principles to live by

the allied media conference was last week. it is a restorative, reenergizing space for me each year. not just because i get to do the most fun set of sessions ever (octavia butler and emergent strategy book club, emergent strategy tool build, sabbatical your life, etc), but because it is an amazing thing to be in principle with so many others.

the allied media principles emerged through the iterative process of people coming to the conference, and being in relationship year round to grow the ideas of the conference. it amazes me now how much i believe these principles, how much i reference and practice them in my daily life.

in practice, living in principle looks like being intentional with the energy you take in, put out, build up and release. what you give attention to grows. in community it looks like self-love, personal and collective power, and one generative space after another.

it requires you to open to the seemingly simple idea that you are powerful. for most of us this is so radical, if we take it in to the root of ourselves it can and will transform everything.

here, once again (with my favorites bolded), are the allied media principles:

We are making an honest attempt to solve the most significant problems of our day.

We are building a network of people and organizations that are developing long-term solutions based on the immediate confrontation of our most pressing problems.

Wherever there is a problem, there are already people acting on the problem in some fashion. Understanding those actions is the starting point for developing effective strategies to resolve the problem, so we focus on the solutions, not the problems.

We emphasize our own power and legitimacy.

We presume our power, not our powerlessness.

We are agents, not victims.

We spend more time building than attacking.

We focus on strategies rather than issues.

The strongest solutions happen through the process, not in a moment at the end of the process.

The most effective strategies for us are the ones that work in situations of scarce resources and intersecting systems of oppression because those solutions tend to be the most holistic and sustainable.

Place is important. For the AMC, Detroit is important as a source of innovative, collaborative, low-resource solutions. Detroit gives the conference a sense of place, just as each of the conference participants bring their own sense of place with them to the conference.

We encourage people to engage with their whole selves, not just with one part of their identity.

We begin by listening.

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