#5: Exponential change starts imperceptibly gradual

Updates about Microsolidarity & five very fine podcasts

Hello human! How are you in this moment?

I’m in a great mood today. I discovered this thing called a milkweed but I prefer to call it a “giant dando”.

It feels like there is some real traction in the Microsolidarity project lately: we’re meeting one or two new “congregations” every week. I’m grateful that many of these communities are documenting their journey in public, so we can learn from each other. Some examples:

  • Here’s a video of Karl Steyaert presenting the Cultural Catalyst Network. This is a globally-distributed community exploring “how to address the complex social and ecological challenges of our time, through whole-person and whole-system transformational learning and action”. Subscribe on their website if you’re interested in joining in.

  • Jordan Lyon is starting a community in Seattle, where people support each other “to express our gifts, do meaningful work, and live a life of aliveness and wholeness.” Follow their process here.

  • Beatriz Fonseca & Joshua Glass are starting a congregation in the Netherlands, primarily for people who are finishing university and intend to “support each other in doing emotionally and financially fulfilling work”. They keep exquisite documentation of their process, and we’ve recorded a couple of conversations together, which you can find here.

Nati & I have been spending time with 70+ fabulous people from all over the world, in the Microsolidarity Practice Program. We’re using a bunch of relational practices and communication techniques to learn together about how to cultivate intimacy for community building. The next Practice Program starts at the end of July, learn more and register here. 💪


🎙 Interviews

I’ve also been doing a lot of interviews. I loved this conversation I had with Jim Rutt; a fun exploration about group dynamics, social movements, decentralised organisations, Enspiral & Microsolidarity.

I also had a good time on the Both/And podcast — though that one is more of an “inside baseball” discussion for people familiar with the GameB / metamodern / sensemaking scene.


🔥 Top 5 Podcasts

I want to share with you some of the most striking podcast episodes from my recent listening.

  1. In this conversation with Terry Patten, Meg Wheatley presents a compelling argument for giving up hope and embracing the inevitability of near term social collapse. This one is pretty heavy, so proceed with caution. 😑

  2. I love Raising Free People, a project for parents, educators, and caregivers who want to raise people who are liberated from oppressive authority and coercive power. This conversation with Moji Yai & Akilah S. Richards is a concrete example: when Moji’s daughter contracted malaria, instead of taking control, Moji supports 10-year-old Sena to decide for herself on the best treatment plan. I thought that was such an astonishing demonstration of what sovereignty looks like in practice. 😲

  3. I’ve been saying since 2014 that Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang is the most inspiring person I’ve ever met. This recent interview about how Taiwan responded to COVID-19 is an excellent example of why I think they’re so amazing. If you want to know what a “conservative anarchist” sounds like, listen to this one.

  4. I’ve been reading a lot of Riane Eisler’s books this year. I’m hugely influenced by her work on partnership and domination, inspired by her ability to draw the connections between relational dynamics in families, all the way up to the largest scale: war, genocide & authoritarianism. Her work moves me in a way that I frequently miss in contemporary feminisms. You can see this contrast for yourself in this intergenerational conversation with her and Jamia Wilson about The Future of Feminism on The Bridge.

  5. Finally, if you’re into decentralised organisations and you want to challenge your ideas of collective intelligence, co-creation, and shared authority listen to Peter Koenig explain the “source principle” on Lisa Gill’s Leadermorphosis podcast. He is certain that creative endeavours always start from one person. I think he is wrong, but in an interesting way!

That’s enough for this episode, thanks for tuning in to What I’m Paying Attention To. Please do check out the Microsolidarity Practice Program and consider join us in July!

Enthusiastically yours,

Richard D. Bartlett