Developing Community for Great Resilience

image credit: Eastop

“For twenty years, The Berkana Institute has worked in friendship and partnership with people around the world who are discovering that there is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

Co-founded by Margaret Wheatley in 1991, the Berkana Institute focuses on the ability of community to support and create sustainable change. Over the years they have “worked in partnership with a rich diversity of people around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environments.” Their Pathfinding Intiatives in India (Swaraj University), South Africa, Brazil, and Japan illustrate some of the places they have worked.

Berkana focuses on all of the things needed to help people around the world create healthy communities, including education, agriculture, livelihood, and leadership skills–one of Berkana’s key offerings. At the beginning of the millennium, with the unpredictability of things like Y2K, the Institute saw an opportunity to lean into supporting social change, and “trained young leaders to host conversations, using the PeerSpirit circle method. Conversation circles with the purpose of supporting people to step into their own leadership were started in more than 30 countries.”

In 2011, Walk Out, Walk On, a book by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze, was published. “Walk Outs are people who bravely choose to leave behind a world of unsolvable problems, scarce resources, limiting beliefs and destructive individualism. They walk on to the ideas, beliefs and practices that enable them to give birth to new systems that serve community.”

“Berkana envisions a world that develops greater capacity and resilience through a spirit of invitation and inclusion. In this world, we co-create the future we wish for by calling on the creativity, generosity and intelligence of everyone. Together, we discover solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems and, as a community, feel prepared to take on our next challenges.”

For 2012, staff at Berkana is at rest and taking space to gather their energy and listen for the next step.

Berkana Web site

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Learn About Walk Out, Walk On

Quoted text from Berkana Web site

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