Ever since I met Tim, Toke and Maaiaane in the early days of AoH at the Shambhala (now ALiA) Institute, I have been privileged to be part of a collective effort to use these practices to help Nova Scotia realize her potential.
Sometimes I think of those of us who are using these approaches to make good things happen as a "field”—an ever-growing group of people across the province, diverse in age, perspective, sector, and more, connected by a web of relationships and our shared:
1) Belief that as humans, we can come together across differences and silos to build relationships and make a positive impact on even our toughest challenges.
2) Commitment to practice: personal awareness, learning, a spirit of experimentation, strong relationships, solid hosting methods, and impact strategies that can make the above a reality.
So why is BtB the place I need to be?
I can tell that it is going to be a gathering place of awesome folks, longtime friends and collaborators, people I admire and people I have yet to meet. I know we’re all working hard and doing important work to serve our communities. I am very appreciative of the hosting team for bringing us together. I’m delighted that we are all taking some time to learn, connect, reflect, and celebrate.
BEGINNING A NEW CHAPTER
I feel I am entering a new phase in my work and I suspect we are shifting to a new space as a "field". The best way I know to face something new is with learning, friendship, by seeing the bigger picture together and using good strategy. Given many of my recent experiences, I have a sense that we have crossed a tipping point of sorts. I see a combination of factors playing together.
THE NEED IS INTENSIFYING, THE RESPONSE IS RAMPING UP
In my work lately, I see conversations happening in a much more frank and consistent way about the world we live in. On an inner and outer level there is a lot more pressure, stress and uncertainty and at the same time a different quality of clarity and determination is rising. I notice I am in more subtle and sophisticated conversations about the challenges and the opportunities:
Sera Thompson is a host of social innovation. She helps build momentum for collective impact in multiple areas including: public health, mental health, food systems, sustainability, systemic racism, public engagement, community forestry and more. She has been both steward and faculty within the Art of Hosting Network in Nova Scotia, the global Deep Democracy (Lewis Method) Community, and the ALiA institute. A graduate of McGill University, Sera is a co-founder of the Halifax Hub. Her newest and most precious focus is parenting her three year-old son, Jack. She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (aka the Bright Side).