November 29, 2021
This is WAY better than Giving Tuesday
In this week’s Systems Change Newsletter…
- Invitations & Announcements
- Catalytic Thinking Exercise: Giving Tuesday and Collective Enoughness
- Resources to Further Your Practice
- Story of the Week: Catalytic Thinking in ACTION
Invitations & Announcements:
At this month’s Integrity Conversation, we will continue to apply Catalytic Thinking to the critical topic of Succession Planning. We hope you will join us, adding your thoughts to the mix! Info is here…
Catalytic Thinking Exercise: Giving Tuesday and Collective Enoughness
Before we start, let’s be clear: This is NOT a post asking you to donate for Giving Tuesday. Just the opposite.
This is about what we can all do instead, that will reflect the equitable, humane, healthy world we want to see. As Hildy has talked about for years, Giving Tuesday has become the opposite of that. (You can see her most recent piece about that here.)
The problem with Giving Tuesday isn’t its intent. Thinking of others rather than being sucked into the rampant commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a noble intention indeed. The problem is that the reality of Giving Tuesday has become just another day of competition for scarce eyeballs (and of course, scarce dollars).
If we are going to change the systems that cause harm in our world, we can't expect to create social and economic justice if we are perpetuating scarcity-driven themes in our own work to create that change
And while it would seem like the antidote to scarcity is more money, how many organizations do you know who, no matter how much they raise, it is never enough?
The real antidote to scarcity is found in each other - the spirit of Collective Enoughness, that together, we have everything we need.
This Giving Tuesday, let’s all commit to more sharing, and less scarcity.
Imagine modeling what a truly engaged, sharing, cooperative community could look like, simply in the way you resource your work. Here are a few simple things to try:
Share your knowledge with other organizations
When we see others who care about our issues as “competition,” we hoard knowledge. However, when we consider the huge outcomes our communities aspire to, we know that none of us can accomplish those results on our own. Sharing our knowledge could be one big first step toward linking arms together as allies in that quest.
Imagine Giving Tuesday as a Knowledge and Idea Summit in your community, bringing together everyone who cares about your issue, simply to share what you have learned and what you are thinking about trying. Imagine what you could all accomplish together after that!
Think about what else you can share
Every organization we have ever encountered has at least something they can share with other organizations and with their community members.
- A van that sits idle until kids are out of school in the afternoon
- Computers that sit idle after folks leave the senior center
- An empty office or garage, or space in your warehouse
- A volunteer coordinator (and volunteers!)
Yes we have seen ALL these things shared, and then some!
Imagine Giving Tuesday as a day to inventory all your assets – your stuff, your people, your knowledge and experience – and to identify at least one thing you can share. Giving Tuesday could then become the day your local community foundation or other intermediary sends out a list of all the “sharing assets” that are available to help the community!
Have a BYOS sharing party (bring your own stuff!)
In the spirit of Collective Enoughness, gather your list of sharable assets. Invite others to do the same, and next Giving Tuesday, have a swap meet! This is another way your local community foundation, United Way, or nonprofit resource center can support all the organizations in the community. Offer snacks and drinks (it is holiday time, after all!), and next Giving Tuesday, let the sharing begin!
The ripples of sharing via Collective Enoughness could extend far beyond dollars. It could begin to end scarcity thinking in communities. All that sharing energy could light the way towards being the generous, open, engaged communities we want to see.
That is why Creating the Future is not participating in Giving Tuesday this year, and why we never have. It is why we take the opportunity every year to encourage you to GIVE on Giving Tuesday – to your community and to each other.
And it is why Collective Enoughness is such a huge part of the Catalytic Thinking framework. Because together, we really do have everything we need.
Resources to Support Your Practice:
- READ: Hildy’s article on Giving Tuesday has other ideas for sharing – including getting funders to think about Collective Enoughness in THEIR work! Read it here…
- LEARN: The “Pay What You Can” tuition for our click-and-play classes is another way to model Collective Enoughness. Are there ways you can do this in your own work? See that here…
- READ: We hope these examples of Collective Enoughness in action inspire you to see what you have to share! Read it here…
Story of the Week:
This week’s story comes from community activist Mark Haubner, who is working on environmental issues in his community. (If you are not familiar with the -1 / 0 / +1 concept Mark describes here, you can see it in this 2 minute video here.)
Sometimes a concept becomes blindingly useful in the real world. Such is the mathematical concept of -1 / 0 / +1. I have found scores of applications for this and am now working from the +1 with all of my colleagues at every level of engagement.
Example: Thinking of the frantic search for Personal Protective Equipment in early 2020, we saw
-1 Competing for scarcity
0 Cooperating with availability
+1 Flourishing with enough.
Mark ended his story with this note:
There are examples in your life right now, just have a look.
Got a Catalytic Thinking story to share with our readers? Let us know here!
Help Keep Our Programs Freely Available
Most of the programs at Creating the Future are free or low cost, with liberal tuition assistance when they aren’t.
If you find our programs of benefit, we hope you will consider contributing, to help keep these programs available to as many people as possible. Donate here ...
If you’re new to our eJournal, or just want to remind yourself of past practice exercises we’ve shared, check out our eJournal archives here.