Emerging LeadersSM

Social Artistry is the art of enhancing human capacities in the light of social complexity. It seeks to bring new ways of thinking, being and doing to social challenges in the world to create a world that works for everyone!

Through Social Artistry young adults learn to:

  • Look at one’s past, present and future through four levels of awareness:  physical/sensory, psychological/historical, mythic/symbolic, and integral/spiritual/wisdom.
  • Understand the crucial relationship between culture and behavior. This encompasses beliefs, values, story, norms, music, dance and art. Emerging Leaders as Social Artists fosters appreciation for the young adult’s wisdom and insights.
  • Listen deeply with compassion, respect and appreciation. Personal willpower, courage, imagination, initiative, and energy will be emphasized.
  • Develop an experiential learning approach that brings forth the expressions of curiosity, joy, gratitude, future-mindedness, purpose, visioning, creativity, and generosity.
  • Form leadership teams that work cooperatively to create new social paradigms and practices to create a “World that works for everyone.”
Youth3At the August 2013 Social Artistry Summit, two young adult leaders, Jesi Vasquez (left) and Firefly Walter, presented to the Social Artistry community a proposal for training young adult leaders. Firefly affirmed, “We don’t ask you to do the work for us—we ask you to mentor us, and we will realize our vision together.”

Emerging Leaders as Social Artists is a collaborative leadership initiative devoted to training young
adult leaders (18-35) to deliver the Social Artistry curriculum; incorporating their language, stories, music, art, dance and technology.

Phase One:  Identifying and Training Core Young Adult Leaders

Young adult leaders attended an Introduction to Social Artistry, Building Creative Communities Conference and the Social Artistry Trainer’s Training, sponsored by the Colquitt Community Development Corporation of Southwest Georgia, January 28-February 7, 2014 in Colquitt, GA.

Phase Two: Curriculum Adaptation

Six of the young adult leaders who completed the Introduction to Social Artistry and Trainer’s Training have applied to participate in a curriculum retreat where they will collaborate with experienced mentors to incorporate music, stories and other aspects of today’s youth culture into a trainer’s manual, participant’s workbook and a field guide. The Horace Mann School in Bronx, NY, will sponsor the curriculum development retreat at the School’s environmental education center, the John Dorr Nature Lab, in Washington, CT, June 23-30, 2014.

Phase Three: Emerging Leaders: Introduction to Social Artistry

Emerging Leaders training teams will then pilot the newly adapted materials with their source populations. An “Emerging Leaders Introduction to Social Artistry” using the culturally adapted curriculum will be held in August 2014.  Then at least 4 more in various locations to follow during the rest of the year as Emerging Leaders training teams will be available to present in the southeast, northeast, west coast, midwest and other areas. As the initiative evolves, there will be opportunities for additional young leaders to become Social Artistry trainers.


Emerging Leader Describes  His Experience

Youth2Winston Gilcrease, one of the Social Artists who participated in the Young World Leader’s Conference, described the life changing experience as young leaders from 6 continents and 12 countries came together to prepare themselves for their part in world leadership:

“We were like the new leaves on a big Central Park maple tree, being opened to a new consciousness and to new learning techniques while we carried in our bodies the world’s pain and joy. We came together at a crucial time in our lives. We lit each other up with new energy. We ignited.” 


RobWork1Robertson Work, who was United Nations Principal Policy Advisor in Decentralized Governance for 15 years, speaks to youth:

“At this moment of global-local crisis, you are being called to be all that you can be moment by moment. You are being called to create a world that works for everyone. You are being called to reinvent society, community by community, and organization by organization, so that everyone can realize his or her full potential.”