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Entertaining Appreciation and Imagining a Different Future
Peggy Holman author of Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity (2010)
and co-author of The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best
Methods for Engaging Whole Systems (Holman, Devane & Cady, 2007) presents an open
approach to living with dynamic change and this requires embracing mystery along with
setting aside assumptions and the willingness to say, “‘I don’t know’ and ‘We’re making it
up as we go along.’ These are the today’s forms of courage and strength. Stand on the
shore of the known world and step into the creative waters of the unknown” (Holman,
2010, p. 84). Creativity is not just about what we produce but how we respond to life’s
challenges as presented. As Holman notes, “It takes both exuberance and mindfulness.
Pioneers thriving in this territory, exploring the differences, perspectives, ideas, and dreams
among us that make for creative engagement” (Holman, 2010, p. 84-85).
Stewart Brand innovator, activist and creator of the Whole Earth Catalog is an example of
how our ideas can change the world with his The Long Now Foundation, which “hopes to
provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking
more common.” He is another example of the power of community engagement that will
positively impact the future. Click here to visit his website (http://longnow.org/about/).
The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter creates a forum
for conversation and connections. “The World café is a good, simple process for bringing
people together around questions that matter. . .It doesn’t matter who the people are the
process works. It works because people can work well together, can be creative and
caring and insightful when they’re actively engaged in meaningful conversations around
questions that count” (Brown & Isaacs, 2005, p. ix, x). The book Community: The
Structure of Belonging discusses how “the conventional belief is that transformation leads
to transformation” but the process begins in “the context in which the gatherings take
place; when we work hard on getting the questions right; when we choose depth over
speed and relatedness over scale” (Block, 2009, p. 73).
Theory U: Leading from the Future as It Emerges written by C. Otto Scharmer, a professor
at MIT, presents a more nuance portrait of nuanced attending, co-sensing, listening, and
presencing with an open mind and heart that promotes deeper connections and intentions
to create the future (2009). Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of
Transition (Eisenstein, 2011) offers an alternative viewpoint on work and reward.
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