Zooming way out to try to place my own evolution within the context of thrivability…here is what I have come up with so far.

Taking from my understanding of the evolution of a donor, for example.

  1. Initially donors often respond to requests with small gifts and make little planning or spend little time thinking about strategically giving. We can call this a passive donor. Most donors fall in this group.
  2. Beginning to think about strategy and setting aside funds or time for giving leads to the next phase of pro-active donor.
  3. Perhaps a pro-active donor gathering community of peers and setting up strategic plans might be a prudent donor.
  4. Creating community, fostering development of other donors, and pushing for greater awareness around giving might be an activist donor.
  5. Becoming a leader–sharing best practices, innovating new approaches, becoming a mentor, and advocating for the field as a respected voice might be considered the final stage of evolution–an inspired donor leader.

So what might these stages look like in parallel for thrivability?

  1. Passive thriver: incorporates green practices of friends, chooses thivable options when presented.
  2. Pro-active thriver: buys organic, fair-trade when possible. Reads news about thrivable practices in favored domains, researches to find thrivable options.
  3. Prudent thriver: Engages in community of other thrivers, acts as a conscious consumer, has growing awareness of complex systems at play and the difficulty of the perfect solution.
  4. Activist thriver: Creates and engages in community of thrivers, expands community by reaching out into network to grow awareness.
  5. Inspired thriver leader: sharing best practices, innovating new approaches, becoming a mentor, and advocating for the field as a respected voice.

So where am I? Perhaps moving from 3 to 4?

The last several years I have gone from leaning toward greener practices to advocating for them. I consistently choose, when possible, organic foods and clothing, reduced packaging, recycling and reuse, a paperless office practices, using my own bags at the grocery…moving from recycling when easy to recycling everything possible, reduced consumption, etc. The list is long. But it is not enough. Even if I get my friends to do what I am doing, and I do more of what my maven friends are doing.

So at the beginning of this year, I discussed with a friend, what more can we do? I already try to serve customers aligned with my view and practices. Where else can I have impact? So here we are, to blog that exploration, discovery, and emergence.


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