Dedicated to a vision of interconnected flourishing and evolution of:
- individuals and all levels and dimensions of community
- shared culture and values
- processes, systems, and institutions
We’re offering our services within several community council areas in Salt Lake County to help them be more vibrant, caring, and connected from the block level on up focusing on the following:
- Emergency preparedness and safety
- Community health and wellness
- Dialogues around deepening connections & bridging divides
- Community building that can potentially affect public policy
- Compassion as a primary lens for community flourishing
- Multiple other dimensions of community flourishing
We find and develop neighborhood leaders and also partner with other community-oriented institutions. Collaborators in this initiative include Salt Lake County, the community council CERT organizations, the new S.A.F.E. Schools emergency response program, churches, non-profits such as Canyon Rim Community Connection, Utah Humanities, and the national Living Room Conversation program.
In the Context of the Utah Civil and Compassionate Communities initiative we are offering these services throughout the State of Utah and through the Global Compassionate Communities Network. Included in this regard are 12 training modules.
Health & Wellness
Wellness Policy Network (WPN)
The WPN, stewarded by Dr. Stephen Prather, grew out of the Utah Health Care Vision working group—a multi-year initiative in Utah sponsored by the Utah Hospital Association involving all healthcare stakeholders, initiated and chaired by John Kesler.
WPN has shifted focus to bring clarity to a complex strategy using the Ecosynomics framework to launch a Wellbeing Innovation Network (WIN) pilot project that will attempt to impact three levels of policy:
- Level 1: Public policy targeting institutional change aligned with abundance strategies
- Level 2: Health and wellbeing related policy created by primary stakeholder groups in the community that impact health and wellbeing services integrated with healthcare, wellness and public health
- Level 3: Personal and group health and wellness agreements needed to improve wellbeing, life satisfaction and happiness while significantly lowering the need for medical care.
The WPN provides convening services for level 2 groups, helping develop resources that support level 3 policy, including guidance around evidence-based methods. These efforts lay the groundwork for a transformational shift in Level 1 policy, focusing primarily on individual and group wellness in all levels of policy design. Steve has worked nationally for years developing multi-disciplinary, collaborative healthcare centers of excellence, and is now using his experience to shift the system orientation toward away from sick care and toward wellness.
WPN provides convening services, coaching, and is planning a distance educational offering to organize the WIN framework for Level 2 stakeholders to develop resources that support Level 3 policy, including guidance for the development of WIN evidence-based methods using an Ecosynomics theory base as the Science of Abundance. PHA is being designed to create the Art of Empowerment to counter the negative influence of scarcity economics at the cultural level. These integrative efforts are focused on individuals becoming more mindful and aware of self-care and wellbeing practices as agreements (policies) for personal change.
The evidence created in WIN projects will guide the groundwork for a shift in Level 1 policy, giving priority to individual and collective wellbeing as grassroots health care reform becomes its primary orientation. Steve has worked nationally for many years developing health care centers of excellence focused on person centered care. He is bringing this experience to bridge individual awareness and participation in self-care as the core influence that will guide eventual shifts in the system and public policy toward health and wellbeing.
In this context, in collaboration with John Kesler, Steve is using “positive health awareness” drawing on the IPP framing, in support of Level 3 policy—community-based empowerment of people, individually and collectively, optimizing health and well-being. A publication in a distance learning format is being designed to launch the WIN strategy.
In 2016, steward Camille Winnie, with the support of the Downtown Alliance, Wasatch Community Gardens, Advantage Services and Salt Lake City, launched the GREENTeam job program garden for homeless women. The program includes a job and life-skills training program for the participants as well as mentoring and job placement assistance at the completion of their program. The Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency has provided a vacant plot of land near the homeless shelter that was previously utilized as a garden but has been fallow and unused for years for no cost. The RDA also funded the garden installation costs. The program serves 8-10homeless women at a time and is funded through various grants and funding from Salt Lake City. The development of this urban garden job program provides meaningful volunteer opportunities for the greater community interested in helping the homeless in sustainable ways while improving and beautifying a troubled neighborhood.
We also collaborated with Salt Lake City and a variety of community partners to create an event called Project Homeless Connect (PHC). PHC is a national best practice model that has been replicated in over 300 cities to date and is a day-long services fair where homeless and at-risk participants are paired with a volunteer guide, who travel with the participant throughout the event, helping them access services and getting to know them over the course of the day. The personal connection formed is impactful for both the guide and the participant, creating community connections, increasing civic engagement and providing vital resources. By mobilizing city and community agencies, as well as hundreds of volunteers, we are able to ensure that our participants receive holistic care in a dignified setting. PHC just completed is the second successful event in October 2018.
Our Integral Leadership work has most recently been focused in the higher education arena. In 2013, John Kesler worked with Linda Dunn, previous Executive Director of the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center at the University of Utah to design an integrally-informed Leadership in Community undergraduate course. Anna Decker, steward of the Integral Leadership content network, further developed and taught the course at the University Fall 2014. Now as chair of the advisory board of the Bennion Center John is continuing to share integrally informed leadership training and is also connecting in this regard with the Utah Association for Service Learning in higher education, the Utah Campus Compact. Also, Nan Ellin, the Dean of the Department of Urban Planning at the University of Utah and member of our Mentor Council, worked with John to design an interdisciplinary graduate course to prepare the university’s top graduate students to lead in the “next great revolution,” the integral revolution, which will be upon us in the next few decades. John and Nan planned to co-teach the course in Spring 2015. In December 2014, Nan accepted an offer to become Dean of a new college uniting Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington. She will be creating a program focused on enhancing the vitality of the built environment and the communities living in it–a uniquely comprehensive university program in the world.
The IPP Institute, stewarded by Tom McConkie, is the primary vehicle for sharing and spreading Integral Polarity Practice. IPP Institute periodically offers single and multiple day workshops. John Kesler offers online workshops available throughout the world and periodically offers Integral Polarity Practice training to the local community.
Find resources and learn more by visiting the IPP website here.
Mentor council member J. Michael Redd has developed an integrally-informed approach to journalism. which uses multiple lenses including left, right and center of the political spectrum as well as multiple disciplines to analyze events and policies. This integral journalism also tells the stories of the people on the many sides of issues; putting a face and a name to the contexts and consequences. Mike has been refining this concept with the journalism programs of Westminster College and the University of Utah. In the process of developing this integral approach to journalism, John Kesler was invited by a national organization, AllSides.com, to contribute integrally informed blog posts for their website.
Public Collaboration & Policy
Civil & Compassionate Communities
We have relaunched the Utah Civility and Community initiative as Utah Civil and Compassionate Communities (UCCC), affiliated with the global Compassionate Communities movement, to now begin a new generation of initiatives. This initiative worked with K-12, higher education, cities, and community-based organizations throughout Utah to create a more inclusive and caring “civil-ization.” This initiative is supported by many leading Utah groups including the Legislature, the Governor, the Supreme Court, the Education Department, the State Bar Association, the League of Cities and Towns, etc. It has a 40 member advisory board chaired by the Mayors of Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County—very civil democrats—and the Utah Lieutenant Governor, a very civil Republican. It is grounded in the concept that both civility and compassion can be pursued as civic expressions of the golden rule and that each expansion of one’s scope of caring awareness is a growth in moral maturity. We are working to implement this throughout Utah, the US and the world.
Building Political Bridges
This initiative, stewarded by Jacob Hess, is hosting Utah chapters of national programs focused on bridging political and other divides in America. Currently, they include:
- The Village Square: Models how conservatives and liberals can engage civilly and productively around polarizing issues.
- AllSides: A web-based resource that presents liberal, conservative and moderate daily news reports from mainstream media side-by-side. This free site encourages people to pay attention to all points of view. See Integral Journalism for more information.
- Living Room Conversations: Neighbors and acquaintances with deep differences of opinion learn how to discuss those issues in ways that are mutually respectful.
We are also working locally through our Civil and Compassionate Communities initiative and nationally with the Bridge Alliance (a coalition of over 20 national groups) to promote and develop the Younify Summit in February 2019 to encourage greater civility, collaboration and effectiveness in the American political process.
The annual TEDxSaltLakeCity event is hosted by a dedicated team of volunteers and is held annually at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah in September. Attendees enjoy a full day of innovative speakers and performers with ideas designed to create paradigmatic shifts for the audience and highlight the excellence in innovation happening in Salt Lake.
The Vibrancy Network is stewarded by Stephen Prather, MD. It was initiated by James Ritchie-Dunham who is serving on our Global Civil Network Mentor Council. Jim has a successful international consulting business, a non-profit corporation carrying the vibrancy work forward, and is a research member of Langer’s Mindfulness Lab in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. Jim’s integrally informed theory is a deep echo of the IPP framework. In early 2014, Jim published a book entitled Ecosynomics, which introduces his work over the past two decades based on abundance-based agreements and a high level of vibrancy in all relational environments from one’s relationship with self, the other, groups, nature, and spirit. It is framed as a radical new approach to economic theory. This network is very active in several countries, and is spreading rapidly across the world. The Salt Lake Civil Network has connected with this foundational groundwork in the most effective ways possible to support the spreading of this abundance-based Ecosynomics global phenomenon. Our current contribution to the Vibrancy Network is in the context of health and wellness and related public policy through our Wellness Policy Network.