Community with Peter Block and friends

photo credit: craig neal

photo credit: craig neal

Dear friend Peter Block was the Conversation Starter at our Thought Leader Gathering in San Francisco on 9/12. An exhuberant participant writes about her experience  : "Well, Istarted with "WOW" on Friday and I ended with "wow"  Friday and I'll just start there again today!!  First and foremost, thank you so much for the gift of all your hard work and insightful design with your entire team including the incredible Peter!  It was such a full, rich, powerful day done in the spirit of risk of trying something new... The biggest gift of all was the powerful end of the day-the acknowledging of our is such a hard thing for me and I so needed to learn from that ah-haa moment of grace for myself."


[10/7/08 note: Mariah Howard created a beautiful graphic recording of the TLG Panel Discussion and Harvest. Take a look here!]

Some excerpts from Peter's remarks:

~A distinction related to community – transformation vs. change: Transformation is changing the nature of things; Change is making things a little better.

~You’re involved in the work of transformation, changing the nature of what we have today. A culture based on dominance, a “I know and you don’t attitude,” which is the high control, patriarchal narrative. The master narrative is to find conflict, controversy and rev it up.

~There’s a political element to building community – not just be among friends, but to shift the narrative in which this country functions. It’s too big for me to really grasp myself, but change is too small a God to worship.

~Community requires an act of leadership – the courage to step forward to imagine another world. Not management, which is to give order and structure, but that doesn’t create anything new. It gives order and predictability, and most of us will sacrifice our freedom for predictability any days of the week.

~Safety in response to the culture of fear – as long as we’re convinced it’s dangerous out there we will trade our sovereignty for the promise of safety. Leadership is a convening task of bringing people together in a way that changes things. That’s why the arts matter. The arts understand the nuances of experience – they tune us in to see the world in a different way. That’s the work – creating something we’re unaccustomed to.

...more to come in the write-ups later this week!