Category: Books +

Theory U

From the executive summary of the book found on the website: “We live in a time of massive institutional failure, collectively creating results that nobody wants. Climate change. AIDS. Hunger. Poverty. Violence. Terrorism. Destruction of communities, nature, life — the foundations of our social, economic, ecological, and spiritual well being. This time calls for a new consciousness and a new collective leadership capacity to meet challenges in a more conscious, intentional, and strategic way. The development of such a capacity would allow us to create a future of greater possibilities.”

An important part of changing the world is changing what we see and pay attention to…

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” Think of five problems facing the world.

Now think of five solutions.

If you found the first easier than the second, don’t worry. Everybody does.

We know much more about what’s broken than what’s being done to fix things.

We created Dowser to address this imbalance.

We’re living through a global social change renaissance. Millions of people are building organizations and social enterprises to attack problems using new ideas and models.

But most of this activity is hidden. The news is better at telling us what went wrong yesterday than what’s being done to make tomorrow better.

At Dowser, we present the world through a ‘solution frame,’ rather than a ‘problem frame.’ We’re interested in the practical and human elements of social innovation: Who’s solving what and how. We want to know how people come up with ideas, how they put them into practice, how they pay the bills, and what fuels their fire.

We don’t proselytize, provide feel good news, or celebrate a few heroes. We provide trustworthy news and provocative ideas with a discerning eye.

We’re open to any sector – nonprofit, business, government. And we’re interested in social innovators of any age in any field. We’ll be starting with stories in the U.S. and Canada. Later, we’ll expand globally.

Dowser is a place for anyone who cares about initiating positive change. We tell stories about people who are creatively attacking social problems. People who show how achievable it is to make an impact.

A dowser uses a divining rod to uncover water. We uncover stories of change.”

“Optimism is a political act, and a radical one at that.”

This compelling piece by Alex Steffen, from the blog, tells us how we need to think of the future of this planet not as a hopeless destiny but as “where we are right now, with a brief passage of time.”  How we think about and talk about our future and our world affects what we will be able to do.

The Social Intrapreneur: a pdf of a report from the famed consulting firm SustainAbility. Note that my SNRE masters project adviser and Erb Institute Advisory Board member from Ford Motor Company, Dave Berdish, is featured in this report. Not at all surprising that he has made it into this report. Dave is PASSIONATE about human rights and has changed Ford as a result. If you want to dig deeper into his mindset check out this article he co-authored with Tom Gladwin, amazing Erb Director, prof, adviser,  about how MBA programs are failing to prepare business leaders for a morally complex future.

Paul Hawken- Blessed Unrest

This book is about the groundswell of small organizations all over the world that are, each in their own way, progressing toward a sustainable human future.

I can’t hide it. I love this book.

Robert Quinn- Change the World

The subtitle of Dr. Quinn’s book is actually “How Ordinary People Can Achieve Extraordinary Results”

This is a book that describes HOW individuals become/ live like Ben Zanders, William Kamkawamba, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the list goes on. It is so much more than what we typically think of as leadership: it is about the way you live your life and how you see yourself in the world. Leadership is something that might actually be an identifiable by-product of the process that Dr. Quinn discusses in this book. In many ways this is a book for folks who “get” the small infinity idea and want to fully realize the potential of it.

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