Published by Kerry on 14 Mar 2010 at 04:30 pm
We stopped to chat with Jean Russell, self-described Community Flow Catalyst, at SXSW, about her new book Thrivability: A Collaborative Sketch. It’s now freely available in the digital realm, and collects 64 personal redefinitions of terms we thought we knew…
Don’t just survive, thrive
If the word “thrivable” isn’t familiar to you, that may be because it’s still being co-defined. The short answer (detailed, working definition by Jean here) it’s about thriving in a sustainable, joyful life, and “co-creating a world where we can flourish” environmentally, socially and within.
The goal of the book is to explore further what “thrivability” means based on the values and terms used by different people around the world.
The project grew organically, primarily from the realm of social media. “It’s a powerful reframe of words and phrases in our vocabulary [in 500 words or less per term],” says Jean. “90% or more of the people we talked to about it initially wanted to participate.”
Jean hopes that you will be “troubled, inspired, unsettled,” among other things when you read the contents of Thrivability, which is divided into Values, Qualities, Cycles and Actions. Indeed, controversial assertions and thought-provoking statements make this book a powerful read:
- “We need to let go of efficiency as an ideal,” says Jerry Michalski of Sociate.com on page 13.
- “Prudence walks, slow and stately, on the high path of perspective and is unafraid of the small sacrifices made for the greater good. She’s not a kill-joy. She simply doesn’t get lost in immediate gratification,” explains Samantha Sweetwater of Dancing Freedom on page 37.
- Jheri from Copenhagen says on page 67, “Tell the right girl she shouldn’t be in a tree and you find a women [sic] in one. This is a girl who ignores convention and thrives.”
Freedom of expression is evident throughout, and the format is fluid and shifting, with no set definition of what a definition should look like! Poetry, images, stories, quotes and more make this a very human, engaging book.
Jean notes that “listening” recurs here, in reading, we are listening to the values of others and seeing that perhaps the definitions may differ but there is a synergy about the collection.
Meeting of Minds
The 64 contributors hail from 5 continents and all manner of professions, from social media experts to academics, entrepreneurs to medical aid workers (for example, check out a gorgeously meditative passage from a physician in Uganda on page 48). Some recognizable names from the nonprofit and social media worlds include (but are not limited to) Clay Shirky, Beth Kanter, Kevin Doyle Jones, and John Hagel. Chris Brogan was one of the project’s funders.
You can go read this inspiring collection right now at thrivable.org, and contemplate what it means to you to be thrivable.
Further projects: wdydwyd? (Why do you do what you do?)
|If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.|
2 Responses to “Are you thrivable?”
Leave a Reply