Announcing Changes in the Awarepreneurs Community Model

Dear community,

It’s time to announce another evolution in the Awarepreneurs Community model.

 

THE WHY

 

There have been powerful dynamics rippling through both our sector and the Awarepreneurs Community.  As a friend said recently of the #metoo movement, “for me it is a courageous, disruptive, painful positive thing.”  This type of disruption has been building momentum for years in areas that profoundly effect our sector.

On top of this longer arc of change, in the past few weeks there have been a number of incidents involving high profile leaders in our sector causing significant harm – a world renowned white spiritual teacher excluding and silencing BIPOC, and one of the most popular male personal development leaders in an incident with a female workshop participant, and others.

The Awarepreneurs Facebook group has historically been where our members connect most often.  We’ve worked hard to be inclusive in our membership program – for example, through our “give one” membership program – and as a result, this has become a diverse community of hundreds of conscious social entrepreneurs.  You are a passionate and dedicated group.

And, in the context of the changes in our sector I named above, the issues we are dialoguing about have required an increasingly faster response, are more sensitive in nature and, often, heavily charged.  This is totally understandable in the context of history and what’s currently happening in the collective.

The structure of a Facebook group is that it’s open 24/7 and that multiple threads are happening simultaneously.  What’s become clear to me is that this structure is good for providing information and resources consistent with our mission, but contrary to nurturing a community culture of listening, learning from difference, and exploring the nuances of diversity and inclusion. With this growing intensity, the balance has shifted, and the challenges of the latter are overwhelming the value of the former.

Additionally, members of our community have been hurt - including by me - and because my accountability is primary, a change in structure is necessary. I am also actively working to acknowledge and repair the hurt to the best of my ability.

What’s become clear to me is that the very nature of Facebook – the “vaguebooking” that is common on the platform, it’s history of silencing activists, allegations of serious privacy breeches, etc – is working against us getting where you – our members – are committed to going.

This post is an acknowledgement that it’s time to step into a container that is better suited for providing transformation and safety. I am reflecting on how to best handle the existing Facebook group and will be sharing options with the community soon.


 

THE NEW STRUCTURE

 

The intention of the new structure is to meet the needs for connection, thought partnership and learning of our members.  We will do this via offerings like:

  • A series of themed Zoom (online video conference) calls for community building.
  • A workshop series on social impact topics led by paid thought leaders in their area of expertise.
  • Upleveling the use of the Awarepreneurs website to share resources and member launches.
  • A regular newsletter (it’s been very irregular due to limited resources) to help community members stay informed.
  • Continuing the weekly Awarepreneurs podcast while moving towards launching the Awarepreneurs Podcast Network.

I am working on the specifics of the above, looking at things like optimal frequency, costs and the like. I look forward to having a proposal for more specifics in the near future. 

In the meantime, to move in the direction of accountability and safety, I am turning on the feature of “Moderator approved posts” for the Facebook group.  I will be approving posts that relate directly to our evolution.  I will not be approving posts that are not on this topic – those dialogues need to pause for us to get these new structures up and running.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this transition.

With much care and appreciation,

Paul Zelizer, founder of Awarepreneurs