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A "transformation optimist's" thoughtful look at the trends transforming our world and the steps we must take to ensure that the human qualities we cherish most will continue to flourish

The plan Tim Nixon suggested was simple.

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If the Appleton Coated paper mill went to a scrap dealer, as Tim expected, I would file a formal objection with the court. The goal would be to win time for the mill to find an alternative buyer, someone who would keep it intact and run it as a mill. That was our one hope to save the plant and, with it, the village of Combined Locks. 

     “Let’s do it,” I said. 

     With that simple decision—a long-odds gamble driven by the lack of any better options—Tim Nixon and I would set in motion a complicated saga that would lead to an unlikely outcome, one with important lessons to offer for countless other American communities facing the same forces of devastation that were confronting Combined Locks.

From One Day Stronger: How One Union Local Saved a Mill and Changed an Industry--and What It Means for American Manufacturing

by Thomas M. Nelson


Twentieth-century business tools will not solve these new types of wicked problems. They are simply too multifaceted for any company to solve on its own. As PepsiCo’s Rob Meyers notes, “To solve some of these systemic issues in our supply chain that we have found in implementing our Sustainable

For companies in every business sector, "wicked problems" are becoming the new normal.

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Agriculture Program is something we can’t do on our own. Even if we could just write a check, we couldn’t write one big enough to fix these systemic issues.” The new normal of wicked 21st-century business problems requires different tools.

From Partner with Purpose: Solving Twenty-First Century Business Problems Through Cross-Sector Collaboration by Steve Schmida

The more you push for progressive change, the more entrenched power pushes back.


This fact has formed the context of my life in politics.

     I encountered the same dynamic as a student activist at Howard University in the 1960s and as an inner-city physician in Los Angeles, California, in the 1970s and 1980s before returning home to Bermuda to enter electoral politics. Indeed, this is the situation of would-be change agents everywhere, not least of all in the Black diaspora throughout the Americas. 

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     Still wealthy and powerful, the White establishment clings to its old ways behind a facade of change. It exemplifies the regressive forces Frederick Douglass described when he said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. . . . Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

From Whom Shall I Fear? Pushing the

Politics of Change by Ewart F. Brown, M.D.


You didn’t plan to be a family caregiver. You probably didn’t receive training or certification or education that qualifies you to be a great family caregiver. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and underprepared. You may not know exactly how to be a family caregiver, but have faith in yourself and in the reason why you’re here.

If you’re like most family caregivers, you didn’t aspire to be in this situation.

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   Faith in yourself should lead you to adopt a learning orientation to caregiving. Allow yourself to be taught by your loved one, by healthcare professionals, by other caregivers, by friends and family, and by the universe. I love Paulo Coelho’s suggestion that when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Seek out the offerings from the universe to you as you adjust to your family caregiving role. Faith in your ability to learn how to address caregiving’s challenges will accelerate your growth as a caregiver.

From When Caregiving Calls: Guidance as You Care for a Parent, Spouse, or Aging Relative

by Aaron Blight, Ed.D.

Words are paper-thin:
weave them into fabric
and they hold reality.


Morning prayer haiku  – 

March 28, 2017

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From Haiku for the Road

by Stephen Holton

The Jackpot Question, Being Prepared for

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While some meetings with potential donors—especially first meetings—are not well suited to making a direct solicitation for financial support, you can never be sure what may happen once the conversation begins. For this reason, it’s important to always be prepared with a good answer for the possible jackpot question: “What could your organization do if I wrote you a check for $1 million today?”

If you can respond to the jackpot question clearly and without appearing flustered, you just may increase the odds of having the dream come true! On the other hand, if you can’t answer such a question cogently, you may need to spend some time reflecting . . . or maybe even find another line of work.  

From When in Doubt, Ask for More

and 213 Other Life and Career Lessons

for the Mission-Driven Leader by Alex Counts

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I had returned from my second tour of Bangladesh, which had lasted five years. I was running Grameen Foundation, an organization that I had founded a few years earlier to advance the humanitarian ideals of Muhammad Yunus, the iconic Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, which I'd adopted as my own. On the surface, things were going well. But just below the surface, trouble was building fast.

     I had the job of my dreams, but I was often a bundle of nerves. I was driving my employees and family crazy, and I had virtually no interests beyond my work. I'd been successful at raising more money than ever before, but I was also feeling increasingly insecure and anxious.

I realized it was past time for me to turn things around.

From Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades

of Social Entrepreneurship by Alex Counts