EE Community Conversations – Is the Next Stage a Heart-opening Community?

By Andrew Carter MacDonald for Enlivening Edge Magazine

Have you noticed? The languaging of the community calls has been morphing. Now there’s an explicit mention from hosts and participants alike that the calls are supporting, or can support, the emergence of next stage community in addition to supporting next stage organizations.

I first heard this mentioned by Dave Pendle in the first May call (on the theme of Ownership), then later from co-host Lia Aurami on the second. (The theme here was Dissent, as distinguished from “lip service” and just going along with the culture).

There’s a beautiful simplicity here: Next-stage organizations are new communities, new networks. Obvious, but sometimes lost in the nuanced color-coded new language of change (from Spiral Dynamics and the integral map) is this most simple fact.

I perceive that the feeling of community generated during the calls is the most-often-mentioned and celebrated experience of participants. Those who might have challenging job-assignments hosting change in the corporate world are as appreciative of and hungry for community connection as any other human. Perhaps more so, since they’ve put themselves in a position to make a difference, and might have had to work very hard to get there.

In one small-group portion of the conversation call, there was a beautiful moment in which a “heart opening” (my words) that was felt by one member communicated itself effortlessly to the other two there. Our bodies resonated with the bodily experience of the speaker. So a heart-opening contagion spread within the small group. This often carries over partly or largely into the larger group (when we come back together) so that the heart-clarity, if I can call it that, continues to spread.

So here’s an interesting question:

Could heart-opening community energy spread virally within next-stage organizations and communities?

In the very nature of our being human, this is an ever-present possibility. Human communities are like dry tinder waiting for a spark to burn the house down. In a good way! Workplaces need change and transformation, and of course that mirrors our change and transformation.

In exploring some personal thoughts and feelings about taking risks in defense of the new, Aryae mentioned that risk wasn’t something that we can take by ourselves, but that we can be willing to take with others (in other words, within community). Love it! And Tina said that within the context of evolutionary wholeness, risk doesn’t exist anymore – which I take to mean that when we’re not focused on conventional success and failure, then the notion of risk doesn’t really apply. Love that too! Real community is the real safety place.  And as I sit with this risk and no-risk, I see they’re part of the same thing.

Consider yourself invited to Enlivening Edge’s community calls. They’re lively and a genuine support for your evolutionary work in next-stage organizations and communities.

You can join us on the first and third Thursday of each month, 10 AM US-Pacific, 6 PM UK, 7 PM Austria. There’s no financial cost to participate, just the energetic cost of showing up and joining in the exploration.          

The next call is July 6th. We’ll be exploring the lovely idea of Gifts.  You’ll be challenged. You’ll meet like-minded, like-hearted people. You’re cordially invited to join.

You can sign up for notifications here and will get all the call-in details. Hope to see you there!




Andrew is a part of the Community Conversations hosting team. Watch for his book, Evolutionary Conversations: The Everywhere Birth of Tribe Two appearing later this summer.