emergent strategy quote collection: introduction (1)

preface: adrienne maree brown is coming to boston during the 3rd week of november (!!!). to prepare for her time in the boston organizing community, several folks have started a boston reading group. as a part of that group (as well as another 30 day writing challenge in the evolutionary leadership crew), i’m going to be putting together collections of my favorite quotes from emergent strategy (inspired by the one and only, curtis ogden). the headings are sort of my short-hand summary for the quote that follows it. and each post will be by chapter title.

that’s it! happy following along.

on why we need / are already developing new organizing models and strategies

“We have lived through a good half century of individualistic linear organizing (led by charismatic individuals or budget-building institutions), which intends to reform or revolutionize society, but falls back into modeling the oppressive tendencies against which we claim to be pushing. Some of those tendencies are seeking to assert one right way or one right strategy. Many align with the capitalistic belief that constant growth and critical mass is the only way to create change, even if they don’t use that language.

There are new strategies emerging, or being remembered—many would describe this as a shift from a masculine to feminine (or patriarchal to feminist) leadership. I see that, and I think it is also about something beyond all of our binaries—evolving in relationship with our hierarchical tendency.”

on dandelions, mushrooms, and biomimicry

“My favorite life forms right now are dandelions and mushrooms—the resilience in these structures, which we think of as weeds and fungi, the incomprehensible scale, the clarity of identity, excites me. I love to see the way mushrooms can take substances we think of as toxic, and process them as food, or that dandelions spread not only themselves but their community structure, manifesting their essential qualities (which include healing and detoxifying the human body) to proliferate and thrive in a new environment. The resilience of these life forms is that they evolve while maintaining core practices that ensure their survival.

A mushroom is a toxin-transformer, a dandelion is a community of healers waiting to spread… What are we as humans, what is our function in the universe?”

on love as the core function of humans

“Perhaps humans’ core function is love. Love leads us to observe in a much deeper way than any other emotion.”