thestoryofmeaningfuluse

A Magazine Capturing the Story of Health- For People, Environment, Economy & Habitat

The Intangible Value of Sustainable Prayer

By Lavinia Gene Weissman

Moving Beyond Today’s Spiritual Vacuum

@wecarehealth525151515151

New York, New York

This past week, I have been exceptionally frustrated. My frustration grew out of  an observation that many of the men and women, I know, have become unconsciously resigned as a result of the today’s economic challenge or the do not break from the mechanical nature of doing more of the same – looking for a job or living simply in response to stress, to find a point of transformation to shift local economies and learn new approaches to problems they share with their friends that can impact the health of the economy, people, environment and habitat to measure lasting social impact for the welfare of all.

Author, JK Rowling has taught us so many times, in how she lives and has lived her life while imagining every Harry Potter chapter, success grows from failure and recovery from failure grows from imagination.   Her learning took form from her own journey as the daughter of a chronically ill mother, who became an abused wife.  Freedom from abuse took her with her imagination through the journey of an impoverished single mom, living on services with her daughter to becoming a teacher, and then magic beyond words shaped her life today growing out of her rich inner childhood imagination that birthed Harry Potter and friends.

I see many woman using spiritual practices of being positive and expressing and claiming gratitude as a way to accept a diminished life and circumstance for which they are unable to abound.  I have organized a prayer group for numerous of my acquaintances called Monday Circle of Prayer. Many members of this group have very compromised life experiences due to illness, single parenting, job loss, declined sources of income, care-giving sick family members and more.

Each week, I offer a prayer to these women through a private group on Facebook, called Monday Circle of Prayer.   It is my way to inspire myself by inspiring others by building a new view of who we are and what we represent.  It’s about creating a faith practice that inspires hope for those of us who carry a burden that the socio-economic authorities have served to us a cloud of resignation that has translated into a life challenged by poverty, poor health and economic strife. For me I have survived by finding the faith to persist at my own life and work in these difficult times and find a new path that improves their capacity to sustain themselves.

I curate this group and invite conversation and contribution. I archive the prayers in a protected group on Facebook, so as to assure privacy.  I have introduced some of the women to each other and some have begun to talk by phone to each other about problems they may share in common, perhaps to seek a new view.

Last week the conversations with a number of these women fueled my frustration to see how to easily they are using their spiritual practice to fuel a form of resignation and not work to alter their life, but to use the positive ways and expressions of gratitude almost like a form of accepting this diminished form of life.

This group has helped to alleviate isolation many feel when living in poverty or challenged.  The group has not yet found the courage or imagination to author a new view that is fueled by all its members and not driven by me.  All I can do at this time is author a reflective prayer each week or an link or two of inspiration.

There is a change in this country over the past six months, since the stand by Occupy Wall Street. A much greater number of people have moved the pervasive denial that pushes so many to do more of the same and not recognize the need for change that the 2008 Global Financial Meltdown implied.

As part of my own grappling about the lack of understanding in our economy of what is implied to care about the welfare of others, I decided to read Hillary Clinton’s autobiography, Living History, written in 2003

Reading this bio has prompted me to rethink what it means to embrace your own personal power.  I continue to believe that power is inside every potential leader at birth and if prompted in by family, educators and friends, it can mushroom into something remarkable over time that has nothing to do with position or authority.

Embedded in Hillary’s life story is this kind of pattern.  Yet while reading the book, I had to ask myself how does she lift herself beyond failure and difficult times, which for Hillary like many woman in my prayer gropu have been numerous, brutal and life altering.

Hillary discovered the power of intangible prayer during her first month as First Lady.  This was to carry her through her first 6 months as First Lady of the United States, which were filled with loss, disappointments, failures and infringement of her family’s privacy.

By the end of six months, the task force she chaired for health care reform failed. She experienced numerous significant deaths of her father, mother-in-law and her close friend and law partner committed suicide as a result of clinical depression.  The Clinton living quarters had been searched with out notice.

In April of that year, Hillary was invited to make a speech at the University of Texas as her father lay at death’s door. On the plane to Austin, she found an article authored by Lee Atwater, Age 40, political adviser to Presidents Reagan and Geroge H.W. Bush, who was dying of cancer. Hillary embedded this passage from the article in the speech she gave in April 1993 at University of Texas, Austin.

Atwater wrote,

“Long before I was struck by cancer, I felt something striring in American society; it was a sense among the people of the country— Republicans and Democrats alike—-that something was missing from their lies, something crucial… I wasn’t exactly sure what the “it” was.  My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what is missing in me:  a little heart, a lot of brotherhood.

The 80’s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth and, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn’t I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn’t I pay for an evening with friends?  It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with the truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught you in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime….

I drew on different sources to put together a statement about the need to “remodeled society by redefining what it means to be a human being in the twentieth century, moving into a new millennium.

We need a new politics of meaning. We need a new ethos of individual responsibility and caring. We need a new definition of civil society which answers the unanswerable questions posed by both the market forces and the governmental ones, as to how we can have a society that fills us up again and makes us feel that we are poart of something bitter than ourselves.”

Who will lead us out of this “spiritual vacuum?”

After reading Lee Atwater’s perspective, Hillary answered Atwater’s  question for her audience, stating, “The answer is all of us.”

The answer remains unchanged today from 1993.   But shifting our behavior as a country from the individual, political, business and citizen perspective has to integrate an understanding of what is implied by the word, “welfare.”

This requires a new understanding and view, voice this past September by Jan M. Morgan, President of CSRwire, LLC.  Jan offered this statement in a publication,  GLOBAL COMPACT COMMUNICATION ON PROGRESS, September 2011, prepared for the United Nations Global Compact:

 

 

I am terribly ambitious where the world is concerned and feel a personal responsibility to contribute to the welfare of all. I try to take responsibility for my own actions and I believe the work we do at CSRwire benefits society and communities all over the world.”


Whether a commercial enterprise, a government activity or a non-profit initiative, it has always been my belief that within those institutions that people can take the kind of responsibility that Jan Morgan describes can be done by anyone by   investing time, energy, thought and funds to measure a return on investment of lasing social impact.

We can no longer afford to think of “welfare” in the context of charity or government services that only serve to diminish people and obstruct their capacity to sustain personally and empower their children to do the same by redefining the idea of, “No Child Left Behind,” to mean educate, inspire, mentor and encourage intelligence and health.

As of late, my own belief and values in this regard have been challenged and I have been trying to find my way out of my own spiritual vacuum from a very reminder personally of what it is life for anyone when difficult times are imposed on you  that you could not counteract or protect yourself from.

Since last June, a few event in my life have had me reach out to numerous friends, leave behind some old friends and make some new friends.

My outreach has been primarily to women, who are also experiencing challenge.  Before the 2008 financial meltdown, I usually knew 1 or 2 women challenged by illness, lost job, challenging social circumstance. But in my life at this time, I now know over 14 women experiencing a combination of challenges and the size of the group continues to grow rather than decline.

In Living History, Hillary describes her introduction to the National Prayer Center, founded by Ken Wilde. This non-profit invites participation of people of all backgrounds and political representation to offer the gift of service to others in need. After Hillary’s first month as First Lady, she was was presented with a book of messages, quotes and scriptures give to her to sustain her tenure by members of the National Prayer Association. Hillary joined with a prayer partner to pray for her as she prayed for others.

The National Prayer Center, located in the Beltway of Washington DC, reached out beyond the Washington divide to anyone in need of support by providing gifts that are intangible and so meaningful – discernment, peace, compassion, faith, fellowship, vision, forgiveness, grace, wisdom, love, joy and courage.

Prior to Thanksgiving, when my own situation of challenge escalated, I only had prayer left and then I realized as I talk to more of and more of my friends, prayer was all that many of us had left.

While at the present time, I do not have many answers or ability to impact concrete measurable change that assures intelligent hard working women jobs or single mom’s the ability to care for their family or cures for children suffering from chronic illness and disabilities that overtake the day of a family trying to care for itself in these stressful times.

I know the unity and benefit of what can serve from prayer. Whether you believe in G-d or not, I know combining higher thought and sparking a direction of goodness that can impact a societal change that assures the health of people, environment, economy and habitat is something we need now.

You are all welcome to contact me at lavinia@laviniaweissman.com, if you have interest to join a group of people in prayer in this way or join our virtual group, Monday Circle of Prayer and support it with a modest donation or simply as a sponsor.

Recommended donation is

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Donations are confidential and any contributions that exceed recommended amounts are used to offer access to people living in poverty or without income.  These donations support my work and writing and this community of practice associated with The Story of Meaningful Use Magazine and companion page on Facebook.

As I return to reflecting on the progress that so many have fostered, globally in #csr, #socent, #sustainability and #health communities of men and women, who are not resigned and have formed this tipping point of change to accelerate and translate practices through out the world, I am reminded each other them also works each day like me to grow beyond the difficulties that impose personal challenges to each of us. Prayer is the foundation by which we can each inspire ourselves and others to do our best to just continue to do our work for the greater good and the welfare of all. Prayer can open our channels to discover new ways to talk and work with other people.

Prayer is an intangible when offered in the presence of others as witness and partners, can inspire a change we could not see during times of great uncertainty, like how we are living now.

___________________________

Author’s Bio:

Lavinia Weissman is sustainable leadership coach, health advocate, capacity builder, and publisher/editor-in-chief of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com.

Will 2012 be the End to Denial and Obstructing Change?

When Personal Change is not Enough

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth4949494949494949494949

New York, New York

At the end of the year, I take some time for reflection. First, I identify people, who have influenced change in my own thinking.  But this year, I have taken stock of people, who have drew me into a conversation that in my opinion is changing the neural landscape in which I live which has been filled with denial. This form of denial is not my own, it is the pervasive denial that is obstructing change that more and more people want for health  that will impact people, environment, economy and habitat.

This trend in my thinking began when I met Peggy LaCerra  on Facebook, through Joan Borysenko.  Peggy is a evolutionary neuroscientist that introduced me to the idea of “neural landscape,” back in June 2010. It has taken me more than a year of time to even feel like I grasp what neural landscape is, since I wrote this post, Changing my Neural Landscape.

Joining Peggy LaCerra in reflections of the heart and brain

Sometime last August, when I was first contacted by James Schwinn from his outreach on Linkedin.com, something began to deepen in my understanding of a neural landscape after a few weeks of chatting in brief bits and bytes and sharing writing with James, that resulted in my writing, Can Sustainable Venture Repair the Social Fabric of the Global and Local Economy?;  followed by What Do People want after OccupyWallStreet.

James pushed me my thought in such a way that it brought me to the door of  a new neural landscape. This landscape began to come to life in the way I related.  At the time, I did not realize the impact on me personally and how I was about to face one of the most challenging changes in my own life. It came to life for me inside very loudly and with great difficulty that I simply could no longer work the pattern of education and career that I had grown out of in the institutional world of non profits, government and commercial enterprise.

What grew inside of me was a level of rejection that was pushing me to walk away from doing anything as usual.  This happened while I was in Boulder, Co. Day be day it got more difficult and in some ways horrifying and hair curling. I am a person of courage and strength. This was not a soup opera or drama , I was completely altering how I think, who I related to and more important redefining myself in many different ways that was bringing into my life many new people who fostered great respect in me.

Learning with James Schwinn

Then through James Schwinn, I met his business partner Charlie Randall. Charlie and I sat in Boulder over tea a few times and he had an impact on me that was different from most.  Our conversation was very personal and quiet; grounded in a form of humility and heart that I cannot describe and maybe few could view and observe.  I left these conversations accepting how difficult life was and just recognizing the painful nastiness that seemed to be growing around me and making my life difficult on a daily basis at an accelerated scale over 5 months time.

Yet, in between honoring my own pain and suffering, I continued to sort through the muck and meier of it all and start to grow a new pattern to find my way out of the other side and slowly come back to life again experiencing some faith and hope, and refusing the same form of courage and strength that got me through so much difficulty from my experiences in the past.

Exploring Life from a New View with Charlie Kendall

 

I have for many years now no matter how bad it gets , get up each day and follow my cues and now after a few months of upheaval, I just got up with less suffering and continue to work my life, my path and follow the rapid appearance of some new cues.

Before leaving Boulder, Co, I met Andrew Lange, N.D and I  spent a lovely day with him that included meeting his life partner, Barbara, a nurse and somatic therapist.

This was an experience I could not translate rapidly.  While I am still absorbing the conversation that Andrew, Barbara and I shared,  Andrew is bringing to life with real time hard work, everything medically that I believe in and value that can transform health as we now know it. He is creating changes in practice that address the complexity of the environment, habitat, economy and all that is challenging people today for personal health.

More important, Andrew has shaken out a form of offering lab tests to people at significantly lower cost through his company, Save on Labs for as much as 60% saving on tests directly organized with patients.

This has moved a legislative activity into action in Rhode Island, where Internet related legislation blocked use of this site to Rhode Island citizens.

Why is this a change to my Neural Landscape?

 

On Friday, December 24, 2011, President Obama told Barbara Walters that he had not fostered an understanding of just how bad the American economy is with the people in this country. It has perpetuated a form of denial, which obstructs change.

The pervasive denial in this country is a neural landscape  that has obstructed and made it difficult for any change agents or capacity builders like myself to do the work we intend.

Being a hero or heroine is not my idea of way to live. Ultimately, people you relate to what help you form a new neural pattern in your unconscious from which you can respond with ease and filter as intuition without “talking about it.”

The truth that I have been pushed to learn and see through all my experiences with downsizing, death and dying and illness is not the life I had planned. But while I could see this truth, I continued to work in the way American told me I had to work and with people who did not have the sincerity to create the change we need.

These past 6 months have pushed me into a very painful leap that is now calming down to foster relationships and create a neural landscape with others who are working to create the change with need out of sincerity and by fostering the right approach.

I feel gifted to know all of them and draw the inspiration I need to build The Story of Meaningful Use and all I do into a platform of change that will move millions of people from the denial we are living with her in America and other forms in other parts of the world.  It will take this scale of change in our unconscious brains  to weave a systemic change that will bring to life around the world the discovery of change that so many want and need.

Happy 2012 to all. I welcome your comments and want to hear from you in how I can serve what I believe in with all of you to continue to expand this new neural landscape of change.

_______________

Author’s bio: Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com.

As a speaker, she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.

As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with. She has a private practice where she works with women to embrace the experience of chronic illness that challenges their livelihood and form of work.

Is Sanofi Aventitis Moving Beyond the Challenges of Pharma?

As a global health leader will Sanofi Aventis create new sustainable markets of value for health?

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth5252525252

New York, New York

Original date of publication on CSRWire Talkback, June 8th, 2011

Greenbiz.com, recently published two important reports by its Chairman and Executive Editor Joel Makower. The first report is an article titled, Green Marketing is Over. Let’s Move On. And the second is a video of Joel’s presentation on the State of Green Business 2011.

After reviewing the report and video, I decided to return to my study of Sanofi Aventis and ask, “Is Sanofi Aventis moving beyond the pharma business model; and will this create new sustainable value markets for health?”

To get at some answers to these questions, I captured a “quick and dirty short list” of Makower’s observations as a framework from which to assess the current state of Sanofi Aventis.

Makower observations:

1. For the most part business is still treading water to build a sustainable economy with out any remarkable progress.

2. While business is treading water, Greenbiz Group doubled its membership, approached by companies they did not know asking to become members. Greenbiz Group now has more than 50 members; Makower sees this as an indicator of hope.

3. Green marketing is in need of makeover. Green marketing initiatives and stories focus primarily on the consumer and what the consumer can buy rather than how companies can create new markets of impact.

4. The key to building new markets is about building new markets for healthy people to live in a healthy world.

Next step: I conducted a quick updated review of Sanofi Aventis to look at their progress over 2010 and what has occurred since the April 2011 completed acquisition of Genzyme. (Links to three previous Talkback posts).

My findings in brief:

With the publication of Sanofi’s 2010 Annual Review, CEO Christopher Viehbacher announced a change to Sanofi’s mission from “to improve the health of as many of the 6.8B people walking the planet as we can”  to focus on a new mission “to becoming a global health leader.”

Viehbacher has outlined three areas of strategy from which to balance its profits with sustainability by focusing attention to resources that:

1.    Increasing innovation as an approach for research and development. September 2010, Sanofi signed a partnership agreement with Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Belfer Center for clinical trial research. Sanofi has committed an investment in this collaboration of $33M to DFCI over three years. With this investment, Dana Farber gains the right to preclinical, clinical and commercial milestone payment and royalties from sales of commercial products developed by Dana Farber with Sanofi Aventis.

2.    Adapting to future challenges. The company is focused on adapting to the change implied by ongoing translational research and new formats of health education to move beyond the structure of delivering OTC drugs to patients for common ailments and creating new responses to people who suffer from chronic and life threatening illness.

3. Pursuing external growth opportunities. Sanofi has set a goal to explore outside the pharmaceutical framework new forms of treatment platforms that are more affordable and accessible to patients, which opens a broader potential for them beyond the innovation of new drugs.

Sanofi has in recent months introduced a new generation of social media reporting for its Annual Reviews, Sanofi TV and links to Facebook. Within this media constellation, Sanofi offers regular updates on the company, health, professions, responsibility and what is new cross culture, country – and in English and French. Reports update followers from the perspective of all stakeholder interests in CSR, regulation, research, business and advancements for populations of people with specific health needs.

Sanofi through Chris Viehbacher’s leadership has bounded its investment in clinical trials, freeing funds to formulate new platforms of prevention, health education and the development of new, affordable products for the patient that can be easily accessed.

Is Sanofi building a new sustainable market that helps people to be healthy and live in a healthy world? Are they breaking the barrier to the idea that big companies have less success with innovation?

Perhaps Sanofi forging ahead of Novartis, which has accelerated its capability and success with clinical trials or GlaxoSmithKline who is addressing health and poverty in an old format of giving by returning a percentage of profit back to the country in which they do business for a total of $5.4M.

About Lavinia Weissman

Lavinia Weissman (@wecarehealth52525252494949606060) is a sustainable market capacity builder, coach and publisher/editor-in-chief of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com. As a speaker she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ. As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire a culture of change that builds healthy practices for people within healthy markets.

Talkback Readers: What do you think? Is Sanofi creating new markets for healthy people who want to live in a healthy world with sustainable value? How would you measure this? Weigh in on Talkback!

The Tear in the Fabric

More Fray & Tear or Repair Beyond Imagination

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth56

Boulder Co

For the last 3 months, I have lived at the tear in the social in ways I have not seen before. I have met local to me and virtually other social entrepreneurs, who in their own right have intimately learned about that tear in a variety of ways and from numerous perspectives.

What is even more astounding is that most of the people who have in this flow of synchronicity come to my door are a balanced group of men and women with a diversity of background personally and professionally would surprise most! They are the change agents responding to the state of the world and its global financial collapse.

These people have worked beyond limitations that most people cannot imagine.

Numerous of these people have had to go through their own personal healing in ways not many Americans know to do. Here is a list of some of the synopsis of those experiences:

  1. A divorced women leaving an abusive marriage and living out of her car has now transformed into a successful entrepreneur who can rely on a base of product sales to keep her steady and constant;
  2. A former investment banker and venture capital person, who got such a bad taste in his mouth from how he was being successful, he traveled Europe and Canada to learn more about life and reshaped his business orientation as a social entrepreneur;
  3. A long time sustainability entrepreneur who found out about the stripping loss emotionally and financially that leads man with life threatening illness to be stripped of everything. He has now returned to his former work with a new pragmatism and recognition that business in this arena can be financially viable, serve and take care of him and his family.
  4. A man raised in a format of poverty that obstructed his education when he was trapped by his extended families socio-economic boundaries, who found a network of encouragement and practical and concrete support to complete a Ph.D. and marry a remarkable woman and build his own stable life woven into the fabric of a legitimate academic institution of reputation, now ready and able to make a difference. There are more and others, and then there is me.

Through recent experiences, I have been able to renew my courage in a time of great uncertainty by remembering my grandmother’s walk across EU to the US with her six year old brother after they were orphaned; and my memory of a good deed my father carried out during the depression that came back to reward him financially with a job in the last decade of his ability to work where he made more money perhaps than he had made all his life.

The other side of the experience is a deep emotional reminder of the cost of bitterness and hatred that weaves into people who are victims of pograms in Poland and the Holocaust, like my mother. It makes me think of the some of the political actions today and how good people become victims of a system of politic that strips them of engaging in life feeling like years of hard work is taking care of them, like this man,

– click on photo to read the text

Yet what I know is needed is to form social networks of imagination and community that inspire experiences like this one; where by a young man, Jason McElway, a basketball manager (water boy?) as a special ed student in his high school. Jason lives with autism.  In the last 4 minutes of the game and the last game of the season, Coach Johnson let Jason suit up and play.

Watch this amazing broadcast, Because Jason is autistic, he is use to feeling different, but as the broadcast reporter, Steve Hartman pointed out never this good. Jason shot 6 3 pointers, 20 points total.

Why was this possible? One Word, Imagination !

In a local community, people can take what others perceive as  a risk, because to the person that takes the initiative, the idea is not high risk; it is offered out of a history of relationship, value for the other person and care.

Change in this country has been difficult to come about within institutional boundaries of hierarchy and spheres of influence that rely on a sphere of wealth, as I described the structure of global financial institutions last week.

There is a growing number of people in this country and in fact around the globe, as demonstrated by the spreading of #OccupyWallStreet to 1039 sites across 87 countries.

This social network lives across jurisdictions and boundaries often described as sectors or vertical channels where life is based on transactions and formulas based on prescribing needs with yes and no questions.

So  institutional driven analysis is  based on a form of reduction theory that has through the years grown into a formula for collapse.

Can We Avoid Collapse?

Last week, Newsweek published an editorial by Niall Ferguson, America’s, “Oh Sh*t!” Moment.

Ferguson’s analysis provides a real time framework of imagination on how America and Americans can avoid collapse. A collapse according to Ferguson, e.g. the Ming Dynasty or the Soviet Union is sparked by the rulers losing their legitimacy by an overwhelming swelling of a complex social network activity making a statement that this legitimacy no longer has power.

This is not news to the ebbs and tides of success and failure in financial markets, but it is news to a format of medical legitimacy that accelerated in it formation from the mid – 1900’s promising all Americans “quality health care” and the guarantee of the funds they need covered by health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid System.

Obstruction by the Legitimate Rulers

 The reality is that America is collapsing because 99% of people without wealth cannot assure ownership of a home, the health care they need with the funding sources of insurance or income.

The system is further collapsed by the cost of education to begin a career with a wage that supports people to raise a family and take care of themselves is chronic or life threatening illness does not configure into the mix of the wage earners personally or their children.

This collapse has been fueled based on the attention of scientists to disease, infection and treatment with antibiotics and anesthesia to enable surgical fix as an alternative to less costly approaches of reducing the impact of symptoms e.g. on the brain or  spine by reshaping lifestyle, exercise and modalities of body work that reshape the spine and remove the obstruction of energy and nervous system behavior to restore health or reduce pain.

This is a systemic description of the system that has been harmed by how our political system has selected rulers who are reinforcing a system for jobs, taxes and infrastructure that is perpetuating harm for people because of the failure to adapt new systems and replace old out of date methods so people of this country have their needs responded to.

We are at a all time experience of this harm reinforced by rulers we elected who are not getting their job done for people living in this country.


Altering the Complex Social System with Imagination

Ferguson has defined what he calls the killer apps that have created and reinforced collapse for the American people equating our systems of competition, view of the Scientific Revolution, the rule of law and representational government, modern medicine, consumer driven demand and our work ethic as we act educate for, act in response and live are like software applications that are spiraling all of us into collapse.

The social fabric of our county is torn and lost in a debate or protest with respect to which of these “killer apps” dominate how we live, our practices and our behavior towards each other in communities in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Avoiding collapse, In seeking some ideas about what is ahead of us to discover a new formation of social entrepreneurship that builds capacity between social entrepreneurs, political entrepreneurs and civil society entrepreneurs.

This week I became acquainted with Marriah Star’s, personally and academically. Within Marriah’s research, he examined the phenomena of diaspora. A diaspora is a movement or a migration of people away from their ancestoral home

Marriah’s research reminded me that so many of the 99% are the children of immigrants who migrated to America ad  it’s promise for freedom and a future of success for anyone who reached out for it’s golden ring.

I am part 2nd and 3rd generation of an immigrant family, who came here as a result of a diaspora.

Yet here I am today, a citizen who has migrated from the local community that insured me my economic stability, health and sanity after living in a format of a society that stripped itself of the very relationships that insure that and pushed most people to a form of survival and lots of hard work that is not caring for us in the long term.

There is no going back and our institutional practices in business and politics has resulted in a movement of people protesting and asking for something else.

The next stage of formation has to restore an understanding of the value every person can contribute to repairing this tear, rich or poor; it’s going to be a lot of hard work across this country and around the globe.

Right now are people forming into capacity building organizations incubating ideas into a real societal framework of practice that will rebuild local economies and bring people together to begin to relate to each other as if time and what you do is of value; and will also serve to take care of you so that the work you do wisely will insure that you can sustain.

While this stage has grown out of a stripping duress, the next stage is more difficult in that it requires a new form of investment in local communities that  to build results that impact local infrastructure, build a wage base that is livable and more important build communities in which our children have the best possible education to move ahead with the foundation we build to achieve full momentum.

If we don’t — yes, there will be a collapse and the question remains out of a collapse can organic renewal give birth to a new formation that will bring life back to the people so deeply in struggle now?

Which struggle do you want to leap?

_______________

Author’s bio: Lavinia Weissman is a sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com.

As a speaker, she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.

As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with. She has a private practice where she works with women to embrace the experience of chronic illness that challenges their livelihood and form of work.

What Do People Want After #OccupyWallStreet?

Reform Wall Street or Repair the Tear in the Local Economy &  Social Fabric

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth56

Boulder Co

On October 20th, I read Don Tapscott’s exceptional Huffington Post, Three Principles for a New Wall Street This is Tapscott’s view on what is needed  to repair the Wall Street.

 No one will argue, that Don Tapscott’s Huffington was an intelligent and educated view.


This editorial, sparked by the movement of #OccupyWallStreet, is a statement of meaning and power. Yet, I found it  confusing for  the ordinary person without wealth, working hard to survive the mess we are living with in American and what if anything that he proposed would impact the lives of so many torn now?

Don’s  opening remarks captured my attention:

To many it feels like just that. The financial services industry is in desperate need of reform. Many bankers have behaved as secretive corporate titans serving only their own interests, and insist the devastating consequences are not their fault. They are failing to fulfill their obligations to society — in some cases, even to shareholders — and a growing number of critics view the day-to-day behavior of the financial services industry as unacceptable. If the industry doesn’t initiate reform from within then it will eventually have more extreme reform imposed from outside.”

 

I completed reading this article and found myself as a woman with a lot to say that I have not see written that many women I know do see.

Not many men will speak from our view of  how the financial service industry has failed us.

My Synthesis of Tapscott’s Editorial

Don’s editorial it is written from a systemic overview and perspective that the solutions lie within a new formation of integrity and transparency on a global scale. Once again, a leader is pointing out the board room perspective for the big financial service companies and investment banks.

Don’s thesis is based on a financial system of a sizeable deposit mass, larger than the sum of a  local community can create.

This creates a senior debt managed as a corporate asset for a core group of economic decision makers and shareholders. The focus become how to leverage returns from aggregation and spiraling consumer banking fees.

Transparency as defined in this context shapes from an issue of checks and balances and compliance reports rather than a source of measurement for how a community and its residents sustain health and thrive from creating sustainable market value that serve a consumer need identified by a social network analysis drawn from people with local voice or exemplary pulse taking capabililty

 

The Tear in the American Social Fabric from a Woman’s View

 

The very fabric of our country is torn in many places on the map.

The places on the map are actually not cities, rural areas, counties, states or a very torn apart country served by a broken finance system and politics.  Occupy Wall as a movement by today, spread to 1039 local communities across 87 countries. 

The tear in the fabric of this country is the millions of broken hearts of people, who no matter what they do, cannot take care of themselves as we have been taught to do and in a way that defines us as Americans.  It translated into a Republican view of “the haves and have nots, “ in the late 1990’s post the failure of the Democratic Welfare Reform.

As a woman, I  represent so many who have not had their voices heard in bank, law or compliance; our interests for banking and funds becomes even more fundamental.

The tear in the fabric for women is often exceptionally extreme.  We are the ones that are often called on first to manage and resource a special needs or chronically ill child or challenged elder.  With the rise in chronic illness to 1 our of every 2 people in this country, we are also the first derailed from the economic system that sustains us, especially when we are sole provider for ourselves or children.

As Rachel Qulter reminds us of how she finds this hope through the Myelin Repair Foundation:

We continue to be discounted in the work place as people of value.

The women, i know personally have  completed graduate education with significant debt.  Many after school have been challenged to obtain jobs in this economy or opted for self-employment. They become more so than men, up until now, burdened with significant challenge to support home and family.

Around 2004, I was invited as a journalist to participate in a financial service conference for an alumnae group of women at a top 10 MBA program. I was told when offered the invitation, I could not reveal the discussion in any factual way that was launched with an speaker from Catalyst, a women’s research think tank on the status of women’s capacity to lead in corporate settings.

As a skilled pulse-taker, I observed a view that there was no permission to give public audience to. All but 1 of the female leaders who spoke or sat on panels, had a child or a family member chronically ill. One woman, of significant personal resource left her job after witnessing a significant breach of ethic in a financial security firm, that is in public view.

A few women spoke about battle with life threatening illness and the cost of that and the impact on them personally and how they change. A chairwoman in banking ( a hard position to obtain) offered a mea culpa and apology for the cost of her career choice to her daughters, her exhusband and herself.

For me, it has been years of waiting, networking and praying to build a network of women friends, who know this kind of experience like me.  The women from the university conference are women who primarily know personal wealth and “buy their support systems,” that most of my friends cannot.

For years I was an outsider in what I call fundamentalist spiritual support groups in economic communities of wealth, where often the teachers, the coaches and others spurned people who lived the circumstance I live has being stuck in a limiting beliefs or having brought their circumstance to their door.

Trust me when I say, no woman (and often husband) selects to give birth to an autistic children or a premature baby requiring neonatal care that can accelerate into the hundreds of thousands and bankrupt a family. No woman that I know wants to ignore her elderly parents with Alzheimer or Parkinson Disease and then has to face the question for how long? And how will I continue to support myself and cope with this?

This is now an all too  common examination for women and men.

It  translates into a economic, emotional and spiritual issue at the root of challenge to women working in the institutional world. I believe from the perspective of a corporate financial service global firm is unlikely to ever be addressed. Yet when the firm causes harm, watch out, what is not reported in a compliance report is the harm to people who are dealing with the financial stress of chronic and life threatening illness.

 

What Does this Have to Do with Financial Service Industry?

 

My own struggle with Tapscotts’ editorial was the cry for more regulation or self-repair by a global industry that has not impacted harm of the “tear in the fabric.”

For years, I have not seen corporation or non-profit institution or government regulation or program repair or alter this tear to impact the health of people who live at the edge of the tear in our social fabric in local communities.

There is a lot of work ahead for all of us, not just the change agents like me.  Recently I received an email from a man, who has worked with me to alter my thinking, just as my spiritual support system that I draw on from women like me.

To me successful economic change reaches beyond the peer-to-peer arena that has pre-occupied much of the self-anointed leadership of the sustainability movement and has the potential to move sustainability practice into the hands of the masses – where it has always belonged.

As I welcome in more advice and shift the focus of my own work from the tradition of media and consulting to focus on repair of the social fabric through economic development, I have to thank a few remarkable people, who don’t want to be thanked for showing a new direction for me to guide my own spirit in these challenging times and construct a new view of myself and a view of my work that I can construct with others for more impact.

It requires imagination and a new style of conversation that generates change.

As my long time friend, Bill Shireman, President and CEO of the Future 500, another Huffington Poster  recently stated,

If we do not see the world as magical, then we are not awake!”

My response to Bill is,

Magic invites a new form of conversation that unites the practical nature of economic and business with a value that every person you know can sustain and if in the process of working with others, that person makes a real difference, I am happy to see them thrive.”

I am now putting to pen, speech, presentation and media what is in my imagination that can spark concrete local change to infrastructure for health to build repair and a new future for our children. I welcome you to join your magic and imagination with me.

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Author’s bio: Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com.

As a speaker, she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.

As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with. She has a private practice where she works with women to embrace the experience of chronic illness that challenges their livelihood and form of work.

Can Sustainable Venture Repair the Social Fabric of the Global and Local Economy?

Integrating Repair of the Local Economy into Incubation Scenarios for Cleantech or any Sustainable Venture

By Lavinia Weissman

@WeCareHealth56

Boulder Co

 

 

Jochen Kleef’s editorial, “Global Clean Tech Challenge: Clean Tech and Innovation – An Issue of Scale” was published in parallel with the start of the Wall Street Protest and Obama’s appointment of Jeffrey Immelt as Job Tsar to the US.

Kleef’s focus in his editorial was on “the challenges for these clean technologies are many ranging from simply the human resistance to change or accepting new approaches, engineering as well as technical hurdles and the running of a business professionally with commercial success.”

Kleef’s perspective is from his examination of launching an incubator and technology platform in Asia and the intricacies of create investment, commercial success and examining the benefits of localization and culture (Asia versus a global approach, e..g Immelt’s EcoImagination).

What happens when you shift the focus of sustainable business venture strategy to repair of the global or local social fabric?

A little over two weeks ago,  James Schwinn contacted me. James is an economic development adviser, who has a successful career in international capital markets and venture development.

Schwinn has changed the forum in which he works to take a leadership position – along with his partners, John L. Knott, Jr. and Charles Randall – that is focused the reorganization and redevelopment of its capital resources – financial, physical, natural and human – as the essential gateway to building self-sustaining economies and jobs.

The 3 partners created a chain of strategy and action that is taking root in South Carolina, starting in the Noisette Community of North Charleston. While investigating Schwinn’s success with his partners, I figured out very quickly our conversation was much more than a chat or interview. It was a foundation for a generative dialogue, which few people ever engage with.

Generative dialogue is the 4th state of inquiry and rarely begins in the first conversation where the learning forms creates a path of strategy and action. It is a competency exercised by leaders who know how to do more than inspire change.

The partners build the social network architecture based on what the community needs by creating  a geometric scheme of relationships,  where learning forms into patterns of activity that form strategic activity that produces results and change.

In this way, the partners of EcoBank, Network LLC insure results that build repair to a social fabric of a local community that requires a change to return to health – that repairs the environment, local economy, habitat and people’s capacity to live. Introduction to this form of thought leadership

Take 24 minutes to review this presentation, Financing Sustainability; James Schwinn, Presenter at the 2010 Gaining Ground Conference in Vancouver.

I watch this video 4 times.

It did not take me long to realize that this presentation was a context for the development of an accelerated learning lab to serve the incubation and repair of sustainable commercial ventures in a pattern of community interaction with local government and citizen forums that united a view and formed an architecture to repair the social fabric of community.

Whether this is organized in a region of Asia or the United States, there are critical activities that I have always viewed important and missing in the movement of business that describes itself as a Sustainable Venture or Corporate Social Responsible Business that I believe does not integrate responses that repair the social fabric of local community and its economy.

Why has Commercial Business and Incubation Failed to Repair Local Economy?

Commercial business and planning historically has been transactionally driven as an exercisse to manage a spread sheet. This spread sheet is used to monitor a capitlization plan with profit and loss that serves a limited group of stakeholders.

This mechanistic approach is fundamental  reason that the Wall Street investment engine resulting in an extension of the 2008 financial global meltdown sand cycle continuing to this day.

How Can We Break from this Destructive Pattern?

Local to me in Boulder County, Colorado, I began a very female style of networking that has resulted in a preliminary format from which to build a partnership with the DaVinci Institute

This began in what I perceive to be a best form of women’s networking and generative dialogue.  Amanda Johnson, DaVinci Council of Luminaries,  my coaching client, asked to shift her relationship with me so I could partner with her and Deb Frey, V.P.,  DaVinci Institute.  Amanda asked DaVinci’s Vice President, Deb Frey to join us.

DaVinci’s founder, Thomas Frey has followed the tradition of structure and organization of some of the most reputable consulting ventures from a futurist point of view, e.g. my colleague Jonathan Peck, President of Institute of Alternative Futures in Alexandria, Va.

Deb joined her husband Thomas a few years back to manage the firm and has been percolating on a vision to translate the assets and brilliant engagement that Thomas has guided to translate into something more meaningful for the community that is taking form around the DaVinci Institute.

Deb has come to recognize that a critical stage for making this vision real and practical is the requirement that the Institute learn to assess and serve the community need to create a fabric of innovation locally in the Boulder County area. Deb is also very aware that most thought leaders or futurists do not know how to build the capacity to translate vision into action.

Deb has invited my leadership and capacity building talent to work with her and Amanda to build this vision into practical stages of real time development.

DaVinci Institute will be the host for my November 12, 20011 program, Foundations of Portfolio work. Watch for next weeks press release with link to a registration page.

How is This all Helping Me to Change my Focus into More Productive Energy that Implies Progress?

Since arriving in Colorado and working with a few consultants in this community, it has been eating at me how deep our denial is in the US.  My conversations with James Schwinn have validated my intuition.

I am certain this is true in other places, e.g. Asia, as well.  In the fractured economy, commercial business is conducted on a transactional basis.

Companies as shown by the UN Global Compact performance report are continuing even as enlightened leaders of CSR and Sustainability to perpetuate that which is broken and re-enforce the systems that have are obstructing job creation, the building of healthy investments and platforms of economic development.

To build the new infrastructure, we need to repair the health of the environment, people, economy and habitat. But any form of press shows how many people are joining for protest and well intentioned “flittering,” that goes now where.

Where Does the Word Flittering Come From? And What Do We Have to Do to Stop this Pervasive Behavior?

Over coffee with a friend “Samantha Weston”, I learned a new word,“flitter.”

Sam has followed her career in bio-pharm and finance with a new passion for oil painting. She said when the paint splatters all over the place, that is called flittering.

Conditions today for me are like a map of flitter splatters; we have not gotten down to the serious work of change by assessing the needs of the people and children they love to find the resources needed from which to assure stability for themselves and who they care for.

Amanda Johnson, Deb Frey and I have pulled together our work with that view. Schwinn and his partners have had the financial and resources of scale they need to impact and step up to do the job and have the impact they can have.

This is also based on the notion of performing social network analysis  that forecasts  the need of people or the community formation they wish build for economic impact.

For years the transactional approach has obstructed the voice of community need after downsizing and investment harm. Schwinn captured my attention and put sparkle to my eyes when in his presentation he outlined that responsible planning and engagement plans for cycles of progress and cycles of decline.

I know no man that has put into a sentence more of what is natural to women when they care for their families or lead through cycles of change in the community where they live or the vertical commercial venture that employs them.

This was a value core to many of the men who have mentored me; but not often translated into a leadership platform in government, commercial business and the non profit sector by economic core groups of decision makers.

If you are aligned with repairing social fabric of a local community that serves the needs of people, subscribe to this blog and watch for more stories of meaningful use that serves the needs of people for generations moving forward.

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Author’s bio: Lavinia Weissman is an sustainable market leadership coach, journalist, and publisher of thestoryofmeaningfuluse.com.

As a speaker, she describes the new emerging patterns of markets shaped by sustainable market leaders and the social networks they work with and employ.

As a coach, Lavinia works with all her clients to inspire professional development that assures a person the opportunity to embed sustainability as a leader into the network and culture of people they work with.

WEeditorial – Global Clean Tech Challenge

Clean Tech and Innovation – An Issue of Scale

by Jochen Kleef

@jochenkleef51515151515151

Hong Kong

Let’s start with a definition “Clean technology includes recycling, renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels), information technology, green transportation, electric motors, green chemistry, lighting, greywater, and many other appliances that are now more energy efficient. It is a means to create electricity and fuels, with a smaller environmental footprint and minimize pollution.”

Having listened to numerous presentations, talks and discussions around clean tech, innovation and what society needs to address the world’s problems in the future such as water shortage, energy generation, food supply and a global population of 9.0bn people, there is a serious need for innovation. Innovation of cleaner technologies as outlined by Wikipedia is what is called for and on a big scale.
However, the challenges for these clean technologies are many ranging from simply the human resistance to change or accepting new approaches, engineering as well as technical hurdles and the running of a business professionally with commercial success.

Three Exemplary challenges

Looking at the first challenge of driving change, this has improved over the last three decades not the least because of the Internet which made environmental issues and the need for a more sustainable life style much more known.

Twenty years back and without the Internet, there was not the scale of common knowledge or the rising awareness that something needed to change. This I guess is underway and will probably accelerate to gain more scale.

Secondly, the technical issues seem to be well taken care of as the inventiveness of people who take the sustainability challenges serious deserves applauding. There are many bright, talented and experienced people who are coming up with promising approaches and solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s needs of society.

A lot of interesting ideas have been developed to prototype stage and are at various levels of readiness for commercialization. Successful examples are showing the way such as China’s solar sector or companies such as Atlantis Resources Corporation and its tidal energy technology

The main issue surrounding these ventures is one of business approach and commercial success. There are two routes that seem to be shaping up.
One is for these clean tech start-ups to apply and hopefully get accepted into the so called incubation programs of big global players who are market leaders in a particular environmental sector.

This is a very promising approach as the start-ups join a network of specialists in their fields and get financial backing to take them to the next level of scale in their aim to commercialization.

The argument however is whether the motivation of these multinationals is actually as humble as it seems. There’s a school of thought that thinks big organisations and innovation – or to use a more general term: change – do not necessarily go together that well. So the idea of the big organisations to simply innovate by attracting smaller, cutting edge innovation technologies and to potentially incorporate them as a profit center after an extensive due diligence during the incubation programme is one that can work to mutual benefit if the entrepreneurs are eying for a buy-out.

Third, there’s another train of thought though that hints to the buying-out of inconvenient innovation to ensure a particular corporate business model  or a certain product stays in business and the innovation disappears into a drawer.

Which leaves us with the organic growth path from inception via R&D to prototype stage and then through various investment rounds to full commercialisation. This is a very honourable and the most controllable but yet hard way of developing a clean tech business and therefore ultimately innovate.

The major challenge is one of obtaining funds be it at seed or angel stage or later on VC money and ultimately listing. The disconnect between the entrepreneurial clean tech community on the one and the investor community on the other side seems to be what is hampering innovation.

There seems to be a lack of common understanding and probably even language (technical vs. financial, let alone cross boarder) on a large scale as clearly a need for more innovative technologies in a larger variety exists.

Scale and innovation

Since setting up our consulting business, we have been in contact with a significant number of clean tech companies that were either looking to enter into the Asian markets or for funding or both. This is good news as it means there is innovation and the innovative businesses want to be close to potential markets which makes commercial sense. The Asian markets are appealing because this is where growth is happening now – and for the foreseeable future maybe with the exception of Germany given recent performance – but there is an issue.

In general, small clean tech firms from the US or Europe do not know how to do business in Asia unless one of the founders or investors has Asia experience. It is difficult enough to innovate in one’s home territory as “to innovate” at the very heart means leaving the conventional for something new and ultimately change. But to do this in a completely new cultural environment with all its unknown protocols and behaviours, potentially at first with people whom one has not met in person but only virtually to start with is adding yet another dimension of the challenge.


The Question

The key question is whether this “long distance innovation” is actually feasible and a recipe for success or does it prolong the time these small clean tech firms take to grow? Would it perhaps be better to focus one’s efforts in one’s local community / economy and once the business model is proven with revenues to back this up prior to stepping out of your back garden? Or are economic – and investment funding – circumstance such that clean tech firms outside of Asia will fail if they don’t tap into the Far East’s momentum and economic growth potential?

That leaves another question open: Is there enough clean tech innovation happening in Asia or do the growing and developing countries indeed need input, IPR and experience from the more mature economies to maximize a combination between innovation and commercial success?

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Author’s Bio:

Jochen Kleef, Chairman of Ecopoint LTD. is an environmental services company that provides an Internet platform for the environmental business community throughout Asia.  He is also the founder and chief executive officer of Kleef and Co, a strategy and management consulting firm specialising in sustainable business.