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Rethinking Complexity

Creating Space: A Critical Aspect of Sustainability

06/20/2012
Creating Space: A Critical Aspect of Sustainability
I was recently asked what I was currently working on to support sustainable life on the planet. Over the years, I have been doing my part by recycling, reducing my consumption, reducing carbon usage, and bringing sustainability conversations into my university and other groups in which I participate; however, when I reflected on this question, what I realized I am doing now is creating space in my life and work as a way to sustain my own energy and relationships. My purpose is to both become more creative and effective in all that I do, but to provide others with an experience of space....

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Rethinking Complexity

Leadership Development and Transformational Change

06/19/2012
Leadership Development and Transformational Change
Even though the study of transformational change in organizations has become a popular research topic in the fields of management and leadership studies, it appears that only one in three change initiatives has been deemed successful, according to studies and publications by McKinsey & Company. Social scientists, psychologists and organizational developers have amassed thousands of volumes about change management and the role of leadership in change initiatives; however, these resources have not altered the success ratio in transformational change since statistics started to appear in the...

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New Existentialists

The Artist Within

06/19/2012
The Artist Within
A number of us humanists and New Existentialists travelled to China recently for the Second International Conference on Existential Psychology. It was an awe inspiring and moving time for many of us. A team of us then traveled to various locations throughout China to deliver workshops with the goal of introducing existential psychology to China. My post today is my attempt to refine my answer to a question that was posed to our team. The question posed, and my response to this question, has haunted me ever since. This post is my response to the lingering voices within and my way of giving...

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New Existentialists

Rethinking Treatment Strategies for Suicidal Soldiers

06/18/2012
Rethinking Treatment Strategies for Suicidal Soldiers
Many veterans and soldiers of combat (around the world) become lost into traumatic experience, never fully returning to what may have been former selves, ways of being, and ultimately, a lost sense of meaning and relatedness. Finding no sense of meaning after having to see comrades die, killing another human being, or even being continually “on guard” in perpetual fear of a threat that cannot always be seen (and often projected upon an image of a certain faces of a culture that is then equated to “enemy”), many soldiers and veterans see their once understood foundation of selfness to break—a...

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Mind-Body Medicine

A Tribute to a Dissertation Chair: Honoring Constance T. Fischer

06/17/2012

 

The relationship between graduate students and University faculty is often a complex and rich one. The dissertation chair plays an especially pivotal role in the final stages of the PhD student’s career and in the launching of his or her career.  On June 3, I had the opportunity to attend the retirement party for Constance T. Fischer, my own dissertation chair at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. I will share some observations about Connie Fischer’s  contributions to our understanding of human behavior and just touch on her contributions to my career.

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New Existentialists

Remembering Paul Fussell 1924 – 2012

06/15/2012
Remembering Paul Fussell 1924 – 2012
Paul Fussell, professor, literary scholar, expert on the First and Second World Wars, social historian, and a critic of popular culture, died on May 23rd at age 88. Words frequently used to describe Paul are curmudgeon and stingingly opinionated—I would agree with these words. Paul was not a person who “suffered fools gladly”—or at least those people he considered to be fools. I experienced Paul as a brilliant thinker who was not afraid to make pronouncements—no matter how controversial or politically incorrect they might be. I was acquainted with Paul Fussell through his wife, Harriette...

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New Existentialists

Garage Sale Existentialism

06/14/2012
Garage Sale Existentialism
With the exception of baseball, there is perhaps nothing more Americana then the Garage Sale. Only along the tree-lined streets of suburban America will you find garage doors open early on a Saturday morning unveiling a trove of stuff (Thank you, George Carlin!) deemed both worthless and valuable at the same moment. As the urban treasure hunters stop to peruse the wares, a very poor rendition of bedouin negotiating takes place between two suburbanite stalkers, one striving to sell his or her “valuable” wares and the other seeking to gain a prize at the lowest price possible. In this...

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Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Social Transformation professor Marc Pilisuk encourages action on rising student debt levels

06/14/2012

by Marc Pilisuk

Student loan debt has surpassed one trillion dollars, exceeding the total of credit card debt in our country. Yet unlike other types of debt, student loans cannot be used as a reason for declaring bankruptcy. Many Saybrook students - like students everywhere - are adversely affected by crushing levels of student debt.

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Events

Storying: Open the Door to Your Next Adventure

06/13/2012

Saybrook faculty JoAnn McAllister, along with organizational systems student Dennis Rebelo, will host a discussion at the Center for Phenomenological Leadership in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on Saturday, June 23rd, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Dennis, founder of the Center and JoAnn, Chair of the Human Science Program, will also share information on the training opportunities at the Center and graduate programs in Organizational Systems and Human Science at Saybrook.

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Rethinking Complexity

Shared Ownership

06/13/2012
Shared Ownership
When I started thinking of a topic to write about for this post, the theme that immediately came to my mind was "shared ownership." It has been a theme that keeps coming up as I reflect on some of the challenges and opportunities I see in the organizational contexts where I work. Shared ownership can involve the real material common property of resources such as in a workers-owned cooperative, or it can be more ethereal as in the sense of a community that shares the responsibility for the wellbeing of its members. Between these two extremes, there can be many variations. But the...

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