Circle Management

Hi, folks!

TLDR: I'm opening two new circles to discuss peacebuilding theory and conscious business. Let me know if you want in. ;)

I'm creating two new circles, and I want to take this opportunity to sort people into the circles that best suit their interests. This might also help you put me in your appropriate circles, whether for common interests or to mute my posts. I try to share what I publish here only with folks who might be interested; so if you added me a while ago and you never hear a peep out of me, I probably didn't know where our interests overlap. Feel free to let me know what circles you'd like to join!

The picture is my friend and mentor Tom Fox, my boss at Whole Foods Market for several years, before he retired and joined a humanitarian aid group in Iraq. At the end of 2005, Tom and several coleagues were kidnapped outside a mosque in North Baghdad. Seven years ago last month, he was murdered after being held captive for four months. His coleagues were rescued two weeks later.

I'm trying to start writing again, and two of the major themes I want to develop are interests that I shared with Tom. Like Tom, I am a Quaker— a member of the Religious Society of Friends —so I am a Christian pacifist with a strong interest in universalism, ecumenism, and interfaith dialog. But we also worked together at an idealistic company that proclaimed high standards for product quality, vendor relationships, team member empowerment, and authentic customer service— standards we took very seriously —and I'm still interested in the vital role conscious businesses can play in building a better society.

The two circles I'm adding stem from that connection:

Civil initiative discussion: In this circle, I'll be posting comments, queries, and discussions about peacebuilding. I'm especially interested in the Gandhian tradition of nonviolence, and the legacy of Jim Corbett, a champion and intellectual architect of the U.S. Sanctuary movement. Although I am a web architect and designer by trade, my degree is in Justice, Peace, and Conflict Studies. I am trained as a mediator and experienced as a facilitator for a conflict transformation training program for schools and prisons, and I used to teach at an interfaith peace camp for youngsters.

Some of the topics that may come up in this circle: rule of law, human rights, peace theology, and peace education. I'm not a radical. I'm just interested in critical analysis and developing a disciplined intellectual framework. You can find out more about my take on civil initiative here:
http://designop.us/wrote/about-civil-initiative

Proactive peacebuilding is a priority that has not diminished in import since Tom's death, and I think it's a shame that Corbett's conception of civil initiative is missing from the contemporary conversation. One thing I'd like to do is unpack the ideas with simple, clear, and practical illustrations. In light of recent events, it seems imperative that I get back to it.

Conscious business discussion: In this circle, I shall post commentary and queries about conscious business from a Quaker perspective. I'm starting with book reviews— including some books by Friends, and some books by authors active in contemporary conscious businesses. I'd love to explore this theme with other students of organization, economics, and business history, which are topics I have not studied as closely as those above.

Some topics that could come up in this circle: creativity, entrepreneurship, cultural innovation, servant leadership, trust and trusteeship, trade, economics, fostering flow, professionalism, and building positive-sum relationships. The first book I'd like to discuss is Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf. You can find out more about my take on conscious business here:
http://designop.us/wrote/intro-to-friendly-enterprise-book-reviews

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I'm also a husband and father and lapsed comic artist. I don't write much on those topics, but feel free to include me in your circles. Up to now, most of my activity on G+ has been hobby-related: I enjoy games that were once associated with moral panic. I'm currently learning Dungeon World, but I also love the old-school classic Tunnels & Trolls along with a bunch of other games. If that's all you're interested in, don't worry— though I might make occasional updates like this, I don't plan to flood my Public feed with serious stuff.

But all of this is part of me, and if any of it sticks in your craw too badly, you might want to put me in your muted circles.

Let me know if you'd like to get in on any of the circles I mentioned!
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