By Andrew Carter MacDonald for Enlivening Edge Magazine
The first of the two Community Conversations in June was on Dissent, and the second was on Commitment. I love how the many conversations people have in our busy lives tend to come down to a few simple areas. The Community Conversations hosting team has adopted six areas, following Peter Block’s identification of those six. (In addition to Dissent and Commitment, there’s also Ownership, Invitation, Possibility and Gifts.) His structure is the inspiration for the evolving format we’re building.
But, out of a dedication to evolutionary moving-forward, the hosting team (Will, Alia, Ryan, Vihra, Lori, Dolly, Andrew) is giving itself permission to work with the social-energetic Field of the conversations, and see what other topics there might be—or whether new ones will turn out to be variations on the six conversation types we’ve already been working with. New directions will emerge out of a sensing-group focused on what seems to be emerging in the Field.
One of the challenges—classic in your experience too, I imagine—is to allow the new to emerge while honoring what is already serving the community well. (Accidental pun there: the community is itself a “well,” a resource of nourishment, so I could say “honoring what is already serving the community well well.”)
Perhaps more than usual, this will be co-created from new and not-so-new participants on the conversations: on our Facebook page, on the calls themselves, or in response to the emails that come out from hosting team member Will. (We really like Facebook comments because they are visible to the community and help to keep everything out in the open. They also have a longer shelf-life than the Zoom call chats.)
The monthly conversations continue to be rich. The greatest value may be the interpersonal connections that are made, the sense of not being crazy-alone with our preoccupation with new forms of organizational and social life, and, related, the making of new friends. As always it’s the presence of multiple perspectives along with the presence of Presence itself that makes it all work.
Among the things that stood out for me in this month’s first call is the idea (expressed by Alexandra) that Dissent points to a better way. It’s a kind of compass reorienting us to what we really want (a little like the Advaitic injunction neti, neti – not this, not this).
In the Commitment conversation I especially liked (from Anna B) the idea that the new and emergent in us is like a fawn coming down to drink at the pond; it needs a lot of care, respect, and a deep listening if we’re to be witnesses. Big yes to that! Those qualities are ones we’re holding high in our community.
Thanks to each of you who have made these conversations possible, and who will make future conversations possible.
Consider yourself invited to Enlivening Edge’s community calls. They’re lively and a genuine support for your evolutionary work in next-stage organizations and communities.
You can join us on the first and third Thursday of each month, 10 AM US-Pacific, 6 PM UK, 7 PM Austria. There’s no financial cost to participate . . . just the energetic cost of showing up and joining in the exploration.
The next call is July 6th. We’ll be exploring the lovely idea of Giftst and what that might mean – for us! You’ll be challenged. You’ll meet people. You’re cordially invited to join.
You can sign up for notifications here and will get all the call-in details. Hope to see you there!
Andrew is a part of the Community Conversations hosting team. Watch for his book, Evolutionary Conversations: The Everywhere Birth of Tribe Two appearing later this summer. www.AndrewCarterMacDonald.com.