Picture organizations that embrace all voices and are committed to justice, equity and opportunity. Imagine businesses, nonprofits and the public sector creatively engaging people in thousands of ways—seeking their best ideas, empowering the silenced, and building communities where all are treated with dignity and respect.
That’s what Thrive seeks to create.
Each chapter contains practical insights and accessible stories that transform meetings from dull to dynamic.
You will learn how to:
- capitalize on diversity’s strengths.
- keep meetings task-oriented and collegial.
- facilitate effectively in polarized or conflicted settings.
Thrive includes chapters on privilege and power, multilingual and virtual meetings, and full inclusion of people with disabilities.
Whether you are a skilled practitioner or new to leadership, Thrive will teach you techniques for facilitating more effective, inclusive and energizing meetings.
He draws upon decades of work planning and leading retreats, facilitating meetings, and working with nonprofits and businesses. He teaches and writes on the arts of inclusive facilitation and inclusive leadership skills. He has worked in the fields of homeless services, affordable housing, transportation services for special needs populations, business and resident associations, faith-based groups, and public/private partnerships dedicated to strengthening civic engagement.
Mark received his Master of Divinity degree from the Harvard Divinity School, one of the most religiously diverse theological institutions in the world. His doctorate focused on organizational revitalization in multicultural settings. He is a Program Associate with the Kaleidoscope Institute, an agency that equips leaders to communicate effectively across cultures, ethnicities and race.
When not working, Mark and his wife, Barbara Anderson, enjoy the Cascades, cooking, gardening, exercising their dogs, and playing with their granddaughters.
You can learn more about Mark Smutny and Civic Reinventions, Inc., professional facilitation services, consulting, coaching and training at civicreinventions.com or by sending Mark an email.
I wrote Thrive because I’ve sat in zillions of meetings and in many of them been bored out of my mind. A few people dominated while most remained silent. I wanted to share insights accumulated over a lifetime about how to facilitate meetings marked by energy, creativity, and the engagement of everyone.
Books on diversity, equity and inclusion have mushroomed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and other racial justice initiatives. Most address topics such as how to recognize unconscious bias, stereotypes and system racism. Others describe how to have honest conversations about difficult topics in polarized times. My unique focus is on inclusive meetings—the landscape in which we live a good portion of our organizational lives.
I am not an expert on diversity and inclusion, especially when it concerns race. I am still learning be more empathic. I do have a passionate commitment to social justice. I am an expert on how to design an lead meetings that are fun, productive and inclusive.
I want to help young and midcareer nonprofit leaders who spend a huge portion of their lives in meetings. My hope is to introduce them to principles and practices that transform meetings from dull to dynamic and inclusive.
I am an Independent Professional Consultant. My consulting business, Civic Reinventions, helps nonprofit by facilitating their strategic plans with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. I also facilitate annual planning retreats. I am developing a series of webinars on inclusive meeting practices that will launch in 2022. I am also a Presbyterian minister.
What is your next wring project?
I am hip deep in researching and writing a book on inclusive leadership practices for nonprofit leaders.
How do you recharge?
I have two, high energy Brittany Spaniel dogs that must get aggressive, off-leash exercise every day. I tether then to my mountain bike and off we go like Huskies pulling a sled in Alaska. The neighborhood children see us tootling along at 15 miles per hour and call out “I love your dogs!” The exercise clears my brain and I get a big dose of joy in my heart.