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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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Fall Training Registration Open!

Now more than ever, our communities need help working together, they need new models, and they need new leadership. Community engagement work takes time, and we’re here to provide the tools and structure to make this work easier. Our training will give you more confidence in your facilitation skills, more competency around community process, and more connections to a network of like-minded individuals doing the gritty work of community engagement. Pomegranate Method graduates will have the opportunity to stay in touch with both Pomegranate Center and fellow graduates through our exclusive Facebook group and trainees-only newsletter.

 

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