Sunday, April 26, 2009

an email to Peter Senge

Peter Senge did a great job leading a conference at SLU this past Thursday. It was sponsored by St. Louis Learns and Leads and Sustainable St. Louis. It was followed by a luncheon in Dubourg Hall. Although I have no reason to expect a response I sent the following to Peter as a follow up of the day's discussions.

I think most of what he espouses will lead to good work but I also think it is important to identify the general goals of a project or process and to communicate this openly.


Thanks again for coming to St. Louis today. I especially like your call to reinstate our ‘elders.’ I am 50 years old but some of my most valued relationships are with a retired philosophy professor and a 70 year old designer. They take delight in the activities of folks younger than them and they provide a great perspective for proper moderation and the value of patience.

I raised the question, in the workshop today, about the moral neutrality of systems thinking. I don’t want to diminish the power and value of something that has been a part of my life since I can remember but I get concerned when there is little discussion of how such tools might be applied. I had a conversation with a recent graduate of Washington University’s EMBA program about leadership. He talked about the value of leadership, the leadership gap and how most folks don’t want to be leaders. It seemed to be that leadership was seen as a goal, an end, a telos of some sort and that, to me, is quite scary. Certainly we can distinguish between the manipulation of a Hitler and the liberating work of a Gandhi but both involve leadership.

Finally, I think there is something wonderfully subversive in The Necessary Revolution. The sense of “the real reality” which lies outside the bubble reminds me of Buddhist teachings on human nature and addiction. Jaworski and his work on “servant leadership” strikes me the same way.


Richard Reilly, LEED AP

Van Jones Check out this link for an hour with Van Jones and a fine intro to his work fostering a green collar economy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tanzania Update

Click on the image to enlarge it and see what's going on in the Same region. Cal Poly students are doing survey work for the Polytechnic d/b project. We are grateful to be working in support of this impressive project.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Growing Green Awards

The St. Louis Chapter of the USGBC had an awards ceremony Tuesday night and Habitat won the Residential Award and I won in the "Quietly Green" category. A very humbling experience because so many people and so many groups make such a thing possible. Boa Construction, Habitat, Focus St. Louis, Architecture for Humanity, The USGBC, Cal State Poly and my family have all done so much to support and encourage these activities. To them I give my thanks. Click on the image above to see all the winners and the image below for a bit more info!