— Jacqui Patterson,
“Movement Strategy Center inspires and challenges me to articulate my role in a larger arc of transformation. If I’m feeling overwhelmed by the change needed in the world I know that I can turn to MSC for deep connection and big vision. Through my relationship with the people that make up MSC, I feel more at peace with my piece of the puzzle, and better able to share space in the movement tapestry in an engaged way.”
NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program
The Transitions Initiative
Now is a time of extraordinary upheaval in our country and in our world, a time when the failures of our economic and political systems have become clear and the harm is deeply and widely felt. We are living in a moment of great fear, anger and uncertainty.
Now is also a time of great opportunity. Everywhere we turn, in our communities and in our lives, we find people coming together to care for each other in diverse ways — to nurture healthy and just food systems, to honor and support families of all kinds, to keep fossil fuels in the ground, to build our next economy.
In this moment the purpose of MSC Transitions Initiative is bold and crucial:
To nurture whole people and whole communities
to transition from a world of domination and extraction to a world of
regeneration, resilience, and interdependence.
The Transitions Community is a growing network of people deepening the practices of love, care and community that will bring about the great transition from a world of domination and extraction to a world organized around resilience, regeneration and interdependence.
The Transitions Initiative, facilitated by MSC, flows through the Transitions Community in Transitions Labs, in small strategy teams, and in specific strategic projects. The purpose and vision of the Transitions Initiative infuses every MSC program: Next Economy, Community Climate Solutions, Youth & Intergenerational Organizing, Re-Imagining Gender, Shared Story.
The Transitions Initiative deepens the practices of community through sharpening individual and collective shared purpose and vision, building and deepening relationships, identifying and embodying the qualities we need to cultivate transition, and generating the pivots, leaps, and strategies needed to transform our world.
— Carolina Morales, social justice consultant
I am truly inspired by how the MSC team is committed to embodied leadership and facilitation — and deeply practices it. I have learned so much about what is possible for the ways we summon change when we root ourselves in our intuition, our values, and our body/mind/spirit alignment.
MSC’s Transitions Labs are a core offering of the Transitions Initiative. The Transitions Labs generate, co-create, incubate, and cultivate the DNA, the seeds and sprouts of the future we are building. The Transitions Labs till the fertile soil that, if cared for with love, will nurture the seeds and sprouts to take root, grow, evolve and spread.
MSC’s Transitions Labs ground people in their personal purpose, inspire them to believe in their vision, and offer them space to practice navigating toward an achievable horizon of Transformation.
Over the course of several days, these gatherings bring together movement leaders from across the country, providing space, tools, and relationships to align and move forward a transition agenda. With the help of Zen master and strategist Norma Wong, the Transitions Labs are an opportunity to deeply embody Transition and craft bold solutions for the future. These convenings build on each other and are generating local Transition Teams engaged in cross sector Transition projects in different geographic regions, as well as trans-local teams with a holistic systems intervention, such as healing our food systems across health, environment, agriculture, and labor.
Follow this link for a glimpse into the July 2015 Transitions Lab. Click here to read reflections from folks in the Transitions Community about the seeds of possibility they are generating on our “Let’s Talk” blog.
This Global Moment
The Transitions Initiative is crucial because today, in every corner of our world, people, communities, and societies are undergoing extraordinary ecological, economic, and social disruption. Our current political, economic, and social systems all reinforce a way of living that contributes to the devastation of people and the planet. Water, air, land, food systems and the entire planet are facing unprecedented ecological collapse. Investments in the public sphere and social fabric of our communities are diminishing while an astonishing gap between rich and poor grows ever wider.
Yet, in this moment of extraordinary challenge, signs of extraordinary change – of extraordinary interconnection – are emerging.
This moment is catalyzing big vision, unprecedented collaboration, fresh experimentation, and deep exploration of the ways individuals and our social movements need to transform. Moving away from the colliding ecological, economic, and social crises we collectively face, efforts are emerging with the potential to remake our systems to serve our deepest values. In this moment there are important new openings including increased recognition of the climate crisis, growing gender fluidity, deepening dissatisfaction with economic inequality.
Our present moment demands that we leave behind the existing extractive economy – an economy based on ecological ruin, exploitation of labor, and the suppression and oppression of people. This moment demands that we shift our systems to reflect the extraordinary interconnection of all life and the deepest human values of caregiving and love. This includes a reverential relationship to the earth’s resources, an understanding of labor as the work that contributes to collective well-being, and a commitment to social equity as essential to a sustainable, regenerative society.
The shift from an extractive system to a regenerative system will require monumental change. It will require navigating waves of crisis while simultaneously re-organizing the fundamentals of the way we live, producing basic goods, organizing human exchange, and taking care of each other. We will need to collectively practice new ways of being in order to make these shifts; cultivating our adaptive capacity and resilience while restructuring our relationships to value mutuality and interdependence. We will need to rely on each other, adapt quickly, and collaborate well as we navigate the challenges ahead.
People are beginning to talk together and work together with an understanding of the interconnected problems – and solutions – across our ecological, economic, and social crises. People working in ecology/climate, economic justice, food systems, gender violence, and education are beginning to embody and create a world of extraordinary ecological, economic, and social interconnection.
Social movements play a crucial role in moving our world toward this vision of extraordinary interconnection. Social movements transform the way we think, the way our society and our communities are structured, the way we live, and even who we are. Social movements can and must propel everyone forward in the big leap needed in this moment.