Quotes for Community Leaders
It is time for all the heroes to go home… It is time to stop waiting for someone to save us. It is time to face the truth of our situation - that we're all in this together, that we all have a voice - and figure out how to mobilize the hearts and minds of everyone in our communities.
-- Margaret Wheatley
The world is fundamentally transforming technologically, economically, socially and politically. The ongoing transformation needs to be shaped by appropriate policies and institutions. There are no simple, ready-made solutions. What we urgently need are pragmatic and future-oriented actions, even in the form of small steps, to provide positive narratives.
Klaus Schwab, Founder, World Economic Forum
There is a way to create real collaboration. You have to let go. You have to loosen your grip on being right or on winning. You almost need to enter a conversation with no point of view, ready to receive others’ ideas and then layer your thoughts on top of them. By approaching a conversation this way, you’ll wind up with solutions you never thought of before.
After all, in a world where the social fabric seems to be rapidly fraying, the economy is uncertain, and the future of the planet is at risk, is there a better way to hit the reset button than to come back to the neighborhood level and begin to genuinely rely on one another again?
The competencies many once thought of as being “soft” – relationship building, mobilizing citizen-led initiatives, community building - are now the hard currency of successful leadership and the ultimate drivers of the systems change, innovation and transformation that will be essential for individual, community, environmental and economic well-being.
- Brenda Herchmer
-- Lisa Dreier, Harvard University
The day will come when nations will be judged not by their military or economic strength, nor by the splendor of their capital cities and public buildings, but by the well-being of their people: by their levels of health, nutrition and education; by their opportunities to earn a fair reward for their labours; by their ability to participate in decisions that affect their lives; by the respect that is shown for their civil and political liberties; by the provision that is made for those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged; and by the protection that is afforded to the growing minds and bodies of their children.
--UNICEF, THE PROGRESS OF NATIONS, 1998
New ideas pass through three periods:
- It can't be done!
- It probably can't be done but is not worth doing.
- I knew it was a good idea all along!
-- Arthur Clarke (1917 - 2008), British Futurist and Author of 2001 Space Odyssey
A generation that acquires knowledge without ever understanding how that knowledge can benefit the community is a generation that is not learning what it means to be citizens in a democracy.
-- Elizabeth L. Hollander (1817-1885)
We must drop the idea that change comes slowly. Today changes come fast; and we must adjust our mental habits so we can comfortably accept the idea of stopping one thing and beginning another overnight. We must discard the idea that past routines, past ways of doing things, are probably the best ways. On the contrary, we must assume there probably is a better way to do almost everything. We must stop assuming that a thing which has never been done before cannot be done at all.
- -Donald M. Nelson
In an age of fragmentation, you don’t need more scissors – what you need is glue. Local neighborhoods can be this glue.
– Neighborhood Economics
Its time to awaken to the fact that we don’t have a health problem, nor a social care problem, nor a youth problem, nor even a safety problem, we have a village problem. In our heart, we know the solution to each does not lie in reforming silo by silo but in organizing our silos the way people organize their lives, so that the neighbourhood becomes our primary unit of analysis and change.
– Cormac Russell
This land doesn't belong to us. This land belongs to seven generations down the road. I pray that the water that we drink, the water that we swim in, will be there for our great great great grandchildren. As well as all over the world. I pray that the land that we walk on, the trees that we enjoy, will be there for our generations to come. These things, they all come together with health. Health of humans. Health of the animals. And health of the Mother Earth.
- Closing Prayer by Okanagan Nation Elder, Grouse Barnes, at the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges
“Loneliness is not just something for individual Canadians to solve on their own, it’s a public health problem that has to be addressed in the way our cities are designed, the way our educational systems are run, the way our health care is considered and managed, and how we take care of the most vulnerable people in society — the very young, the very old, and those who are sick or fragile. Social isolation must be tackled at all levels of government.
I believe these revolutionary times call for revolutionary thinking. And yet it often seems that we are entering this revolutionary age with ideas, leaders and institutions that are better suited for a world that no longer exists.
-- Joshua Cooper Ramo
...catalyzing collective capacity for the collaboration, innovation and systems change that is essential for resolving complex social, economic, and environmental issues.
We support individual and organizational future-readiness by catalyzing capacity for increasing (1) community and stakeholder-led development, (2) systems-practices, (3) strategic foresight, and (4) digital optimization. We've learned these four components are necessary for the project and systems collaboration and informed decision-making we have experienced as being essential for transformative change and innovation.
Innovative projects require being bold, perseverance, tenacity and a sprinkle of panic.
-- Michelle Baldwin
Many situations in life are similar to going on a hike: the view changes once you start walking. You don't need all the answers right now. New paths will reveal themselves if you have the courage to get started.
Leadership today is about courage. Courage to realize our challenges are complex and no one individual, organization, or sector can resolve them on their own. That means we have to let go of the idea that we alone have the answers. Instead, we need to strengthen our individual and organizational competencies in order to become convenors who call meetings before we have the answers, aren't intimidated by messy, and can ensure a culture where all voices are heard. Only then, can our collective gifts, experience, and wisdom be focused on building a better future for all.
In times of change it is the learners who inherit the future. Those who have finished learning find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
-- Eric Hoffer