“Diversity, as it is experienced within Inclusive Leadership, is a living, breathing part of each and every person. Just as there is diversity in every person, there is leadership in every person, humanity in every person, and these are the common bonds that link us together to become stronger and brighter in caring for people and the planet.” (Art Phipps, Co-founder of the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative)
The Inclusive Leadership Co-operative warmly invites you to our Inclusive Leadership events coming up on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada in February, April and the end of June 2015. Here is a visioning exercise to motivate you to get involved this year.
Take a moment to relax, close your eyes, and imagine an inclusive and welcoming day in your neighbourhood, school, workplace, park, wild area or anywhere else in your community. As you visualize these familiar places, notice that everything is the same as it has always been except for one thing. The one thing that is different is this: Instead of reacting to differences as problems to be solved or avoided, everyone is accepting differences in other people and in nature as gifts to value and treasure. What changes do you see in how people are interacting with each other and with the environment? What is shifting? What are you doing to influence these changes?
Does this visioning exercise bring some images to your mind and a smile to your heart? If so, we hope you will consider getting involved in Inclusive Leadership in 2015. Click here for more information about our upcoming events or read on to learn more about becoming an Inclusive Leader. The variety of possibilities for transforming communities by embracing diversity are magnificent.
Making the choice to learn and practice Inclusive Leadership skills is similar to deciding to get a driver’s license, play a sport, join an orchestra, or learn a new language. On one hand, the skills involved in becoming a socially and environmentally responsible Inclusive Leader are complex and challenging. It takes time and practice to become accomplished. On the other hand, Inclusive Leadership is a possible, positive, and life enriching set of skills that can be learned, practiced and developed to the point that they become second nature.
Once you have decided to become an Inclusive Leader, the next step is easy. All you have to do is accept our invitation to show up at an Inclusive Leadership event on Vancouver Island, BC. Since our first Inclusive Leadership Adventure in 2002, hundreds and hundreds of people from all walks of life have participated in these journeys into the heart of Inclusive Community Building and Experiential Diversity Education. Participants come on their own, or come with one or two or a few family members, friends, colleagues, teachers, students and others from the same school, organization, or work-place.
As soon as you arrive you will be welcomed into an Inclusive Leadership learning community co-facilitated by experienced Inclusive Travel Guides such as Linda Hill, Raj Gill, Kix Citton, Linda McDaniels, Art Phipps and others. You will meet new and experienced leaders of diverse ages, cultures and other backgrounds who have a wide range of environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual concerns and passions.
Together we will share leadership in bringing our vision of Inclusive Leadership to life during our time together. Within the first hour we will have co-created an inclusive culture based on safety, respect, equality and joy. From the first day onward, participants and co-facilitators will be immersed in developing and practicing these four sets of Inclusive Leadership skills for transforming the world by embracing diversity:
Connecting with differences
Communicating with compassion
Standing up for diversity and inclusion
Building bridges within and between groups
As participants and co-facilitators learn with and from each other, we will each be connecting and integrating these Inclusive Leadership skills with our own unique combination of education, experience, and identities. Participants will have time and guidance to work individually or in small groups to develop relevant and meaningful action plans for addressing the social and and environmental issues we are each most concerned about. In the process of educating each other about these plans, we will be mutually mentoring each other. Constructive consultation groups will help each plan become simpler, stronger, more practical and more likely to be implemented. When the time comes to say goodbye, we will each leave with more confidence, skills, tools, and strategies for caring for the community of life, restoring ecological integrity, and building schools, organizations, workplaces, neighbourhoods, and communities based in social and environmental justice, equality, non-violence, peace and joy.
What are the outcomes of becoming an Inclusive Leader? We know from ten years of follow up research that in the year following an Inclusive Leadership event, most participants will have created waves of change that we call the “Power of Ten times Ten.” The first waves of change happen as Inclusive Leaders involve others in implementing their action plans. The average Inclusive Leader shares leadership with about ten more children, youth, or adults in carrying out their Inclusive Leadership plans. Imagine yourself doing what you love with this group of ten or more people. You may be supporting someone you love to be included and appreciated or you may be facilitating workshops, creating more inclusive classrooms, cultivating community gardens, working on community-building projects, sharing music, making videos, setting up meetings to resolve a social or environmental problem or many other action plans.
The next waves of change happen as Inclusive Leaders and their groups share their projects and activities with others. On average each group of ten people will influence ten times ten – one hundred – more people. Imagine a hundred more people experiencing a project you have initiated, and imagine hundreds of people harvesting all the plans that began growing during an Inclusive Leadership gathering. This is the power of ten times ten in action.
Imagine Inclusive Leaders doing this over and over again, month after month, year after year. This is the vision of becoming an Inclusive Leader. Is 2015 the year for you to become involved or re-involved? We look forward to sharing leadership with you soon.
We hope you will become a regular reader of past and future posts about the outcomes of people putting Inclusive Leadership into action. We invite you to follow our website, like us and follow us on Facebook