Convening AS Capacity Building for the New Age

Trae Ashlie-Garen
4 min readDec 6, 2020

PART 2 of 6

This article, originally written in the spring of 2019; revised in the midst of Covid; and as a result of feedback; has now become a 6 Part Series. May this new breakdown of the information create yet more pleasant reading for everyone.

“If programming WITHIN the system is important, the meta-programming OF the system itself is even more important.”

(Don’t know who said this, but it has stuck with me for years… and thought it fitting to introduce this article here)


PART 2— Questions we’re asking

So… What really ARE the questions guiding us?…


Social Innovation and Solutions Finance Strategy to empower communities?


Social Innovation and Solutions Finance Strategy to empower all of us to BE IN or ENGAGE AS community en masse?

To us, these are different, and the latter is more important yet relevant to both camps as “inclusiveness” conversations.


Because influence, and the right to take initiative is rooted in an assumption of healthy agency.

It presumes that an individual (regardless of background) has had a previously life-affirming and formative experience of being able to contribute in some way to a collective outcome…

And then, can translate that experience over in a way that contributes to the evolution of whatever impact someone wants to make on/in their world(s) — both micro and macro.

And the truth is, most of us don’t have that kind of formative life-affirming experience.

Most think making time to any kind of foundational connection, explicit codifying of core values, or mutual agreement on “how we’re going to interact with each other” as a FIRST step, before ideation, is the equivalent of navel gazing, and holding hands in a circle, singing “kumbaya”.


What if we focused in on not assuming that experience of healthy agency already pre-existed, what would that make possible?

We believe that this kind of pre-thinking acknowledges that ultimately, everything is about people and how we as people, are engaging on, and with each other and this planet.

Trae Ashlie-Garen

On a Quest | To Scale Empathy & Interdependence | Meaning for Humanity in Disruptive Times | Bold Conversations | Big Thoughts | New Narratives — Thrivably!