Community That Calls Forth Caring with Al Etmanski

Al’s most recent book, The Power of Disability: 10 Lessons for Surviving, Thriving and Changing the World, challenges false and outdated assumptions, beliefs and perceptions about disability and natural caring. It focuses on five powerful disability advantages: the power of majority, inclusivity, ingenuity, authenticity and unity. And it asserts that disabled people should be acknowledged as authoritative sources on creativity, resilience, justice, democracy, love, sexuality, the arts, dealing with adversity and living a good life. Read More

Ecological Conversion, Becoming Fully Human & Living Life Together with Sam Ewell

In his encyclical letter, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home (2015), Pope Francis calls for an “ecological conversion”—an ongoing journey of being turned from the default settings or our contemporary “throwaway culture” and turned towards the biblical vocation to care for the earth as our common home.

Given our context of climate emergency (and multiple sustainability crises), this cohort invites us to reconsider this call to conversion by creating a space for reflection on our own experiences, following Catholic intellectual Ivan Illich (and his call to recovery conviviality, or freedom-in-interdependence) as our guide. Read More

Staying Connected During a Disconnected Time with Lee Rush

We now live in a time when two new phrases have entered the national lexicon: “social distancing” and “flatten the curve”. Like or not, the terms are to here to stay for the foreseeable future. Even prior to our current situation, we struggled with the knowledge that we had evolved into humans with hi-tech platforms to create thousands of global relationships and “friends”, but when pressed to name the names of twenty people that live within 500 feet of our homes, we come up short. Social distancing is actually extreme “physical distancing” and left unchecked can be hazardous to our mental and emotional health. Read More

Community and Its Counterfeits with John McKnight

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Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership by Scott Hutcheson

Our communities, our organizations, and our planet are facing complex challenges – challenges that will not be solved by any one individual or organization. Today’s leaders need a set of tools and insights specifically designed to harness the power of collaborative networks. This Common Good Espresso series will introduce you to Strategic Doing, a new approach for strategic transformation in communities and organizations. Participants will do the pre-session reading and then, over the course of four weeks, be guided in reflection and discussion by Scott Hutcheson, Ph.D., a professor at Purdue University and co-author of the book Strategic Doing: Ten Skills for Agile Leadership.

Schedule: Wednesday, October 16, October 23, October 30, and Nov 6 starting at 6 PM ET / 3 PM PT for 75 minutes.

Prerequisite: Read and have a copy the book Strategic Doing

FREE: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most by Mark Scandrette

We live in one of the wealthiest economies on earth. Yet many of us feel crunched for time, stressed in our finances or perplexed about what makes life meaningful. If we don’t make conscious choices to resist these impulses, the force of a materialistic and consumeristic society will make most of our decisions for us. How you spend your time is how you spend your life. And how you spend your life is shaped by your financial choices. When we dream of a world that is flourishing and sustainable, an initial step is to bring key areas of our own lives into greater alignment (time, money, desires, goals and material possessions). What if we dare to believe that we have enough and that we can use what we have to do good? In this workshop, we’ll explore soul practices and tangible skills that contribute to living generously. Each week we will support each other to take practical steps towards greater alignment through readings, exercises, and group engagement. Facilitated by Mark Scandrette, co-author of FREE: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most.

Schedule: Tuesday, October 15, October 22, October 29, and November 5 starting at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT for 75 minutes.

Prerequisite: Read and have a copy the book FREE

Re-imagining Social Enterprise: Theology and Alternative Economics by Mark Sampson

Much of the map used to understand the business enterprise is drawn from mainstream economics. This is problematic for a number of reasons, particularly when attempting to understand the recent emergence of social enterprise. We will explore how theology, particularly a theology of gift, might help re-narrate social enterprise and in doing so provide the contours of an alternative economic imagination. We will consider together the implications this has for our understanding of business models, concepts of ownership, and investment. Mark is the Director of Matryoshka Haus, a social enterprise and has recently completed a doctorate in theology and economics from King’s College London in this area.

Schedule: Thursday, November 7, 14, 21, and December 5 starting at 5 PM ET / 2 PM PT for 75 minutes. (Note: November 28 there will be no gathering)

Data: A Gift That Keeps On Giving by Melinda Butsch Kovacic, MPH, Ph.D. and Theresa Baker, MS

In his 1934 poem “The Rock” T.S. Eliot asked: “Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in the information?” We might continue this poem by asking: “What is the meaning of the data that we seem to swim in?” We all use data and analytics in some measure in our everyday lives. Yet, do we really understand how we might access and apply data in more effective ways to, for example, guide our strategic planning and decision-making? You may have asked these questions at some point: Am I using the data I have to its fullest advantage?, How much do I really know about my donor’s relationship with our mission? Should I be doing more with the data we have? What data will help us build community and how? Through this espresso cohort, we will learn about the following tension maps and you will walk away at the end of our sessions with customized templates for you and your organization to use. Melinda Butsch Kovacic, MPH, Ph.D., and Theresa Baker, MS of Ignite Partnerships, a women-owned data consultancy group will be your guides for this espresso cohort.

  • Outputs & Outcomes (consequence over time);
  • Evaluation (Measures Progress) & Research (New Knowledge);
  • Qualitative (context) & Quantitative (hard numbers);
  • Passive Collection (systematic) & Active Collection (people-driven);
  • Paper Data Collection & Electronic Data Collection;
  • Expert-led (controlled) & Client/citizen-led (capacity-building);
  • Standard Questions/Tools & Customized Questions/Tools.

Schedule: Monday, November 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 7 PM ET / 4 PM PT for 75 minutes.