Take Action

This Focus Area page will be expanded to talk about this particular area.  In the meantime, the blog posts and resources below tie to taking action in some way - often tied to a plan.

take action
Why
10 Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide

From the site:  "The good news is, all over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion.  More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices.   This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community."

BOOK: Citizen You, by Jonathan Tisch

"Citizen You:  Doing Your Part to Change the World," by Jonathan M. Tisch.  The author's introduction to the book is in this article, and a one-page PDF interview is available here.

BOOK: Collapse, by Jared Diamond

"Collapse:  How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," by Jared Diamond.  A TED talk is available here, and posted to videos.

BOOK: Depletion and Abundance, by Sharon Astyk

"Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Homefront - or, One Woman's Solutions to Finding Abundance for Your Family while Coming to Terms with Peak Oil, Climate Change, and Hard Times," by Sharon Astyk.  A Sharon Astyk blog is here.  Check out this book review from homestead.org.nnHere is an excerpt from another review at The Blogging Bookworm, "Astyk's book is a reminder of the power of individuals to make a difference in the world during times of crisis. In New Orleans in 2005, it was Hurricane Katrina. Now we face... climate chaos, war, and energy depletion... People are struggling to hold on to their homes, to pay for their groceries, to know what to do next...  If you are like me, this book will make you rethink your assumptions about population, about the separation of public and private, about the global impact of creating local economies. As Green Bean said in her recent review, Depletion and Abundance is both troubling and reassuring. It will make you have moments of panic and it will also make you commit to creating a just and meaningful life."  The Blogging Bookworm review author says "I finished the book with a feeling not only of hope, but also with a feeling of radical responsibility."

BOOK: Everybody Matters, by Mary Robinson

"Everybody Matters:  My Life Giving Voice," by Mary Robinson.  Also see the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice website.

BOOK: Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple

"Lucid Dreaming - Plain and Simple:  Tips and Techniques for Insight, Creativity, and Personal Growth," by Robert Waggoner and Caroline McCready.  From the website:  "Aimed at beginners, Lucid Dreaming, Plain and Simple shows the reader how to enter and fully experience the lucid dream."  Iowa author Robert Waggoner has been the co-editor of the online magazine The Lucid Dreaming Experience for the past ten years.  Waggoner has been a lucid dreamer since 1975, and has logged over 1,000 lucid dreams.

BOOK: Originals, by Adam Grant

"Originals:  How Non-Conformists Move the World," by Adam Grant.  From the book jacket, "Using surprising studies and stories spanning the worlds of business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant debunks the common belief that successful non-conformists are born leaders who boldly embrace risk.  Originals explains now anyone can spot opportunities for change, recognize a good idea, overcome anxiety and ambivalence, and make suggestions without being silenced."

BOOK: Stress-Free Sustainability, by Adam Hammes

"Stress-Free Sustainability:  Leverage Your Emotions, Avoid Burnout, and Influence Anyone," by Adam Hammes, an Iowa author based in Des Moines.  Interview here.

BOOK: The 9/11 Commission Report

"The 9/11 Commission Report:  Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States."

BOOK: The Big Pivot, by Andrew S. Winston

"The Big Pivot:  Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World," by Andrew S. Winston.  See video also at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxYKO7oICiw.

BOOK: The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding

"The Great Disruption:  Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World," by Paul Gilding.  This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint.  From the author's website:  "It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding.  We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable.  This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps.  It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints.  We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources.  The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message.  The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer:  compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability."

BOOK: The Primes (+ videos, website)

From author Chris McGoff in Part 1 of the book:  "How do some people, organizations, and coalitions thrive in uncertain times?  What enables them to appear so certain and take decisive action amid ambiguity about the future?"  The PRIMES website says "The PRIMES are universal patterns of group behavior that outfit you to work with any group to solve any problem - especially the big ones."  The PRIMES book notes "... Here's the deal.  Almost all the tame problems have been solved.  We get to solve the wicked problems.  Wicked problems affect a lot of peple and it takes a lot of people, all with their own agendas, to collaborate and solve them. ... The people who, amid uncertainty, successfully lead large problem-solving groups share these characteristics.  First, they are clear about what they are up to and how they spend their precious time.  Second, they are intentional and willing to go first.  Finally, they have mastered the art of enrolling others to join them."  The PRIMES website also has short videos and info about each of The PRIMES.  Another core counterfear resource is Chris McGoff's TEDx Rock Creek talk on "Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk."  The author's company The Clearing has done significant work on wicked problems in many counterfear focus areas.

BOOK: The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

"The Tipping Point:  How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference," by Malcolm Gladwell.  Gladwell also asks the question "Are You a Connector" in this piece.  More here and here on Connectors, Mavens, and Salespersons.

FIT: Field Innovation Team

"FIT empowers humans to create cutting-edge disaster solutions... FIT uses a three-step design process to help communities understand the core issues and needs that are not being addressed in a given crisis. Communities are then self-empowered to tackle issues related to disaster risk reduction, preparedness, response, recovery, climate change, and sustainable resiliency... FIT practices co-creation and open source solution sharing to increase community resilience and change the world, one neighborhood at a time."

Heroic Improv

"We all have a hero inside of us. When a catastrophe strikes, our heroes are called upon. In the heroic improvisation practice, we practice how to be ready to put on our proverbial capes and fly. Disaster preparation training might not like sound fun... knowing how to act heroically with others is the key. What determines success when catastrophe strikes is our ability to listen, trust and act together... Potential danger requires us to know the plan of action, and chaos requires us to improvise responses to execute it. The heroic improvisation workshop puts us in a chaotic situation and gives us the felt-sense of moving into action together in a high stakes situation."

Holding Space - What it Means

Excellent resource to look at how we can "hold space" for people and the world. 

From the article, "What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control."

MOVIE: Star Wars (8 movies)

What can be said?  The Star Wars movie series may be the primary myth of our time.  Episodes IV, V, and VI - the original series - are a foundation for finding the ways of The Force.  Excellent Jedi wisdom and training from Yoda in Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI, Return of the Jedi.  Episodes I, II, and III are primarily useful as back story for the more deeply curious.  Star Wars for a new generation came in with Episode VII, The Force Awakens.  No spoilers here, but The Force Awakens truly is a myth for our time.  It brings tools we need for the world we have in front of us.  The myth and the metaphor are more powerful than we think.  The newest Star Wars movie to be released is as fitting a myth for our time as The Force Awakens.  Rogue One is powerful and unexpected.  Myths and story bring to our consience the possible and the inspiration.

MOVIE: The Lego Movie

I was not expecting this to be probably the most profound movie I've ever seen - well beyond something like Star Wars (all eight) meets The Matrix (the first one).  Also hilarious.  Awesome #Team stuff.  Here's a link to the official trailer for this movie.

This is an anchorpoint for the time that is now.  This story follows the classic Hero's Journey.  No spoilers, but this is the key to what we need. 

Myth is a powerful tool, and this movies serves as an incredibly powerful myth, parable, inspiration, and model for our time.  It is unexpectedly good, and powerful on many levels... the family elements, parenting, the spiritual, life itself, the power of teamwork, leveraging creativity, vision, dreaming, realizing, and the challenge and way forward for effective problem-solving, at scale.  And of course, "Everything is Awesome."

If there was one movie that represents where we can go and who we can be in this amazing time of challenge - this is it.  This is how we navigate disruption, find a way forward, and counterfear.  Who would have thought?

MUSIC: All or Nothing - Athena Cage

Finale song from the movie "Save the Last Dance."  The music alone is an amplifier, but the final scene in the movie with this song is even more so.  Excerpted lyrics below are from here:

"It's the chance of life, get ready, set, fly high.
Above the fear of your mind, go for it.
It's hit or miss, too late for you to quit.
You gotta show 'em how bad you really want this, so...

Live your dreams, it's not as hard as it may seem.
You gotta work to get the green, on your hopes you must lean
From your fears, you have to wean yourself.
It's all or nothing, give your everything...

...Are what you believe, you got to bring the dreams.
Set the pace, competitions take the lead.
This is it, all eyes on you.
So stay on point and prove,
that you deserve whats long overdue...

...My heart is still recovering,
From the heartbreak of another kind,
I'm still drying my tears.
Getting over my own fears in my life.
So I wanna make sure this time that I'm strong enough,
To give it my all...

...So you gotta live your dreams,
So don't you be afraid.
Just set the pace, and take the lead,
It's your time to shine.
Please believe."

MUSIC: Everything is Awesome - from The Lego Movie

Theme song from The Lego Movie.  Intro lyrics from Google Play:  "Everything is awesome / Everything is cool when you're part of a team / Everything is awesome when we're living our dream / Everything is better when we stick together / Side by side, you and I gonna win forever, let's party forever / We're the same, I'm like you, you're like me, we're all working in harmony..."

MUSIC: Feel So Close - Calvin Harris

"Feel so close" - Calvin Harris.  "I feel so close to you right now."  If you are looking for a video of community and neighbors and fun and people taking care of each other, this is hard to beat.  Fantastic.  I learned of this video when I friend I was rooming with at an amazing convention woke up with the lyrics in her head from a dream.  We Googled it, and this came up.  We should have expected nothing less.

MUSIC: Happy - Pharrell Williams

Official Lyrics Minions Version of Pharrell Williams' "Happy," from the Despicable Me 2 movie soundtrack.  From the YouTube:  "check out http://24hoursofhappy.com to experience the world's first 24 hour music video!"

MUSIC: I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

"Tubthumping," by Chumbawamba.  It's no secret that this song is about drinking, but the chorus is fantastic for thinking resilience:  "I get knocked down... but I get up again... you are never gonna keep me down...."

MUSIC: I'm Going Through Changes

"Changes" Lyric Video, by Longhorne Slim & The Law.

MUSIC: My List - Toby Keith

"Start livin', that's the next thing on my list..."

MUSIC: No Time to Kill - Clint Black

"No Time to Kill," song by Clint Black.  Lyrics here.

Excerpt:  "No time to kill, even I've said it, and probably always will... But I can look ahead and see that time ain't standin' still... No time to kill but time to change the kind of hurry I've been in... And quit this work and worry lookin' back at where I've been... If you don't look ahead nobody will, there's no time to kill."

MUSIC: Say Hey (I Love You) Michael Franti & ...

Fantastic music & community/neighbor/people video.  Michael Franti & Spearhead - "Say Hey (I Love You)."  Try dancing around to this one for a while.  If you need an extra laugh on top of all this happiness, try "Craig Ferguson Says Hey! I Love you!"  There may be puppets.  Just saying.

MUSIC: State of Mind - Clint Black

State of Mind song, by Clint Black.  Lyrics here.  Excerpt:  "It can make a right from a wrong, it can make you fall in love, It can get you singin' along, Chase the clouds away and make the sun shine above.  A melody can bring back a memory, Take you to another place in time, Completely change your state of mind."

One Billion Rising

"One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history."  Also links to environmental justice and fighting the rise of tyranny.

Resilience Circles - Small Groups for Tough Times

From the website: "Small groups of 8-15 people can form Resilience Circles for learning, mutual aid and social action. Circles are a great way to form community, build resilience, and have fun." 

Resilience.org

Fantastic go-to spot for resilience resources, news, and organizations.

Resource Generation

Mission:  "Resource Generation organizes young people with wealth and class privilege in the U.S. to become transformative leaders working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land and power."  This organization looks like an amplifier and a change agent.

Results Junkies - Paul Singh & Dana Duncan

"Thoughts on travel, photography, code schools, venture capital, growing startups and small businesses."  This site is also the heart of Paul Singh and Dana Duncan's 2016 trip across the US to amplify all of the above.

Seth Godin's Blog

Seth's Blog is an excellent resource for wisdom, inspiration, vision, motivation, and follow-through.  It is also a great resource for further resources.  Very worth receiving in a daily email or RSS feed.

Spontaneous Volunteer Leads At Hurricane Shelter

"An Unlikely Hurricane Hero Takes Over Chaotic Texas Storm Shelter."  News story about a man with no background or training who spontaneously led operations at a shelter during Hurricane Harvey in Texas.  Excellent example of real-life Heroic Improv.  As a fire chief friend says, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."  Anyone can lead.

Synergos

"Synergos is a global nonprofit organization that brings people together to solve complex problems of poverty.  We work on issues such as health, nutrition, agriculture, and youth employment - creating opportunities for individuals and communities to thrive.  Systemic change requires collaboration. Solutions to poverty are often built in silos - and therefore fail. Governments, civil society, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, marginalized communities, and other participants in systemic change must work together - not in silos - to achieve long-term solutions to poverty around the world.  Synergos creates, promotes, and sustains collaborations among business, government, civil society, and marginalized communities around the world.  We foster successful collaborations by building trust, designing and implementing change processes, and enhancing the effectiveness of bridging leaders and institutions.  Our advantage is an approach that builds trust among partners so they can create solutions together, rather than imposing top-down solutions."

The Dream Corps

"The Dream Corps was founded by Van Jones in 2014 to help cutting-edge initiatives grow big enough to impact millions of lives.  Our slogan is '21st-century jobs, not jails.'  We support economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators - all under one roof.  Our shared platform helps leaders create synergies, leapfrog obstacles and maximize impact.  Every day, we are reshaping 'what’s possible' in the field of social justice.  The Dream Corps finds aspiring leaders who have the courage and determination to tackle America’s toughest challenges.  Then we connect them to world-class partners, smart digital tools and national media platforms to help them succeed.  We back initiatives that close prison doors and open doors of opportunity."  Current work is on three programs, described on the "About" page.

VIDEO: Realm of Your Highest Impact & Risk - TEDx

"Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk:" Chris McGoff at TEDxRockCreekPark.  This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint, because it is a rare, short look at what we need to do to solve wicked problems.  Also check out Chris McGoff's website and book "The PRIMES," another posted Counterfear resource.  The website has videos and a summary of each of the PRIMES.

VIDEO: TED Talks

TED Talks are a great source for video inspiration, and many have gone viral.  Check out TED.com or a smaller, local TEDx near you for more.  From the site:  "TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).  TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics - from science to business to global issues."

VIDEO: The Big Pivot, based on book by same name

Video on "The Big Pivot - Whiteboard Animation," 3:12 min.  Based on book by the same name, by Andrew Winston:  http://www.andrewwinston.com/books/.

VIDEO: The Tribes We Lead - Seth Godin

This TED talk by Seth Godin is one of the classics.  From the video summary:  In The Tribes We Lead, "Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so."  Check out Seth's Godin's blog here; it's the only blog I read daily (also posted as a resource).

VIDEO: Why Societies Collapse - Jared Diamond

From the TED blurb:  "Why do societies fail? With lessons from the Norse of Iron Age Greenland, deforested Easter Island and present-day Montana, Jared Diamond talks about the signs that collapse is near, and how - if we see it in time - we can prevent it."