Archive for August, 2008

Being v Doing

One of the key differences between thrivability and sustainabilty, I think, is the way of being. Shifting what we do without shifting our being isn’t really going to change the structures that perpetuate systems that don’t drive toward flourishing. It reminds me of the problem with political correctness. You can sound or look open-minded and without prejudice…but seeming that way won’t really make the necessary shifts. It shows at the seams. The real impact isn’t there.

It comes about in the smallest of ways. For years I have watched people discuss and aspire to thrivable ideas. And all too often they fall short by leaning back on old structures–demanding leadership via old methods or asking for top down hierarchies. It is not enough to know, intellectually, the course to take. We must BE different. Few of us, if any, are flawless here. I do not mean to judge, as I am prone to this folly myself. We are still products of a previous age. The younger generation is more likely to BE different as the children of those who aspired to that difference.

Authenticity feels core to me. If we are not authentic, at some point, it shows.

How are you being in the world? From being can flow doing. Doing is important. Critical for impact. But born of being –or it is compromised from the beginning. Thus, in the Field Guide, I am distinguishing whether a leap is about being, having, or doing. These leaps, they fit together. When we see the whole of the system dynamically operating, we will know our hopes for thrivability can be achieved.


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Thrivability in Philanthropy

Looking at thrivability just within the philanthropic sector (some are on the edge of the philanthropic spectrum)

  • democratization of philanthropy, microphilanthropy
  • microloans (blending into investment rather than gifts) like Kiva
  • giving while living (rather than leaving large bequests) such as Buffett, Omidyar, and a handful of other uber-wealthy givers
  • mission-related investing
  • social entrepreneurship via philanthropy as in Ashoka supported fellows
  • spend-down foundations (use money now rather than hoarding 95%+ for future needs and name glory into infinity)
  • games and challenge granting

What other areas of philanthropy do you think are shifting our world toward thrivability?

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I have been jamming on the thrivability guide…but for now, let me shower a few important links of things I feel are working toward thrivability in rough form:

I want to be clear that some of the things I appreciate are varied in their political views. All of them are striving for a better world that we co-create. Some of them have different beliefs about how to do this. I, personally, refrain from judgment at this time as to the single best course of action. Is there a single one? 🙂 Furthermore, I believe it is our differences that make us stronger. So–while goals are aligned, policies and practices may be different for the following:

(note, I have multiple links for some of these things–the blog, the microblog, the facebook group, the website, the wiki, ning community, or other software for connecting and sharing…I just used one link here if that. Some are the top of my head, so apologies if I get a link wrong–please comment to let me know.)

Social Entrepreneurship (blending biz with social benefit)

Global Standards

Using currencies to incent change behavior and build community: (there are a plethora of sites using currencies–I focus on the ones I feel are best at working toward thrivability. Feel free to suggest more!)

Sharing solutions:

  • Catalytic Communities
  • Honeybee

Shifting flows:

Understanding ourselves

Awakening young people:


Awakening people:

  • Seeing Beyond Sight
  • Why Do You Do What You Do?

Innovative architectures and structures:

  • Mardie Oakes (echoing green fellow)
  • Hexayurt


  • Clean Star (they are many others in energy also)
  • water cleaning (Brian Lewis)

Health issues:

  • Hope Healing
  • Mission work of Liz Garcia Grey and Ashis Brahma

Tools for collaboration:

  • social media in general
  • specifically 🙂
  • open space facilitation
  • unconferences
  • co-working
  • (lots of other process arts!)

Thought Leaders:

  • Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz
  • Imaginify
  • etc…

Pieces I see, but I might not have specific links for:

  • mission related investing (also can be called program related investing)
  • Social responsible investing and activism
  • transformative philanthropy
  • renewed spirituality sans religious dogma
  • Holocracy
  • Doacracy
  • Industrial recycling
  • ZERI
  • Free Range Kids

Disclaimer: I also confess that I often find these things because I follow relationships. Thus I often know someone at these orgs/groups

Oh this is just a little nibble into what is there….but it does give a sense of scope. Expect to see this in the wagn at

I have about 5 years worth of chasing amazing projects to download out of my head and onto a knowledge network space. 🙂 it is coming out in chunks that need to be sorted and cleaned, clearly. Thanks for patience!

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