Feb 9, 2011

Designing the future

Our training program started the year with a bang: 3 diverse workshops and a brownbag in January. We covered recognition for sustainable businesses, how to keep resolutions and change our own behavior, working with nonprofit boards, and conflict management. The very first slide shown in the first workshop got straight to the point with this framework:
1. AWARENESS (current state of self and society)
2. FUTURE VISION (where you are going)
3. GOAL SETTING (how are you going to get there?)
4. ACTION (work towards vision one step at a time)
I participate in as many of the workshops as I can (it's a huge perk of being the organiser, really), and I was present for this one. The instructor, Gina Diamond, started the workshop with a reminder of a crucial first principle: we make the future ourselves, even if we do it accidentally and without thinking. The rest of the workshop was about using this framework to make the future deliberately so that our own lives and society at large can be something we look forward to.

I thought this was the perfect way to kick off my working year, because really that's what everything we do at Sustainable Seattle is about. Whether it's the indicators (current state of society), Dream A Sound Future (where are we going and where could we go?), training and business assessments (how to get there) or on-the-ground projects around Seattle (working towards that vision one step at a time), it's all about deliberately making our future a good one.

I found Gina an inspiring teacher, and I'm working on bringing her back in May to lead a workshop about raising eco kids. Meanwhile, she'll be teaching another workshop--From Awareness to Action--this Saturday, and it sounds like it will expand on this framework.

posted by Eldan Goldenberg

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