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.

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

Oct 142012
 

Chris Farrell addresses the opportunities and challenges in transitions in later life. His article, “Catch Phrase for Career Transition: ‘Fail Early, Fail Often,’” is in the StarTribune dated October 13, 2012. His advice: “At some point you just have to get out of your head and into the world. I

  read more

Oct 232011
 

Glad you have joined us on the Evolve: Re-igniting Self & Community website. This is the place to find course materials for Evolve, current updates from your facilitator, and insights and comments from Evolve participants. As a current Evolve participant, you are automatically registered. If you are an Evolve grad,

  read more

Oct 222011
 

If you had only six words to tell someone exactly who you are, what would they be? Past Evolve participants answered that question this way. (Scroll to the bottom to add yours. Tell us your name and where you are taking the class.) Gary Johnson – July 13, 2011 Enjoy

  read more

Oct 082011
 

Tell us your Evolve story. Add comments below or smail your story to projects@evolveleaders.org. Attach a photo. Your story will help others as they plan their own contributions in their communities.

  read more

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

  read more

Aug 032015
 
Striking a Creative Spark

With age and experience comes wisdom . . . and plenty of grist for good advice. Wendy Danko, a participant in the current Evolve class at Wilder Center, sees a huge opportunity for older adults to rediscover their creative selves and, at the same time, pass along something of value

  read more

Aug 032015
 
Concerts in the Park

What’s a summer without a concert in the park? That’s the question Jan Fillmore asked last fall when she started the Evolve class. She knew that music was an essential element of a good quality of life in a community. St. Anthony Village has hosted the Salo Park Summer Concert

  read more

Aug 032015
 
Inspiring Kids to Excel

“I am so excited about being a part of something that makes such a significant impact on kids,” says Judy Harvey, a retired IT professional and 2014 Evolve grad. Judy’s Evolve project is to work with the Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation to support the Inspired Educator Grant Program. The

  read more

Aug 032015
 
Exercise Program Lessens Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

Kris Gjerde, PT, MPH, kicked off a Parkinson Wellness Recovery (PWR!) class, http://www.pwr4life.org, in January 2015, at the St. Paul Parks & Recreation in Highland Park. As a person with Parkinson’s, Kris had searched for a high level PWR! class in the East Metro area without success. As she considered

  read more

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.”

  read more

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.

  read more

Feb 222015
 
Part 4: The Value of Functional Workouts

This is the fourth and last entry of a series entitled: Fitting Exercise into Your Daily Routine.

Functional workouts can be quick and to the point. Functional workouts use motions that mimic things you do in the course of your day. You can take almost any activity of daily living (ADL) and turn it into an exercise by emphasizing correct form and technique.

  read more

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.

  read more

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

  read more

Dec 212014
 
Part 8: Getting Started Each Day

This is the eighth and last entry of a series related to physical fitness entitled: Think of Exercise as a Pill that Promotes Long Life and a Whole Lot More.

Fitting exercise into a daily routine for the first time represents major change; conscious repetition is the key to establishing a new habit like this.

  read more

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.

  read more

Dec 082014
 
Part 6: Four Ways to Build Physical Capacity

This is the sixth of a series related to physical fitness entitled: Think of Exercise as a Pill that Promotes Long Life and a Whole Lot More.

Aerobic exercise has the most data documenting its health benefits. But your fitness plan should also include 3 more areas to build your physical capacity: Strength training, Balance training, and Flexibility.

  read more

Nov 302014
 
Part 5: Don't Panic, Everyone Can Exercise!

This is the fifth of a series related to physical fitness entitled: Think of Exercise as a Pill that Promotes Long Life and a Whole Lot More.

If you’re not fully fit as you begin your exercise program, start comfortably and wisely and keep advancing by appropriate amounts. Fitness trainers will tell you, exercising consistently, regularly, and frequently is vastly more important than how much you exert yourself on any one day or few days.

  read more

Nov 242014
 
Part 4: How Much Exercise is Best?

This is the fourth of a series related to physical fitness entitled: Think of Exercise as a Pill that Promotes Long Life and a Whole Lot More.

Design an exercise program that is based on health guidelines but tailored to you. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans written by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will help you do just that. Because aerobic activity is vitally important, it should be a major part of your program.

  read more

Nov 172014
 
Part 3: It's Never Too Late to Start Exercising

This is the third of a series related to physical fitness entitled: Think of Exercise as a Pill that Promotes Long Life and a Whole Lot More.

Regular exercise not only prevents chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, it also benefits people who already have these diseases, even people in poor health. The medical benefits of regular exercise appear to start accruing after about 1 year. Even individuals who have been previously sedentary but who initiate exercise as late as age 85 demonstrate a significant survival benefit in three years in comparison to individuals who are sedentary.

  read more

Nov 102014
 
Part 2: Preventing Death Is Nice, But What Else Can Exercise Do?

This is the second of a series related to physical fitness entitled: Think of Exercise as a Pill that Promotes Long Life and a Whole Lot More.

Exercise imparts physical strength and stamina. It boosts energy levels and combats fatigue. Regular exercise has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease, chronic lung disease, high blood pressure, and type II diabetes. These are just a few of the benefits of exercising.

  read more

Oct 302014
 
Part 1: Exercise to Live Longer

This is the first of a series of eight installments related to physical fitness entitled: Think of Exercise as a Pill that Promotes Long Life and a Whole Lot More. They are part of a blog entitled, Healthy Aging: Know the Facts by Evolve grad, John Sandgren, MD. New entries on this topic will appear weekly for next eight weeks.

The risk of dying from any cause (“all-cause mortality”) among people who exercise regularly is cut by 30 percent, actually more like 20-40 percent in most studies and by 50 percent in a few. In other words, free and simple exercise is just as potent, and sometimes more potent, than are many expensive medications.

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

Jan 202014
 

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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

  read more

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.

  read more