Values & Strategy
YES! connects, inspires and collaborates with change-makers to build thriving, just and balanced ways of life for all. We primarily work with people ages 18-35, but are increasingly also working intergenerationally as well.
Thriving: We believe that life is precious and magnificent, and that we were put on this Earth for more than mere survival. We all have the birthright to love, to prosper, to grow, and to learn ever more what it means to be who we are.
Just: We believe that people everywhere deserve to be free and respected as they are, to have their basic human needs met, and to experience their gifts recognized and called forth. Recognizing ever widening gaps of wealth, safety and freedom, we value sustained attention and commitment to equitability, diversity, partnership across differences, and shared decision-making.
Sustainable: We believe personal and planetary ecology are inseparable, and that everything we do sends out ripples not only to the whole Earth community, but to all future generations. We seek to walk consciously upon the Earth, bringing intentionality to every choice we make and its impact upon all of life.
How We Work
We incubate exploratory and innovative programs, remaining open to the evolving needs and opportunities of our constituents and our world. We seek to facilitate growth and positive change on three simultaneous and deeply interconnected levels: the internal, the interpersonal, and the systemic.
Internal: We value spiritual, emotional and physical health and wellbeing, using whatever paths and forms support each unique individual in gradually becoming more aware, compassionate and courageous. Our experience is that we are all deeply impacted by our personal, family and cultural histories, and that transforming unhealthy fears, habits and reactive impulses takes steadfast commitment and discipline. We respect the many paths that serve as guideposts and sources of sustenance on the human journey, and we seek to awaken and affirm a sense of connection to the sacred in all of life.
Interpersonal: We strive towards relationships built on respect, generosity of spirit, and a commitment to one another's growth and well-being. We value deep listening, taking the time to hear and understand one another across differences. We value speaking our truth with compassion, honoring each other's unique perspectives and gifts. We use conflict as an opportunity for greater clarity, authenticity and transformation.
Systemic: We are committed to helping build a thriving, just and sustainable way of life for all, and to supporting those people and groups who work toward this goal on personal, local, regional, national and international levels. YES! recognizes the interconnectivity of all the challenges in our world today, and sees every act of courage, love and wisdom as a stand on behalf of the wellbeing of current and future generations.
Four Key Principles in Our Work
The Need: Often, the greatest saboteur of our movements is the internalized oppression and unresolved traumas of our personal and collective histories.
What We Do: We help individual changemakers to deepen their root system, and grow in consciousness and self care, so that they can become more healthy and effective, and restore balance and well-being in many cases.
2) Means to Ends Consistency
The Need: We have seen too many sustainability activists burning themselves out, peace activists who hit police with peace signs, and social justice activists caught up in organizational power struggles and hierarchy.
What We Do: We foster means to ends consistency. We believe that when there is congruency between our goals and how we work, we can generate more lasting and effective positive impacts.
3) Partnerships Between Diverse Allies
The Need: Diverse movements with profound core values operate, far too often, in silos and miss out on opportunities to effectively engage and collaborate.
What We Do: We support connections and alliances between diverse allies. If divide and conquer is the strategy that has been used to destroy, then connecting and self-organizing may be strategies for healing and regeneration. We believe real partnerships can be most effectively built on a foundation of trust and connection.
4) Love and Spirit
The Need: Materialism, isolation, and reactive consciousness stifle breakthroughs and limit inspiration.
What We Do: We help activists to open space for love and spirit to step in. We believe that love and spirit can totally change the conversation, making extraordinary things possible and helping to change the way we do change. They are not just tools for personal wellness – they enable individuals, organizations and even movements to be guided by a deeper wisdom, and to welcome the presence of the miraculous.