Learning to Lead Together
An Ecological and Community Approach
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 1, 2021
Never before has there been such strong recognition of the importance of community-based green spaces to local communities and urban redevelopment. This book is an autoethnographic account of the challenges and breakthroughs of learning to lead together. The interwoven stories provide first-hand, evocative examples of how an ecological and community approach to organisational development and urban regeneration helped shift the business as usual paradigm. It will help you identify and step beyond individualistic and ‘heroic’ notions of leadership, and will inspire you to find your own way of embracing natural and shared authority.
The book focuses on the experiences of developing an environmental education charity in London; Global Generation. It shows how action research, nature practice and storytelling has successfully grown shared purpose, trust and collaboration, both within Global Generation and in the wider community.
The style and structure of the book reflects the participatory approach that it presents. The author, Jane Riddiford, deliberately challenges the norms of authorship, which is shaped by the dominant Western narrative – objective, authorless and ‘othered’. This book goes beyond this narrow framework, combining different styles of writing, including traditional and autobiographical storytelling, diary entries and co-writing. Along with practice accounts of what happened, challenges raised and lessons learned, each chapter will also include other people’s descriptions of their experience of being involved in the process.
Table of Contents
The Story of How this Book was Written
1. An Inner City Forest
2. From Rooftops to Developers Land
3. Leading as a Way of Being
4. I, We and the Planet
5. A Cosmic Story
6. Encounters with the High Priests
7. Listening to Land
8. Growing a Paper Garden
9. In the Jaws of the Corporate Dragon
10. From the Heart of an Oak Forest
Appendix 1 – Opportunities for Your Own Inquiry
Jane Riddiford co-founded Global Generation in 2004, she has more than 30 years of experience in setting up and running environmental, arts and educational projects within urban communities in New Zealand and the UK. Her doctoral inquiry focused on leadership framed within stories of ecology and cosmology.
"This is that rare thing: a book that is poetic, practical and profound. Jane is an activist, educator, and scholar, but above all, she is a born storyteller with a great story to tell: one of hope in troubled times; of collaboration and inclusion; and of leadership based on love and determination. This account, which is both intimate and sweeping in scope, offers us all inspiring and generative ways to live more creatively and harmoniously with ourselves, each other and with the planet." - Geoff Mead, PhD author of Telling the Story: The Heart and Soul of Successful Leadership
"Can we navigate our lives with openness and creativity whilst integrating tensions and divides? These are questions this book powerfully and eloquently answers. Jane’s story entwined with Global Generation’s journey, demonstrates the collective weaving of a vibrant community cloak around otherwise lifeless urban spaces. This is a compelling, richly layered account with deep resonance for our times." - Jane Myat, GP / family physician, Midnight Kitchen inhabitant
"A beautiful oak tree of a book, full of passion, persistence and clear accounts of how nature can bring a diversity of people together. The writing reveals the magic of a unique blend of can-doism and patient community based regeneration." - Roger Madelin, CBE Head of Canada Water Development, British Land.