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Thrivability, Jean Russell Steps Forward

Several years ago, Tracy Gary and I hosted a small conference on Giving. Our mutual friend, a generation younger, Jean Russell, played the role of "assistant" or schlepper. I remember thinking then how the greatest outcome from the conference might well be what Jean heard, overheard, meditated upon and acted upon. Jean has been at the center of a whole network of conversations, including those at Omidyar,net, Catalytic Communities, SOCAP, and those around Valdis Krebs as well as those around Tom Munnecke. Her own contribution is taking shape as a precipitate from hundreds of conversations, across generations, and across disciplinary silos. Here is how she sounds now: "The language of sustainability is about neutralizing. Thrivability is about succeeding." That is phrase-making, a way of tilting language to reframe an issue. Jean is trained to do that. But, this is not just hightened language. Jean has articulated the substance to back it up. She is not speaking to an audience; she is speaking from within and for a growing community of digital natives now coming into its own confident, networked, style of social leadership.