The Fruition Academy of Social Imagination and Action connects and mobilizes progressive activists around the world through a learning community so that we can engage in the artistry of social change with even more passion, integrity, and thoughtful action. Our purpose is not to simply transmit information but rather to open up new and enriched possibilities for the progressive social change macromovement, expanding our collective repertoire of ideas and tools and creating new opportunities for dialogue and collaboration.
There are no classes scheduled at this time. Past (and possibly future) Fruition Academy Class Descriptions include
Teaching, Learning, and Transformation
Perhaps the most critical teaching and learning that takes place in our lives occurs through the interpretation of our everyday interactions. Every moment is an opportunity to teach and to learn. Through exploration of ideas including Socratic method, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, multiple intelligences, punk pedagogy, and Bloom’s taxonomy of learning domains, participants will develop a greater understanding of their own philosophy of teaching and learning and create a strategy to use this to advance progressive social change goals.
This class will explore the generative potential of social reciprocity which we define as doing more good in the world and, as a result, inspiring others to do the same. We will examine the social, emotional, and cognitive aspects of reciprocity and discuss its implications for community organizing, outreach, fundraising, and activism.
As leaders for social change, we authentically serve our communities as Kierkegaardian Knights of Faith. In this class, we will discuss cultivating radical self-awareness, the process of becoming, intersubjective exploration, negotiating the space between the self and the system, discovering truth, creating meaning, the transformative potential of angst, and how to redefine and reclaim the concepts of freedom and responsibility.
Process and outcome evaluation can help us align programs, strategic initiatives, and advocacy efforts with the dynamic needs of the community served and teach us how to strengthen the cumulative impact of our work. In this class, we will discuss the purpose of evaluation, creating an evaluation plan, developing organizational capacity to collect and analyze data, integrating and communicating results, contributing to the global knowledge base, effectively using resources for evaluation, collaboration, creating opportunities for community engagement and participation, and managing expectations for accountability.
Quantum Theory for Activists
This class will examine social change from the systemic to the subatomic level through the lens of quantum theory with particular emphasis on Bohr, Einstein, and Capra. We will explore how science frames our understanding of the world and discuss how interconnectedness, irrationality, uncertainty, complexity, energy, tension, disruption, and chaos influence self-organization and political mobilization. We promise that there will not be any complicated formulas in this class – it’s all fun!
Theatre of Change
In this class, we will satisfy our thirst for drama with a theatrical interpretation of progressive activism and the social change process. We will examine how plot, setting, and performance intertwine to evoke emotion and provoke action and learn how these can be manipulated to achieve specific social and political outcomes. We will also discuss roles, props, scenery, wardrobe, choreography, and engagement with multiple audiences. Students will learn how to develop dynamic characters and tell compelling stories to create memorable performances.
Persuasion strategies that respect autonomy and reject conformity can create new shared meanings and shift the collective conscience for sustainable social change. This class will explore how our everyday interactions lead to influence, strategic articulation of ideas, negotiation of meaning and vision, transitioning from awareness to action, mobilizing social networks, and building solidarity for collective action. We will learn how to effectively persuade by remaining open to learning, connecting with our values, and rejecting coercion and manipulation of others.
Strategic Planning in an Uncertain World
A strategic plan is a blueprint for how a group of people proposes to co-create the future world by fusing intentions with expectations. The world does not always cooperate with such plans given the complex and dynamic nature of our environment. In this class, we will learn about strategic planning as a community engagement initiative, interdependence, balancing reflection and action, and building organizational capacity to be flexible and innovative.
Like love, power is an infinite resource that multiplies when it is shared. Power is an energy and the intention with which it is used determines its value and impact. In this class, we will explore our personal feelings about power based on our experiences, investigate the illusion of containment, identify sources of individual, collective, and institutional power, and discuss how to leverage our personal and collective power to contest and shift institutional power.
Philanthropy is an expression of love for humanity which all people have the capacity to experience; it is an example of our democratic ideals and a meeting of individual and communal goals. This class will explore the concept of sharing resources such as time and money with trust and love, ideas about resource distribution, the philanthropic tenets of various theological traditions, developing meaningful exchange relationships with others who share passions and goals, and building philanthropic communities.
The existence of resistance, the result of exposing a sense of moral or intellectual superiority — whether it is real, imagined, or subjective — indicates that a learning opportunity is imminent. Resistance can be experienced externally as an action or internally as a reaction; both types are necessary for progress. This class will explore the dynamics of struggling and flowing, the connection between resistance and action, and strategies to intentionally initiate resistance to transform understanding and provoke social and political change.
Theories of Change/Logic Models
A logic model is a diagram that demonstrates the relationship between action and outcomes given a particular environmental context. It can be a helpful tool to conceptualize and communicate the overall scope of a program, organization, or initiative. In this class, we will discuss the process of collaboratively constructing logic models in our communities and review examples of logic models for various groups. We will also discuss the illogical model as an alternative or complementary process.
Deviance and Disobedience
Through deviance, we can take a stand, break and redefine questionable rules, challenge norms, illuminate information that would otherwise remain in the dark, and introduce new ideas or ways to interpret reality. In this class, we will discuss: positive deviance as a healthy way for groups to learn and grow; effective strategies for expressing uniqueness and difference; balancing cohesion and conflict; managing risk; and mobilization of new or suppressed ideas.
Embracing and Leading Change
This class will explore the interconnected relationships among individual, group, organizational, and social change. We will investigate cognitive and physical, micro and macro, incremental and outcome, planned and spontaneous, and adaptive and resistant aspects of change. We will discuss: the process of change from emergence to institutionalization; positive and negative emotions that emerge during change; tapping into psychological and social capital; overcoming impediments to change; timing; motivation; flexibility; and equity.
In this class, we will explore the process through which social influence can shift prevailing ideas, beliefs, and practices. By transferring emotion based on trust and hope, culture can be transformed. We will also discuss the engagement and mobilization of opinion leaders and social networks to reproduce communal wisdom in order to increase support for, and excitement about, your organization and/or the vision you are pursuing.
Qualitative evaluation can help your organization, program, campaign, or strategic initiative describe and interpret the impact of its work and discover ways to further develop and refine underlying theories and practices to enhance effectiveness. In this class, we will learn about types of qualitative evaluation, ways to collect and analyze information, and using results to complement or explain quantitative data.
In this class, we will confront and interrogate the language we use as progressive activists using the work of Foucalt, Habermas, Gergen, Orwell, and other theorists to demonstrate how we often use language that reflects internalized oppression and unintentionally reproduces the conditions we wish to ameliorate. We will discuss articulating a vision of the world we want to create with attention to the nuances of word choice, rhythm, intonation, and symbolism. We will learn how to express our ideas with assertion rather than coercion to create new knowledge, meaning, and understanding that inspires cognitive shifts and sustainable action.
Collaboration, Partnerships, and Coalitions
Collaboration, partnerships, and coalitions can be an effective means to share and leverage resources, knowledge, and skills to multiply the impact and effectiveness of a group. In this class, we will discuss Tuckman’s stages of group development, building relationships, creating covenants, sharing power, encouraging engagement, effective communication, decision making, establishing norms and a common language, developing goals, synergizing diverse strengths and ideas, and co-learning.
Dialogue for Change
Dialogue is a powerful tool to uncover and examine assumptions, build and strengthen relationships, and resolve conflict both within and between interest groups. In this class, we will discuss approaching dialogue with compassion and mindfulness while cultivating increased awareness of ourselves and others, remaining true to ourselves, being sensitive to status differences, discovering and appreciating both difference and commonality, and making collective decisions.
Frames and Lenses: Repicturing Our World
As individuals and as members of groups, we understand the world through inherent and socially constructed frames and lenses; we can intentionally manipulate these frames and lenses as a strategic communication device to reduce complexity, connect ideas, negotiate meaning, and increase understanding. We will discuss when and how to use frames and lenses for personal, organizational, and social change. We will also explore the beauty and brilliance of viewing our personal stories and the world through a prismatic lens.
Negotiation is the process of identifying and expanding overlaps of meaning to transform understanding and create mutually beneficial agreements. In this class, we will discuss: the impact of emotions on identity, meaning, and action; bringing cooperation and trust and to the bargaining process; drawing and navigating mental maps; creating a safe space to take risks; balancing independence and interdependence; identifying and managing the influence of contextual factors; exposing and deconstructing assumptions; and working with mediators.
In this class, we will conceptualize fundraising as an expansive, generative, open process that encourages resources to flow through our organizations. Drawing from physics, medicine, psychology, and Hermetics, we will learn about energy fields, vibrations, frequency matching, chakra alignment, and aura clearing. Students will explore the space between the ethereal and physical world, uncover latent beliefs about money, better understand the complex emotions that money provokes, discuss transcending financial anxiety and insecurity, and learn how to use creative visualization to realize the world we are working toward.
Class and Social Movements
This course will examine how class has shaped social movements both in America and around the world throughout history and in modern times. We will learn how to: build bridges and work across boundaries; eliminate hegemony and oppression in progressive social change work; authentically bring our whole selves into our activism; and promote participation, institutional access, and leadership.
Students in this class will be equipped to create a fundraising plan for a program, campaign, or organization. We will discuss: assessment of resource needs; creating fundraising goals; developing relationships and opportunities for engagement; alignment with strategy and organizational systems; creating budgets; mobilization of community support; evaluation; and sustainability.
Attachment and Liberation
In this class, we will explore what it means to truly be free from both a personal and a political perspective and develop a deeper understanding of our reasons for seeking liberation. Students will explore: releasing the illusion of attachment; transcending self- and superimposed oppression; letting go of our will to control ideas, things, people, and identities; escaping the oppression – repression – suppression trilogy; radical self-love; being at peace with our ego; and creating space for transformation.
Marketing and Engagement
Marketing is the art of building a community of like-minded people to achieve common goals through the co-creation of meaning and value. This class will explore how to connect with and create that community to expand the reach of products, services, ideas, and organizations. Students will learn about: motivation and behavior; removing barriers and inviting participation; creating a living brand; and using storytelling and aesthetics create resonance.