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Notes from the Field: Playing with Power Differently

by Micah Blumenthal

In my opinion the greatest issue facing our species is figuring out how to handle power. We haven’t done a very good job so far. We are young, immature and so we act irresponsibly when wielding power. It’s a rare human who doesn’t.

A WSDNP is a way to play with power differently. We need other ways of doing this in our lives, in our homes, with our partners, as parents, and also in the workplace. Hell, even how we show up on line at the grocery store. 

I’m seeing shared leadership working in all kinds of places. Seeing it work organically. More and more, I am a part of working groups that are beautifully sharing the work and co-creating events, meetings, and the whole decision making process. This is super encouraging. Perhaps an idea whose time has come?

This is also an idea that is easy to doubt. There are endless stories of failed communes, of consensus quagmires, projects that went nowhere. Someone telling you, “Oh…that. It doesn’t work. I know these people who tried something like that. But after a couple years it all fell apart.” Or, “Yeah, but who is at the top? At the end of the day there has to be a leader.” 

I think that’s just how ingrained the current systems are. Ingrained within our thinking and so completely encompassing us, that failure is likely. I am not one to believe that we can so easily break free from our chains. I won’t say that cooperative ways of being are so intrinsic to our nature that this is bound to work. I wish it was that easy.

It’s a lot of work to try and turn it all into policy. Something that I see happening organically. But I know for this to work long term, the work to create a structure of support is needed. I also think that this might be the easy part. But either way, changing our relationship to power is everything. It is the most important work we can be doing.

Articles and personal reflections from the GWI team as they navigate their lives and their shared work.

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