Energy Innovation Ecosystems in Rural Mexico

Acuña, Francisco, Guillermo Cedeño, Ramon Sanchez, Leith Sharp, John Spengler, and James Ritchie-Dunham. “Energy Innovation Ecosystems in Rural Mexico.” ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America XVIII, no. 1 (2018): 108-09.

This recently published article describes a very vibrant initiative, bringing innovative energy ecosystems to rural Mexico.  To understand the wild success of the initiative, the Institute for Strategic Clarity was invited to use the Agreements Evidence Mapping tool to understand what happened.  In essence (see figure below), by connecting (1) the low perceived value and social impact rural universities with (2) the moderate perceived value and social impact of the rural communities, (3) the academic knowledge and global network of Harvard, with (4) financial capital, they were able to generate a high perceived value and social impact energy innovation ecosystem.

Initially the rural universities are resource poor, providing theoretical, technical education with low practical social impact because of underemployment of graduates, locally. Initially the indigenous communities are rich in social capital, and poor in the financial and intellectual capital to exploit their wealth in natural capital.  The Harvard Applied Leadership in Renewable Energies Program engaged rural universities and local indigenous communities throughout Mexico, where 286 university professors and researchers proposed innovation ecosystems for 93 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that were developed and funded (e.g., wind in Oaxaca and biodiesel in Sinaloa).

A documentary and casebook detail the whole project, and the subsequent social and economic potential impact of these projects, including 953.3 MW of wind energy, 512 MW of installed capacity of photovoltaic energy, 1.36 MW of biomass electricity, 40 million liters of ethanol/year, 7.2 million liters of biodiesel/year and 9 million liters of bio-jet fuel/year. This program proved that shifting away from centralized-only thinking with low ROIC, for high-impact, economically-resilient, national renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Mexico, think massively local innovation ecosystems with a much higher, more resilient, and more equitable ROIC.  This model of social innovation is particularly relevant in the multitude of countries facing rapid rural-to-urban migration in part because of investment inequities.  The project leaders are meeting now with Mexico’s ministers of economy and social development to replicate this.

Acknowledgements.  This project includes dozens of rural, indigenous communities in Mexico, over 100 rural Mexican universities with 286 of their faculty, the Mexican Secretariat of Energy, global investors led by InTrust Global Investments LLC, and the Center for Health and the Global Environment in the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University.

 

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When 10×10=1,000,000 — 4 Examples of Coupling Social and Technical Innovation

People continuously develop amazing technical innovations: urban agriculture; CRISPR; drones, blockchain; electric cars; work on Mars; language translation.  On all fronts, technology is bringing more abundant solutions.  On a scale of 1 to 10, these technical innovations are 10s.

People also continuously come up with social innovations: crowdsourcing; online platforms; sociocracy; hubs;; sacred hospitality; innovation labs; global action networks.  People are experimenting everywhere with ways to interact more abundantly.  On a scale of 1 to 10, these social innovations are 10s.

While these technical innovations and these social innovations are 10s, bringing 10X impacts to the problems they address, they are small compared to the 1,000,000X solutions people are finding when they combine the two: technical and social innovations.  Something very interesting is happening in this space where people are coupling technical and social innovation.  As part of the Global Initiative to Map Ecosynomic Deviance and Impact Resilience, we are very exited about these coupled innovations, finding more of them, and learning with them about what they are doing.  Here are four cases we have found.

  1. Innovation Ecosystems in Mexican Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency.  Technical innovations in energy and finance.  Social innovations in connecting innovation ecosystems.
    • Equitable engagement of the natural and social capital of rural indigenous communities in Mexico with global financial, social, and environmental metrics, and intellectual capital leads to: (1) large-scale carbon emission reduction through renewable energy and energy efficiency; (2) equitable access to energy efficiency and renewable energy; and (3) locally generated economic wealth.
    • See the documentary of this initiative that engaged 286 university professors and researchers from rural universities and local indigenous communities throughout Mexico, leading to 93 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
  2. Fostering Local Wellbeing in South Africa.  Technical innovations in complementary currencies and youth video documentaries.  Social innovations in building local capacity to develop an evolving collective narrative through youth ambassadors and videography, coupled with locally controlled complementary currencies to fund local wellbeing.
    • A two-year long, University of Cape Town African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) research project that took place in two South African municipalities – the Greater Kokstad Municipality in KwaZuluNatal, and the Bergrivier Municipality in the Western Cape, from August 2014 – September 2016. The project engaged out-of-work, out-of-school local youth – the FLOW Ambassadors – to build both individual and community capacity to thrive and innovate in the face of the growing challenges of climate change, resource depletion and inequality.
    • See many of the videos describing this journey in two townships.
  3. Global Anti-Corruption Coalition.  Technical innovations in measuring corruption and in national anti-corruption, pro-transparency policies.  Social innovations in interweaving global policy and attention with local action, across 120 countries, giving a voice to the people seeing corruption and to those affected by corruption.
    • Fighting corruption around the world since 1993.  “We’ve fought to put in place binding global conventions against corruption. We’ve held governments and companies to account, exposing the corrupt and dodgy deals (saving more than US$2 billion in the Czech Republic alone). We’ve helped hundreds of thousands of people to take a stand” (https://www.transparency.org/impact).
    • See an Impact Report describing many examples of how people are changing the global discourse and outcomes around corruption, one place at a time.
  4. Portable Solar-Powered Stoves.  Technical innovations in light-weight, solar-powered cookers.  Social innovations in giving free-energy, portable cooking to the global poor, in dozens of countries.
    • Saving lives from indoor toxic smoke from stoves with solar-powered, portable stoves that cost nothing in fuel to run.
    • See videos about the innovations.

Four examples of massively impactful interventions, coupling technical and social innovations to have a much larger impact, orders of magnitude larger.  These technical-AND-social innovators are discovering that either innovation alone–only technical or only social–is not enough.  Coming up with a great technical innovation that stays within the previous social form tends to have only local and limited success in transformative impact resilience.   Likewise, a social innovation in how people interact with the same technology also tends towards the 10X impacts: far less than the impact resilience available when there is an innovation in the what, who, how, why, when, and where–in the technical and the social dimensions.  Innovations where 10X x 10X can equal 1,000,000X.

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 — The “UMAns” and Their Movement as a Group (Universidad de Medio Ambiente)

Guest post — Annabel Membrillo, regional steward Vibrancy Mexico

UMA is the University of the Environment in Mexico (http://www.umamexico.com).

When visiting Casa UMA in Valle de Bravo, I had the opportunity of experiencing UMA live and in full detail during the master’s degree graduation ceremony. During this experience, I also had the opportunity of observing a variety of dynamics, as well as interviewing and speaking to a few people, including the founding partners. This collective has a very particular way of living, which I believe demonstrates how inspiration can take a person along unknown yet interesting paths, which are only obvious and visible along the way.

UMA is still a start-up and has been running for just a few years. UMA’s core focus is active research, where questions are more important than answers, and the search for truth becomes relevant because not everything is black or white. The search for an answer to what we want to maintain and what we want to change is always present. This basic difference is the motor that has driven UMA from day one.

Below are several details and evidence of its evolution:

  • The growth of students vs staff – It started with 15 students in the Environmental Entrepreneurship Program (PEA) in 2010, and in 2014 it has over 100 students (70 master’s students, 30 technical certification students and 17 UMA High School students). However, the number of people working within UMA has grown from 6-7 to 18, aside from the network of professors and students that grows every year.
  • The growth of its programs – they began in 2010 with PEA (Environmental Entrepreneurship Program) and in 2014 they now have 6 master’s programs (Environmental Law and Public Policy, Socio-Environmental Business Administration, Architecture, Design and Sustainable Construction), a Technical Certification in Sustainability, 3 UMA High School groups, Consulting, UMA events and Environmental Education UMA A.C.
  • The growth of infrastructure – It began in 2007 with a small office and the first program (PEA) started in 2009. At the time, the space for programs was somewhere else. In 2014 they are in Casa UMA, a cozy space where they have been able to incubate the second part of their evolution. Today they are about to begin a new journey with the construction of the UMA Campus which will be open at the end of 2014.
  • Incubations of economical/social/environmental projects – 89% of alumni projects are in some stage of development and/or implementation.

In the timeline below (Figure 1) we can identify certain important events and moments within this collective’s evolution. These events have been divided into 2 classifications:

  1. The first one is the events related to operations and daily UMA activities. Here we can see the events and activities related with the Academic evolution that involves creating and strengthening the programs offered as a University; and we also see the activities related with Project evolution that refers to environmental service consulting and other consulting services that are accomplished with organizations.
  2. The second classification is related to strengthening the physical basis and infrastructure, as well as strengthening the structure and organization in order to carry out UMA activities.

UMA Timeline

Figure 1. UMA Timeline

 

One of the reasons it was interesting to further explore the agreements that the UMA lives was that the results of the harmonic vibrancy survey showed that it could be a group with different and innovative practices. Several results that stand out are the following:

  • The fifteen people that answered the survey selected “always” for the item, “I understand clearly what we are as a group and why we do what we do.”
  • The average standard deviation of all the survey’s answers is relatively low (0.31), which shows shared agreements between people within the collective. We can observe the general results in the graph in Figure 2.
  • The average of the group’s degree of efficiency was of 4.27, where everyone answered excellent and above average.
  • In the ranking of the group, only one person answered that it was an average group, 6 answered that it was one of the best and 8 the best. The dimension that appears with high agreement is “The Group” and “Group Health.”

UMA Survey Results

Figure 2. UMA Survey Results

These results indicate that this group could have innovative practices of a mid-high level of harmonic vibrancy. After gathering the evidence, what I can share regarding the UMA practices today (there will certainly be others radically different in several years since evolution is the rule with this group), is captured in the agreements evidence map in Figure 3.

UMA Agreements Map

Figure 3. UMA Agreements Map

Next, I will provide an overview of what these agreements look like in UMA’s main practices:

  • An Organizational Philosophy with Zero Dogmas (Levels of Reality) – They are observers, researchers and critical actors of what happens around them, they ask, they seek for each person to live the experience and find their own answers. Questions are a fundamental part of their culture. For example, they develop questions such as the following: what is the middle point between a systemic vision and a reductionist vision because both are valid and necessary, what is the balance between rules and inspiration, what is the proper moment and audience with whom to use horizontal vs. circular organization charts within the same organization at the same time of evolution. Questions such as these may seem strange coming from an Environmental University where they are expected to support new alternative trends, and it may seem to some observers that they are “betraying” evolution. However, seeing it with an open mind, this essence may be perceived as having the capacity to subtly generate spaces for people to find their own answers and develop their full potential.
  • Inspiring and Sharing Global Goal with a Powerful Sense of Group (Group) “To drive a regenerative, sustainable and ethical future by preparing agents of change that are capable of promoting initiatives that will transform social-environmental systems” – Many of these people are there because they know that they are building cathedrals, they know that each part contributes although they cannot see the full picture; they require stability, certain structure and clear guidance on how things work, what they have to do and how to do it. Others are there because deep within them they truly share UMA’s core focus and what it implies regarding uncertainty, risk, patience, tolerance and bravery. They can become part of other types of structures with much more freedom and ability to explore. Both groups are necessary and what is most fascinating is that the initial “strategy” is the same for both groups; as people and groups ask for more or less structure the dialogue begins to take shape around what to do and how to do it.
  • Integrative Co-Design or Sociocracy (Group and Source of Creativity) “None of us knows as much as all of us” – It is clear that co-design is highly important because it allows for various voices and perspectives and imagining something bigger than what one can imagine on one’s own. However, it is also clear that there are situations or decisions that must be done individually but they will be communicated or will guide the team. It means asking oneself constant questions such as: What must be co-designed? Who needs to be there? When must it be done? And so on. It is a live process. In some spaces, it is already clear and in others it emerges as the group grows. Those who study or work in UMA are barely naming this practice as their own; however, having known them for several years, this practice has been consistent. There has always been a thoughtful and conscious invitation for people with different perspectives and voices in designing the UMA that lives in the present.
  • Establishing Dialogue Processes (Group, Relationship with the Other)
    • Within UMA, the U process is carried out in each program, generating profound dialogues between all the participants and those who work with UMA. These spaces still have to be strengthened for the operations and staff areas so they can emerge naturally and organically from within; these are steps that are already being identified for the following years.
    • Outside UMA they are involved in processes that allow for this dialogue to be generated within the community, a very beautiful example is the design and construction of the next UMA building which they describe in the following way: “The construction of a building that shows how architectural intervention becomes a means of regeneration for their community and basin.” The projects surrounding the UMA Campus are Housing with the community, Edible forests, a Path system for non-motorized transportation and a project of Social-based construction in Acatitlan.
  • Permanent Learning Community (Group, Source of Creativity and Levels of Reality)
    • Evaluate in order to grade vs evaluate to redesign; this is a practice that is constantly seeking to create awareness in order to avoid falling into judgment of self or others and instead channeling energy towards growth and evolution.
    • A space that is open to creativity – the objective is set and there is total freedom regarding how to achieve it. This provides a great sense of freedom but also of uncertainty and being overwhelmed by the responsibility; if you “fall” you are 100% responsible for your own fall. However, all this is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow both individually and as an organization.
  • Humanity (Individual, Relationship with the Other) – people are UMA’s most important motor; if people do well, UMA functions well. In evolution, a balance is constantly sought between people’s quality of life and the results. People and their quality of life are taken into account. As with all things, there are ups and downs and matters to resolve as a result of the growth in UMA’s ecosystem.

There are still many things that need to be improved before UMA can evolve into the third circle. It is still a collective that falls into the second circle, where evolution depends on the vision of their leaders. They are still in the process of understanding how to find a balance between efficient and flexible operations and freedom and continuous creativity, there are very distinct differences between the experience in spaces made for design and creativity (academia and consulting) and operation and logistics spaces (staff), it is still in the process of financial stabilization, etc. Leaders and other emerging co-hosts are aware of this, they are observing and seeking more questions and answers; part of this evolution will most likely depend on the increasing awareness of their co-hosts.

I don’t know if the reader will be immensely curious as to the direction this is heading and as to what it will look like in the future; what I do know is that I for one, am very curious. I perceive that UMA has the potential of becoming a point of reference for organizations on how to design and evolve start-up structures with live and free processes that create possibilities in the world (possibility-light), while staying grounded and putting forth all the potential in the earthly world (things-matter). This first attempt to understand the practices and agreements that they have generated throughout time may shed some light for those entrepreneurs who are willing to live this experience through a different lens.

Guest post — Introducing the Experience of Harmonic Vibrancy in Mexico

Building on Annabel’s innovations on bringing a body experience to the Introduction to Ecosynomics course, I used the same exercises she developed for the Relationship to Self, Other, and Group. I tried different exercises for the Relationship to Nature and Spirit.

For the Relationship to Nature, standing outside in a beautiful forrest setting, we experienced: (1) how many things can you see? [noun-outcomes level]; (2) what can you see that does not change over time? [verb-development level]; (3) what could you imagine being in here and see it here? [possibility-light level].

For the Relationship to Spirit, we went into the library of the facility we were using, and picked a book. We then experienced: (1) point at 2 specific ideas in the text you picked; (2) notice 5 thoughts you have about those 2 ideas; (3) imagine everyone here taking on those ideas for themselves.

The experiences people had were really cool, finding themselves in their own experiences of the five relationships, in just 2 hours.

Reflections of a Pactoecographer

Guest post by Annabel Membrillo, ISC Fellow 

When I was designing an Introductory Experience of Harmonic Vibrancy, some questions came to my mind: can I find a real experience for the group? An experience that talks not just to their mind, but makes them feel it in their body and will?  I did not want to start with their mind in the very beginning, and that was a bit difficult for me, since I am so accustomed to work with my mind. Then an inspiring moment gave me some ideas of how to do this.

Feeling each relationship in the body. I believe there is a way to get people to feel Harmonic Vibrancy. I did this body experience in about an hour and a half. The I, Other, and Group relationships were easier to experience in the physical. I still need a good form of body experience for…

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Guest post — Introducing the Experience of Harmonic Vibrancy in Mexico

Guest post by Annabel Membrillo, ISC Fellow 

When I was designing an Introductory Experience of Harmonic Vibrancy, some questions came to my mind: can I find a real experience for the group? An experience that talks not just to their mind, but makes them feel it in their body and will?  I did not want to start with their mind in the very beginning, and that was a bit difficult for me, since I am so accustomed to work with my mind. Then an inspiring moment gave me some ideas of how to do this.

Feeling each relationship in the body. I believe there is a way to get people to feel Harmonic Vibrancy. I did this body experience in about an hour and a half. The I, Other, and Group relationships were easier to experience in the physical. I still need a good form of body experience for the relationships to Nature and Spirit. For each one of the relationships, I ask the participants to put themselves in one of the postures for a minute, and then write down on a post-it what they feel and think. I do not have pictures of people doing the postures; however, the I and Other are pretty straightforward. In the case of the relationship to the Group, the lower level was very interesting. The image below can help to make sense of the posture I asked them to do as a group. People said things like they could not see more than the person in front of them. They felt static. Some of them said they did not have feelings, and were uninterested, with their minds going to a different place.  Some wanted to touch the person in front, and turn to see the person behind; so, it was a very nice way to make them feel the lower level of the relationship to the Group.

AM Guest Blog 1

In the case of the relationship to Nature, I gave them an object (the carton at the end of a roll of toilet paper works very nicely).  I told them what it was, and then asked the group what was the purpose of the object. At first everyone answer what I told them, that is the Things level of perceived reality.  Then, in the case of toilet paper roll, they told me they have garbage in their hands. When I asked them about what could they do with the object, a lot of ideas came in, that is the development-verb level. Finally, some ideas that were beyond the object helped explain what we can imagine when we are in the light level. I linked this same exercise to the relationship to Spirit, to discover how to experience this through the body.

AM Guest Blog 2

The first experience of Naming. Language is so important for the process of experiencing harmonic vibrancy, and sometimes we find it difficult to listen to ourselves and to others in the collectives we are part of. So, what I did is to give the group famous phrases from philosophers, singers, popular sayings from Mexico. Some of these are in the Ecosynomics book, and some are not.  Some are long; some are short. Some examples of the short ones include: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in” from Leonard Cohen; “Tree that is born crooked, his trunk never straightens,” a popular saying; “We only see what we animate, and we animate what we see” from Emerson. I asked the group to identify the primary relationship(s) and the level of each phrase. I emphasized that they could sense the level of perceived reality just by listening to the language they used.

AM Guest Blog 3

The first 4-5 hours of the 12-hour workshop were dedicated to these two activities. After that we worked more and more with the mind, learning what agreements are, understanding the three paths through the three levels of perceived reality, analyzing their responses to the harmonic vibrancy survey, and analyzing Agreements Maps for different groups. I believe that the success of these other exercises rested on the two exercises of the first 4 hours.

At the end I did a small exercise of “mindfully eating chocolate,” to close the workshop reminding them that the more mindful we are, the more we can really help collectives to name agreements and realize what to do next.

I look forward to learning what you and others have found useful in engaging people with their mind, heart and will from the very beginning of the harmonic vibrancy experience.  I know that we will continue to improve and innovate from this point forward to make this introduction a real experience of what Harmonic Vibrancy is.

Annabel Membrillo Jimenez, ISC Fellow, is the Vibrancy Ins. representative for Harmonic Vibrancy and Ecosynomics in Mexico.  Through her consulting, coaching, and teaching, Annabel has brought harmonic vibrancy, and strategic clarity to individuals, organizations, and communities in Mexico since 1995.  A graduate with honors of the ITAM, she has co-authored articles you can find at ISC.

Vibrancy Activity in Mexico

I just spent the last week in Queretaro, Mexico, where there is lots of activity around the work of Harmonic Vibrancy and Ecosynomics, and there is much to share. As I tell you briefly about what is happening in Mexico, I invite you to see if there is a way that you would like to engage with the work there or something similar in your geography or language. Basically, you can think of four realms of work: “content” where you learn to do the work on your own; “process” where others do the work with you; “sharing” where you meet others like you who are doing the work; and “insights” where you learn about the underlying research and insights we are finding.

CONTENT
Starting with an introductory course I gave in March this year, the group in Mexico has advanced quickly, with ISC Fellow Annabel Membrillo now offering a 2-day Introduction to Harmonic Vibrancy and Ecosynomics course. With this new foundation, I was able to offer two intermediate Intensives this past week on “Ecosynomic Tools and Applications” and “Ecosynomic Indicators and Measurement Systems.”

As the group now takes up these introductory and intermediate courses, I will be back in Mexico in the early Spring to offer more advanced, specialized Intensives on Money Agreements, What Is Homo lumens, Collaborating with Process Groups around the World, An Integral-AQAL View of HV and Ecosynomics, Introduction to Ecosynomics research seminar, Linking Ecosynomics, Harmonic Vibrancy and Strategy, and The Ecosynomic Foundations and Practices of Agreements. With these solid foundations in the team in Mexico, we can now explore the deeper roots and practical applications of Ecosynomics.

Through its long-term work with Ecosynomics, the community in Mexico continues to be one of the top 3 countries in purchases of the Ecosynomics book-course.

SHARING
We shared the story with like-minded leaders and colleagues through two public talks and dialogs. One for 42 leaders was hosted by the SC Group and the JFK American School of Queretaro, with co-hosting by Annabel’s team. The other public talk for a dozen local leaders was hosted by the SC group at the Esquina Gaucha restaurant. These sharing activities continue to grow the local community working with Ecosynomics in the Queretaro area.

PROCESS
Through ISC Fellow Annabel Membrillo and SC Group Mexico co-founder Conrado Garcia, there are now two large on-going projects in Queretaro, Mexico based in Ecosynomics at the school JFK and the bank ISBAN, integrating the Harmonic Vibrancy survey, the Agreements Maps, and Managing from Clarity systems mapping in the strategy process.

INSIGHTS
Led by ISC Fellow Annabel Membrillo, our research continues full-steam in Mexico, with hundreds of groups responding to the Harmonic Vibrancy survey, many beginning to apply Agreements Maps, and many engaging in deeper descriptions and explorations of their emerging agreements through “Agreements Evidence Dialogs.”

CONTACT
If you are interested in engaging in any of these areas of Content, Process, Sharing, or Insights in Mexico, contact the SC Group.

All in all, a great week!

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.