July 29, 2017
From another side of this continent, check out this photo montage video from the April, 2017 Intergenerational Leadership Exchange in Vermont!
Spring Leadership Exchange
Co-Creating Community For These Times
May 20, 2017
Dear Berrett-Koehler Foundation Community,
Every week I connect with leaders of remarkable organizations, plotting how we can combine forces. We all recognize that we are stronger together, and that it takes all of our unique gifts to tackle the challenges our world faces. I am often tempted to enter partnership conversations with a pre-formed template in my mind – what are our shared objectives? What are our individual resources? How are we going to fund it? These are essential questions. But they are empty if not built on relationships that can weather the shifting terrains of our political, social, economic and spiritual climates. The human body builds relationship over time, by sharing stories and by showing up consistently.
At the end of the day, “collaboration” is a promise to care about each other. It is saying “I extend the boundaries of my world to include you in it. I have your back. I think about you.” This means that as opportunities and calls to action arise we reach out to each other, naturally responding to emerging needs rather than forcing the partnership ahead.
On that note, I’d like to introduce some of the people with whom Berrett-Koehler Foundation is collaborating. I am humbled and happy to share the news that Maren Showkeir and Jonathan Fong are joining our Board of Directors. Maren is a beloved BK author. Her late husband Jamie was a founding member of the Berrett-Koehler Foundation Board. Jonathan has participated in just about every program BKF has offered, most recently serving on our Collaboratory Committee. He has championed our work from the start, first as one of the “emerging leaders” we serve and now as one of the “emerging leaders” on the board! Both of these skilled individuals bring immense experience and talent to our leadership team. See below for some words from both of them.
We just wrapped up a powerful intergenerational Leadership Exchange in Oakland. Based on the theme “Co-Creating Community For These Times,” this day-long event gathered 36 local change-makers. In this newsletter we feature two of the people who made it happen – Daisy Ozim, one of the participants who was joining BKF for the first time, and Kristian Astre, a member of the stelar Design Team who facilitated the day. Perhaps no other group embodies collaboration as deeply as the Design Team – all volunteer, intergenerational, diverse, and mutually committed to creating something beautiful together. This team managed to build trust, appreciation, and creative agility in the short time between their first meeting in April to Leadership Exchange in May.
Please enjoy this newsletter and enjoy your June. It’s an honor to collaborate with you.
Director, Berrett-Koehler Foundation
Voices from the Co-Creating Community Leadership Exchange
Voice from a Participant: Daisy Ozim
“My heart is filled with love and community and my spirit rejuvenated after attending the quarterly BK Foundation Leadership Exchange. Upon entering the space, I didn’t know what to expect. My co-conspirators at the Norcal Resilience Network invited me to the event so I knew it must be an inclusive space and that I would be bound to meet some amazing people. The facilitators were amazing and held space for deeper conversations that could have been very new or uncomfortable for some. We were invited to take care of our needs throughout the day which helped create a safe space. The lunch was amazing and healthy and enough for seconds! The experiential activities, coupled with the deep discussions, kind-hearted participants, and free books from authors published by BK was more than I could ask for. I look forward to attend again in the future and supporting the next Leadership Exchange as a co-organizer. Thank you BK Foundation for creating spaces for healing and community. You are greatly appreciated.”
– Daisy Ozim, Founder
Voice From A Design Team Member: Kristian Astre
“When I joined the Design Team, only one thing was for certain — the expectation that we would put together a day of provocative dialogue and discovery for a community of individuals who considered themselves leaders. I didn’t know what to expect but I was willing to dive in because of my two very personal connections to the BK Foundation: my brilliant wife, Kerline Astre, who also serves on the fundraising committee for BK Foundation and Annie Rose, the fearlessly generous and ever-accommodating Executive Director.
Inspired by their unwavering commitment to progressive change, inclusive spaces and intentional community, I was compelled to enter into the mysterious process of designing a Leadership Exchange with a group of strangers even though my introversion begged me to reconsider. Thankfully, I pushed passed my instinct to draw back and instead relied on my intuition. I felt like there was something in the experience that I could grow from and I challenged myself to find it.
Gratitude led the way. Being grateful to be of service, being grateful for the opportunity to influence my community and being grateful to my team for their commitment, honesty, transparency and authenticity laid the foundation for a willingness to be vulnerable, be present and be open to the unpredictable journey of co-creating what turned out to be a potent day of sharing and connecting.
Inside of the whirlwind adventure of collaborating, the frustrations of scheduling times to meet or talk, the relief of seeing that pieces start to come together, the joy of having a team to rely on and the exhilaration of seeing our vision come to life, I found an appreciation for stepping outside of my comfort zone and the beauty of allowing my introversion to tag along for the ride.”
– Kristian Astre
Arts and Culture Writer