“We must begin to help people, citizens and leaders alike, to bring new mind to bear upon social change. In this way it is hoped that we can rise to the challenge of our times and ferry ourselves across the dangerous abyss that separates a dying era from a 'borning' one.” – Jean Houston
The Leadership Dilemma
Thirty years of work throughout the world with leaders in the fields of industry and government, education and health has convinced me that too many of the problems in societies today stem from leadership that is ill prepared to deal with present complexity. This is not just a matter of inadequate training in the realities of global change, but even more tragically, a lack of human resourcefulness, leaders living out of a field of awareness that limits their abilities to deal with their world. Too many leaders have been educated for a different time, a different world. Few are prepared for the task of dealing with the complexity and chaos of today when the usual formulas and stopgap solutions of an earlier era will not help.
Worldwide, societies are crying for assistance in the transformation of their citizens, organizations, and institutions. New ways of looking at leadership are required, as well as new methods of developing human beings eager to serve humanity. In my work, under the auspices with the United Nations and other international agencies, I have worked in many countries bringing the principles of Social Artistry™ to the training of leadership so as to effect whole system shift.
The Need for Social Artists
The work of Social Artistry™ is evolving and open-ended, striving to provide a dynamic balance between inner understanding and outward expression. The Social Artist is one who brings the focus, perspective, skill training, tireless dedication and fresh vision of the artist to the social arena. Thus the Social Artist's medium is the human community. She or he seeks innovative solutions to troubling conditions, is a lifelong learner ever hungry for insights, skills, imaginative ideas and deeper understanding of present-day issues.
A Contemplative Creator
The Social Artist helps remove the obstacles that prevent people from being all they can be, thereby enabling them to realize their potential. The world-server as Social Artist is a listener and listens to the ideas, needs, aspirations and wishes of others and then helps them achieve it.
A New Profession
Social Artistry™ is a new profession whose craft could be said to be that of conscious evolution. We are living in the time of a choice point for an acceleration of the evolutionary or devolutionary process. This new profession addresses the training of people who agree to this challenge and who have the maturity, initiative and vision as well as a passion for making a difference in the whole domain of human affairs. It requires considerable courage for what is being formed is possibly a movement as profound as it is outreaching in its implications for proactive social evolution.
This summer Social Artists will join me and a faculty of world changers in beautiful Ashland, Oregon for the Eighth Annual Social Artistry™ Summer Leadership Institute July 19-27. They will reap the results of my past year’s intensive work in Social Artistry™ all over the world with NASA scientists, leaders of countries, National Association of Social Workers, as well as evolutionary and spiritual leaders. They will learn innovative processes for these changing times and take it to practical application. Monica Sharma, M.D., Director, Leadership and Capacity Development at the United Nations, will bring the principles and practices of sustainable leadership and project development to this intensive experience. In the last days of the intensive we will join local community leaders as we come together to explore the advantages of Social Artistry™ for their specific endeavors.
Social Artistry™ is an arena for those who are willing to become the possible human and make the difference only they can make in their families, communities, and world.
By Jean Houston