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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.”

Meet a New Board Member: Jenny Calhoun

Jenny Calhoun is committed to improving organizations and society by facilitating authentic human connection. In her current position as Manager of Learning and Organizational Development at the Seattle Colleges, she brings that commitment into how she designs and delivers professional development workshops for staff, faculty and administrators. During her 12 years of training and development experience in nonprofit, healthcare and higher education, she has seen the positive effects of learning environments that honor all voices, invite people to be vulnerable, and encourage collaborative learning.

 

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Meet a New Board Member: Nina Milligan

Nina Milligan is the Communication Manager for Issaquah Highlands—the planned community of about 10,000 residents, including over 1M square feet of residential/commercial development. She recently served on the Issaquah City Council after eight years on Issaquah’s Urban Village Development Commission. Through both appointments, Nina worked on several land use actions, including very large and complex development agreements. She also served on the Citizens Advisory Group for the Rowley Property development agreement in Central Issaquah, laying the groundwork for the Central Issaquah Plan.

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The Institute for Everyday Democracy: Strengthening Collaborative Intelligence

In November of 2016, Pomegranate Center and I became reflective about our country’s fractured state and how our work and mission should evolve to address it. What came out of our conversations and planning is a natural extension of the work we’ve already been doing for thirty years: determining the best ways people can work together to improve our communities.

Since retiring from the role of Executive Director, I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time engaging with the Pomegranate community through thoughtful conversations, which have in turn inspired me to focus more on thinking and writing. I’ve been fortunate to spend the last three decades doing the hands-on work of collaborative community building with Pomegranate Center, and now I plan to take that experience and focus on the invisible work that is so critical for our world now, what I call the work of “everyday democracy.”

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A Note From Our New Executive Director

It is with honor and humility that I greet you as Pomegranate Center’s first Executive Director since Milenko founded the organization 30 years ago. I am well aware that I have big shoes to fill and that many of you are wondering how anyone could possibly replace Milenko.

Here’s the good news: we don’t need to replace Milenko. And this is not because he will still be involved with Pomegranate through training, mentorship, and our new Institute for Everyday Democracy. But it is because the nature of our organization is changing and we are entering an exciting new phase of work requiring a new type of leadership.

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A Challenge to our Community

At the start of 2017, longtime champions of the Pomegranate Center Ron and Eva Sher pledged a $25,000 challenge grant, and friend of Pomegranate Nancy Nordhoff followed suit with a pledged $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 $62,000 in pledged funding.

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Pomegranate Center e-News

Keep up with new projects, upcoming classes, and all the latest social-capital-building 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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