Why we need hope, why we need Human Venture Leadership

Natalie MuyresArticles

by Laura Kennett, donor and volunteer board member with Human Venture Leadership

I was knocked off a treadmill. Well, not literally. But taking a program from Human Venture Leadership in 2011 knocked me off the figurative treadmill of conventional life I didn’t even know I was on. When taking a leadership course, we often expect to learn skills to propel our careers, our sports pursuits, or our political aspirations. When was the last time you took a leadership course to learn how to reconstruct your thinking in the pursuit of building our species’ capacity for survival far into the future? And why would this be important anyway? 

Existential survival of species, including our own, is very important for obvious reasons. Less obvious, but also important, is developing the individual and group capacity and discipline to engage with the tremendous uncertainties and complexities of the human journey – amazing and depressing at the same time.

I’m grateful that, with the resiliency I have developed from my involvement with Human Venture programs, I’ve learned to hold the raw truth without it crushing my soul. That is why I choose to donate to and volunteer with Human Venture Leadership.

“This is an extraordinary time full of vital, transformative movements that could not be foreseen. It is also a nightmarish time. Full engagement requires the ability to perceive both.”

– Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark – Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

I don’t know any other organization that provides a comprehensive framework to help engage with life and detect important signals in the noise. Studying the discipline of human learning ecology and applying a comprehensive framework is not easy, but I have found I’m applying these concepts every day, nearly unconsciously.

Without the concepts, resources, and Human Venture community, I would feel overwhelmed by chaos and destruction in the world. I have been encouraged to consistently take a wide, deep, and long view of what is happening around me and spot the patterns that help me make wiser decisions. I have learned to pause to think about how I form and reform my values, biases, and beliefs, and how others are forming and reforming theirs. I have learned a new and more meaningful definition of hope:

“Hope is not blissful ignorance, it is holding the raw truth while also knowing how amazing humans can be.” 

– Rebecca Solnit

Human Venture Leadership needs the monetary support of individuals like you to meet the challenges facing the world today. Financial support will make it possible to realize our long-term goals to build and improve the maps, develop helpful resources available to all alumni, develop new learning programs, conduct outreach to other organizations, maintain and expand the portal, the wiki, book clubs, and support the growth of a community of caring humans!

“Hope gets you there.  Work gets you through.”

– Rebecca Solnit

I am fortunate to work for a company that has a donation matching program, and which also recently committed to give $1,000 to organizations for which its employees are active board members. I’ve leveraged those programs and I encourage you to explore donation matching programs at your company.

As a volunteer on the Human Venture Leadership Board I’m learning how to lead an organization that challenges conventional structures and ways of thinking. I’m also getting more comfortable with contributing to a collective learning effort that will extend well beyond my lifetime. There is no recipe for getting humanity out of complex progress traps, but there are great resources available from the Human Venture to help us develop our capability to navigate uncertainties and complexities. 

“The future is dark, not because it is bad or scary, but because we can’t see it yet.  The future holds many possibilities.”

– Rebecca Solnit

Please donate to our Human Venture – we all need this organization for the hope it keeps alive.

Laura Kennett works to build the capacity of individuals and companies in the energy sector to adapt to existing and emerging threats and opportunities in ways that fulfill our co-responsibilities to humanity and the planet. 

Photo credit: Faris Mohammed