Open Note to the FCC Transition Team

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, sick early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, health cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, viagra 100mg but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this endeavor, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, sick early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, health cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, viagra 100mg but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this endeavor, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, sick early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, health cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, viagra 100mg but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this endeavor, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, gerontologist early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in the values of the cause and in working together

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, anemia today. Blogging is powerful, website and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, abortion today. Blogging is powerful, ask and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, pulmonologist we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, medications today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, diagnosis today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, malady today. Blogging is powerful, help and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, website like this today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency and compelled on tight time-frames. Sometimes we accept external limiting definitions of ourselves, our station, what we deserve. We are distracted from our connectedness and what we ow to each other. (Georg Simmel’s notion of the relative decline Subjective vs. Objective Culture is relevant to this question – and reframes the challenge as acutely modern.)

We must set the highest goals and pursue them diligently, steadily. So much human potential is squandered. Life is squandered. We’re more caught up in maintaining a status quo, or keeping up with the current than growing together.

We must ask what human dignity demands of us when we bear witness to poverty and human suffering.

My call to the world of social and civic entrepreneurs with whom I find myself in common cause: let us each pursuing the social good work ourselves one by one out of a job. That’s my vision for the not-for-profit and social entrepreneurs – successfully closing the books on as many causes as we can so we may turn to higher challenges with the full complement of human creative potential.

This is the great urgency I see. These are two compass points on the map I follow.

It seemed as if the Universe was smiling, sick early this week… the election of Obama and the beautiful weather in the midwest were linked with the global euphoria. Hyde Park felt different, health cheerful – proud.

Our species (and planet) faces many challenges at this moment, viagra 100mg but to deal with them in a sane and healing manner we needed this collective catharsis.

I don’t go in for hero worship, so I will not heap praise upon one man. Instead, let us celebrate this moment as yet another achievement in our (human) struggles through history. This is collective work, and I had my doubts that we – in this nation – would rise to the occasion. But we did.

This is an achievement of the people. I have heard countless tales of people who went door to door., inspired by Obama’s message and character. Some philosophies call for revolution at regular intervals, but not all revolutions require blood sacrifice. We’ve transformed ourselves through a long campaign – some bitterness and pain in some of the work we’ve done, and we have not fully transcended our past injustices in this nation. Resentiments lurk beneath the surface in many households, but the message of healing remains: we are together in this endeavor, we are American, we have one planet and we must work together with the world, and working together starts wherever you are.

We should commemorate this achievement in a work of public art. I proposed on a listserv of Hyde Parkers that the efforts of the people leading to this moment be the subject of a mural or statue in Hyde Park.

Of Hyde Park I have heard it stated “black and white (stand) united” – followed by the qualifying twist: “against the poor.” I think there is some truth to that statement – visible in the the the contrast between Hyde Park (and one or two neighborhoods) and other surrounding community areas. Professionals and Intellectuals must ground themselves in work that is relevant to the cause of social justice
Excellent video!


Excellent video!


The following was written for the Catalytic Communities 2008 end of year newsletter, physician and posted in the longer form on the CatComm blog:

Theresa breezed through Chicago in 2005, link
and graciously took 15 minutes to give me a tour of CatComm’s website. I was hooked in less than two minutes!

Conceptual depth, advice
authenticity, and devotion are three things that inspire me. Finding a special alignment of these things in CatComm and Theresa made me an instant advocate. And my own commitment to the digital divide sector and community networking arena gave me a great appreciation for the approach Theresa had undertaken. CatComm is an exemplar of Digital Excellence by virtue of its holistic ethos: people in community solving what they need to solve and sharing their experiences with each other. This is an exercise in positive media—the sharing of stories and know-how.

In learning about CatComm, the first big ‘a-ha’ moment for me was the recognition that we need exactly the kind of tool that CatComm provides in order to share knowledge. We must foster this practice and I was keen on sparking replication of the Casa here in Chicago and elsewhere.

What one community solves inspires others to take action and go further. At the same time, organizations and web sites crop up to tackle the challenges we face. They operate with much the same mindset and similar aspirations—but are all too often unaware of each other until a good deal of work has already been done. Realizing this has been central to CatComm’s recent evolution. We are following a network perspective and we have now adopted the stance of a network steward among many. That means working in cooperation with an increasing network of like-minded organizations.

Leadership in networks is different from brand or organizational leadership. There’s an ecology of the network and we’re redeveloping the CatComm site and organization to consciously function as part of a network. We’re joining hands with other clusters working on the same meta-question: How can we more effectively share the experiences of people in community solving challenges? We have made a major investment in the technology of our website. In some respects, we’re turning the site inside out so we can get out the way and also get the technology out of the way. These are the insights we’ve gleaned from the practice of open space—making room for self-organizing—and has given us kinship with those on the wiki path.

We’ve been rebuilding our platform so that information can be more readily disseminated across networks. Information is valuable, to be sure, but even more valuable is the time and attention of the person, whether they are documenting their project or searching for a solution. We’re working with others to establish public data models and mechanisms to effectively exchange data between sites. We are seeking accelerated flows of information so that attention and effort is maximized.

The data will be stored on our website in a way that allows other sites, applications, and widgets to rely on us as a repository of solutions. We’ll get more eyes looking at our content at more points on the Web then we could hope for from a solitary website, and with support of issue and geographic portals to get more solutions documented in the database. It’s a virtuous cycle that comes from attending to the field we’re all working in rather than competing against one another.

But today, we’re just at the beginning of this road.

We’re about to switch over to a new platform that will allow expansion of the languages we serve and the formats in which solutions are documented. Our content will be available for search, query, and export, and the data models will be published as a standard in our work with the Open Sustainability Network. We’ll be supporting the flow of information with significant attention to the construction of tools that allow others to display subsets of our content on their own sites, so a group focused on a particular issue or particular geography can focus on their concern and not on the technology.

Shortly down the road we’ll be working with others to foster communities of problem solvers (or Solutioneers, as Ellison Horne says!) and supporters. These communities will emerge on the basis of productive interactions made possible by many hands attending to the field.
As Blog Action Day – 2008 draws to a close I write in solidarity with all who took up the cause of Poverty, salve today. Blogging is powerful, and the freedom to blog is something we should not take lightly. We are exercising a significant privilege.

While thinking about poverty two points come immediately to mind. First, we live in a world of great abundance. Second, and not unrelated to the first – the impoverishment of our repertoire of ideas and options is something we must take seriously – our symbolic or cultural impoverishment.

We live in a world of great abundance. In the context of recent global financial news we’re prone to forget this. In the context of the many effects of poverty we are drawn in to the immensity of the gap we must surmount. I return again and again to the work of Amartya Sen – in questioning the distribution of resources. Hunger and want more often than not is about a breakdown in the distribution and exchange of needed resources and rarely a result of insufficient resources for populations. Greed gets in the way. People are unwilling to let their wealth flow. We have the wrong idea of what wealth is.

Material Impoverishment persists largely through a nefarious “Symbolic Impoverishment”. This does not mean that social justice (or injustice) is not an active factor. So much more is possible for us as individuals and collectively as a species than we generally recognize. We accept limited options in the face of difficult circumstances. We reinforce the imagery of limited options for others. We find ourselves goaded by urgency a