A few months ago, I received a link to a TEDx talk by a friend who knew the message would resonate. It did. So much so that I immediately reached out to the speaker to invite her on to the show. After numerous email exchanges, we finally connected for a powerful conversation about walking out of the dominant culture and walking on to the truth that lives in our hearts—a truth that lives for the present moment in community and service.
Deborah Frieze is this week’s guest. She’s an author, entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, and activist committed to strengthening local economies. Her award-winning book, co-authored with Margaret Wheatley, Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now, profiles pioneering leaders who walked out of organizations failing to contribute to the common good—and walked on to build resilient communities. She is a founding partner of the Boston Impact Initiative and founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center in Jamaica Plain where neighbors gather to rediscover how to create healthy and resilient communities.
What struck me most about Deborah’s TEDx talk is how bold she was about telling it like it is, meaning how our dominant systems—education, healthcare, government, business, etc.—are failing communities, the Earth and ourselves. Deborah clearly articulates how it’s not possible to change big systems and how we can only abandon them and start over, or offer hospice to what’s dying. Her talk and her work explores the underlying cultural beliefs that prop up the global mindset of separation. She also shares a radical theory of change that reveals how localism has a critical role to play in whatever future we may have.
In this week’s conversation, we also go into great depths about a number of topics including:
- Walking out of the status quo and into our heart’s calling.
- How the world is made of living systems.
- Seeing beyond the dominant culture.
- How systems thinking reconnects us to life.
- The difference between the linear Newtonian worldview and quantum physics.
- How the human worldview is based on machines, not life.
- How rugged individualism isolates us from our community nature.
- How community nurtures our sense of belonging.
- The amplification of collapsing energies in today’s world.
- Doing our work in the face of uncertainty.
- Beyond hope and hopelessness.
- How we cannot change the system because of how deeply entrenched it is within the human psyche.
- Why most activism and non-violent actions don’t work and why play is more effective.
- Fostering critical connections over critical mass.
This is a powerful conversation that I know will activate, inspire and elicit deep thought.
If Deb’s words hit home and you find value in her work, please donate: