Right now I’d like to share about two worlds where I feel this bridging and weaving strongly alive inside me.
New and Old Patterns of Economics
Mycelium is an organism that operates in a spirit of service. It uses one of life’s core currencies – water. Mycelium generally has an abundance of water and thus shares it freely with areas that are in need of water. The mycelium receives nutrients such as nitrogen or sugars from the surrounding soil, trees and plants. This exchange is not a transactional, if-then exchange – but a natural, mutualistic flow of service.
I feel stretched. I am inspired and motivated to support Mycelium the organization to operate in a service economy like mycelium the organism. It is in our DNA to function in this way. In real-time, however, we have not yet learned how to embody this pattern. And until we reach that level of capacity within ourselves as an organization, we need financial support to continue to exist. So we have shifted our efforts to include more transactional and explicit requests for financial support via fundraising and tuition costs. This is part of our learning edge to operate within our principles and keep our doors open.
I feel myself living in both worlds and in this area, I feel like taffy. I imagine a line down the center of my being – stretched between my head and my heart, my feet rooted in two worlds. I feel the inner tension as I try to live simultaneously and authentically in both.
Traditional and New Forms of Education
There is a quote from Buckminster Fuller that is loved by many and speaks powerfully to the work we are doing at Mycelium:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
While I see great value in this approach, I think there’s more to the story. YES to building new models! That is exactly what we are doing at Mycelium. Learning from the past, paying close attention to the present and imagining what will serve the future – we are creating new models of engagement and structures of support that foster authentic learning and empowered action. These new models will shine with their own merit and will eventually be so attractive that the old models become obsolete.
In addition, the existing education system is huge and diverse. It is filled with many efforts by dedicated teachers, principals and school founders who are successfully creating powerful learning environments for learners of all ages. I don’t want to fight this existing reality. I want to partner with it. Again, like mycelium, I want to connect with its roots, learn about what is working within it and spread those nutrients to other places.
In this realm, I embody a stone bridge with beautiful landscape on both sides. We are creating nutrient-rich soil for the new model to grow and flourish. We are also making pathways for these new models to connect with the alive and vibrant elements of the existing model. I am dedicated to finding ways for us to work together to allow education to be a vibrant force for good – supporting people in living their fullest potential, growing in their abilities to thrive in this world and working together towards a healthy and beautiful future for all.