Guest Post — Co-hosting a National Conference on Healthy Community

Guest post by Annabel Membrillo JimenezGlobal Steward Vibrancy Ins

A group of colleagues and I recently co-hosted a national gathering of Anthroposophical initiatives in Mexico, working directly with the choosing of human agreements, for the individual and the community, deeply informed from the ecosynomic view of social three-folding. This is part of a larger Global Initiative supported by the Institute for Strategic Clarity and its co-investors in universities, communities, and organizations in 12 countries. The gathering was a continuum of the 2016 gathering exploring social three-folding. In the attached 7-page briefing of the gathering (click here), I explore:

  • the story behind the manifestation
  • the inspiration for the design
  • why it was ecosynomics
  • how it was anthroposophical
  • the flow of the experience
  • the organizing team nurturing the experience



Guest Post — Prototyping an Abundance-based, Virtual, Learning Environment

Guest post by Annabel Membrillo JimenezGlobal Steward Vibrancy Ins

Inspired to design a prototype of an abundance-based, virtual, learning environment, a question came to me.  How could I expand the opportunities to nourish and grow the potential of the Vibrancy community through building capacity and understanding?  The exploration went from an inventory of knowledge to a pre-design of what would be inside multiple levels of understanding.  But, that did not seem like it was enough.  More questions emerged about how to design similar environments for other abundance-based.

The exploration went from a possibility to a probability when the UMA (Universidad del Medio Ambiente in Valle de Bravo, Mexico) opened the door to hold this program within the university’s virtual platform. So, in that moment the support of a university that had both a very well designed virtual platform and a beautiful campus that could support this prototype came into the picture.

So, what happened? The next question arose: How to build a virtual learning environment that could nourish the space for building deep understanding of what it means to co-host transformations?  And, to be more ambitious, how could that be scaled in a relatively easy way in a second iteration? We did not really know if this would interest people, although an attractive feature for the potential participants was that at the end they would receive a diploma from the UMA and the certification from the Vibrancy community.

The design is a journey of six months with a deep focus on experience and application to real cases. Half of the 110 hours required the participants to make applications, reflections, exercises and integration of learnings in documents. Six months seems to be a fair amount of time to build up maturity of knowledge, and give the opportunity to implement and apply tools and exercises in real case studies with real communities. Seeing this as a possibility for scaling globally, I decided to launch it in a mostly virtual format.

And then more and more questions arose; questions around how to build understanding about the what, how and when of the application of the tools and methodologies. But that was a dispassionate purpose for me, and I felt that there was not real aligned with the intention of the first question I was asking. So, I kept on asking myself what was the specific purpose for this prototype. And then, it came to me: the purpose was “to be at the service of each participant to become more of who they really are.” That purpose holds the first intention, for me, unleashing the potential of the Vibrancy community in its ability to unleash the potential of humanity, unleashing each person’s potential for holding the abundance framework every time they choose. In that moment, I knew everything was ready and in place for this to happen because I saw something I could dearly commit to.

So far I can see two very different sets of learnings: one about the design phase to manifest the program; and the second about the first two months of the journey.

For the design phase, I want to share two things I learned:

  1. Sit in the question to clarify the different levels of the purpose. I went from the purpose of how to expand the capacity of the Vibrancy community to the purpose of being at the service of each participant’s potential. Each purpose is perfectly fine for the level they were thought of, one was at the level of a global question and the other was at the level of the specific design of the prototype. Both are important and both are relevant for the conversations that are already happening and the ones that will be happening for the exploration of the next expression of this prototype.
  2. Be conscious of the endless journey through the O Process. Going from the purpose to possibilities and probabilities felt different when I was moving more and more into the concrete expression for a specific prototype. I knew that the more detailed levels of the purpose are invoking a bigger gesture for the bigger question and that made me hold the purpose with a different awareness.

In the first two months of the journey, here is what I have learned so far:

  1. Be very clear about the invitation. This was an invitation to explore this journey together.  All participants in the journey know that it is the first one in this format and completely in Spanish.  They also know that the invitation requires several hours of self-study, application and reflection besides the virtual and face to face session.
  2. Be conscious of what you are invoking and invite each participant to do the same. Do not be afraid to share the deeper purpose!
  3. Use the sense of harmony, intensively. The design of each session calls for a very active listening from me, with all my senses, and being able to design each session with what is emerging. Do not misunderstand me. I have a lot of clarity about the purpose and about what they need to learn, but I have discovered and learned how to flow with the rhythm of the group to introduce concepts, exercises and challenges at the pace they can take on, depending on what they are sharing in their individual assignments.
  4. Hold us all as Homo lumens. I can see each one of them as Homo lumens with enormous potential. I am amazed with the group and who they are.  And, I see myself as someone who can hold the space for them to explore their own potential.
  5. Live it as a constant prototype. The space is co-designed, co-built, and co-hosted together. This has happened in two levels: 1) with others that want to be in the conversation of how to explore environments for building understanding; and 2) using the sense of harmony I shared before.
  6. Design the assignments as a key for the virtual space. I have spent a lot of time imagining the kind of experience I would like them to have between sessions and what kind of assignment would be just enough to stretch them a little bit each time. I am the vehicle designing the underlying structure, the participants are taking up the heavy lifting, through their will, into the doing. One of the participants shared that they needed to do an exercise of honesty with themselves to really get into the assignments, and that is not easy sometimes.

So far, the journey has been delightful. We have been together for 14 hours in virtual sessions, and I am impressed with the pace of the group. Some of them are getting to very deep reflections that we never saw before in such a short time. Some of them are already venturing into actively working with specific tools and methods in different groups.  We are all already looking forward to being together in person at the end of the six months. There is already a feeling of being close to each other. At the end, they will write up case studies and they will synthetize what they have learned in their applications, and I am curious to see how this will happen.

You can enter into a little piece of the concrete prototype design through the PDF presentation, where you can find the timeline and the sharing of some of the reflections the participants are having together. I will be sharing more reflections about the journey along the way, so stay tuned.

Guest post — Agreements Mapping of High Vibrancy Zapatista Communities

Guest post by Annabel Membrillo Jimenez, Vibrancy Mexico Lead Steward

Zapatista mural

Annabel set off on a journey this past spring to observe indigenous Zapatista communities, asking: What are the characteristics that allow the Zapatistas to move at a steady pace towards the third circle of vibrancy, despite the ongoing repression they receive from a part of their environment? What are the agreements that make them unique?

Annabel shares what she observed in the Zapatistas agreements in a white paper you can download here in English (aquí en español).


Las Organizaciones Inteligentes en la Toma de Decisiones en Salud: El Caso del Dengue

Past-cast Series — Seeing relevance in earlier publications

Ortiz-Quesada, Federico, Jorge F. Méndez-Galvan, James Ritchie-Dunham, F. Javier Rosado-Muñoz. 1999. Las Organizaciones Inteligentes en la Toma de Decisiones en Salud: El Caso del Dengue, Salud Pública Méx, Vol. 37(sup 1):77-87.

An article I co-authored (1995) on organizational learning at the Mexican Secretariat of Health, when dealing with dengue.

Las Organizaciones Inteligentes (OI) son un instrumento de gran ayuda para organizar y conducir acciones de vigilancia, prevención y control. Son tecnología de punta en la administración; permiten generar esquemas del comportamiento de estructuras y políticas de organizaciones, describen sistématicamente problemas e integran modelos computarizados. Con esto se desarrollan pensamientos sistémicos; producen una visión compartida; crean modelos mentales de aprendizaje y superación continuos; se aprende en equipo; y se mejora el dominio personal. El avance científico-tecnológico ha producido una información impresionante en medicina, concomitante crecimiento de sus organizaciones y dificultad en las respuestas debido a cambios e innovaciones repentinos y constantes; por ello se justifican las oi. Este trabajo está orientado a probar la utilidad de la tecnología de oi en el ordenamiento y sistematización de la información sobre los acontecimientos de las ciencias médicas. Se seleccionó el dengue para ejemplificar la aplicación de dicha tecnología porque representa un problema de creciente importancia en el continente y en México, es complejo, puede evolucionar a formas de mayor gravedad en la población y es factible de analizarse en forma sistémica.

A Birdhouse Intensive

In 4 Salons, a dinner, and an Intensive this Spring, 150 Mexican leaders explored the experience of harmonic vibrancy and the Ecosynomics of agreements.

Towards the Education part of ISC’s charter, Jim Ritchie-Dunham has been working with ISC Fellows in Europe, USA, and Mexico to engage ever broader communities of people in the work of Ecosynomics. The ISC courses now focus at three levels: a 2-hour, experiential overview we call a Salon; introductory courses taught by ISC Fellows; and 3-day, in-depth Intensives with Jim R-D.

The Salons provide a 2-hour, interactive experience of the choice and agreements in the experience of harmonic vibrancy and the abundance-based principles supporting that experience.  The Intensive dives deeply into the Ecosynomics framework and its supporting tools.

Following up on a Salon in Boston in the fall 2012, a series of Salons across Germany in the fall 2012, and an Intensive in Massachusetts in December 2012, we just completed a series in Mexico.

Over three days at the Casa de Aves (Spanish for birdhouse), a beautiful resort in San Miguel de Allende, 3 hours north of Mexico City in Mexico, five students of Ecosynomics dove into the depths of the theory and practice with ISC President Jim Ritchie-Dunham.  In the evenings, they helped facilitate four two-hour Salons and a dinner hosted by the Council of Entrepreneurs of San Miguel de Allende, ISBAN of the Santander Group, and the Argentinian restaurant La Esquina Gaucha.

ISC colleagues at the SC Group, Conrado Garcia, America Rodriguez, and Jaime Martinez, hosted and coordinated the whole event.  The SC Group is now coordinating a series of Intensives and Salons in Mexico for the early fall 2013.

Additional Intensives are being planned for May in Massachusetts and June in North Carolina.  If you are interested in hosting or participating in a Salon or Intensive, please contact Jim R-D.