Thirty years of work throughout the world with leaders in the fields of industry and government, education and health has convinced me that too many of the problems in societies today stem from leadership that is ill prepared to deal with present complexity. This is not just a matter of inadequate training in the realities of global change, but even more tragically, a lack of human resourcefulness, leaders living out of a field of awareness that limits their abilities to deal with their world. Too many leaders have been educated for a different time, a different world. Few are prepared for the task of dealing with the complexity and chaos of today when the usual formulas and stopgap solutions of an earlier era will not help. What is worse is the frequency with which leaders avoid working co-creatively with their constituents, thus continuing models of dependency and social apathy.
Worldwide, societies are crying for assistance in the transformation of their citizens, organizations, and institutions. New ways of looking at leadership are required, as well as new methods of developing human beings eager to serve humanity. In my work, under the auspices with the United nations and other International Agencies, I have worked in many countries bringing the principles of Social Artistry™ to the training of leadership so as to effect whole system shift
The Need for Social Artists
We must begin to help people, citizens and leaders alike, to bring new mind to bear upon social change. In this way it is hoped that we can rise to the challenge of our times and ferry ourselves across the dangerous abyss that separates a dying era from a ‘borning’ one.
The work of Social Artistry™ is evolving and open-ended, striving to provide a dynamic balance between inner understanding and outward expression. The Social Artist is one who brings the focus, perspective, skill training, tireless dedication and fresh vision of the artist to the social arena. Thus the Social Artist’s medium is the human community. She or he seeks innovative solutions to troubling conditions, is a lifelong learner ever hungry for insights, skills, imaginative ideas and deeper understanding of present-day issues.
A New Profession
Social Artistry™ is a new profession whose craft could be said to be that of conscious evolution. We are living in the time of a choice point for an acceleration of the evolutionary or devolutionary process. As either the neurons or the cancer of the planet, we are now conscious of the tremendous responsibility that is ours: the capacity to direct enhancement or the destruction of ourselves, the earth, and all its creatures and forms. This new profession addresses the training of people who agree to this challenge and who have the maturity, initiative and vision as well as a passion for making a difference in the whole domain of human affairs. It requires considerable courage for what is being formed is possibly a movement as profound as it is outreaching in its implications for proactive social evolution.
A New Kind of Healer
Embracing the work of re-patterning human nature, the Social Artist learns to think like a planetary citizen; to appreciate cultures and cultural stories and myths, while searching for the emergence of a new story, a new myth; to offer new models and paradigms of organization; to exhibit the joy of being a lifelong learner; to bring laughter and delight to learning and change; to serve as a healer of people and societies; to balance her/his life so that contemplation and meditation informs each action, and so that inward life and outward expression are complementary a worldwide network of individuals and institutions quickened by the desire to create a new social paradigm, in which humanity and the earth are each enhanced within the context of a collective destiny.
In order to achieve such worthy goals, a new paradigm of sustainable human development is required. It should be one that supports human development in its most primary form: the development of capacities, skills and potentials that activate both individuals and groups in ways that enhance their societal choices and commitments, liberate their inventiveness and raise levels of esteem and cooperation essential to carrying out the goals.
A Contemplative Creator
Creative Social Artistry™ is contemplative, a vital synergy between inner and outer realities necessary to transform organizations, institutions, paths of possibility, as well as visionary endeavors, and, in so doing, unleash the human spirit of both those who compose the endeavor and those who are served by it. It is an activity of extraordinary balance, a tension in repose. It is a space of exquisite silence and of extraordinary service. In such a state one has access to remarkable creative ideas, world-making patterns.
The Social Artist helps remove the obstacles that prevent people from being all they can be, thereby enabling them to realize their potential. The world-server as Social Artist is a listener and listens to the ideas, needs, aspirations and wishes of others and then helps them achieve it. To this end, participants of the present Social Artistry™ program, now in its seventh year, are invited to create and fulfill a specific project, one that will focus their human development while enabling social change.