A journey to discover the people who change our world.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Seeding SEED

While in New York I was back on the couch surfing variant. But this time, I didn’t just get a couch, but a whole loft conversion, courtesy of the hospitality of Carlos and Ruth Monteagudo

Carlos and Ruth, and their son Daniel are a fascinating and wonderful family. Ruth is a lay minister and children’s book writer, and talking with her about the book writing (and illustration) process was an enlightening one. From concept to complete Ruth works with the illustrator to create a product alive with vision and fun- writing and redrafting together until a book ‘which neither of us could have done alone’ is brought to life. Collaborative creativity at its best.

Carlos has an equally fascinating career path. Trained as a psychiatrist, and one time assistant professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School, he realised that his was still to complete ‘his life’s work’. He was contemplating going into politics, seeing the need for higher level system change. To facilitate it, he applied and got a Kellogg Leadership Fellowship- a three year fellowship which allowed him to take 3 months off his full time job a year, and explore and question. This started a whole chain of questioning and routes, trying to understand the best way he could create the change he wants to see in the world. While on the programme he met this now business partner, Melinda Lackey, and together they started to see the need for collective visioning to create change. Through much research and dialogue they established SEED (Solutions for Economic Empowerment and Dignity), and organisation which takes groups of individuals though creative planning to raise their bar of their own potential.

As they say themselves;
SEED challenges social programs to go from good to extraordinary and provides the self-help tools to make this possible.

And as Carlos describes SEED;

My work at SEED is about reclaiming that dream of creating a new world together. It is about discovering what is possible, when we open our hearts and minds and spirits to the yearning, the “first impulse,” that I believe is within each of us…and to the brilliance inherent in our human collective.

Personally, I found it both intriguing and rewarding to talking to Carlos about his experience of the Kellogg Fellowship. He equated the journey to my own, and explained how this journey helped to shape and direct his life, and continues to do so. While I am just at the end of the physical travel of this trip, I also know I am just at the beginning, and the journey ahead is looking ever more exciting.



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