Theory of Change and Organizational Development Strategy INTRODUCTION Dear Reader:
The Fetzer Institute was founded in 1986 by John E. Fetzer with a vision of a transformed world, powered by love, in which all people can flourish. Our current mission, adopted in 2016, is to help build the spiritual foundation for a loving world.
Over the past several years, we have been identifying and exploring new ways to make our vision of a loving world a reality. One aspect of this work has been the development of a new conceptual frame resulting in a comprehensive Theory of Change. This document aspires to ground our work for the next 25 years. Further, this in-depth articulation of our vision allows us to invite thought leaders across disciplines to help sharpen our thinking.
This document represents a moment when many strands of work and planning by the Institute board and staff came together in a very powerful way that enabled us to articulate our Theory of Change. However, this is a dynamic, living document, and we encourage you to read it as such. For example, we are actively developing detailed goals and action plans, and we continue to examine our conceptual frame, even as we make common cause with all who are working toward a shared and transformative sacred story for humanity in the 21st century. We continue to use our Theory of Change to focus our work, inspire and grow our partnerships, and identify the most pressing needs in our world.
I look forward to your feedback and invite you to learn about how our work is coming alive in the world through our program strategies, initiatives, and stories at Fetzer.org.
Bob Boisture Fetzer Institute President and CEO
2 TABLE OF Our Mission and Community 4 CONTENTS Our Mission 4
Our Long-Term Goal 5
Our Community of Freedom 6
Our Theory of Change 8
Our Movement-Level Theory of Change 9
Our Institute-Level Theory of Change 14
3 OUR Our Mission MISSION
AND Helping build the spiritual foundation for a COMMUNITY loving world
We are spiritual beings. Born into mystery, we cannot escape the deep questions of existence and the human condition. We long for a life- affirming connection with transcendence—a connection that will give us the love, courage, and hope with which to these challenges will ultimately build a life and to build a world. depend far less on our In the end, whether we find this technology, industry, and public sustaining spiritual connection policies than on whether a critical makes all the difference. mass of us opens our hearts in love to each other and to the Each moment in history presents natural world. The future is in its own new version of this our hands, but it is much more spiritual challenge. Ours is the in our hearts. challenge of finding a personal spiritual path that will sustain us This is the exciting and individually, while at the same important work of building the time finding together the spiritual spiritual foundation for a loving common ground on which to world. Along with millions of build a loving global community. others around the world, we wholeheartedly take up this work We face this challenge in a with joy and hope. rapidly changing and increasingly fragile world. Globalization is Just as moments in history bring overturning old ways, old values, their own spiritual challenges, and old institutions, lifting many there is a corresponding spiritual but leaving many others behind. evolution of humanity that Religious, ethnic, and ideological provides the potential to meet conflicts are dividing us at those challenges. Through our precisely the time we need to be Community of Freedom, we bring coming together. Climate change the strengths of our institution and environmental degradation into creative relationship with are threatening the natural these spiritual challenges and systems that sustain us and all life. capacities. The Fetzer long-term goal and strategic program areas In our hearts we know that serving that goal have emerged whether we meet and overcome from this creative relationship.
4 Our Long-Term Goal
Our goal is to help catalyze and support a broad-scale, spiritually grounded transformation from an ego-centered way of being grounded in separation and fear to an all- centered way of being grounded in wholeness and love, with the result that a critical mass of persons around the world embraces love as the guiding principle and animating force for living in sacred relationship with Spirit, self, others, and the natural world.
Several key elements of this goal statement have important implications for our Theory of Change and our strategy:
This is not a Fetzer-centric strategy. We cannot do it. We cannot design it. We Our goal is to help catalyze cannot direct it. It is much bigger than we are. and support a broad- This is a big, audacious, global goal, scale, spiritually grounded and only a powerful global movement can achieve it. This cannot be a “post- traditions” movement, a “spiritual-but- transformation from an not-religious” movement, or a Western movement. It must be global and it ego-centered way of being must embrace both the faith traditions and persons on spiritual paths outside grounded in separation and the traditions. fear to an all-centered way of Our goal is more profound than simply changing beliefs, or even behaviors. It is a fundamental transformation of our very way being grounded in wholeness of being from ego-centered to all-centered, from separation and fear to wholeness and love, with the result that and love.
a critical mass of persons Our goal is to help catalyze and support the growth of a movement that can support the around the world embraces spiritual transformation of enough people around the world to drive fundamental love as the guiding principle global change. Experts on system and culture change refer to this critical mass as the “tipping point.” Some leading experts and animating force for living believe that for most complex systems, this tipping point comes once 15% to 20% of in sacred relationship with individuals embrace the change. Spirit, self, others, and the Our ultimate goal is a world filled with persons grounded in love and living in natural world. sacred relationship—sacred communion— with Spirit, themselves, others, and the natural world.
5 Our Community of Freedom
John Fetzer saw clearly that the
Institute’s mission would not GUIDING PURPOSE be the work of a single lifetime, To awaken into and serve Spirit for the but rather of many lifetimes, and, therefore, that our mission transformation of self and society, based on the could only be carried forward principles of wholeness of reality, freedom of by a deeply grounded spiritual spirit, and unconditional love, and the integration community committed to what of the inner life of mind and spirit with the outer he called “freedom of spirit.” Accordingly, in his final words life of action and service. of counsel to the Institute trustees, he said: The second milestone came in the fall of 2013 when we renewed I am sure that as you and redoubled our effort to listen, you will hear the put this Guiding Purpose at the ring of truth, first and center of everything we do. Since foremost, trying to create a then, once a week, our entire staff community of freedom … of 60 comes together for three hours to work on this challenge. on which we can all stand? If During board meetings, the so, what is it, and how can we It was in this Community of trustees join in. We call these honor the fact that we reach it Freedom, he said, that the weekly meetings our “Community by very different paths? How can Institute would discover the of Freedom Gatherings.” we strengthen and deepen this particular focus of its work in common ground that unites us, the world, noting only that, At these gatherings, we share while at the same time supporting Whatever the final verdict turns in spiritual practice, work on each other in going deeper on out to be, its summary will be building relationships and the particular spiritual paths that unconditional love. building trust, explore our each of us has chosen? How can spiritual identities, and discuss we live our values of love, trust, The Institute has been living ever our emerging program vision and authenticity, and inclusion in all more deeply into this vision over strategy. It has been exciting to that we do? the quarter century since Mr. realize that in this work, we are Fetzer’s death. Two milestones in wrestling in microcosm with the This effort has borne amazing this journey bear noting. The first same spiritual challenges that fruit. Truly transformative love came ten years after his death, face the global community. and leadership have come when the trustees of the Institute forward from every corner of our and our sister organization, the We are a spiritually diverse community. Through this work we Fetzer Memorial Trust, took up community of people on any are beginning to write the next the challenge of stating as clearly number of spiritual paths, both chapter of the Fetzer story. and concisely as they could their within and outside the world’s understanding of the essence faith traditions, including some We have come to a new of John Fetzer’s vision and the who simply ask not to be labeled. understanding of “freedom of Institute’s mission. The resulting From this diversity, challenging Spirit” as entailing both the statement has become our questions have emerged: Is “positive freedom” to become Guiding Purpose. there a spiritual common ground the persons that Spirit intends 6 us to be and the freedom from We have come to a new way And, we have come to a new coercion which allows us to of describing the sort of clarity about the work we are pursue our spiritual journeys. community we are: called to do:
We have come to a new way We are an inclusive, We want to help build the of describing our spiritual spiritually grounded spiritual foundation for a common ground: community of love loving world. We are drawn into and hope. Our Community of Freedom is community by our shared the foundation for all that we are experience that there and all that we do. is more to reality than physical reality, and that this “something more” binds us to each other and to all that exists in a deeply interconnected, meaningful, and sacred way, and calls us to a life of love.
7 OUR THE CENTRALITY OF The shared experience of Spirit SPIRIT IN OUR THEORY is the spiritual common ground THEORY OF for our Fetzer community, OF CHANGE CHANGE and we believe it can be the spiritual common ground for Since our core goal is spiritual the global community. transformation, at the core of our Theory of Change must be In affirming the existence of our understanding of how this Spirit, we are making a profound transformation occurs. ontological affirmation about our understanding of fundamental The opening words of our reality—namely, that meaning, Guiding Purpose—To awaken purpose, and love are part of the into and serve Spirit for the very fabric of reality. transformation of self and society—capture the heart of our This ontological affirmation theory of transformation. We are informs all aspects of our Theory transformed by awakening into of Change and all elements of and serving Spirit. our strategy.
• Spiritual transformation. As noted above, awakening into and serving Spirit is at the heart of our understanding of spiritual transformation.
• New Narrative. The affirmation of Spirit is central to the ontological foundation of the New Narrative and infuses it with deep existential hope.
• Global movement. Spirit is both the guide and the “wind beneath the wings” of the By “Spirit” we mean that global movement. “something more” within and beyond physical reality that • Spiritual communities. The binds us together with each shared experience of Spirit other and with all things in provides the foundation for a deeply interconnected, our Community of Freedom, as meaningful, and sacred reality, it does for many life-affirming and that calls us to a life of love. spiritual communities within Some traditions conceptualize the faith traditions, and for this “something more” as God; many new forms of spiritual other traditions conceptualize it communities emerging outside in nontheistic terms. the traditions.
8 • Engagement with science. reach. This limitation on the grounded transformation that we We hope to support the spiritual way of knowing (and seek. Given this conclusion, we emergence of a scientific corresponding limitations on must decide how to deploy our paradigm that opens the scientific way of knowing) resources so as to maximize our space within the scientific is central to the epistemology contribution to catalyzing and understanding of reality for of the New Narrative discussed supporting the emergence of Spirit, free will, purpose, and below, as well as to our vision of this movement. objective value. an inclusive global movement for spiritual transformation. Answering this question requires As noted above, a key element a two-level Theory of Change. of our experience of Spirit is The first level must focus on mystery. In experiencing and the movement as a whole, understanding Spirit, we “see THE TWO-LEVEL identifying the key factors that through a glass darkly.” We STRUCTURE OF OUR will determine the growth and “see” clearly enough to discern effectiveness of the overall THEORY OF CHANGE important truths about Spirit— movement. The second level most importantly, that at the must focus on Fetzer, identifying heart of Spirit is love—but the As noted above, we are the most effective way for us to glass is sufficiently opaque that persuaded that only a powerful deploy our resources to support a definitive understanding of global movement can catalyze the growth and effectiveness Spirit is forever beyond our the broad-scale, spiritually of the movement.
Our Movement-Level Theory of Change
THE EMERGING While still in the very early have articulated compelling GLOBAL MOVEMENT stages of its development, this visions and strategies for their global movement is emerging particular work, but the global FOR SPIRITUAL across cultures and spiritual movement has yet to articulate TRANSFORMATION paths in the form of a large a compelling overarching vision number of smaller spiritually and strategy for the movement We believe that the same grounded transformation as a whole. powerful forces that have movements focused on a range led us to conclude that a of discrete social, economic, and It is critically important that this global movement for spiritual environmental issues. nascent movement become transformation is both urgently self-aware—that is, that the needed and realistically possible For the most part, these diverse myriad smaller movements are drawing large numbers of movements do not yet have a develop a conscious awareness other people and organizations strong sense of being part of of being part of a broad-based around the world toward the a larger global movement for and increasingly powerful global same conclusion. spiritual transformation. Some movement for broad-scale, parts of the emerging movement spiritually grounded personal and social transformation.
9 This global movement will invitational strategies to engage change may be a critical step in, energize, empower, and align individuals at all points in the life and catalyst for, an individual’s individuals by enabling them to span and all stages of the spiritual spiritual transformation. see themselves not only as part journey. Given the potential for of a particular issue-focused profound lifelong benefits, it movement working on one of the will be particularly important to many challenges facing humanity, support the positive spiritual and THE NEW NARRATIVE but also as part of a much moral development of children larger, more powerful global and adolescents. The Inadequacy of Today’s movement that, taken as a Dominant Worldviews whole, has a vision for, and is Many organizations are Worldviews drive action. Our working toward, comprehensive using secular approaches worldview is the story we tell global transformation. to support individuals of all ages in developing increased ourselves (explicitly or implicitly) mindfulness, empathy, about the nature of existence and compassion, and awareness, as our place in it, about the purpose THE MOVEMENT’S well as a more deeply grounded (or purposelessness) of life, about CENTRAL FOCUS ON sense of life purpose. By what will maximize our well-being providing a non-spiritual point of and how to secure it, about the PERSONAL SPIRITUAL entry, such programs may reach nature of our relationship with TRANSFORMATION many people who would be put other people and the natural off by an invitation framed in world, about the preferred social Our goal—and the goal of the explicitly spiritual terms. Further, order, and about all the other emerging global movement—is it seems likely that these secular issues that affect how we choose catalyzing and supporting the invitations to engage in serious to live our lives. spiritual transformation of a and sustained inner work will lead critical mass of persons around many individuals to the deep Since our worldview is the map the world. Over the millennia, questions of existence and the we use to navigate the challenges the faith traditions have evolved human condition that are at the of existence, its usefulness is a broad range of spiritual heart of the spiritual journey. This directly proportionate to its practices that have the proven will create the opportunity for us accuracy and completeness. Thus, ability to support profound and other spiritually grounded in choosing among alternative spiritual transformation. In organizations to help these worldviews, the relevant question recent decades, neuroscience, individuals deepen their spiritual is not which worldview describes psychology, and other fields search. An important challenge the reality in which we would of science have also begun for the movement will be to find most like to live, but rather which to provide important insights constructive ways to collaborate worldview most accurately and into the nature and process of with these organizations offering completely describes the reality in spiritual transformation. It will be secular approaches to inner which we do live. important for the movement to growth. Accordingly, a worldview is only draw on and integrate both sets of insights. Finally, it bears noting that as strong as its epistemology. while our Theory of Change That is, it is only as strong as its The movement must also find emphasizes the importance of understanding of the different effective ways to actively support personal spiritual transformation ways in which we can gain valid spiritual transformation on a as a driver of spiritually grounded knowledge about the nature broad scale. As part of this work, social change, it is also true that of reality. Understanding the it will be important to develop a personal commitment to social strengths and limitations of each
10 of these ways of knowing is of their sacred texts provides the The Emerging New central importance. If we begin definitive understanding of both Narrative with a flawed epistemology, spiritual and physical reality. A far better and more complete the inevitable result is a flawed Any scientific conclusions to the account of the nature of existence understanding of reality. contrary are necessarily invalid. and the human condition is Along with this rejection of beginning to emerge, brought In getting epistemology right, science, these fundamentalist forth by a stronger epistemology. the central challenge is bringing worldviews also leave little room the scientific and spiritual ways of for mystery or mysticism—that is, Recent advances in science and knowing into right relationship. for spiritual knowledge gained the philosophy of science are The dominant worldviews shaping through the direct experience pointing toward an emerging our current reality fail to achieve of Spirit, and for the cloud of scientific paradigm that opens this epistemological balance mystery that prevents us from up space within the scientific and integration. The proximate ever knowing Spirit fully. understanding of reality for the result is a failure to recognize possibility of the independent the wholeness, sacredness, and Somewhere in between is the existence of consciousness, free mystery of reality. The ultimate secular materialist worldview, will, and Spirit. result is conflict, fear, suffering, dominant in the West and with and despair. growing influence in the rest of At the same time, globalization the world. It is largely uninterested is giving rise to a new global In the post-Enlightenment West, in trying to understand ultimate spiritual perspective. This intellectuals have enthusiastically reality, focusing instead on the new perspective is calling embraced the scientific way of acquisition of wealth, power, into question the dogmatic knowing while generally giving and/or sensual experience. Its affirmations of the many and short shrift to the spiritual way epistemology is best described conflicting fundamentalist of knowing. The ontological as a superficial gleaning of religious worldviews. At the same result has been the view that emotionally appealing concepts time, it is celebrating the fact that physical reality—matter and from both science and the mystical streams within each energy interacting according spirituality. Given this lack of a of the great traditions have, in to universal natural laws—is the serious epistemology, it cannot their very different ways, charted most fundamental reality. On give a serious account of the spiritual paths to a life-affirming this view, consciousness and the nature of reality, leaving its and transformative experience world of spirit are merely transient adherents without a compass of Spirit and an understanding phenomena arising from the as they confront the deep that we do, in fact, live in a sacred physical realm, and thus have no questions of existence and the reality with love at its core. independent existence as part human condition. of the fabric of reality. This leads The synthesis of these to an atomistic and determinist The common thread, as noted new scientific and spiritual worldview in which there is no above, is a failure to bring the perspectives is, at last, bringing room for Spirit, the sacred, free spiritual and scientific ways of these two ways of knowing into will, meaning, or objective knowing into a balanced and right relationship. This new moral values. complementary relationship, epistemology is, in turn, giving and a consequent inability to birth to a New Narrative that both At the other end of the recognize the unity, wholeness, celebrates science’s marvelous epistemological spectrum, and sacredness of physical new story of the emergence fundamentalist religious and spiritual reality, and to of the cosmos and affirms that worldviews assert that their acknowledge the ultimate Spirit, wholeness, and love are at particular interpretation of mystery of existence. the very heart of reality. This new
11 and more complete account Pulling these thoughts together In thinking about the substance of reality lights the path that into an organized framework, and structure of the New can take humanity from our we can think of the New Narrative, it is also important to current way of being grounded Narrative as having five essential remember and respect the fact in separation and fear to a building blocks: (1) a new and that the faith traditions (as well new way of being grounded in stronger epistemology, (2) a as spiritual paths outside the wholeness and love. new and stronger ontology, traditions) reach this spiritual (3) a comprehensive critique common ground by very different By affirming that reality is grounded in this ontology of paths. This means that the New sustained by Spirit and has love the deep causes of the pain and Narrative must be a robust but at its core, the New Narrative suffering in our world today, minimalist overarching meta- provides the new lens through (4) a comprehensive vision of a narrative spacious enough to which we can see the deep world transformed by love, and embrace aligned narratives causes of the needless pain (5) a realistic path to move toward grounded in each of the faith and suffering in our world, this vision. We believe this New traditions, as well as in emerging envision a new world Narrative can provide the spiritual paths outside the transformed by love, and chart spiritual common ground traditions. The following a realistic path of spiritually for a true global community diagram provides a simple grounded personal and social and an effective roadmap for a graphic representation. transformation that can carry powerful global movement for us toward that vision. spiritual transformation.
Conceptual Framework For The New Narrative’s Overarching Meta-Narrative
BUDDHIST CHRISTIAN CONFUCIAN HINDU INDIGENOUS EPISTEMOLOGY CRITIQUE PATH INTERSPIRITUAL & ONTOLOGY & VISION ISLAMIC JEWISH TAOIST OTHER
ALIGNED NARRATIVES BUILDING BLOCKS OF GROUNDED IN THE NEW NARRATIVE PARTICULAR PATHS
12 The Role of the New powerful force drawing new societal transformation, Narrative in Awakening members into the global the movement must and Empowering the movement. support those within each Global Movement tradition, and particularly those leaders within each As noted above, myriad tradition, who are trying spiritually grounded change THE RELATIONSHIP to shift the tradition’s movements are emerging around BETWEEN THE GLOBAL center of gravity away from the world but are not yet aware MOVEMENT AND THE extremist and life-denying of being part of a comprehensive dogma toward the direct, FAITH TRADITIONS global movement for spiritually transformative experience grounded personal and social of Spirit. transformation. Because the The global movement’s strategy New Narrative provides a for engaging the faith traditions comprehensive vision for must be informed by three this global spiritual realities of our current world. MOVEMENT BUILDING: transformation, it has the First, each of the traditions NETWORK MODEL, potential, if clearly articulated provides practices and paths that LEADERSHIP AND and broadly disseminated, lead to profound life-affirming to awaken this global personal transformation. Second, STRATEGY, AND movement consciousness. each of the traditions also OUTREACH contains extremist, dogmatic, The Role of the New and life-denying paths that Network model. The global contribute to many of the world’s Narrative in Aligning movement must necessarily most intractable problems the Movement be a decentralized web of and conflicts. And third, for autonomous members, without As discussed below, the global the foreseeable future, a solid a center, centralized leadership, movement will necessarily be majority of people in the world or a formally adopted movement a decentralized web of highly will be on spiritual paths within strategy. Provided, as suggested autonomous individual and one of the traditions. above, that the New Narrative organizational actors. The can function as the worldview New Narrative can provide the Two key conclusions follow: that aligns the efforts of these movement with the worldview • The movement will never independent actors, this that organically aligns the reach critical mass to decentralized model can be independent initiatives of these drive significant global a great strength, since it can autonomous actors so that they transformation without empower all members of the add up to a comprehensive and broad participation from movement to take the initiative coherent movement strategy. within the traditions. Thus, in leading and serving wherever the movement must have they are and in whatever way The Role of the New an energetic and effective they can. Narrative in Growing strategy to engage large Leadership and strategy. While numbers of people within the Movement the movement will not have the traditions. Finally, by providing a rationally centralized global leadership, and emotionally compelling • To increase the traditions’ its effectiveness will be greatly personal and global vision, the positive contribution to increased if it has multiple New Narrative will become a life-affirming personal and leadership nodes, with each
13 node comprising leaders who INCLUSIVE SPIRITUAL ENGAGING SCIENCE can come together to develop COMMUNITIES IN IN SERVICE OF THE a coordinated strategy for their portion of the global web, SERVICE OF THE GLOBAL MOVEMENT catalyze initiatives and steer GLOBAL MOVEMENT resources in support of this The global movement stands in coordinated strategy, and link Given the great spiritual diversity a very interesting and complex to and coordinate with other of the global community— relationship with science. In leadership nodes. Some of these and, increasingly, of local the recent past, it seems that leadership nodes will focus on communities—the global science and spirituality have particular sectors (e.g., business, movement’s success will also been at odds more often than government, healthcare, depend on its ability to help in alignment. Yet, as discussed education), others on particular spiritually diverse communities above, the global movement’s challenges (e.g., environmental find and deepen spiritual New Narrative relies on frontier sustainability, peace building, common ground while at science to create the opening social justice), and others on the same time honoring the for a scientific understanding linking disparate parts of the very different paths by which of fundamental reality that has movement within a particular members of the community room for Spirit, and thus makes country or region. reach this common ground, and possible a new synthesis of supporting each member in the spiritual and scientific ways To continue to grow, the going farther and deeper on his of knowing. In addition, new movement must also develop or her particular path. This will developments in neuroscience, an ever-increasing number of require learning a whole new way psychology, biology, and other committed and effective leaders. of being in spiritually grounded fields of science are providing Thus, leadership development relationship with individuals on important new insights into the must be a continuing priority. other spiritual paths. Addressing nature and process of spiritual this challenge must be a top development and transformation. Outreach. The movement will priority. For both of these reasons, it also need effective outreach will be vital that the global strategies capable of enlisting movement develop the capacity the committed support of ever- to energetically and productively larger numbers of individuals engage with the scientific and organizations. community. (See page 19.)
Our Institute-Level Theory of Change
Our Institute-level Theory of the movement?” Our Theory for the global movement? The Change is our answer to the of Change has two parts. The second part focuses on what question “Given the needs of first part focuses on how we will we will do: will we support the the global movement outlined work: what sort of organizational global movement in relation to above, how can we deploy form, culture, and processes only some or all of the key needs our resources to maximize our do we need to maximize the outlined above, and, with respect contribution to the growth of effectiveness of our support to those needs that we do
14 address, what will we actually aggressively use all available maximum reliance on consultants, do to maximize our support for leveraging strategies, including advisors, and partners, and the movement? the following: with the smallest possible commitment of our own staff Leveraging the power of bold resources. In short, our default and compelling ideas. We are must be to directly perform HOW WE WILL WORK already seeing how our overall activities that can be performed strategic vision can influence effectively only by Institute staff, the strategies and resource and to outsource everything The Centrality of Spirit allocations of other organizations else. This is a big shift in and individuals in ways that and Our Community approach and, therefore, will bring them into alignment with of Freedom require a significant reinvention/ our goal and strategy. This relearning effort. Everything we are attempting underscores the importance of to do depends on the strength continuing to put major emphasis Leveraging our resources and vitality of our Community on developing and sharing the by increasing the size of the of Freedom. Spirit is and must most compelling version of our program team. Given the always be at the center of our strategic vision. ambitious program strategy Community of Freedom. The outlined below and the resulting purpose of our Community Leveraging the power of bold need to aggressively outsource of Freedom is to support leadership. Another powerful tasks to consultants and advisors, each other, individually and source of leverage is becoming it seems likely that we will collectively, in “awakening widely recognized as a strong need a larger program team to into and serving Spirit for the and effective leader of the coordinate the activities of these transformation of self and emerging global movement. consultants and advisors. While society.” Only if we continue Our values require us to be a this larger staff will reduce to to support each other in this servant leader, but this does not some extent our funds available hard and never-ending work of mean that we cannot provide to support program expenses, personal and communal spiritual bold, high-profile leadership. this reduction should, more than transformation will we be able to Indeed, at the current moment, likely, be offset by our co-investor authentically and effectively go to be a true servant leader of strategy, discussed below. out into the world and support the global movement requires Leveraging our financial the spiritual transformation of us to confidently embrace this leadership responsibility. resources by finding co- others. Continuing to strengthen investors. It is reasonable to our Community of Freedom is Leveraging staff resources. Our expect that as we become essential to this work. staff is too small to implement increasingly recognized as a our strategy without very strong and effective leader, we Maximizing Leverage substantial help from outside will be able to attract significant advisors and consultants, as co-investments from individual Our global movement vision and well as from program partners. philanthropists and organizational strategy are extremely ambitious Accordingly, learning how to funders who share our vision in relation to our staff and leverage our staff resources but do not have our capacity financial resources—so ambitious, most effectively must be a top to develop and implement in fact, as to be highly unrealistic priority. In designing every compelling strategies. unless we can very significantly project, we need to focus on Attracting these co-investors leverage those staff and financial how we can effectively develop is an essential element of our resources. Accordingly, we must and implement the project with leveraging strategy.
15 Holding the Whole Everyone understands and its ability to produce an ever- in Service of a owns the whole strategy. As increasing supply of committed Single Goal noted above, our organizational and effective leaders. As with all effectiveness will be greatly aspects of our work, we will only A necessary condition for enhanced if we can ensure be able to help the movement empowering individual initiative that all staff understand, at meet this challenge if we learn while achieving alignment of a level appropriate for their how to grow leaders within our effort across our organization will responsibilities, our overall own community. We have already be ensuring that all members of goal and strategy and how recognized that each member of our staff understand, at a level their work contributes to this our staff has both the opportunity appropriate for their individual strategy. Further, we must go and the responsibility to be a responsibilities, the substance beyond understanding to a leader in living our values and of and rationale for our overall strong personal commitment to strengthening our Community of strategy, as well as how their doing everything each of us can Freedom. It is equally important individual work and the work of to ensure the success of that we learn how to empower their teams contribute to the that strategy. each member of our staff to use effective implementation of the his or her full creativity, initiative, overall strategy. Key elements of No distinction between energy, and passion in finding the this “holding the whole” strategy program team and program most effective way to implement include the following: support team. The historic our external program strategy. distinction at the Institute Single-minded pursuit of one between the “program team” goal. The most fundamental and the “program support team” Building an Entrepreneurial requirement for ensuring that all is directly contrary to the culture Culture of our efforts remain aligned is and way of working we need constantly reminding ourselves As noted above, our goal is to create. We are all members that everything we do must be in audacious, and our resources are of the program team, because service of our single overarching modest. Further, our strategy is every activity performed by goal of “helping to catalyze and complex and emergent, and we every staff member is essential support a broad-scale, spiritually are implementing it in a complex to the success of our program grounded transformation from and rapidly changing world. To strategy. If a particular activity an ego-centered way of being succeed under these conditions, does not contribute importantly grounded in separation and fear we will need to embrace the to the success of our strategy, we to an all centered way of being values, mindset, and practices of shouldn’t be doing it. We are all grounded in wholeness and successful entrepreneurs. These in this together. love.” This commitment is the include out-of-the-box thinking; ultimate touchstone for deciding Transparency and the free an instinct for finding high- whether and how to engage in sharing of information. impact/high-return strategies and any activity. Transparency and free sharing programs; continuous innovation; of information are essential to a willingness to take prudent A single, highly integrated enabling every staff member risks, accept failure, and learn strategy. A second key to to understand and own our from mistakes; and an unshakable “holding the whole” will be to overall strategy. commitment to success. understand how our various Embracing these changes will sub-strategies fit together Everyone is a leader. As noted require another big shift in our into a single, highly integrated above, a necessary condition culture and practice. strategy in service of the for the global movement’s global movement. growth and effectiveness will be
16 Program teams as social with other organizations too often A commitment to learning. entrepreneurs. We will have a had the feel of a grantor-grantee Given our complex and small interdisciplinary team for relationship, with a strong focus emergent strategy and the each of the program initiatives on contractual obligations and complex and dynamic world in described below. In consultation legal compliance. To develop which we are working, we need with senior leadership, these the capacity to be an effective to become highly effective in teams will be responsible partner we will need to make using rapid feedback loops and for developing the strategy significant changes in our culture developmental evaluation to to achieve the goal(s) of the and way of working. We need to continuously iterate toward more initiative, and then to build the determine as quickly as possible effective strategies and programs. team and find the partners and what these changes are and how Further, to maximize the funding to effectively implement to implement them. alignment and effectiveness of our this strategy. In other words, entire team, we need to become A dynamic organizational the teams will need to function highly effective in capturing the model. To meet the challenge as entrepreneurs in a startup key learnings from each aspect of implementing a complex and venture. We will need to build of our program work and making emergent strategy in a complex the entrepreneurial culture and these learnings readily available and rapidly changing world, we entrepreneur-friendly systems to our entire team. will need a dynamic and flexible and processes to support this organizational model rather way of working. than a rigid departmental and Using “Tipping Point” A partner, not a funder. Our team structure. A key challenge Strategies will be determining what core commitment to work as a Many experts in systems change competencies and expertise we partner rather than a funder is believe that once 15% to 20% need within our staff, and what integral to this entrepreneurial of the individuals within a specialized expertise we should strategy. As for any entrepreneur system adopt a new attitude or secure from consultants, partners, trying to launch an ambitious behavior, the system will “tip” and advisors. Another key enterprise, our success will such that the great majority of challenge will be how to define depend on finding and working individuals within the system the roles of the program directors effectively with the program and will ultimately adopt this new in the way that best supports this funding partners essential to the attitude or behavior. This dynamic organizational model. success of the enterprise. Our “tipping point” insight should commitment to a partnership Streamlined, flexible, and inform the development of our strategy is also important from dynamic systems and processes. program strategies as we work a broader, movement-level To make the shift from a funder for a broad-scale transformation. perspective. A movement is a culture focused on contractual That is, we should give priority to web of partnerships; an effective obligations and legal compliance working with the innovators and movement is a web of effective to an entrepreneurial culture early adopters who can catalyze partnerships. We will only be committed to innovation, broader change. effective in helping catalyze prudent risk-taking, and and support a powerful global effective partnerships, we will Engaging Local movement if our work is animated need to reengineer many of Communities Around by a true sense of partnership our core systems, processes, and if we develop the culture, and agreements to make them Our Mission values, and skills to be a strong simpler, more flexible, and more Actively engaging the local and effective partner. In the past, user-friendly, both for us and for communities in Southwest our programmatic interactions our partners. Michigan—where we are based—
17 with our mission is important for 5. Nurturing new forms As discussed above, our multiple reasons. We want and of inclusive spiritual commitment to keeping Spirit need our families, friends, and community. at the center of our community neighbors to understand and and work animates and guides 6. Engaging science and be excited about what we do. all that we do. Accordingly, we philosophy. Further, we cannot be authentic support the first requirement for movement success—keeping and effective in our global In developing the second half Spirit at the center—not through work unless we have integrated of our Institute-level Theory of a separate strategy, but rather our commitment to spiritually Change—i.e., “What we will do through all that we do. grounded change into our to maximize our contribution to everyday lives. Finally, if, as we the global movement?”—the first We are committed to developing believe, the global movement is question is whether to support program strategies to support the emerging, it must be emerging the movement in all of these movement in each of the other here in Southwest Michigan, and areas or in only some. We have five areas: (1) personal spiritual we need to find it and support it. decided to provide support in transformation, (2) the New all six areas. Our rationale is that Narrative, (3) movement building, we will maximize our impact by (4) spiritual communities, and (5) presenting a vision and a strategy engaging science. WHAT WE WILL DO that are big enough and bold enough to have the potential We believe the principles to turn the global tide from that follow should guide the Using a Broad-Based separation and fear to wholeness development of the strategies. Strategy that Addresses All and love. Elements of the Movement- Based on experience, we are level Theory of Change Supporting Personal confident that we can enlist Spiritual Formation The movement-level Theory of key thought leaders and and Transformation Change outlined above identifies organizational partners to work six essential requirements for the with us in developing such Supporting the positive spiritual movement’s success: a comprehensive vision and development of children and strategy. We are not aware of youth. Supporting the positive 1. Keeping Spirit at the center any other organization working spiritual development of children of the movement and its holistically to address this and youth significantly increases work. challenge. We think this open the likelihood that they will be 2. Providing strong support field significantly increases the able to successfully navigate the for personal spiritual likelihood that the vision and challenges of adolescence and transformation. strategy that we and our partners reach adulthood with a robust develop will command the and life-affirming spirituality. It 3. Developing and attention of a broad audience also significantly increases the disseminating a compelling and attract significant individual likelihood that they will grow into New Narrative. and organizational support. the young leaders essential to the continued growth of the global 4. Developing an effective By virtue of adopting this holistic movement. movement-building approach, our Institute-level strategy focused on Theory of Change precisely Making maximum use of web- networking, leadership, mirrors the movement-level based strategies. Thanks to strategy, and outreach. Theory of Change outlined above. the Internet, for the first time in
18 human history we have the ability Producing a “First Draft” program initiatives to map the to give the great majority of of the New Narrative movement, connect movement people around the globe access leaders, help movement leaders As discussed above, a clear to resources that can help them and members develop a deeper and compelling articulation continue to progress on their understanding of subjects of the New Narrative will spiritual journey, whether their relevant to their work, and powerfully support the growth spiritual path is within or outside nurture young leaders. and effectiveness of the global one of the traditions. We need movement in multiple ways. to take maximum advantage of We have already developed a this opportunity. Supporting the Growth of solid conceptual framework for Communities of Freedom Supporting and strengthening the New Narrative, and we are Continuing to strengthen our a global network of spiritual well positioned to convene and own Community of Freedom is retreat centers. Web-based support the thought leaders fundamental to the effectiveness support for personal spiritual and faith leaders who, working of everything we do. This must growth is a complement to, within this framework, could continue to be our top priority. rather than a substitute for, the actually write a compelling “first Further, by sharing the story of physical places that can invite draft” of the New Narrative. The process of developing this first our Community of Freedom, individuals into a sacred space draft would significantly broaden we can make an important for spiritual growth and renewal. and deepen our network of contribution to supporting A robust global network of relationships with thought the development and growth spiritual retreat centers can leaders and faith leaders. The of other inclusive spiritual make an important contribution publication of this first draft communities. We can also in ensuring broad access to would help guide and grow support the development and these sacred spaces. We are the movement. growth of these communities by well-positioned to help support continuing our current mapping and strengthen such a global work and through initiatives to network, and we should take Helping the Global connect and support the leaders advantage of this opportunity. Movement to Become Self- of these communities. Developing strategies to Aware and to Grow support integration of spiritual We are also well positioned to Engaging Science in growth and outer action. Our catalyze and support a range of Support of the New Guiding Purpose clearly states high-impact program initiatives Narrative and Spiritual our foundational commitment to help the global movement to supporting individuals in “the become self-aware and to grow Formation/Transformation integration of the inner life of in size and effectiveness. As The Institute is strongly mind and spirit with the outer noted in the foregoing discussion positioned to engage the natural life of service in action.” Past of the movement-level Theory and social sciences, philosophy, and current Institute programs of Change, taking the New and theology in support of the confirm our capacity to do this Narrative into the world should New Narrative, and to draw on effectively. This should continue make a major contribution to the natural and social sciences to be a priority in our work. helping the global movement for new insights into the process become self-aware. We also of spiritual formation and have the capacity to support the transformation and the centrality self-awareness and growth of of love to human flourishing. the global movement through This will involve two distinct and
19 complementary ways of engaging required to implement these output of this work would be the scientific community. strategies. In some cases, the a comprehensive review of the Institute may provide direct scholarly studies that focus on The first mode of engagement funding for such research. the non-material dimensions of will focus on bringing together However, given the breadth of fundamental reality. A secondary thought leaders from science, our global movement strategy output would be to identify philosophy, and theology to and the modest size of our fruitful areas for further research explore and articulate the resources relative to the cost and to make a strong case for ontology and epistemology of of major research programs, funding this research. By playing the New Narrative. The emphasis our greater contribution will this catalytic role in helping here will be on assessing and be to help make a sufficiently shape research priorities for the synthesizing the current state of compelling case for these field, we and our New Narrative knowledge and thought in these research priorities to persuade partners should be able to key areas. While the primary other funders with far greater mobilize significantly greater objective will be articulating the resources (both governmental research funding than we could ontological and epistemological and non-governmental) to fund provide on our own. Fetzer has foundations of the New Narrative these research strategies. used this strategy effectively in based on the current state the past. of knowledge, an important Within this proposed Institute- secondary objective will be to level Theory of Change, our Beyond the New Narrative identify the most important engagement with science will strategy, engagement with questions for further research. be integrated into virtually science will also be an all of the proposed program important part of the spiritual The second mode of initiatives outlined below. transformation initiative, the engagement will focus on Most significantly, intensive mapping initiative, the initiative helping to develop strong engagement with science would to build a TED-like platform in research strategies to explore be at the heart of our work on the support of the global movement, these cutting-edge questions and epistemology and ontology of and the sector leadership then mobilizing the resources the New Narrative. The primary strategy.
20 This version of the Fetzer Institute Theory of Change was last updated November 2018. Helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world