What Makes a Good Organization?

Articles by Ted Glick, 2018 This was the question I was recently asked by a young person whom I work with in a New Jersey group. My immediate thoughts: 1) having money, and 2) an internal culture of the group which values listening, mutual respect, democracy at its fullest and not just effectiveness but community building. On reflection, I explained …

‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people

When the people of Flint, Michigan, complained that their tap water smelled bad and made children sick, it took officials 18 months to accept there was a problem. By Anna Clark in The Guardian, July 2018 On a hot day in the summer of 2014, in the Civic Park neighbourhood where Pastor R Sherman McCathern preached in Flint, Michigan, water rushed out of …

The Tyranny of Politeness

Monday, July 02, 2018, in The Progressive, by Mike Ervin  The proper time and place to protest, they say, is always the time and place where they feel they can most easily ignore us. When we show up at their churches, homes, and country clubs, we are no longer constrained by their rigged rules. Sorry it’s not convenient for you: Mike Ervin (l) …

“I’ve started viewing both optimism and pessimism as spectator sports, as forms of disengagement masquerading as involvement”

Look for positive possibilities and ways to partner them into greater probability — excerpt from a letter from a climate activist and organizer Meg Wheatley and David Spangler taught me about living in a world of possibilities. We could say, inspired by the poet Muriel Rukeyser, that the universe is made of possibilities, not atoms. They are everywhere. They are …

Roots of Liberation

Reflection from Richard Rohr, Roots of Liberation, Sunday, June 24, 2018  One of the great themes of the Bible, beginning with the Hebrew Scriptures and continued by Jesus and Paul, is “the preferential option for the poor.” I call it “the bias toward the bottom.” The Hebrew people’s exodus out of slavery, and YHWH’s complete identification with them, is the pattern of …

Systems thinking applied to organizational culture

The Importance of Organizational Culture The last section of Systems Thinking Made Simple highlighted the importance of motivating individuals to be system thinkers in order to shape a successful system thinking organization. To support this claim, Cabrera unveils the organizational design and leadership method called VMCL. This concept represents: Vision (V)- An organization’s future goal Mission (M)- An organization’s rules that help …

I can’t create positive change without recognizing and naming my own participation in the oppressive systems that I’m trying to undo.

  1. The Revolution Is a Relationship Something that worries me about social justice communities is that we tend to conceptualize “revolution” as a product, as a place and time that we expend all of our energy and anger to create – often without regard to the toll this takes on individuals and our relationships. In this way, “The Revolution” …

The Next System: The Joyful Economy, by Gus Speth

This paper by Gus Speth, published alongside three others, is one of many proposals for a systemic alternative we have published or will be publishing here at the Next System Project. You can read it below, or download thePDF. We have commissioned these papers in order to facilitate an informed and comprehensive discussion of “new systems,” and as part of this effort we …

Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing

Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing Meeting hosted by Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (SNEEJ), Jemez, New Mexico, Dec. 1996 Activists meet on Globalization On December 6-8, 1996, forty people of color and European-American representatives met in Jemez, New Mexico, for the “Working Group Meeting on Globalization and Trade.” The Jemez meeting was hosted by the Southwest Network for …

Highlights – Organizing Cools the World

Many of the ideas, frameworks, and tools in this booklet come from organizations we have learned from in our journeys. This includes but is not limited to: Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, smartMeme Strategy & Training Project, Training for Change, the Ruckus Society, Beyond the Choir, Climate Justice Now!, Mobilization for Climate Justice West, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Rising …