer Memorial Trust. I am a huge fan of Dahnesh and when I checked out the Meyer Memorial Trust website with its impressive, explicit commitment to equity, I was hooked. Fishbowls can be very cool and if you have not experienced one you may want to read Beth Kanter’s blog about how it works. It was a lively conversation that took my thinking in a new direction when we were talking about who leadership programs reach and the contradictions in recruiting one person who is often part of a group of people who are making things happen.

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Is Finding A Home Debatable?

What could possibly go wrong in a space that seeks to develop young people into the leaders of tomorrow? Seemingly, nothing.  Similar to a  leadership development program, Debate teams throughout the country train young people in the art of communication and allow many of them to gain confidence while developing their analytical abilities and skills of persuasion. Radiolab’s podcast episode “Debatable”1 explores what lurks beneath the surface and dives deep into how even within these people-building spaces, not everyone is truly welcome.

 

As Ryan Wash explains, the experience of people of color, specifically Black bodies, varies greatly. When Ryan, a queer black student, and others begin to debate how the structure of Debate is not welcoming to them, tensions increase.  These tensions culminate at the National Debate Tournament, where Wash argues repeatedly that though others have found a home in Debate, he is not welcome. The way Debate judges, trainers, and students mostly value one model of debate

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GUEST BLOG: Getting Real About “Experiments” and Learning By Eugene Kim

This article was first published on Eugene Kim's blog, Faster Than 2.0.This is part one of a three-part essay on facilitating group learning and an introduction to our upcoming webinar

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Last year, I went to Cincinnati to visit my sister and her family. My older nephew, Elliott, who was eight at the time, asked if I could help him with his science experiment. He was supposed to pick a project, develop a hypothesis, and run some experiments to prove or disprove it.

Elliott explained to me that earlier that year, he had participated in a pinewood derby and had lost. He wanted to figure out how to make a car that would go faster. I asked him, “What do you think would make the car go faster?”

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WEBINAR VIDEO: Getting Real about Experimentation

May 26, 2016
1:00 -2:00 PM Pacific | 4:00 -5:00 PM Eastern

We've all heard the rhetoric. The future is uncertain and complex. We can’t do it alone, and collaboration is critical. The only way to succeed is to learn as quickly as possible through experimentation, which means getting comfortable with failure.

 

But what does this mean in practice? If this were easy, there wouldn’t be so many pundits telling everyone else to do it. 

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GUEST BLOG: Staying Grounded By Odin Zackman

Perhaps the most radical act we can commit is to stay home.

Terry Tempest Williams

 

Overwhelm seems to be a part of our conditioning. Particularly in the work of social change—where there is an urgency in both the task at hand and a challenge in arriving at the outcome—I regularly talk with colleagues confronting perennial overwhelm and overload.

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The Next Frontier For The Leadership Learning Community By Deborah Meehan & Miriam Persley

As an organization, we have always prided ourselves on being experimental and pushing the edge and in 2016 we will be honoring that part of ourselves. LLC is making some big moves this month. After many years of partnership with Tides, LLC is changing fiscal sponsors. Beginning tomorrow, LLC will be fiscally sponsored by Community Initiatives. Ultimately this change will position us for more changes in the near future which are in-line with our results-based strategic planning and have been approved by our board after much deliberation and planning.

 

What does it mean?

For LLC, it means a change in our legal identity. Our new identity will be held by Community Initiatives. Community Initiatives is a fiscal sponsorship organization that was established 20 years ago by The San Francisco Foundation, but became it’s own organization outside of the Foundation 8 years ago. It may take us  some time to transfer everything over, so bear with us, but in the next few weeks you’ll notice our identity changing subtly. For instance, our website and donation page will be updated and our main phone number is now a mobile number so you can now text us too.

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GUEST BLOG | Please Don't Start Meditating (Unless You're Willing to Change) By Lodro Rizler

A Buddhist teacher I respect a great deal once proclaimed a warning about meditation: Don't do it unless you're willing to change. If you're one of the two gazillion people aiming to launch a meditation practice in this new year, please heed that warning. But here is the good news about that warning: You will change for the better.

 

It's that time of year when self-reflection is at an all-time high, so I shouldn't be surprised at my wall. It's covered in all the various activity I'm engaged in, written out on yellow paper. Ranging from various formats of teaching meditation to writing books on meditation to writing articles on meditation to this one big piece of paper that reads, "The Institute for Compassionate Leadership."

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GUEST BLOG | Women's History: Not A Month - A Movement By Juana Bordas

Women in the Wild West - Leadership Pioneers

Wyoming was the first state to pass women's suffrage. It was an attempt to attract brave pioneer women to move west. This was quickly followed by Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Dakota. Out of the 15 states that passed women's suffrage before the 19th Amendment - 11 were from the west.

Women boarded wagon trains and headed to the frontier. They showed tremendous courage, risk-taking, inner fortitude, and a sense of adventure - traits that are greatly needed by women today. Women in the West had a pioneer spirit - defined as "a willingness to endure hardships in order to explore new places or try new things."

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