How we do it

Our leadership experts and planning and design consultants show community leaders how to empower themselves to take the lead and responsibility in creating transformative change toward a sustainable future: economically, environmentally, and socially. We achieve this by helping them to understand sustainability leadership practices: facilitating outcomes, engaging in authentic interaction, working with conflict/tension/expansion, and learning with others.

Through these workshops, Nebraska's community leaders will learn how to facilitate outcomes using sustainability frameworks for integrated analysis and action; assessing opportunities and risks in a changing context; marshaling and amplifying resources for optimal impact, and how to make things happen. We will help them learn how to collaboratively construct and implement strategic initiatives, govern with responsibility and creativity, develop monitoring techniques, and work creatively to achieve results.

Today's community leader faces complex and ever-changing circumstances. Through the NSLW workshops, they will learn how to affirm their principles, intentions, and identity in order to engage others in the work of change. We teach them how to create spaces for constructive, creative conversations with others, helping them explore and discover perspectives and connections that might otherwise be overlooked, and then build and expand relatoinships for developing and implementing integrated solutions—long-term partnerships, inter-generational engagement, learning relationships, and support relationships.

To be an effective leader for change, one must understand the human dynamics of change and how to work with it. At the NSLW workshops, we draw from new social change models when unconventional ideas are being introduced and show how leaders can make sustainability relevant to others—articulating the ways in which sustainability strategies are relevant to the immediate and long-term success of business and the community. And we show them how to find ways of sustaining their own and others' energy, momentum and belief in the face of sometimes daunting challenges.

Inviting and acknowledging diverse points of view, while simultaneously seeking common ground and figuring out solutions for the collective good is a hallmark of a sustainability leader. We teach them how to expand the network of leaders. Our leadership experts help guide participants in understanding and working with conflict and ambiguity, and in understanding and working with relational power dynamics to effect learning and success.

One of the main thrusts of the NSLW workshops is helping Nebraska's community leaders to engage outside resource people in ways that invite collaboration, collective discovery and the learning needed to broaden system capability.

We guide them in showing how sharing knowledge and information as it unfolds strengthens the collective practice of experimentation, adaptation and learning. Indeed, we show how experimenting leads to learning leads to greater effectiveness and better ideas. And, finally, we help them understanding what people do and say—noticing and making sense of patterns of behavior, experimenting with strategies to interrupt existing patterns that serve to galvanize the status quo.

Empowering leadership is only part of the NSLW mission, however. These workshops help define specific economic and environmental challenges facing Nebraskans, both in rural areas as well as metropolitan areas. We will introduce resources to participants to help them find specific solutions to their specific challenges.

And, over time, we hope the workshops form the basis for some long-lasting relationships between consultants and participants, experts and leaders, providing the foundation for a transformative, sustainable future for Nebraska.

Click here to download a copy of the NSLW agenda

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