This round of our Occupy 2.0 series focused on the idea of link leadership, inspired by our new Connect 2012 initiative and Peggy Holman's conversation with us on 12/19.

Link leaders are people (or perhaps organizations) that serve the vital function within networks of making connections between "hubs."  The hubs are characterized by strong ties among their members that allow them to effectively pursue the activities that hub is focused upon. Between the hubs you have "weak ties," meaning that not everyone in each hub is connecting with everyone else. But as long as every hub is connected to a bunch of other hubs through some smaller portion of its membership, that allows everyone in the network to be no more than a few degrees of separation away from everyone else even if the numbers get very large.

Making those weak tie connections is where link leaders come in.  Peggy talked about how this form of leadership is not typically recognized, and often appears disruptive in the context of a hub's activities.  Through Connect 2012, we want to create an environment where link leaders are empowered and can thrive.  

You can see some of the results of our exploration of these concepts here on the Collaborative Tablecloth for our Cafe Call on this subject.  Inspired by a garden metaphor offered by Jane Hughes Gignoux as we opened the call, we asked these questions:

--What would the ideal “garden” for link leaders to work/play in look like?

--Imagine you are in that garden:

  • Who are you connecting with?
  • What are you talking about?
  • What are the outcomes of these connections?

We would love to hear your thoughts on this score--especially all you link leaders out there!


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There was a lot of great discussion today regarding process, hubs/groups/community/orgs and link leaders/pollinators/"scatter brains."  However, I am still having a difficult time grasping what exactly it is to be a link leader or a part of the hub. I get the idea, but I also get the feeling these terms could be expanded upon or explored more deeply as we figure a process that may best fulfill our needs.

Heather was mentioning how she is about to embark on a community building initiative of sort that will entail collaborating with a church organization that's ways or values of sort are at odds with her own. I think that an important beginning to successful collaborations begin with a clearly defined purpose and well thought out questions that allow participants to connect at the "heart level," as Jitendra has mentioned, beyond the radar of any particular ideology. I'm excited to hear of Heather's experiences, successes and times of trial.

There were elements in todays discussion that seem may pave way to more productive conversation and enhance the connect 2012 vision. As I reflected about process and our discussion earlier I thought to myself, it's all about the process." It's not about end results, but the process that will enhance our journey. The journey/story that we're all living on our way to a more sustainable and holistic place. I hear a lot of people talking about solutions within the realm of our current system (which, by the way, I am not against), but can we begin proposing solutions without looking deeply into process, determining what is really important to us and setting a stronger foundation from where to act.

In one of the break out sessions we spoke about participants buying into the process and respecting it and those involved. I, and seemingly others as well, think it is so important that in the process there are opportunities to establish and foundation of values and retouch on those as necessary to promote the healthy interactions for which we strive. A constant reminder of our heart and entire spectrum of being of sort.

I get the feeling that there are very important questions we need to be asking ourselves to begin the creation of process. I get the feeling questions are being formed through the inquiry process as the connect 2012 vision unfolds.

What questions do you think may help to direct our energies and wishes for a more peaceful, loving and sustainable world

I agree, Jeremy, that questions evoking the illumination of values are the foundation for common ground.  I've noticed through the years, that it's a person's experience that holds the key to one's value.  We strive for particular ranges of experience: freedom of expression, freedom to move about the land, security, safety, connection, respect, appreciation, etc. 

I find questions that might evoke awareness of the experience one desires to be potent in unveiling values.  People value "things" for the experience they believe or perceive those things will provide.  People value a right wing or a left wing according to the experience they imagine that wing will afford, or perhaps in resistance to the experience the opposite wing will impose. 

A lot of struggle over values takes place in the head, trying to control the outcome of "things" which have gone far afield from the ideal of the experience that was once imagined would be the outcome.  The process of distilling the experience we desire from the things that we want is fascinating and successful to the degree that a person has access to the sensory unfolding beneath the pressure of one's mental activity.  Another way of saying this is that we get trapped in our heads till we locate our hearts and allow ourselves to be vulnerable to the needs we're actually trying to fulfill. 

Like in the aftermath of 9/11 when, for a few weeks, people suspended their top heavy (mental) ideologies and met each other through their hearts in support of basic needs. 

Our intention for Connect 2012 is precisely as you describe it, to compose questions that will elicit heart connections below the radar of ideology, that we might illuminate common ground on which to build a new foundation for the good of all, without needing to concoct a calamity, a la 9/11, around which to do so.

Our goodness is on tap to be summoned forth with epic enthusiasm and ebullience.


Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
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1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

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