Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Van Jones - my inspiration for 2009
Photo by luxomedia


I've blogged about Van Jones before, but last night, as the wind howled outside, I listened to a podcast of a talk he gave at a Social Change Forum at Hollyhock on Cortes Island earlier this year. With a powerful mix of humour and truth telling, he describes the confluence of social justice and environmental justice and calls for a new politics that transcends dualities, us vs, them thinking and win/lose outcomes. He also make a powerful point about how our absolute reliance on deliverables, outcomes and achievables makes us liars, as we pretend to be able to tell our donors, funders and stakeholders how we will shape the future. Van makes a powerful point that when we tell the story that we are successful, and hide that fact that half the time we don't know WHAT we are doing, we prevent the ability to learn from one another.

The world is a complex, chaotic and changing place, and what is needed now is not winning against but winning over. We need to invest in prototypes not pretend we know the solutions. We need experiment, relationship and integrity. That is the new politics of activism - it is the new politics period - and it is what I am committing myself to here at home on Bowen Island, and in my work in the world for 2009.

Happy New Year and see you out there.