Archive for November, 2009

seeds of change==>challenges of institutionalization

Friday, November 27th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Last week we convened the Presencing-In-Action Lab in Boston. The meeting gathered 26 change makers across many cultures and continents. It was striking to see how all the small the seed projects of the last years are beginning to blossom and grow together into a rapidly evolving field of change. I wrote some of this story up in a paper that I presented yesterday in a meeting with senior leaders of the South African government in Joberg. Eary this week, visiting the Namibian Health Systems project, I saw some great examples of prototyping in the area of maternal health. In my own learning process I am wrestling more and more with the question of how to move from prototyping to institutionalizing. That’s the challenge in Namibia and in South Africa. And also in other projects I am currently involved in. Looking at the larger landscape of Theory U inspired change initiatives and related movements, you also wonder what type of institutional embodiment would lend the best support structure going forward. What is it? A community of practice? A movement? A global action research school in the making? All the above? How to institutionalize a “g.school” –- a green global action leadership school — for pioneering society 3.0, either on campus at MIT or in some other form?

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natura

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

i just returned from a truly interesting visit to brazil. two real highlights of that trip: a visit with some waste pickers (catadores) that taught me about their amazing efforts to self-organize in sao paulo. the other one was a visit to NATURA, a really innovative cosmetics company that blends sustainability, social responsibility, and spiritual awareness in ways that i have not seen before. greatly inspiring people in a greatly inspiring place. 90% of their products are replaced every year. 70% or their revenues in done with products younger than 24 months. they are the market leader in their industry. yet, you will not find their products on any shelf. because their commitment is to sell all their products through a group of one million “consultants” that go directly from house to house. it strikes me that most people i happen to know—particularly people from today’s student generation–would LOVE to work for a company like natura. but in reality its hard to find an organization like this. yet, i believe that the amazing success of NATURA signifies the rise of a new class of business organizations that blend the business purpose with an extended social-ecological, and spiritual mission. i was also surprised to learn that they work with Theory U in both leadership development and in innovation for sustainability…
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