Godsil’s Notes From Williams’ Link



Well witness communities that rely on everyone to be an entrepreneur, a leader, an artist. These communities trust that these are common human traits, not limited to a few gifted people. Well meet people who use their ingenuity and caring to figure out how to work with what they have to create what they need.

We learned the phrase Walks Outs Who Walk On from our friends in India.They had created a network of young people who chose to leave school.They didnt consider themselves dropouts, a negative label assigned tothem by the school system. They left school because they wanted to belearners, not passive students. They walked on to discover many ways they could contribute to creating change in their world.

These communities are creating meaningful change in some of the most difficult political, social,and economic circumstances. They may have little money, few trustworthy formal leaders, and minimal material resources. They may have been told theyre backward or dont possess the requisite expertise to solve their own problems. Had they accepted current thinking, they would have sat back and waited passively for help to come from the outsidefrom experts, foreign aid, heroic leaders. But instead, they walked out. They had the good sense not to buy into these paralyzing beliefs about themselves and how change happens. They walked on to discover that the wisdom and wealth they need resides in themselvesin everyday people, their cultural traditions and their environ-
ment. Theyve used this wisdom and wealth to conduct bold experiments in how to create healthy and resilient communities where all people matter, all people can contribute. Their creativity and hard work make it easier for us to see that a different world is possible.


Well visit Unitierra , a new form of university, and the
Zapatistas , a populist movement for self-determination.

Warriors Without Weapons, where play, not power, evokes peoples passion, creativity, and motivation to work hard on seemingly overwhelming challenges.

Joubert Park in Johannesburg, where people have created changes in education, public safety, arts, ecology, food, and more using the principle of start anywhere follow it everywhere

Kufunda Learning Village has achieved resilience in a time of total systems collapse by choosing a different approach.They engage in a wide range of small local actions that give them the capacity to continuously adapt to an unpredictable and chaotic world

In a gift culturecommon in many traditional societiesgenerosity prevails and moneloses its power. Shikshantar is experimenting with gift culture, replac-ing mindless growth with the confidence that we have what we need

Art of Learning Centering at Axladtisa-Avatakia, participants
walked out of dependence on experts and learned to trust the capacities and creativity available in friendship to address their communitys needs.

People in Columbus, Ohio, are walking out of heroic leadership and walking on to a new operating system of using conversational processes to address complex problems,such as health care, homelessness, poverty, public safety, and more.

Theyve confirmed Margaret Meads brilliant statement that the world
changes by dint of small groups of dedicated people. And theyve demonstrated that when people know where they come fromtheir traditions and culturethey develop strength and stamina. These pathfinders have come to understand that living is a synonym for learning: they experiment, take risks, fail, succeed, make it up as they go along, and offer compassion and forgiveness to each other.

All systems go through life cycles. Theres progress, setbacks, seasons. When a new effort begins, it feels like spring. People are excited by new possibilities, innovations and ideas abound, problems get solved, people feel inspired and motivated to contribute. It all works very well, for a time. And then, especially if theres growth and success, things can start to go downhill. Leaders lose trust in peoples ability to self-organize and feel the need to take control, to standardize everything, to issue policies, regulations, and laws. Self-organization gets replaced by over-organization; compliance becomes more important than creativity. Means and ends get
reversed, and people struggle to uphold the system rather than having the system support them.

We have to be thoughtful and LEAVING HOME compassionate in attending to whats dyingwe have to be good hospice workers. And we have to be experimenters, pioneers, edge-walkers.

Inside dying systems, Walk Outs Who Walk On are those few leaders who refuse to work from the dominant values that permeate the bureaucracy, such things as speed, greed, fear, and aggression. They use their formal leadership to champion values and practices that respect people, that rely on peoples inherent motivation, creativity, and caring to get quality work done. These leaders consciously create oases or protected areas withinthe bureaucracy where people can still contribute, protected from the As old systems fail, a few people walk out. They walk on to experiment with new ways of thinking and organizing that enable them to find solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems. At first, they feel isolated and alone, limited in what they
can achieve These leaders are treasures. Theyre
dedicated, thoughtful revolutionaries who work hard to give birth to the new in very difficult circumstances.

Last edited by James Godsil.   Page last modified on June 14, 2015

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