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Pomegranate Center is shifting the paradigm around how people work together. Through our unique inclusive engagement model we help communities discover their ability to spur change and develop their capacity for authentic collective collaboration. By leveraging the power of Place - where people live- we create the conditions that demonstrate democracy at its best, with stories that change from “us and them” to “we.”

Milenko Looks Back

It has been nearly a year since Milenko Matanovic stepped away from the day-to-day work of running Pomegranate Center, but between speaking engagements, writing, an upcoming art exhibit, and founding the Institute for Everyday Democracy, he’s certainly not slowing down. We sat down and chatted with him about his past work, present endeavors, and future goals–for Pomegranate Center and beyond.

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Turn a Spark Into a Flame

The first steps to turn an initial idea into a real project

By Katya Matanovic

I am surrounded by people with good ideas. Perhaps it’s living in Seattle, a hub for nonprofits and foundations; or maybe it’s being of the Xennial generation (it’s really a thing); or it could be the speed and access to information every minute of every day. I’m not sure what it is. But a lot of my casual conversations with friends eventually meander to “I’ve got this idea…”

When the ideas are about their neighborhood or getting people together, I pay special attention because, well, it’s my job. Sometimes the ideas are big and loose and abstract – “I’ve been thinking about a connection between food and talking about racism,” – and sometimes the ideas are much more digested.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #5: Reject the Practice and Tactics of Blame

by Milenko Matanovic

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

We have a president who loves to blame and complain. And, perhaps inspired by such modeling, community meetings now have more and more people who show up to do the same.

Pomegranate Center’s approach has always focused on possibilities. We want to create an atmosphere where the participants can express their hope and offer ideas for how things ought to be. We encourage all to see the gathering as a new beginning, to move beyond what we like or dislike personally and toward what will work for all.

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A Challenge to our Community

At the start of 2017, friend of Pomegranate Nancy Nordhoff pledged a $37,000 challenge grant to support us in our critical transition period. That means we need to raise money from our supporters in order to match the pledged funding.

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Pomegranate Center News

Keep up with new projects, upcoming training, and all the news from Pomegranate Center!

 

 

Post-election Reflection: How to do it Better Next Time

by Milenko Matanovic

I yearn for leaders who are collaborators.

In an election, I wait for one candidate to say to another, “That’s an interesting insight—I want to think about it.” Or “That is a different perspective—I never thought about that angle.” Or, “Maybe if we combine our ideas, we might do more good.”

Collaboration must become society’s norm. Why? Because we live in a complex world, yet we act as if someone’s individual expertise or ideology can provide all the answers. The present moment calls for “system leaders” who understand that we require each other’s insights to fully comprehend the needs of our society and its diverse peoples, as well as the entire planet we inhabit.

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