Mycelium & Me… By Tony


My name is Tony, and I’m writing to you on behalf of Mycelium, an organization that has provided me with crucial support and inspiration as I step into a lifestyle more authentic and work that feels like it’s mine to do. I am a lawyer by training and claim St. Louis, Missouri, as my home. However, my winding path over the past couple years has included traveling in more than a dozen countries on four continents, volunteering hundreds of hours with seminarians in Mozambique, teachers in Thailand, and the homeless in St. Louis.

I also started Offscripting, a social venture designed to help people rewrite the stories that shape their lives.  

I agreed to write a letter for Mycelium’s Winter Appeal despite having an aversion to asking for money. And while the organization does want (and need) money to keep the lights on and the dogs fed, what I actually want to ask you for is your energy, your attention, and your passion.

If you’re receiving this letter, it’s because someone within the Mycelium network identified you as a person we want on board in creating a new paradigm, one that works for all of us. I’m a single member of the growing network of changemakers and seekers, and we grow stronger and more versatile as a collective with each person who says yes. So it is in my self interest for YOU to get involved with this organization.   

What that looks like for you, I don’t know. I found Mycelium online in a somewhat random fashion 18 months ago and have now participated in two different programs, a 12-week Learning Journey in 2014 and a Venture Track Learning Journey that just began. They’ve provided me with crucial support and insight as I navigate the uncharted waters between the stable career I walked away from in 2013 and whatever it is I’m moving toward.

Mycelium began with a single person, a single vision. After four years, the network has expanded to include thousands of people and dozens of projects shaping a new paradigm.

And, as far as I can tell, Mycelium is just getting warmed up.

My sense is that the coming year will be a tipping point for Mycelium, and without necessarily knowing you, I am confident in saying that I’d love for you to be a part of it. Thank you for your time, and please contribute in any way that feels meaningful.

Much love,



By |December 16th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Myceliumni: Graham Hackett

poetry in motion

Graham Hackett’s blue eyes hang under his slightly crooked hat. He believes his poetry can invite the healing of social wounds from Oakland to Appalachia. Born to a hippie mom and a Viet Nam vet dad, Graham stepped into journey of paradox. As a military child, he moved to 8 states within 7 years. In each place he lived, he took on the stories of the place, the culture, the humans. Through his journeys, his perception of reality grew in complexity. Living across the continuum of social experience from rural  Leesburg, Virginia to inner city Philly, Graham was collecting a mosaic of threads that weave the foundational fabric from which his poetry is born.

grahahmAfter spending a decade in the theater, Graham found himself living in Brooklyn where his life, along with legions of others dropped to its knees, with the collapse of the Twin Towers. It was in the days that followed where he performed his first spoken word performance to a community of grieving Brooklynites. Through this and the conversations that ensued, he witnessed connection and healing within his community. He realized that his poetry invited people’s hearts and minds to poke out from their shell like turtles. He left that evening asking the question, “Can my poetry affect the world?”

Graham discovered the answer to his question a few months later when he saw a performance by Robin Williams. Williams spoke to the pain, the anger and the sadness resulting from the advent of the war in Iraq. Directly resulting from Williams’ message, Graham knew that he had the power to open people up and expand their world. Since then, he has collaborated with musicians such as Digable Planets, Michael Franti and Patricia Smith. He has affected the lives of thousands through performances at diverse happenings such as the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and as a catalyst for experiential arts workshops for incarcerated youth.

What’s Next?

civilianGraham is now poised to unleash his poetry to a new level through the CIVILIAN Project; a culmination of his life’s experiences and the realization of his life’s work. CIVILIAN is A TED Talk-style presentation spliced with performance poetry followed by facilitated conversations. The one-act touring event is designed to explore complex social issues and inspire innovative solutions.

Just like that evening in Brooklyn following 9/11, Graham will invite people into the paradoxes and challenges of edgy topics such as classism, race relations, women’s rights, juvenile justice, and living in wartime era. What makes Hackett’s approach unique is that it doesn’t dwell on pain, come from a place of dogma or leave a melancholic aftertaste. Instead his performances are designed to invite hope, transformation and positive action.

CIVILIAN will launch a national tour in 2015 where these poetic performances will invite critical conversation across colleges, universities, festivals and any other venues that value critical thought and meaningful action.

In October, Graham completed his 12-Week Learning Journey with Mycelium. In an interview, I asked Graham what kind of an impact did the program have on his life and his vision.

Graham currently has a crowdfunding campaign where he is looking to raise awareness, funds and potential venues for his 2015 national tour. To learn more and see the power of his spoken word poetry, click here.

By |December 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Asheville Focuses on Collaboration



verb: work jointly on an activity, esp. to produce or create something.

We Came. We Spoke. We Listened. We Collaborated.

Our Effective Collaboration workshop was a success! With a full house of thirty-five participants from various walks of life such as city planners, professionals, healers, for-profit businesses, and non-profit organizations, we discussed what collaboration means to each of us and what are the key elements to effectively collaborate. Mycelium’s Learning Catalyst, Ashley Cooper, shared the details of the event and relayed the results of the collaborative workshop.

To begin, we heard everyone’s story, providing more insight on the individuals within the workshop. These stories were diverse, making them a truly inspirational group. Attendees reflected that the workshop was “an experience and exploration”. One stated, “We’re actually already collaborating with people we don’t know” through discussion and inquiry.

collaborationThe method we used to reach these wonderful results was the Consensus Workshop Method. It intends to help a group work quickly and efficiently through difficult problems. First of all, we talked about what is effective collaboration by splitting up into groups of three or four. Each group was told to come to a consensus on four ideas they deemed most important and again. When all ideas were collected, the facilitator and the collaborating participants then looked at all of them and paired them into columns and clustered in terms of relevance. They then were told to look back at their original list and compare. What did we miss the first time around? Ideas continued to be added to the list and grouped until all essential ideas were voiced. Mission accomplished.

Out of all the ideas that constitute effective collaboration, here are some that we all agreed upon.

1. Working with the Self: This means reflecting on how the self fits into the team. This could include knowing how to be a good listener as only those with an open mind and ears will learn from others. This also includes knowing how to be vulnerable by handing power to others, trusting others to complete a task in a team.

2. We-Space: This refers to how everyone in a team is responsible for each other. This is the oil that keeps various parts of the team working. What do I need to know about my teammates? What is their backstory? How can I put myself into their shoes and understand them so that I might know, for example, why they come in cranky every morning, why they leave work early on certain days, or don’t like to talk about certain things. This all helps with making a better team. Most importantly, it is crucial that within the space, the individuals are all dedicated to the mission and purpose of the group.

Another valuable insight from the workshop came from a businessman. He told us that while we had a very clear view of the social and emotional needs in an organization, there was a need for stronger protocols, clear agendas, and marketing. This was much needed input, which will be put into consideration in the future. After all, every team needs someone who is skilled on the business side of affairs to make sure the team can logistically run smoothly.

Also, during the brainstorming it never surfaced how important the facilitator was for effective collaboration. It was only in reflection that facilitation as a key ingredient to effective collaboration was recognized. We attributed this oversight to the skill of our facilitator Kathleen Osta, President of Vital Clarity. Kathleen is an Asheville-based, national consultant and facilitation expert. She helps businesses articulate a shared vision for their future and develop plans to bring that vision into reality.

Lenoir-Rhyne University, where the workshop was held, will also be teaming with us on an entire course on collaboration skills. We are excited to be working with LRU along with Center for Collaborative Awareness and A Co-Creative Path on this course on Collaboration. There is much to look forward to.

Post by Victoria Yu

By |November 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments
  • How the Compass Guided Us How the Compass Guided Us

    How the Compass Guided Us

How the Compass Guided Us

Last week was a milestone  for Mycelium. Not only was it our first week with our newest team member, Mike Marcus, but it was the first  learning journey delivered by The Mycelium School: The Compass Project. Participants hailed from Maryland, Arizona, New York, Ohio, New Jersey as well as a couple from here in Asheville.  They all showed up eager to

  • Notes from the field: Compass Project Notes from the field: Compass Project

    Notes from the field: Compass Project

Notes from the field: Compass Project

There comes a time in some people’s lives when they realize that all the paths society has burned into the realities of “normal” no longer seem viable. This can be both a terrifying and liberating realization.
This is a threshold that many indigenous cultures design for. These cultures are sensitive to the evolutionary process from
  • alternativeeducation
    A New Model of Learning Community A New Model of Learning Community

    A New Model of Learning Community

A New Model of Learning Community

On Tuesday, April 23rd, Mycelium and the community of Asheville came together to imagine into community-based learning. What would it look like if the walls of the traditional schools crumbled? What would it look like if instead of tests, success was measured by intention, integrity and social evolution?


With 50 of us in the room dreaming into these questions, I was on fire. The energy and the possibility were contagious.  Mycelium is not a solution, but a catalyst, an incubator of ideas and action. This type of partnership between learning laboratory and community is alive and thirsty for love, attention and investment.

Imagine what this concept could look like fully realized? An agile, responsive learning lab that invites diverse constituents of the community and holds a space to voice challenges, opportunities, unlikely connections and strategies for prosperity and systemic evolution? A creation for and by the people. No governments. No agendas. Just the people coming together to design and act in a way that supports life. The youngers, the elders, the black, the white, the brown. The rich and the poor. Imagine what it would look like if we come together to listen, to imagine and to take action that led to prosperity for all?

At Mycelium we are ready to be done imagining and begin experimenting.


Join us on Thursday, May 16th from 6-7:30 at Mojo Coworking to move this from idea to action. 

Writing a New Story

What is the DIY Economy?

DIY Economy is a coalition of people and organizations. 

We’re all committed to building the New Economy movement where everyone can play a role in shaping our economic system:

  • determining the values on which our economy is based
  • designing an economy that creates opportunities for tomorrow
  • shaping the economy through the actions we take.
DIY means solutions are easy to build in local communities. We need a blueprint.So Mycelium, Ashoka and Rebuild the Dream are hosting the DIY Economy retreat in Asheville, NC. Follow the action @MyceliumSchool


Kevin Jones, Founder of SoCap

David McConville, President of the Buckminster Fuller Institute

Janell Kapoor, Founder of Kleiwerks International


And more coming soon… Stay tuned!




Mycelium Philosophy

The 20th Century broke our inter-connected world down into parts and tried to manage each of these parts in isolation. If we want to flip the script in the 21st Century, we need to learn how to think of the world not as a collection of parts, but as an interconnected system. We design and execute to evolve the system as a whole.

Future Project’s Philosophy

Future rejects the status quo of out-dated, winner-takes-all strategies and tactics. Instead, we play at the edge of a new set of business realities—embracing a set of guiding principles that place abundance, good, and the proliferation of positive change as our highest goals. We encourage, and provide techniques for, “thinking wrong” to generate new ideas and design directions for achieving these goals.




The following innovators are some of the coolest, brightest, most outside-the-box thinkers and doers we’ve ever met. We are grateful to have them help in the co-design of Mycelium. But don’t take our word for it, check ’em out for yourself…

By |January 25th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments