A special dialogue with leadership educator, facilitator and Juno-nominated pianist Michael Jones, inspired by his forthcoming book:
Michael’s approach to placemaking is radically different than the current trend in urban planning and city-building. His book and view is a platform for community leadership grounded in the essential humanity of understanding place, nature, and creativity.
We are shifting from the industrial age and the age of information and technology to the age of biology. We are now asking, “how do we create spaces for life?” “How do we align our thinking with how nature thinks?” He asks us to create places as living systems inspired by biology and interconnection.
We explored the four patterns in Michael’s book that underlie the soul of place
- Homecoming – Where is home and how do we find our way there?
- Belonging – How can the connective tissue of life-giving relationships align us with the essence of nature and how nature works, connects, and thinks?
- Regenerativity - What does it mean to make the invisible visible, to contribute to the conscious evolution of life?
- Carnival - How can we gather together on the square or in the commons, bringing together diverse energies, democratic spirit and upturning the old for the new?
"By looking at place not only as something to return to but also something to grow out from –orienting us to the future and not only the past; and by realizing that a place is not an object or a thing, but a power and a presence, we can partner with place in a way that is itself deeply transformative, opening our hearts to the experience of beauty, aliveness and possibility."
- Michael Jones, "Recovering the Soul of Place"
About special guest Michael Jones:
June 30, 2014
OCAD University Avenue. 100 McCaul Street (Dundas & University), Lambert Lounge
Watch Michael's TEDx Talk on "Who will play your music? The art of leading imaginatively":
"Who am I really? When do I feel most present and alive? What am I uniquely called to do? Where is home? What is my relationship to beauty? How do I let go? What is my inspiration? How can I best serve the common good?
"In a time of uncertainty and sudden change, leaders will need new questions, ones that help to develop qualities of being that are more organic, creative and whole. It signals a time when leaders will need to develop a capacity for experiencing and understanding a new and more subtle intelligence, a way of knowing that is not a separate mental function, but rather the source of an imaginative response to our world. As a kind of sense organ, this intelligence reaches out and makes tentative contact with wholeness, that is, things of an order larger than we can see directly, making visible that which is hidden, so as to begin to draw into awareness that which cannot yet be heard or seen."
- From the book description of Michael Jones' earlier book, "Artful Leadership."