We’re delighted to share the news that Kelsey Spitz-Dietrich is joining Team CKX as we embark on the next phase of our evolution into an independent social change platform. Read on to learn more about Kelsey and how her passion for karate, poetry and learning as an action will influence the work that she’ll be leading at CKX.
So I sit before flowers
hoping they will train me in the art of opening up
I stand on mountain tops believing
that avalanches will teach me to let go
but I am here to learn.
― Shane L. Koyczan, excerpt from The Student
My journey with CKX began in November 2014. I attended the inaugural CKX Summit as a newly minted Communications and Research Associate at Social Innovation Generation (SiG) National. I was excited and curious about CKX and the Summit sparked a deep appreciation for what CKX had set out do — which I later described as “building a community of exchange around knowledge (and know-how) that is valuable for driving social change together” in a blog post following the summit.
As I join the CKX team, my reflections from 2014 remain a guiding force:
- CKX [is] not just about an exchange of ‘community knowledge,’ but about community + knowledge + exchange and the relationship between them;
- The power of community knowledge is that collectively there is knowledge — as stories, data, experiences, failures, success — enough to collaboratively improve our communities;
- If we can develop new tools and norms to embolden knowledge exchange and coordinated/collaborative action, we can unleash our collective strength.
CKX came out of the gate sparking fundamental shifts in the pursuit of social change by building and sharing knowledge across communities and communities of practice. It is now undergoing a fundamental shift of its own, integrating with the Carold Institute to become an independent social change platform to support shift disturbers through reflective practice, deep learning and knowledge exchange.
I have the great joy of guiding the design, development and launch of CKX’s signature program — a cohort experience that will wrap reflective practice, deep learning and knowledge exchange around issue-based shift disturbers to catalyze their impact and that of their communities.
The first steps will be inspired, in part, from my experience co-creating the Alberta Social Innovation (ABSI) Connect Fellows initiative, working to create a culture of continuous social innovation in Canada with SiG National, facilitating learning journeys for activists and changemakers on and off for ten years, and reflecting deeply on lessons from the SiG story in co-authoring Social Innovation Generation: Fostering a Canadian Ecosystem for Systems change.
They will also be inspired, as I am, by the arts, theatre, karate and engaging directly with community and nature, where the vitality and essence of exchange stem from empathy, spirit, soul, understanding power and discipline.
And, in a major way, they must model and be grounded by the same principle of exchange, reflection and learning that we seek to seed and nurture with shift disturbers. As Lee shared with me during our discussions these past few weeks, and as we will carry forward in our work, CKX itself will be shaped by and through reflective practice, deep learning and knowledge exchange. We are embarking on a learning journey ourselves, in order to best support the learning journeys of others.
I beg you… to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
— Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, 1903-08
To accomplish this, we will live the questions we have for a time: how to proceed, why, with whom? We will listen to people we know, find people we don’t, and listening more so that we can live our way into the answers. We therefore not only invite, but ask for and welcome you and your communities to engage with us as peers, collaborators, mentors, wise council, wayfinders and provocateurs. Please feel free to reach out to me or Lee. We can’t wait to hear from you and learn with you.