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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Thrivability Field Guide

OOooo great to see people using the term thrivability:


and there are several mentions of it over on wildresiliencyblog.

Then the whole Thrivability Institute

I have been up to my eyeballs learning about this and certainly not sharing enough.

Thus I make a commitment to you. To work on The Field Guide to Leaps toward Thrivability. I am sketching out the format over on using the wagn there. The field guide will offer concepts and theory, but more importantly stories, videos, and conversations of LEAPS we are making toward thrivability. Additionally, like a good coach, I will offer exercises, worksheets, and conversation space for ongoing learning and sharing.

None of this learning is finite nor done. We begin this journey knowing there is no end; if we make our path well, we will carry on. Ever and always unfinished, but richer and deeper for the journey.

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Which generation IS the change?

A long time ago, I was in academia… It was a lovely time for me, and we talked often of post-modernism. Now the talk I hear outside of academia is about what is after post-modernism. Many of the people whose ideas I follow were born before 1970. To me, these are folks who grew the post-modern era. My co-founder at Inspired Legacies, Tracy Gary, for example, grew up pushing for civil rights and women’s rights…and 35 years of pressing for social change and social change philanthropy has certainly had impact in the world. These folks, like my founder, have changed the world. It might not yet be what they were aiming for, but it is a different world.

However, most of these people were involved in or witnessed the technology revolution that brought us desktop computing and the internet. They didn’t grow up with this. They made it. And they continue to push brilliantly and heroically for a better world. (If they didn’t, I wouldn’t be following them.) My trick is this…they have the vision to describe what the next phase is and looks like. However, there has been such significant change, that I am not sure the tools and practices are second nature enough to them to BE that vision without applying significant consciousness to it.

However, I do sense that people from post-1970…(and I was born in 72, so I have to make sure I am on the right side of that number 😉 people from post-1970 have new ways of being as part of their–I mean OUR–nature. I grew up knowing there was an environmental crisis on our hands. I can’t picture a world before that was a concern. I grew up using a computer since I was 12. I grew up assuming women had the right to be in the workforce and deserved a chance at anything…as did anyone from any class or race. Of course it took awhile for me to debunk the myth of opportunity we perpetuate in the US. So I am starting to sense that while my elders may set a vision, it will be me and more so, those even younger than me who will be practicing that vision.

Note: looking at some of the information coming out about millenials has me rather hopeful!

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Sustainability and Natural Building Workshop in Peru

An invitation that came my way from Kachina Katrina, which I am pleased to share with you:

This is an invitation to participate in the 10 day sustainable skills and natural building workshop that we are creating in the Andean Sacred Valley of Cusco, Peru. Attached is our official flyer for the event, which includes three pictures of the area we´ll be building in, if you like a more visual approach. The natural building classes included in the workshop will be held at a remote site next to the river in the Sacred Valley…..and we´ll be working to construct a water birth center to be used by local women, as well as any foreigners who feel called to this spot. Below are some logistics about this event….adi.

I will also be making way to Pisco, Peru to help rebuild homes and schools from the dramatic 8.0 earthquake that happened last fall and would love it if you came and joined me as well as the workshop near Cusco. Learn more about this rebuilding project through the works of Burners with out Borders.

Here is more about the 10 day workshop I am honored to participate in, please pass the word!!

10 day sustainable skills and natural building workshop


Andean Sacred Valley
*Just outside of Cusco, Peru
*Friday, June 13th, 2008 through June 22nd, 2008

*building with adobe (foundation, brick making and laying,
windows, doors, roof)
*sustainable community planning
*toxic awareness and bio-waste clean-up
*permaculture principles and maximizing food growing per area of earth.
*composting principles, and constructing a composting toilet
*didgeridoo making
*wool spinning and natural dying

***Also Featuring:
*guest instructor, Kachina Katrina ( who will holding the toxic awareness
and community building sessions)
*guided visits to local ruins and sacred sites, where we will have the option of holding ceremony together.
*music and laughter
* sliding scale of $699-$799 dollars.
* Price Includes: lodging, two healthy meals per day, daily transportation,
all classes and instructors, ticket into local ruins, and a special gift 😉
*Price Does Not Include plane ticket to Cusco.

***To register or for further details:
*Reply to this address Brittany Jade <AgentNuit>,
*We are happy to answer questions, and to assist in the booking of air
+Please feel free to forward this on to anyone of interest, or to print off the flyer to pass along……..THANK YOU!

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

– Goethe

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What I do…and the whole farm.

I have long felt deep in my heart the why of what I do…but I have been too quiet on what I actually do in the big picture. For example, why this blog on thrivability?

  • I study network theory and mapping so we can see the territory we are working with and map it. I also attempt the visualization of information in other ways so we can better see ourselves.
  • I brain-crunch on collective intelligence and wisdom so we can collaboratively learn and act from wisdom as a whole.
  • I delve deep into currencies and flows so I can help information, energy, activity flow and connect visibly. Make the invisible–visible and intentional.
  • I observe and initiate community development and facilitation.
  • I champion innovators, leaders, and visionaries of the emerging culture and these related fields.
  • I track social-entrepreneurship, democratized-philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector as it relates to social justice.

Why? I want to build these fields, so the whole farm (the many fields) supports our opportunity for thrivability.

I don’t want to see nonprofits repeating the same work in different locations without awareness of each other, available resources, or connection to possible champions and volunteers.

I want an organic, self-evolving, self-organizating ecology for wisdom and action so we can co-create a world we want in symbiosis with our environment. I want a whole new culture. And I don’t want it by tearing down the old one. Thank you Modernism, thank you post-modernism. Thank you to all that has come before and led to us being right here, now.

Let’s together use our strengths to focus on co-creating a world we can share and flourish in together.

So, I do everything in my power to create and enable the systems, architectures, processes, flows that enable that.

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