Effective leadership development can be elusive, especially in communities lacking robust civic engagement infrastructure. Without an emphasis on building local organizing capacity, we face the inevitable: another set of hollow strategies without the foundation of people to make them happen. So how do we bridge that gap in dealing with the daunting challenges of our time, while improving the quality of life in our communities?
The Wild Project emerged to address the significant need for leadership development that focuses on supporting people who are organizing for meaningful change. Launched in 2016, the project was modeled after a framework taught at the Harvard Kennedy School by Dr. Marshall Ganz, and adapted to grassroots efforts in cultures and contexts around the world. The Wild Project became one of Wisconsin’s largest leadership development efforts, and has since expanded beyond our home state to offer intensive training and coaching to people-powered campaigns of all types.
While our organizing framework and network of trained leaders serves as an anchor, we have begun focusing on engaging young people and deepening partnerships with organizations that are building campaigns over time. The workshops will serve as a starting point, bridging longer-term relationships, with an emphasis on developing not just organizers but human beings in a world often void of deeper experiences of connection.
Here’s to growing this beloved community of changemakers!
ABOUT OUR LOGO
Drawing on the inspiration of wild as free, the cursive styled font is meant to be a simple reminder of the spirit of freedom we hope to breathe into our approach. To learn from our past, but not be bound by it. Embracing the beginner’s mindset and courage required to be “in the wild” as we shape our collective future and set others free as they live more fully into who they’ve been uniquely called to be.
The new logo itself takes the shape of a snowflake, signifying our approach to developing leadership that is interdependent and centered around achieving shared purpose. A purpose animated by the belief that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution, and through the co-creation of diverse learning spaces our work becomes a catalyst for transformative social change.
The circle surrounding the snowflake image represents our intention for growing a beloved community during a time in our world where the experience of isolation is too far reaching. The pressing issues of our time require urgent action, but to sustain our campaigns and movements, they must be rooted in the experience of belonging. A community centered in love that liberates us on the path to experiencing something bigger than ourselves.