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Sender: Bruce Schuman
Subject: Re: An Integral Transpartisan Alliance - Action Proposal
Date: Thu, Mar 27, 2014
Msg: 100889

Hi Rich, thanks for the comment. I took a close look at your article and some of your other links. ichigans-innovative-plan-to-end-poverty/3/

I thought I would go through it and identify what looks to me like ?transpartisan themes?. I like the idea of being explicit about what is new and innovative ? maybe I?m following your insights on ?the power of simple and clear definition? from your article at nition

Meanwhile, global abject poverty has actually been reduced by half over the last twenty years; countries like China and India with top-down, centralized governments allowed for bottom-up, free market innovation that moved millions of people out of poverty.

America needs to learn from this global trend by getting beyond dualistic thinking that pits capitalism against the poor. Instead, we must combine the best of capitalism?s innovation, ownership, and financial reward with the best of the social sector?s compassion?and that?s exactly what Michigan is doing.

?Get beyond dualistic thinking? ? or maybe ?simplistic dualistic thinking? ? and ?combine the best? ? of various constructive influences. This takes real creative imagination, and its emergence can be hard to predict. This is one reason we need real ?co-creativity? ? we need the real stakeholders in the room ? in a cooperative/creative/mutually respectful spirit ? exploring innovative new approaches.


In her introduction posted here on Monday, Joan Blades described this approach as she sees it in Living Room Conversations:

I have seen the dysfunction of partisan behaviors and believe we must and can do better. I have seen the good will, intelligence and power of citizens. It is time to rebuild respectful civil discourse while embracing our core shared values. Adversarial solutions will not suffice, to create the solutions to the big challenges we face this century. We must learn to engage in collaborative problem solving - holding the tension of our differences while working together with respect and an open heart I believe we will create solutions that are better than any group alone could devise.

I like this phrase: ?holding the tension of our differences while working together with respect and an open heart.?

The way I see it, that?s the key to empowering social change. This energy ? ?holding the tension while working together with an open heart? ? is the driving energy and power-source for transformative social revolution and the birth of cultural renaissance. We have to learn to do this at scale ? ?all over the place?. This might be the core message of the transpartisan revolution. This is the primary skill for cutting-edge transpartisan social-change activists.


One small point ? is that this inclusive mutually-respectful approach ? is inherently ?holistic and integral?. It ?combines the best? of elements brought into the conversation by the participants. And this inclusive approach makes a co-creative and transpartisan conversation inherently unpredictable. It is raw creativity itself ? emerging from the constructive relationships in the circle. Another point ? is that this approach helps overcome ?cognitive bandwidth? limitations. Nobody can hold all this simultaneous complexity in their heads at the same time. But a group ?holding the tension of our differences while working together with respect and an open heart? CAN hold this complexity ? because each person is holding their part with integrity. This is why we need community ? and probably what the Berkana Institute means when they say ?Whatever the problem, community is the answer? ?

In this sense, I think we are following Don Beck?s call to ?connect ALL the dots? ? and Leonardo da Vinci?s injunction to ?Learn how to see.? Listen with an open heart, hear with respect, build a bridge, understand ?the other? ? what are they bringing, how does our proposed solution work for them ? as well as for us ? and for all other stakeholders in the field -- ?

Michigan, it turns out, is full of civic-minded social entrepreneurs who have been waiting a lifetime to share their ideas. In fact, so many participants asked for coaching on their business ideas that Michigan Corps had to hold a solid week of half-hour coaching clinics to meet demand.

Very hopeful sign. I would bet this is true in many places. The creative energy for transformative social change based on co-creativity has been bubbling up for many years. All these creative hopeful talented people ? are part of our movement. Let?s make a place for them ? and create a pathway to ?assimilate their genius? into a widely shared movement?.

This effort?affectionately called the Michigan Model?showed that it?s possible to harness capitalism to address chronic social problems, thereby laying the groundwork for a model that transforms business and charity. These 10 winners could become pioneers of the future of American business, combining the best our nation?s entrepreneurial innovation with the compassion to do good.

This looks like another very important factor ? this is why it all works, and isn?t a bleeding heart model that will inevitably burn out.

The Michigan model moves beyond partisan debate, failed strategies of the past, and old rhetoric toward real solutions to address poverty. Everyone wins. The community takes on homegrown solutions. Social entrepreneurs get to match their great ideas with expertise and investment. Sponsors gain research and development from competition participants that they can use toward solutions in their industry or target region. Colleges have a new way to teach students that doing good and making money don?t need to be mutually exclusive. And society improves because we?re all working together for good.

Yes. This sounds like the pure elixir. Put it in a bottle, take it everywhere?.

Probably the most amazing part of the competition was its cross-sector nature. Republicans joined with Democrats, Progressives with Conservatives, entrepreneurs with investors, blacks with whites, upstate MI with ?downstaters,? government and business, nonprofits and for-profits, colleges and faith-based groups all joined forces to make the competition work.

?Cross-sector?. This is another master-key for opening up the power of ?holistic and integral? solutions. All those sectors ? so often viewed as separate silos ? within this new framework are seen as valuable creative facets of a single inclusive whole ? the broader ?human community? that we all are. We should be patient, be kind to one another, learn to listen ? as Leonardo said ? ?Learn to see? ? ?Everything is connected to everything else? ? and that includes people ? and all these ?silos?. Yes, there are often very real reasons for keeping things separate, and we don?t need to blur that distinction. But there are sometimes very real reasons for bringing them together. This is something we all have to learn ? and we need our best integral visionaries to explain to us how this works, in ways we find believable/credible. Otherwise, we are likely to remain skeptical and see all of this hopeful creative energy as naïve woo-woo?

What happened in Michigan last year represents a new way to achieve both social impact and a financial return. More importantly, it points to a new way for Americans to really begin to solve social problems, with everyone and every sector playing an important role and working together. As the investment in the Michigan?s Social Entrepreneurship Challenge winners grows and they make a return for their investees as they solve social problems, we can expect nothing less than a much-needed transformation of capitalism. This win-win-win model might accomplish what nothing else has: an end to poverty in America.

Rich Tafel is the Founder of Public Squared, which provided the strategy coaching and training for the Michigan competitions.

I like the ?popcorn beginning to pop? model of social change. The kernels that are ready get there first. They might be anywhere in the pan.


But for me ? an important point is: this is not ?leading from the fringe? It?s not like this kind of social change is being driven by fringe groups. The real key to the power ? is that this is ?leading from the center?.

This is the true center of community, that emerges in the spirit suggested by Joan Blades ? ?mutual respect with an open heart?.

Bruce Schuman




(805) 966-9515, PO Box 23346, Santa Barbara CA 93101


On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 3:39 PM, Richard Tafel wrote:

Great stuff Bruce, you've really thought this out. I agree if we don't move to action this list will die out. A good example of transpartisan success is the work in Michigan. Here's my oped in Forbes today. You'll hear the transpartisan themes throughout. ichigans-innovative-plan-to-end-poverty/3/

Thank you, Rich Tafel mobile: 202-365-7764 twitter @richtafel

Skype richtafel



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