robertogreco + commitment   21

Interview with Dick Gray, founder of World College West - YouTube
"For the occasion of the World College West reunion of July 2012, Dick Gray welcomes attendees and shares his perspective on the founding of World College West and the development of its programs. Dick is interviewed by WCW grad, Lisa Geduldig"
worldcollegewest  dickgray  richardgray  education  learning  schools  highered  highereducation  2012  woldstudytravel  commitment  alternative  howwelearn  lisageduldig  marin  colleges  universities 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Movement Pedagogy: Beyond the Class/Identity Impasse - Viewpoint Magazine
"Ellsworth had studied critical pedagogy carefully and incorporated it into her course, which she called Curriculum and Instruction 607: Media and Anti-racist Pedagogies. She describes the diverse group of students it drew, including “Asian American, Chicano/a, Jewish, Puerto Rican, and Anglo European men and women from the United States, and Asian, African, Icelandic, and Canadian international students.” This diverse context seemed ideal for engaging in critical pedagogy. And yet, problems arose as soon as the class began.

When invited to speak about injustices they had experienced and witnessed on campus, students struggled to communicate clearly about racism. They had a hard time speaking and listening to one another about the main subject of the course. Rather than dialogue providing grounds for solidarity, “the defiant speech of students and professor…constituted fundamental challenges to and rejections of the voices of some classmates and often the professor.” Ellsworth began to question the limitations of an approach to dialogue that assumes “all members have equal opportunity to speak, all members respect other members’ rights to speak and feel safe to speak, and all ideas are tolerated and subjected to rational critical assessment against fundamental judgments and moral principles.” These assumptions were not bearing out in her classroom due to the vastly different histories, experiences, and perspectives of those in the room.

There was difficulty, pain, and deadlock in communicating about the social structure of the university, a deadlock that fell along classed, racial, gendered and national lines. Like a broken window, fissures between the experiences and perspectives of Ellsworth and her students formed cracks, which then caused more cracks, until no one could see each other clearly.

Contrary to critical pedagogy’s promise of liberation through dialogue, Ellsworth’s classroom was filled with uncomfortable silences, confusions, and stalemates caused by the fragmentation. The students and professor could not achieve their stated goal of understanding institutional racism and stopping its business-as-usual at the university. She recalls that
[t]hings were not being said for a number of reasons. These included fear of being misunderstood and/or disclosing too much and becoming too vulnerable; memories of bad experiences in other contexts of speaking out; resentment that other oppressions (sexism, heterosexism, fat oppression, classism, anti-Semitism) were being marginalized in the name of addressing racism – and guilt for feeling such resentment; confusion about levels of trust and commitment about those who were allies to one another’s group struggles; resentment by some students of color for feeling that they were expected to disclose more and once again take the burden of doing pedagogic work of educating White students/professor about the consequences of White middle class privilege; resentment by White students for feeling that they had to prove they were not the enemy.

The class seemed to be reproducing the very oppressive conditions it sought to challenge. As they reflected on these obstacles, Ellsworth and her students decided to alter the terms of their engagement. They replaced the universalism of critical pedagogy, in which students were imagined to all enter dialogue from similar locations, with a situated pedagogy that foregrounded the challenge of working collectively from their vastly different positions. This shift completely altered the tactics in the course. Rather than performing the teacher role as an emancipatory expert presumed able to create a universal critical consciousness through dialogue, Ellsworth became a counselor, helping to organize field trips, potlucks, and collaborations between students and movement groups around campus. These activities helped to build relations of trust and mutual support without presuming that all students entered the classroom from the same position. Rather than holding class together in a traditional way, Ellsworth met with students one on one, discussing particular experiences, histories, and feelings with them, talking through these new activities.

As trust began to form out of the morass of division, students created affinity groups based on shared experiences and analyses. The groups met outside of class to prepare for in-class meetings, which “provided some participants with safer home bases from which they gained support…and a language for entering the larger classroom interactions each week.” The affinity groups were a paradigm shift. The class went from a collection of atomized individuals to a network of shared and unshared experiences working in unison. Ellsworth writes that, “once we acknowledged the existence, necessity, and value of these affinity groups we began to see our task as…building a coalition among multiple, shifting, intersecting, and sometimes contradictory groups carrying unequal weights of legitimacy within the culture of the classroom. Halfway through the semester, students renamed the class Coalition 607.” Ellsworth describes this move from fragmentation to coalition as coming together based on what the group did not share, rather than what they did share. Ultimately the class generated proposals for direct action to confront structural inequalities at the university.

Why doesn’t this feel empowering?

In 1989, Ellsworth published her now-famous article reflecting on the Coalition 607 experience. Provocatively entitled, “Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? Working through the Repressive Myths of Critical Pedagogy,” she used her experiences in this course to critique what she saw as a universalist model of voice, dialogue and liberation embedded within the assumptions of critical pedagogy. At the heart of this problem was a failure to recognize the fact that students do not all enter into dialogue on equal terrain. Instead, the social context of the classroom – like any other – is shaped by the very unequal histories and structures that critical pedagogy seeks to address. Thus, the idea that Ellsworth and her students might set aside their differences in order to tackle institutional racism on campus proved naive, and even harmful. Instead, it was through a pedagogical shift to coalition that they were ultimately able to build collective action. These actions were rooted not in claims of universality, but in a commitment to building solidarity across structural divisions.

Ellsworth’s story offers useful lessons for contemporary movement debates – debates that are often framed around an apparent dichotomy of class universalism versus identity politics. The question, “why doesn’t this feel empowering?” gestures toward the subtle (and not-so-subtle) processes of exclusion that occur within many movement spaces, where the seemingly neutral terms of debate obscure the specific perspectives that guide our agendas, strategies, and discussions. As Peter Frase notes, “appeals to class as the universal identity too often mask an attempt to universalize a particular identity, and exclude others.” Yet, Ellsworth and her students did not simply retreat into separate corners when these divisions flared; instead, they rethought the terms of their engagement in order to develop strategies for working together across difference. It was by thinking pedagogically about organizing that Ellsworth and her students arrived at a strategy of coalition."



"Ellsworth’s coalition – what we call thinking pedagogically about organizing – is an example of how to get to the imagined relation that dissolves the alleged impasse between class struggle and identity politics: thinking pedagogically creates an ideology of coalition rather than an ideology of impasse.

We can apply this insight from classrooms to activist spaces by examining a recent proposal adopted by the Democratic Socialists of America. At the national convention in August 2017, DSA members debated a controversial resolution calling for a rigorous program of organizer trainings. “Resolution #28: National Training Strategy” proposed to train “some 300 DSA members every month for 15 months” with the goal of ultimately producing “a core of 200 highly experienced trainers and 5,000 well trained leaders and organizers to carry forward DSA’s work in 2018 and beyond.” The proposal asked delegates to devote a significant amount of DSA’s national funds ($190,000) toward creating this nationwide activist training program, which includes modules on Socialist Organizing and Social Movements and Political Education.

The resolution emerged from a plank of the Praxis slate of candidates for the National Political Committee. On their website, the slate described this “National Training Strategy” in detail, emphasizing the importance of teaching and learning a “wide array of organizing skills and tactics so members develop the skills to pursue their own politics” (emphasis in original). Noting that “Poor and working people – particularly people of color – are often treated as external objects of organizing,” this educational strategy explicitly sought to use positionality as a strength. They elaborate: “If DSA is serious about building the power of working people of whatever race, gender, citizen status or region, we must re-build the spine of the Left to be both strong and flexible.” Aware that DSA members would be coming from a variety of positions, the slate made education a central plank of their platform. Members pursuing “their own politics” based on their precise structural location would create a flexible and strong spine for left politics. They write: “It’s not just the analysis, but also the methods of organizing that we pursue which create the trust, the self-knowledge, and the solidarity to make durable change in our world.”

While we can’t know for sure how the training strategy will work out, we highlight the resolution as an … [more]
criticalpedagogy  pedagogy  2017  davidbacker  katecairns  solidarity  collectiveaction  canon  affinitygroups  affinities  salarmohandesi  combaheerivercollective  coalition607  via:irl  elizabethellsworth  currymalott  isaacgottesman  henrygiroux  paulofreire  stanleyaronowitz  petermclaren  irashor  joekincheloe  trust  commitment  resentment  vulnerability  conversation  guilt  privilege  universalism  universality  dialogue  peterfrase  empowerment  repression  organizing  organization  identity  coalition  exclusion  inclusion  inclusivity  identitypolitics  azizchoudry  socialmovements  change  changemaking  praxis  dsa  socialism  education  learning  howwelearn  politics  activism  class  race  stuarthall  articulation  ernestolaclau  plato  johnclarke  fragmentation  generalities 
december 2017 by robertogreco
'Care for Our Common Home': Taking Up the Moral Challenge of Pope Francis – Blog – ABC Religion & Ethics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"The normalisation of liberal individualism and the unsustainable form of prosperity on which the West has so long relied are, of course, the crowning achievements of what Luigino Bruni calls the "grand 'immunizing' project of modernity." But this project did not simply clear away the tyranny of inherited privilege, thereby returning individuals to themselves and their own acquisitive desires. Instead, this immunity from our obligations to others - what John Rawls more prosaically called the "mutual disinterest" constitutive of the social contract - involved the radical renunciation of the munus: that obliging gift which forms the basis of the social bond that is at the heart of communitas.

In Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II captured the essence of this gift in a simple, wondrous sentence: "God entrusts us to one another." Once this munus is renounced, what follows is a hollowed out form of social life, a debased, erstaz community in which, "Everyone else is considered an enemy from whom one has to defend oneself. Thus society becomes a mass of individuals placed side by side, but without any mutual bonds. Each one wishes to assert himself independently of the other and in fact intends to make his own interests prevail."

(It is worth pointing out in passing that Pope Francis and John Paul II find an unlikely ally in Julian Savulescu, who shares their critique of the failure of liberalism to produce the kind of citizens that are willing make decisions for the good of others, especially when doing so would run counter to self-interest and immediate benefit: "This restraint of self-interest is the very opposite of the unrestrained satisfaction of it made possible by industrialization and its profusion of material goods, which brought liberal democracy into existence. Liberal democracy has so far been a politics of prosperity, and this induces doubt whether it could turn into a politics of parsimony, voluntary restraint, and decreasing welfare." As a result, Savulescu warns, "contemporary liberal democracies are in the danger of being too liberal to last.")

The great achievement of Pope Francis's encyclical is the way it explicitly deepens and extends the scope of that which has been entrusted to us: our shared environment; the wellbeing of those near and far; the wellbeing of future generations. The language of gift and of what is in common pervades the encyclical, and at once condemns the interpersonal and political indifference that has held sway over the "climate change debate" and exposes the inadequacy of purely technocratic solutions to the problem of environmental degradation.

Implicated in the pope's critique of both interpersonal indifference and a kind of technophilic solutionism is the way that social media cultivates a feeling of concern and even ethical responsibility, all the while shielding us from any real commitment to others."



"For Francis, there is simply no substitute for the recovery of a sense of deep moral obligation - of what he calls at the end of the encyclical "generous commitment" - through which we will then joyfully constrain our behaviour and redefine those benefits to which we feel we are entitled. This is particularly clear when Francis addresses the debilitating political problem of how to galvanise public support for an intergenerational problem like climate change. As Stephen Gardiner has examined at considerable length, the problem is not only that the benefits of carbon pollution are enjoyed by the present generation while the deleterious effects (or "costs") are deferred to some future generation; the iterative nature of the problem ensures that "each new generation will face the same incentive structure as soon as it gains the power to decide whether or not to act."

This, it would seem, is the brute reality behind the myth of progress, and a powerful illustration of C.S. Lewis's extraordinarily prescient claim in his 1943 book The Abolition of Man (which is a favourite of Benedict XVI, interestingly enough). Lewis was, of course, fiercely critical of that heroic liberal narrative of the " progressive emancipation from tradition and a progressive control of natural processes resulting in a continual increase of human power.""
popefrancis  2015  laudatosi'  morality  christianity  luiginobruni  modernity  capitalism  interdependence  johnrawls  juliansavulescu  popejohnpaulii  scottstephens  normawirzba  clivehamilton  celiadeane-drummond  charlescamosy  michaelstafford  via:anne  religion  climatechange  ecology  economics  technosolutionism  anthropocene  antropocentrism  individualism  generations  internet  relationships  inequality  power  cslewis  progress  technology  stephengardner  interpersonal  indifference  empathy  responsibility  socialmedia  concern  commitment 
june 2015 by robertogreco
tricia the wolf en Instagram: “#triciaaftergradschool - One thing that I learned over the last 8 years is that I now know the difference between commitment and co-dependence. In the process of being committed to finishing #gradschool, I became #codepend
"#triciaaftergradschool - One thing that I learned over the last 8 years is that I now know the difference between commitment and co-dependence.

In the process of being committed to finishing #gradschool, I became #codependent on finishing. Co-dependence is when you allow your emotional state to be triggered by another entity. For me, this entity morphed from student drama to fieldwork to waiting for a grant to finishing a paper and in the end writing my dissertation #synthesisnow. I used to think that it was great that I couldn’t fall asleep due to a fast beating heart because then I had the adrenaline to write more. I used to feel good about being woken up with heart palpitations because it gave me energy to process more fieldnotes. The list goes on. In the process, I stopped asking why. Why am I doing this? What is my purpose here? Why do I have to write this grant? Why do I have to panic over this paper?

In all these unnoticeable ways, I had absorbed the temporal logic of #gradschool EVEN THOUGH I didn’t even want to get an academic job! Isn’t that crazy!?!?! I allowed my own identity to become so tied to what I was doing that I stopped asking why.

But now that I’ve been done for a year and in rehabilitation to join society again, I found out that I experience insomnia, anxiety, breathing issues, writers block, and guilt when relaxing. So I’ve been working on all of that over the last year and it feels GREAT to become human again.

So now that I’m mindful of co-dependent behavior, I am also more aware of what commitment feels like. To me, commitment is a mindful decision to do something on terms that make sense for you and the parties involved. I always want to make sure wellbeing, joy, trust, and presence are the axis in which I align myself with whatever I commit to. I never want my identity to be so wrapped up in something that I can’t see the difference. I want to do this with every relationship I have whether it is with a person, job, or movement. Good bye co-dependence, hello commitment.

#triciainsandiego #sociology"

[Also here: http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119633986686/triciaaftergradschool-one-thing-that-i-learned

related posts:

https://instagram.com/p/3AGuI8t8F_/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119634222266/

"#triciaaftergradschool - I am now wondering why I never spoke to the dpt about the cruel and stifling #microaggression directed towards me and other students during #gradschool. I mean wasn’t the only one who struggled - 50% of my cohort dropped out the first year.
It was hard to even recognize the pattern because these things happened over a period of several years.

But ultimately, I didn’t think it was easy to talk to the dpt because they never explicitly encouraged or condoned any of this petty behavior. But I am realizing now that they have created and participated in a measurement obsessed structure that allows such terrible behavior to flourish.

Ultimately, sociology #gradschool as it is set up now, can model corrupt regime behavior - it’s a party of a few people creating and enforcing policies that justify their existence. This justification is done through measurement & ranking in the name of “professionalization” of #sociology. This professionalization pressure is on top of existing departmental and institutional budget cuts that decreased research funding, a broken tenure system (that no one talks about openly), and the department’s failure to help graduates get good teaching positions. In addition, the majority of cohorts are made up of young students who lack real life experience. So all of this creates a competitive anxious group of homogenous students who will engage in selfish behavior and gang up on others if they feel threatened. The people who suffer the most in this system are the few students of color or working-class backgrounds who are allowed into the program.

So while my dpt has never condoned cruelty amongst students, their policies and values foster it. It’s similar to how no US city approve of police brutality, but it happens because the system creates conditions that allow it to flourish. The macro enables the micro - that is sociology 101.

#triciainsandiego (at UC San Diego Social Sciences)"

https://instagram.com/p/3AHPVPN8G-/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119634502396/

"#triciaaftergradschool - Walking into the graduate lounge is triggering memories of so much petty shit that I witnessed and was subjected to during #gradschool. Here are just a few things that come to my mind:

1. Students made fun of me for wearing high heels and reading gossip magazines.

2. Students reported to faculty that I was texting with another student in class, disrupting seminars.

3. I was repeatedly told that I wasn’t theoretical enough or fit to be a sociologist. In #sociology speak, this means you don’t belong cuz you’re too stupid to be in this program.

4. I was told by students to keep it a secret that I didn’t have plans to go into academia because the dpt will not give me grants & professors won’t engage with me. I didn’t keep it a secret. My research was never funded.

5. I was told to never publish #livefieldnotes or any blog posts about my research or else I’d never find a job.

6. Faculty reminded me several times that studying cellphones and the internet was “not sociological enough.”

7. Professors would say the dumbest shit that students would repeat & accept as truth! For example, a few faculty told us when we get tenured positions we will be more free than people who have jobs because we can do whatever we want and we’re smarter than people without Phds.

8. I dealt with sexual harassment from students and a professors.

9. A group of students told the grad director that I was creating problems amongst the grad students because I didn’t invite the to the parties that I was hosting at my house. Seriously high school shit.

#triciainsandiego #sociology (at UC San Diego Social Sciences)"

https://instagram.com/p/3AIs5Nt8Jg/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119635295101/

"#triciaaftergradschool - Having just visited the Stasi Museum in Berlin (above) and UCSD #socialscience building (below) for #gradschool reflections, it’s interesting to note the similarities between totalizing institutions.

By NO way am I conflating #sociology #gradschool with East Germany/GDR under the Eastern Bloc. However, I think think the line between micro individual agency & macro structural forces are so thin that my personal processing of how the Sociology dpt created a cruel environment amongst grad students is helping me understand how people can turn on each other under institutional forces.

Totalizing institutions creep into people’s lives in benign ways. A few seemingly logical policies to measure & organize people into categories can create such terrible behavior.
These policies are always created by privileged elites who use it to justify their own existence & actions. And then a few sane ones start to question their own sanity, & perhaps to survive they go along with some of the policies.

I saw this happening in my #sociology department on a very small & benign scale. It happened even to me. The professionalization of sociology is treating people as ranked numbers to be slotted into categories that deem intelligence. Individual well-being is cast aside for the sake of the institution’s mission. If a student doesn’t perform like a normative #sociologist, then you’re marked as abnormal.

During my time, I eventually performed “sociology”. I wrote in the 3rd voice to appear more objective. I generated undecipherable intellectual garble papers. I formulated causal models, hypothesizing all sorts of variable isolation. I excelled in theory classes & became successful at obtaining funding from scientific instit. But I was miserable.

Eventually my mentors helped me realize that I had lost my voice as a writer. I wrote like a boring sociologist removed from society. That scared the shit out of me. Doing ethnographic work saved me, by observing humans I became human again.

All totalizing institutions become experts at removing the human experience, because once they do that, they can program people to do anything."

https://instagram.com/p/3AJO0Gt8KP/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119635578466/

"#triciaaftergradschool - Today, I voluntarily came to UCSD #socialscience #sociology building for the first time post #gradschool. Lots of memories are coming back. When I first started grad school, I so badly wanted to enjoy it. I had this vision that I would weave a fun life between working in NYC and reading sociology books on #sandiego beaches.
Man was I wrong. I was so miserable in the program but I didn’t realize how terrible it was until this trip. I don’t think I ever truly allowed myself to acknowledge or even admit how traumatic it was on me while I was in the program. Why do so many experience #gradshcool as isolating, dark, and depressive? Why does it have to be this way when getting any degree, much less a PhD, is such an act of privilege and luck. Brilliant people around the world don’t even get the chance to read books much less step inside a university just because they were born into failed systems. I think I felt this weight of privilege on me, so I didn’t want to even allow myself to come off as unappreciative of this fabulous life I have as a Westerner. But that’s my reason, is there a larger reasons that cuts across all programs?

#triciainsandiego #gradschool #sociology

(at UC San Diego Social Sciences)"

https://instagram.com/p/3AJ6efN8LO/ + http://blog.triciawang.com/post/119635943301/

"#triciaaftergradschool - I am a fucking doctor. That’s right, I have a fucking phd. I am so proud of myself for getting this credential.

Although I think it’s important to remember that credentials do not reflect the quality of a person’s skillsets or intelligence. It makes me sick that #gradschool promotes intellectual superiority within our degree obsessed society.

… [more]
triciaang  2015  ucsd  gradschool  education  commitment  co-dependence  sociology  academia  richardmadsen  thewhy  purpose  triciawang  capitalism  highereducation  highered  2014  socialsciences  measurement  ranking  funding  research  behavior  groupdynamics  professionalization  control  dehumanization  elitism  privilege  isolation  objectivity  self-justification  bullying  systemicracism  institutions  institutionalizedracism  abuse  institutionalizedabuse  classism  class 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Small acts, kind words and “not too much fuss”: Implicit activisms
"In this paper, we suggest that social scientists' accounts of ‘activism’ have too often tended to foreground and romanticise the grandiose, the iconic, and the unquestionably meaning-ful, to the exclusion of different kinds of ‘activism’. Thus, while there is a rich social-scientific literature chronicling a social history of insurrectionary protests and key figures/thinkers, we suggest that there is more to ‘activism’ (and there are more kinds of ‘activism’) than this. In short, we argue that much can be learnt from what we term implicit activisms which – being small-scale, personal, quotidian and proceeding with little fanfare – have typically gone uncharted in social-scientific understanding of ‘activism’. This paper will reflect upon one example of this kind of ‘implicit’ activism, by re-presenting findings from interviews undertaken with 150 parents/carers, during an evaluation of a ‘Sure Start’ Centre in the East Midlands, UK. From these interviews emerged a sense of how the Centre (and the parents/carers, staff and material facilities therein) had come to matter profoundly to these parents/carers. We suggest that these interviews extend and unsettle many social-scientific accounts of ‘activism’ in three key senses. First: in evoking the specific kinds of everyday, personal, affective bonds which lead people to care. Second: in evoking the kinds of small acts, words and gestures which can instigate and reciprocate/reproduce such care. And third: in suggesting how such everyday, affective bonds and acts can ultimately constitute political activism and commitment, albeit of a kind which seeks to proceed with ‘not too much fuss’."

[via: “This article on 'Small acts, kind words and “not too much fuss”: Implicit activisms’ just blew my mind http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1755458609000322 #paywall”
https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/564586799775764481

“As I’m more & more drawn to pacifism each year, I need to find words for my politics/ethics. Can’t stand being told I’m not doing enough.”
https://twitter.com/annegalloway/status/564587538916974593 ]
small  activism  slow  2009  johnhorton  via:anne  peterkraftl  gestures  reciprocity  care  caring  bonds  affectivebonds  politics  commitment  scale  everyday  quotidian 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Poetic Administration — In all cultural revolutions there are periods of...
"In all cultural revolutions there are periods of chaos and confusion, times when grave mistakes are made. If we fear mistakes, doing things wrongly, constantly evaluating ourselves, we will never make the academy a culturally diverse place where scholars and the curricula address every dimension of that difference.

As the backlash swells, as budgets are cut, as jobs become even more scarce, many of the few progressive interventions that were made to change the academy, to create an open climate for cultural diversity are in danger of being undermined or eliminated. Those threats should not be ignored. Nor should our collective commitment to cultural diversity change because we have not yet devised and implemented perfect strategies for them. To create a culturally diverse academy we must commit ourselves fully. Learning from other movements for social change, from civil rights and feminist liberation efforts, we must accept the protracted nature of our struggle and be willing to remain both patient and vigilant. To commit ourselves to the work of transforming the academy so that it will be a place where cultural diversity informs every aspect of our learning, we must embrace struggle and sacrifice. We cannot be easily discouraged. We cannot despair when there is conflict. Our solidarity must be affirmed by shared belief in a spirit of intellectual openness that celebrates diversity, welcomes dissent, and rejoices in collective dedication to truth."

— bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, pp. 33
bellhooks  pedagogy  1994  teaching  teachingtotransgress  diversity  mistakes  chaos  confusion  learning  howwelearn  howweteachcivilrights  socialjustice  conflict  optimism  dissent  commitment  struggle  sacrifice  socialchange 
december 2014 by robertogreco
A SIMPLE SUGGESTION??? | Thoughts on Everything under the Sun or I am a guilty Secularist
"Gary Snyder on moving or rather the opposite. He writes, DON’T MOVE!

“Without further rhetoric or utopian scheming, I have a simple suggestion that if followed would begin to bring wilderness, farmers, people, and the economies back. That is: don’t move. Stay still. Once you find a place that feels halfway right, and it seems time, settle down with a vow not to move any more. Then, take a look at one place on earth, one circle of people, on realm of beings over time, conviviality and maintenance will improve. School boards and planning commissions will have better people on them, and larger and more widely concerned audiences will be attending. Small environmental issues will be attended to. More voters will turn out, because local issues at least make a difference, can be won—and national scale politics too might improve, with enough folks getting out there. People begin to really notice the plants, birds, stars, when they see themselves as members of a place. Not only do they begin to work the soil, they go out hiking, explore the back country or the beach, get on the Freddies’ ass for mismanaging Peoples’ land, and doing that as locals counts! Early settlers, old folks, are valued and respected, we make an effort to learn their stories and pass it on to our children, who will live here too. We look deeply back in time to the original inhabitants, and far ahead to our own descendants, in the mind of knowing a context, with its own kind of tools, boots, songs. Mainstream thinkers have overlooked it: real people stay put. And when things are coasting along ok, they can also take off and travel, there’s no delight like swapping stories downstream. Dont Move! I’d say this really works because here on our side of the Sierra, Yuba river country, we can begin to see some fruits of a mere fifteen years’ inhabitation, it looks good.”

[Nam sent me this in response to my post: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/74873407497/who-are-you-now ]
garysnyder  namhenderson  local  stayingput  mobility  localism  conviviality  community  commitment  environment 
january 2014 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Sketchbook: Fabrica 2013 Informal Annual Review: Fabricanti Handbook
"Notes on the Fabricanti Handbook project

When new researchers arrive at Fabrica, there's a lot to take in. They arrive from all over the world for a start. For many it's their first time in Italy. There are language questions, cultural questions. We are also based in the country, outside Treviso, so without the distractions of a big city but equally without its inherent support networks. They also have to quickly get their head around a unique organisation, with a particular mission, in a very special space.

There is a lot of tacit information which sometimes takes a while to uncover and understand before they feel like "Fabricanti", the word we use for Fabrica's researchers.

Interested in enabling Fabricanti to hit the ground running, we've made the first Fabricanti Handbook in Fabrica's history - it describes how to live here, how to work here, how to play here. We asked two of our Fabricanti to lead the project: Anna Kulachek from Ukraine and Samantha Ziino from Australia, both graphic designers. (This was also an experiment in self-directed projects by Fabricanti.) They conducted interviews with their fellow Fabricanti, and decided all the content themselves, from text to photography to illustration. It draws on stories from Fabricanti alumni, sharing their knowledge of local tricks and quirks, and most importantly, how to get your personal projects done. We were inspired by the Valve employee handbook, by Tom Sach's "10 Bullets!" videos, Ove Arup's key speech and more, but this is a bespoke tool for Fabricanti only.

It describes place, people, processes and projects - and all the basics in terms of living locally, from ordering pasta and visiting the Biennale to why a fur coat and a little dog makes you a Treviso resident - but does so in a way that is playful, enriching and inspirational. It is full of in-jokes and secrets - though, importantly, we felt it should not have everything in it. Not everything should be so easy to find. Knowing the web is full of iconic shots of the architecture bereft of people—as architectural photographs tend to be—Anna and Sam commissioned Fabrica's photographers to take shots of the building as it is, with people in it. Knowing the institution could get a bit hierarchical, they contrasted the official view with a Fabricanti view, using different sizes of paper (there might be an idea of an official daily schedule, but the day is really only "before lunch" and "after lunch"; there is the official floor-plan, and then the way it actually works, and so on).

It should feel like a beautiful gift for your first day at Fabrica, an invaluable guide throughout the year, and a souvenir of your time there when you leave. The cover is a delicate all white on purpose, such that the scuffs, bruises and scribbles tell their own story at the end of the year. (There is a "FabricApp" developing alongside the book, starting with a Google Map version of the maps in the book, and developing into real-time installations around the Fabrica campus, as part of Fabrica's Sandbox project with BERG.) Different paper stock defines the different sections.

So this book is by Fabricanti for Fabricanti. But it also describes Fabrica. In making the book, we had to commit to print a few key ideas, notions, patterns about Fabrica, which hadn't happened much. So as Fabrica enters a new phase of its history, the Fabricanti Handbook is an excuse to form a few ideas about what it is. It is a functional document— how do you not just survive Fabrica, but thrive?—but also an inspirational one, a sketch of what Fabrica is now.

As Fabrica is an evolving project (and as bus routes change and bars open and close) it will be redesigned each year, by new Fabricanti; but with this version 1.0, Anna, Sam and their friends have made a huge contribution to Fabrica's present and future.

Insights

• Make something tangible as an excuse to force us to write something down
• Use a new project to try out different non-hierarchical organisation
• Use a Handbook project to bring organisations together
• Focus on the researchers' environment
• A side-effect of making a great Handbook is that you get great promotional material"
fabrica  print  books  2013  danhill  treviso  italy  projectideas  tangibility  commitment  valve  tomsachs  handbooks  howto  annakulachek  samanthaziino  storytelling  openstudioproject  cityofsound 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Millennials Support Causes, Not Institutions, Survey Finds | PND | Foundation Center
"Millennials — young men and women born between 1979 and 1994 — passionately support causes rather than the institutions working to address them; are highly selective about which organizations to follow on social media; and value the intrinsic benefits of volunteering such as networking and gaining professional expertise, a new report from Achieve and the Case Foundation finds.

Based on survey responses from more than twenty-six hundred individuals, the report, 2013 Millennial Impact Report (34 pages, PDF), found that 73 percent of millennials volunteered for a nonprofit organization in 2012. When asked about their motivations, 79 percent said they were passionate about the cause or issue, 67 percent felt they could make a difference for a cause they cared about, and 56 percent wanted to connect and network with like-minded people. The survey also found that in a crowded and noisy media landscape, 49 percent of millennials actively follow one to five nonprofits on social media, 80 percent like it best when nonprofits have mobile-friendly Web sites, and 59 percent like receiving news or action-oriented updates with links to more information and next steps."

[If true, this bodes well for Kickstarter culture, pop-up culture, and the like.]
trends  millenials  causes  institutions  pop-ups  2013  nonprofit  commitment  engagement  nonprofits 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Deconstructing the Experience of the Local: Toward a Radical Pedagogy of Place | Ruitenberg | Philosophy of Education Archive
"A radical pedagogy of place is a pedagogy of “place” under deconstruction, a pedagogy that understands experience as mediated, that understands the “local” as producing and being produced by the trans-local, and that understands “community” as community-to-come, as a call of hospitality to those outside the com-munis. In a radical pedagogy of place, students are taught to see the multiplicity of and conflicts between interpretations of a place, the traces of meanings carried by the place in the past, the openness to future interpretation and meaning-construction. A radical pedagogy of place does not pretend to offer answers to or “correct” interpretations of hotly contested places. A forest is a site of economic benefit to the logging and tourism industry, as well as an ecosystem, as well as land formerly inhabited by Indigenous people. An inner city neighborhood is a crime statistic, as well as an architectural site, as well as a social system held together by resilience and solidarity. A radical pedagogy of place acknowledges the local contextuality of discourse and experience, but it examines this locality for trans-local traces, for the liminal border- zones, for the exclusions on which its communal identity relies. It encourages not entrenchment in one’s locality and community but rather hospitality and openness.

It is ironic that one of the strengths of place-based education, touted by Orr and others, is that it forces educators and students alike to think and work in interdisciplinary ways: to leave the home of their discipline, to wander and engage in relationships with other disciplines. The hybridity of interdisciplinary approaches needed for place-based education is not possible without a certain nomadism. It might be objected that successful interdisciplinary work is possible only if the theorist is sufficiently rooted in the “home” discipline not to get lost in the wandering. This only underscores, however, that a home is not a home until one can leave it and open it to the other — otherwise, it is a prison.

If one wishes to educate students to have a commitment to their social and ecological environment, one needs to start with an emphasis on commitment rather than on locality or community. Despite the commonly used metaphor, human beings do not grow actual roots on which they depend for their physical, intellectual, or ethical nourishment. Instead, nomads who have learned the ethical gestures of hospitality and openness to a community-to-come will bring nourishment to any place in which they land."
claudiaruitenberg  community  communities  learning  commitment  place  location  local  2005  via:steelemaley  nomads  neo-nomads  roots  ecology  interdisciplinary  education  pedagogy  place-basededucation  environmentaleducation  davidorr  michaelpeters  jacquesderrida  thomasvanderdunk  gregorysmith  mckenziewark  robinusher  janicewoodhouse  cliffordknapp  paultheobald  shaungallagher  henrygiroux  anthropology  experience  radical  radicalpedagogy  johncaputo  drucillacornell  canon  place-basedlearning  place-based  place-basedpedagogy 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Give a crap. Don’t give a fuck. ∙ An A List Apart Column
"What elevates someone’s work from “technically excellent” to “truly great” is the extent to which you feel like you’re seeing them live their truth, be fully themselves."
values  purpose  karenmcgrane  wisdom  work  design  business  2013  truth  commitment  living  life 
march 2013 by robertogreco
The Charisma of Steve Jobs - Meta is Murder - Quora
[Cross-posted here: http://metaismurder.com/post/44155254813/the-charisma-of-leaders ]

"William James identifies the union of "conscience" and "will" in leaders as one of their defining attributes in The Varieties of Religious Experience. To say that their conscience and their will are identical is to say that their values, their morality, their meaning-systems are in harmony with their their daily volition, their constant intentionality.

For most of us, this is not so: there is a frustrating gap between them, such that we're not in accord with our own values, no matter how badly we wish to be; our moral commitments are overwhelmed routinely, and our behavior subverts, distracts, and disappoints us. Perhaps we accept a remunerative job rather than dedicating our lives to what we feel is most important; or we pursue the important, but we get sleepy and head home from the office earlier than we suspect we should; we call in sick when we're perfectly well. We are not as dedicated in friendship as we aspire to be; we grow irritated by what we know is superficial, meaningless; and so on ad nauseum. Because this is one of the defining qualities of human life, examples abound and more are likely unneeded."

"In an age in which religious values are, even by the religious, not considered sufficient for a turn from society —an age of "the cross in the ballpark," as Paul Simon says, of churches that promise "the rich life," of believers who look in disgust at the instantiation of their religions' values— the leader emerges as our most prominent solution to the problem of meaning. She is the embodiment of values and an agent of their transformative influence on the world. She has the energy of purpose, the dedication of the saint but remains within the world, and often improves it."

"The toll leaders take is fearsome, but we admire them for using us up: better to be used, after all, than useless. This is why those who worked for Jobs so often cannot even begin to justify how he reduced so-and-so to tears, how he stole this or that bit of credit, how he crushed a former friend whom in his paranoia he suspected of disloyalty, and they scarcely care. What we admire about saints and leaders is not solely the values they exemplify but the totality with which they exemplify them, a totality alien to all of us whose lives are balanced between poles of conformity and dedication, commitment and restlessness."
georgebernardshaw  stevejobs  millsbaker  2013  paulsimon  vision  values  purpose  williamjames  will  work  conformity  dedication  commitment  restlessness 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Represent / from a working library
"But there’s a point just a few steps beyond belonging that is perhaps even more important: advocating. Belonging to a community means participating, observing, and generally being in attendance (either physically or virtually). But being an advocate requires stepping forward and helping to articulate that community’s needs, or advance their interests, or—when necessary—protect their rights. You need to both amplify and clarify the values of a community, not merely share them.

In practice, this means identifying what your community needs to prosper, and either providing that directly or advocating for its provisioning. There are many ways to do this. You can lobby for changes the community needs (…); you can facilitate discussions (e.g., by hosting and supporting safe, productive forums); you can challenge the status quo (e.g., by bringing in ideas from outside the community and fostering discussion); and so on."
advocacy  community  belonging  tcsnmy  presence  commitment  participation  observation  understanding  lcproject  organizations  leadership  administration  publishing  mandybrown  audience  internet 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Teaching Social Innovation | Austin Center for Design
"“We [need to] teach decidedly unglamorous, small scale tools that allow people to make meaning in as significant ways possible, not only in terms of outcomes, but in terms of process.” That’s precisely the right message for design educators – to emphasize significance in process, rather than object, and focus on small-scale, deep impact. It’s a rejection of an exhausted focus on metrics, scale, and artifacts, and for many of us, it means ignoring the hype of design tourism. I’m positioning the program at AC4D on creating founders who have a sensitive, passionate, and intellectual approach to their work. And I’m thrilled to see more and more programs embracing social innovation, and re-evaluating – and in many cases, massively overhauling – tired design curricula."
jonkolko  design  education  learning  socialinnovation  designeducation  projectbasedlearning  2011  metrics  measurement  success  humanitariandesign  depthoverbreadth  timelines  time  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  ac4d  meaning  meaningfulness  eziomazini  commitment  relationships  tcsnmy  communityengagement  krissdeiglmeier  socialimpact  assessment  tracking  accreditation  credentials  convenience  responsibility  designtourism  entrepreneurship  helenwalters  shrequest1  pbl  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Freedom, Autonomy, and Happiness
"Why haven’t Americans become much happier even though they became much richer? I really think there’s something to the idea that the way we’ve lived and worked as we’ve  become richer hasn’t had much payoff in an increased sense of autonomy. There’s a left-wing version of this argument that stresses a sort of enslavement by false consumer desire, an imagined loss of worker’s rights, and so forth. There’s something to this. But I’m stewing up version of the argument that stresses barriers to self-employment, the debt loads and like-it-or-not rootedness encouraged by the American cult of homeownership, that sort of thing. Consider this a preview."
williwilkinson  davidbrooks  thesocialanimal  happiness  autonomy  left  self-employment  homeownership  workers  enslavement  dept  wealth  rootedness  freedom  commitment  cv  ratrace  racetonowhere  wageslavery  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
David Brooks on Freedom and Commitment - Will Wilkinson - Prefrontal Nudity - Forbes
"Chapter 12 of The Social Animal, “Freedom and Commitment,” contains Brooks’ attempt to draw on contemporary research in the psychological and social sciences to adjudicate between what he sees as two fundamentally incompatible forms of life: the life of freedom and the life of commitment. Brooks thinks happiness studies and other bodies of research vindicate the superiority of the life of commitment on empirical grounds. But Brooks’ grasp of the relevant research appears to be precarious and incomplete.

[…]

If Harold feels he needs more community, connection, and interpenetration, then he probably does (the “affective forecasting” literature notwithstanding.) But that doesn’t mean individualism, self-fulfillment, and personal liberation aren’t equally important. In my forthcoming post on freedom, autonomy, and happiness, I’ll show not only that Mark could end up having it damn good, but that freedom and commitment are false alternatives."
happiness  marriage  freedom  commitment  davidbrooks  thesocialanimal  willwilkinson  autonomy  criticism  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
designswarm thoughts » Thoughts on corporate innovation
"The half-baked R&D Model: Companies who don’t officially have a space for innovation but have one or 2 people who are creative and want to do r&d. So they make them do r&d mostly but brush it aside the second client work comes in. Really dangerous as a model as the level of frustration of those people escalates rather rapidly. You’re either dedicated to the idea that people can do good new and useful things in specific conditions where they are isolated from the everyday, or not. Don’t pretend...
innovation  creativity  strategy  business  small  tcsnmy  frustration  cv  r&d  apple  nokia  organizations  process  development  commitment 
july 2010 by robertogreco
KARE Givers: Great "stuff" doesn't make a great teacher...
"Teaching is about relationships... great teaching is absolutely not about the "stuff" (those resources, technologies, programs, textbooks etc.) that many associate as representing a good educational environment. Next fall as thousands of new North American teachers scramble to find the latest and greatest classroom tools to make their first year of teaching manageable and successful, let's reflect seriously on the fact that positive and effective educational environments aren't about teaching tools; they're about relationships... people working with people to establish the trust and commitment necessary in any successful relationship. Teaching and learning is a collaborative effort that we should be making together with students as opposed to a controlled attempt by the teacher to contol, dictate and disseminate information."
teaching  relationships  learning  schools  tcsnmy  tools  trust  commitment 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Education is a process, not a product « Re-educate
"If a school’s focus should be on responsibility and maturity rather than academics, there are plenty of ways to achieve that goal. One way would be to ask students what they want to learn. Then, provide them with opportunities to learn it on the condition that they make a certain commitments that respect the time and expertise of the teacher. The school’s job then is not to make sure the student learned the material—it’s her education, after all—but to hold the student accountable for honoring her commitments. That’s one way of defining responsibility: Doing what you said you were going to do, in the manner in which it was meant to be done.
progressive  education  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  commitment  responsibility  accountability  tcsnmy  learning  integrity  curiosity  intrinsicmotivation  self-directedlearning  process  change  reform  gamechanging 
december 2009 by robertogreco
When Should You Keep Your Ideas to Yourself? - Harvard Business Online's Marshall Goldsmith
"Rather than just saying, “great idea!” -- I may well say, “That is a very good idea. Why don’t you add this to it?”...here's the problem: the quality of the idea may go up 5% with my suggestions, but your commitment to its execution may go down
business  ideas  leadership  management  administration  work  commitment  via:kottke 
february 2008 by robertogreco

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