This week I've been on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, working with a team that's holding an initiative called "Family Law Pathways". The bottom line is keeping kids safe. The government has put aside money to enhance the support for children from separated families. This group is doing something entirely unique — asking the community to be part of the conversation and co-creation of what to do about it.
We had a full day Collective Story Harvest, where people from the community were invited to learn the tool, and the initiative could gain feedback. We had a look at these arcs:
Their harvesting of the systemic story fed into a full day with the Core Group, where we crafted a core calling question and a set of principles to hold their work going forward. We used the Flow Game to sharpen our core question and to question each of the Core Group’s roles within the initiative. Here’s what we came up with:
Core Calling Question: What if the Sunshine Coast is a place where we learn, love and play community together so our kids can too?
In a very different context, here are the principles developed by the Elise core team that hosted Interinstitutional Workshops for translators to raise awareness of a communication tool for translators, in the context of translating EU legislation into 23 languages - a mammoth task that involves the European Commission, the EU Council and the European Parliament, and more thousands of translators than I care to contemplate...
"Our principles speak of the way we wish to work together.
A reply from Tenneson:
These are lovely stirrings -- thank you.
2. Do what matters. The world needs us more than ever. It needs pioneers to be treating problems at the root causes, not just the symptoms, to be making change at a systemic level. Doing what matters requires a capacity to diagnose the problems we face, to understand the underlying patterns, to remove barriers, to find the leverage points and make the change there. It requires us to be conscious of the consequences of our actions, and to choose to do good, not harm, according to the deeper values and the higher ideals we each hold.
3. Start now. The future is created by how we live now. It is not necessary to compromise who we are in the present, or to wait to take off the lid that is keeping us from allowing our creative expression to be put to use in areas that matter to us and the world. We don’t focus on all the reasons why it might not work - if the platform and tools do not exist to make our dream possible, we get going in creating them. Learning comes with action.
4. Engage with Others. Connect with something bigger than yourself. Search for those who are working on similar or related things, share ideas with them, ask them for help and work with them where useful. Be willing to offer them help when they need it as well. Engaging with others is about engaging with those who share your visions, but also about engaging with those who think differently from you and are doing something that may seem completely different and unrelated. Engage across diversity, for that is how we learn.
5. Never Stop Asking Questions. Understanding is constantly evolving, and there is always the possibility of future discovery. While committing to our current intentions, we have to continue to question our own views as we continue to question others and listen to their answers. As we start to view the world from the perspective of life, more and more practices around us simply do not make sense. We are surrounded by paradoxes in a phase when established systems no longer meet our needs. We need to perceive and question these paradoxes, daring to appear naive, while developing the capacity to transcend them. As Einstein said, no problem is solved from the same consciousness that created it.