Essential Knowledge


Sustaining Change in a Market Economy

Hanmin Liu and Jennifer Mei are dear friends who have been working in community for many, many years, based in the Wildflowers Institute,which they founded.  Part of their time has been spent working with immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and they’ve harvested some powerful insights.

They being this report by saying “since 1980, tens of thousands of immigrants from across the world have moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to join an existing community or to build a new one. Their
stories affirm the community as an adaptive living system, the unit of change. By observing these communities, we have made important discoveries about how communities actually work—within themselves, in relation to the marketplace, and in relation to government and nonprofit organizations. Our conclusions provide important challenges to conventional philanthropic, academic, and political assumptions about how best to sustain communities and change making. The institute’s sociocultural framework and toolbox give community leaders and other practitioners concrete means for understanding and effecting social change.”

This is a powerful artifact from a lifetime of work.  One inescapable conclusion is that change is gradual and generation and requires persistence in patience.

How do we take this truth on in our impatient world?

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