What’s New

Jun 142016
 
How to speak so that people want to listen

A great TED Talk companion to the SagePresence work we do in Evolve. “Have you ever felt like you’re talking, but nobody is listening? Here’s Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to’s of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips

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Nov 172015
 

Norms are ground rules or guidelines for how members communicate and behave with each other—like really listening to each other, exploring ideas instead of debating them, giving feedback without blaming, assuring everyone’s involvement, and being clear about how decisions will be made.

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Jul 132015
 

Mark Skeie and I, Julie Roles, had the pleasure of meeting Neil Baker, MD, today in a telephone conference and we were impressed with his discussion about dealing with tensions that arise in community leadership. No matter where you are in your leadership journey, I think you will find this article interesting and informative.

Baker notes that conflict occur frequently in public life. “One common trap in such situations is to assume that if we act rationally, fairly, without blame, and with calm emotions, then others will or should automatically follow our lead with their behavior. But, the stress of interpersonal difficulties causes everyone, at times, to fall into unproductive relational patterns. This can happen even when people have the best of intentions and skills.”

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Apr 142015
 

Emotional intelligence is a shorthand that psychological researchers use to describe how well individuals can manage their own emotions and react to the emotions of others. People who exhibit emotional intelligence have the less-obvious skills necessary to get ahead in life, such as managing conflict resolution, reading and responding to the needs of others, and keeping their own emotions from overflowing and disrupting their lives. This article explores what it is and how to develop it.

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Feb 152015
 

David Carr, The New York Times media columnist who died unexpectedly Thursday night, offered many lessons for life.Among them is this on developing your own voice: “Who you are and what you have been through should give you a prism on life that belongs to you only.” Last fall he joined the faculty at Boston University and the syllabus for his class, “Press Play,” is available online. I am looking forward to digging into it. I think you will find it interesting too.

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Jan 162015
 
Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others

Anita Woolley, Thomas W. Malone and Christopher Chabris; The New York Times, January 16, 2015. Are some groups, like some people, reliably smarter than others? The authors of this article set out to answer that question. They found three traits in the smartest team: Members contribute more equally. Members score

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Dec 132014
 
Community is a Verb

A beautifully produced video about how we all have a role to play in addressing the inequities in our world. Produced by the Community Knowledge Project.

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Aug 052014
 
Community = Cure

Unhealthy lifestyles have brought on a social epidemic of “diabesity,” says author Mark Hyman, and community-driven solutions may be the only way out. Hyman presented this TED Talk in 2012. Thanks to Wellness 50+ Oakdale team member, Mark Rubbert, for bringing it to our attention. The goals of VAN’s Wellness

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Apr 142014
 
John Gardner as Retirement Role Model

Marc Freedman, CEO of Encore.org, wrote this tribute to John Gardner for the Wall Street Journal, published on April 4, 2014. Last year was the centennial of Gardner’s birth. As participants in the Evolve class know, the Vital Aging Network shares Freedman’s view that John Gardner was a visionary and

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Jan 202014
 
Chris Wilson: Embracing Sumi-e Style

Great article about Evolve grad, Chris Wilson, in the Star News. According to the article: “Lifelong artist Chris Wilson of Otsego was in her 50′s when she discovered the ancient style of Sumi-e that she’s made her own for the past 15 years or so.” Her work is part of

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Jan 062014
 
The Dangerous Myth of Reinvention

Take a look at this article in the Harvard Business Review by Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org. I think he touches on an important point. We sometimes think we need to leave behind our past to move forward in the second half of our lives. That is not

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Jan 062014
 
The Baloney Detection Kit

Carl Sagan’s book caught my eye this week in a post on the blog Brain Pickings. He offers nine tools for healthy skepticism in science and in everyday life. Although the book is fairly old, it offers timeless advice on critical thinking. According to Maria Popova, the blog’s author: “Carl

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Dec 172013
 

Neil Gaiman recites his poem, The Day the Saucers Came. According to Gaiman, the poem is “sort of about the end of the world . . .  or maybe it is just about paying attention to things.” This performance was on Wits Radio at the Fitzgerald Theater. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBJVGwmswZI. More on

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Dec 082013
 

I have started this post as a place for Evolve participants and friends of Evolve to post recommendations for books, articles and videos. To get us started, here is a recommendation from Kale Hedstrom, a member of the current Evolve for Wellness class in the Hamline Midway neighborhood of Saint

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Dec 082013
 

The Atlantic, Eric Liu, May 11, 2012. Liu is a correspondent for The Atlantic and co-author of The Gardens of Democracy. In this article, Liu implores individuals to exercise their “citizen muscles.” According to Liu, “The work of democratic life — solving shared problems, shaping plans, pushing for change, making

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Dec 082013
 

Continuing the conversation from the December 7, 2013, EvolvingConnections Salon on Re-imagining the Holidays. Thanks to Kathy Ramundt, Evolve grad and Vital Aging Network Leadership Group member, for leading the salon discussion. Salon participants shared their experiences of past holidays and ideas for making holidays more fulfilling. Here is some

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Dec 082013
 

In this TEDx Talk, Lieberman explores groundbreaking research in social neuroscience that reveals that our need to connect with other people is even more fundamental than our need for food or shelter and that the social pain and pleasure we experience has just as much impact as physical pain and

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Nov 092013
 
On Life and Leadership

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am

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Oct 122013
 
Welcome to This Year's Evolve Class

This year’s Evolve class is filled with impressive individuals with diverse experiences and tremendous potential. We are looking forward to getting to know them and seeing the creative ways that they will find to engage with each other and the greater Vital Aging Network. We have already heard some of

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Sep 232013
 

Thank you to Kathy Ahlers and Kathy Ramundt for releasing the first of several videos they are producing of Evolve grads talking about their experience. And thanks to Cathy Lue and Miriam Carter for sharing their stories. Visit evolveleaders.org to view the video. Share the videos with others who might

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Aug 182013
 
Have a Point of View

In this post from the blog Metacool: thoughts on the art & science of bringing cool stuff to life, Diego Rodriguez writes that “if you don’t have a firm point of view about what matters, your changes of doing something remarkable drop to zero.” Diego is a partner at IDEO, a founding professor at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (the d.school), and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Harvard Business School.

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Jul 252013
 

by Kirk Semple, New York Times, July 25, 2013. Several Evolve grads have worked on or are interested in the difficulties that come with aging in a new world away from your familiar language and ways. This article addresses immigrants in New York but is equally applicable to immigrant communities

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Jul 132013
 

While homelessness has decreased nationwide since 2009, it has increased by 6 percent in Minnesota. The increase is particularly high in greater Minnesota. In this article, Ed Murphy, executive director of Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless, suggests a role for the philanthropic community, government and the private

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Jun 172013
 

Bill Read brought our attention to this article in the New York Times’ New Old Age blog: Death Be Not Decaffeinated: Over Cup, Groups Face Taboo An informal group discusses philosophical thoughts on dying at a monthly gathering in New York called Death Cafe, one of many such get-togethers around

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Jun 152013
 
Evolve Networking Group June 14 Meeting

Kathy Ahlers, a 2013 Evolve grad, reports on the June 14 Ongoing Evolve Networking Group (also known as the Do-it-Ourselves Workshops). Nine people attended and it was a lively and informative discussion. Next meeting is July 12th meeting (9:30-11:30 am at Wilder Center). Evolve and ALVA grads and anyone else who is interested is invited. Click the link to read the report.

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May 252013
 
Collective Action Toolkit

This is a fantastic toolkit for Evolve leaders who are working to make positive change in their communities. It was developed by the design company, frog. “The Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) is a package of resources and activities that enable groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively

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May 242013
 

Take a look at this great TED talk about using limitations to foster creativity. It is a great way to feed your creative mind as you kick off your holiday weekend. Phil is an artist but the his insights apply equally to creativity in any field. Phil Hansen: Embrace the

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May 102013
 

Bill Moyers interviewed Marshall Ganz on his Moyers & Company program 5/10/13. Ganz addresses the power of story, the need for tension in a democracy and why we all need to exercise our voices. It is a great way to revisit some of the big ideas that Evolve promotes. It

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Mar 082013
 

Georgia Lane, Project Lead for the Saint Paul communities ACTing on Alzheimer’s, participated in a dialogue with the Evolve class meeting at Wilder Center on March 8. She described the collective impact the project is using and talked about opportunities and barriers to working in community. View Georgia’s PowerPoint presentation

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Feb 222013
 

This is a great video about boomers being involved in their communities and making positive change. The video is produced by Boomers Leading Change, an initiative of the Rose Community Foundation in Denver. The Vital Aging Network has collaborated with people from the Rose Community Foundation and others in the

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Feb 102013
 
The Abundant Community

Susan Hawkins and Nancy Nonini, Evolve grads, led an energizing discussion of The Abundant Community by Peter Block and John McKnight at the Book & Brew on February 5. The book examines ways that ordinary citizens can help make their communities the kind of places in which they and others

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Jan 302013
 

“I have been struck again and again by how important measurement is to improving the human condition.” —Bill Gates Each year, Bill Gates issues a letter from the Gates Foundation addressing how to make a difference in some of our most vexing problems. This year’s letter focuses on the importance

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Jan 022013
 

EvolvingConnections is an association of Evolve alumni and friends that facilitates the ongoing leadership journeys of its members through social, networking, educational, and mentoring opportunities. Check out the 2013 calendar.

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Nov 102012
 
Drawing a Picture of Leadership

What does leadership look like? Who is involved? Who defines the problem? Who makes decisions? How do individuals relate to each other? Evolve participants at Wilder Center in Saint Paul drew their images of leadership and had a spirited discussion about their drawings at the November 9 class. Each individual

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Oct 282012
 

Are you interested in participating in a think tank about respite care? Respite care provides needed breaks for caregivers. This think tank will focus its efforts on the Roseville area. It will assess what is currently available in the area, identify projected needs, evaluate options, and make recommendations for changes.

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Oct 232012
 

In a recent article in the StarTribune, Harvey Mackay addresses the difference between a leader and a manager. Evolve participants will examine this topic in the November class. Mackay quotes author and professor, Warren Bennis, on the topic: “‘Both roles are crucial, but they differ profoundly. I often observe people

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