Greetings friends in FLOW,
FLOW's essential role is that of advancing ideas, a vision, and a worldview based on making the world a better place through the conscious application of entrepreneurship and markets: liberating the entrepreneurial spirit for good.
This month we witnessed the accelerating unfolding of the FLOW vision and its increasing embodiment in action, at two seminal events.
The first was a small gathering at John Mackey's ranch outside Austin, focused on Conscious Capitalism. In two days, the highly aligned group, which included David Wolfe and Raj Sisodia, co-authors of Firms of Endearment, Robb Smith, CEO of Integral Life, Michael Strong, and others, initiated an array of development projects to bring the Conscious Capitalism movement to a new level of activation, including a Catalyzing Conscious Capitalism conference, scheduled for November 7th - 9th, 2008, at The Crossings in Austin. HOLD the DATE!
We convened the second event, an Empowering Women Entrepreneurs retreat, less that a week later at The Crossings. The group of 30+ (mostly women) worked with great intensity and focus to infuse the Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) campaign, as it is now called, with wisdom, focus, and energy. Many collaborations were forged out of the retreat, including core partnerships between FLOW and others on the campaign. One of the key developments, which reflects how we are advancing the FLOW mission, is the broad and deep recognition of the critical need for legal reforms to provide the context for women entrepreneurs to flourish. Michael Strong's superb presentation on the role of economic freedom and legal reforms was brilliantly reinforced by Dahlia Khalifa of the Doing Business project of the World Bank's IFC.
Graphic facilitator Diana Arsenian brilliantly captured the substance and spirit of the retreat and the campaign. You can get a glimpse of the core image and download a draft of the commitment
to produce the campaign we are announcing at the Women, Faith, and Development Breakthrough Summit at the National Cathedral on April 13th and 14th. Here is one of the many reflections we received after the retreat from participants:
Congratulations on an AWEsome retreat!! It was a stellar group of women that you drew together to discuss a significant subject - women's economic empowerment. Each presentation and working session continued building upon the previous discussions, thus propelling both the development of the movement and the enthusiasm of the retreat participants. Cheryl was a magnificent facilitator who inspired great thinking and helped to keep conversations focused. Michael's presentations drew upon insightful research and highlighted the importance of economic empowerment. Your hard work over the past months paid off spectacularly!
It was a thrilling experience to reflect on the progress that was made in such a concentrated amount of time. We look forward to accelerating the framework that was established at the retreat.
Barbara Barrett and Jamie-Brooke Forseth
We will keep you posted on developments with the campaign, including the launch of an AWE Development Funding Challenge.
Our Peace through Commerce campaign continues to develop, thanks to the funding catalyzed by the challenge grant from Ken and Frayda Levy and Harvey Cody, and matched by many FLOW supporters. We recently viewed the nearly complete, and very exciting, PTC promotional video produced by Jim Tusty and Maureen Castle of Free to Choose Media (and Mountain View Productions). Michael is working with Jim and Maureen to refine some of the language, and we'll be ready to put it out. Simultaneously, Jim, Maureen and Michael are completing the treatment and plan to produce an hour-long Peace Through Commerce documentary, with three segments that will be repackaged for distribution to high schools throughout North America (and, ideally, beyond).
We have also begun to collaborate with Timothy Fort, Executive Director of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility at George Washington University, School of Business, to produce a Peace through Commerce conference November 13th - 15th in Washington, DC. Michael and Tim have been cultivating a "thought-partnership" for over a year, and Tim attended the Conscious Capitalism retreat this month.
FLOW Activation Circles are taking on a new level of vitality as FLOW Chief Problem Solver Phyllis Blees has taken them under her capable wings and is about to convene a conference call with more that a dozen people who have expressed interest in forming circles around the country, and beyond. The New York circle is actively focusing on developing a "conscious entrepreneurship" program (not necessarily called that) and the San Francisco Circle just decided to call itself a Conscious Capitalism Circle, and is convening on April 29th at New Resource Bank with that focus.
With respect to our website, we are building our experience base working with wikis, and intend to launch a public FLOW wiki soon, to facilitate communications and collaboration between FLOW community members. We welcome insights and expertise to support us with this transition.
Finally, we are looking for a Chief Development Officer. Please contact Phyllis Blees if you would like more information, if you are interested in the position, or if you know anyone who might be qualified for the position.
Thank you for your ongoing presence and participation in activating the FLOW movement.
Yours in flow,
Executive Director &
Chief Activation Officer
"Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference." ~ Joel Barker
FLOW programs bring ideas to life by engaging people with FLOW-related Ideas, Community and Action.
Would you like to join us in liberating
the entrepreneurial spirit for good®?