Creating the Future is a collection of people around the world, supporting each other in a grand experiment – to determine how much better the world could be in just 10 years, if the questions we ask in our day-to-day lives are bringing out the best in each other.
In 2016, Creating the Future laid groundwork in the following critical mission areas.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT:
“Experimenting to develop workplace and cultural systems that bring out the best in people” is the cornerstone of our mission. What we learn through these explorations becomes the content we share through our other programs.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: Board voted to re-conceive Creating the Future as a “networked platform, supporting people around the world to do work that is a) meaningful to them and b) furthers our mission.” The goal is a structure that actively contributes to mission success. Accomplished: Determined what the structure will accomplish and what it will look like. By EOY 2017, restructuring will be fully completed. The video below provides our status on that project.
Building community and connecting people is a critical condition for success as people learn and practice bringing out the best in each other.
CONSULTANTS TO COMMUNITY BENEFIT ORGS: ONLINE COMMUNITY: Online community topped 500 participants who cite the group as their go-to resource for learning and support. 2017 will expand programming for this group, to deepen Catalytic Thinking practices in their work, their lives, and the client orgs they work with.
CATALYTIC THINKING ONLINE LEARNING COMMUNITY: Launched a “big tent” group on Facebook for anyone who wants to put their toe in the water of learning and practicing Catalytic Thinking.
PLACE-BASED COMMUNITY OF PRACTITIONERS: PILOT PROJECT IN COLLECTIVE ENOUGHNESS: Laid groundwork for January 2017 launch of a community of practitioners in Boise, Idaho. Group’s focus = education, community-building and community impact. As a pilot project in self-organizing via Collective Enoughness, sustaining this effort will rely upon the participants.
ONE-TIME CONVENINGS: PLACE-BASED: Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement’s conference: Keynote and all breakouts were presented by Creating the Future fellows, rooted in Catalytic Thinking. Other place-based Catalytic Thinking convenings happened this year in Idaho, Massachusetts, California and Delaware.
ONE-TIME CONVENINGS: ONLINE: Impromptu, heartfelt conversation the day after the 2016 U.S. election, with a dozen people from across the U.S. supporting each other to consider what’s next for building a more humane world.
Through our education programs, Creating the Future provides people with knowledge, skills and practice in what it takes to bring out the best in the people and situations they encounter. Significant strides were made this year to expand / make these programs more accessible to more people.
ONLINE IMMERSION EDUCATION: Creating the Future’s 5-day in-person immersion course was transformed into a year-long online curriculum. BETA tested 3 of the 5 courses. 21 people participated in 6-8 weekly 3-hour sessions plus a month of self-paced reading, videos, and conversations with instructors.
PARTNERING ON OUR EDUCATION PROGRAMS: Began partnership to provide classes to an entire regional system – mental health professionals in northern Nevada – as a step towards eliminating silos and increasing communications throughout that field.
FREE VIDEO CLASSES: Initiated a library of free video classes at our YouTube channel.
EJOURNAL: Reconfigured our eJournal as a platform for experimenting with Catalytic Thinking. 5000 people receive practice exercises weekly.
NEW FACULTY: Went from founder as sole faculty for immersion courses to 5 instructors and building systems to prepare more new faculty members to teach.
INTERNAL CONDITIONS / HOLDING THE SPACE FOR MISSION SUCCESS:
Long maligned as an “indirect cost,” internal systems at Creating the Future actively facilitate accomplishing our mission. We therefore consider this a vital program area.
CO-DIRECTOR: Rebecca Hurd joined Hildy Gottlieb as co-director of Creating the Future. A natural community organizer, Rebecca brings decades of experience in the corporate and community benefit arenas.
NEW WEBSITE: Brand new website (this one!) with fresh, inspiring content. Invites and provides tools for people to experiment alongside us.
Our work in 2016 has poised us to leap to what is next throughout 2017 and beyond. Importantly, our work this year positioned us to be ready to start the clock on our 10-year mission on January 1, 2017.
If anything you read here piques your interest, we hope you’ll join us. The adventure is just getting started!