In his book Community: The Structure of Belonging, Peter Block defines three important concepts that determine whether our future is stuck or emerging: accountability, entitlement, and possibility:
Accountability is the willingness to care for the whole, and it flows out of the kind of conversation we have about the new story that we hope will shape our identity. It means we have conversation of what we can do to create the future. Entitlement is a conversation about what others can or need to do to create the future for us. (48)
Possibility, for Block, is the name we give to the future into which we freely choose to live. Possibility without accountability results in wishful thinking, and accountability without possibility leads to despair, he says. Thus, the future emerges “at the intersection of possibility and accountability.” (48)
At SynergyWorks, we are hosting a conversation at the intersection of possibility and accountability. This event is an opportunity to vote with our feet. First, by our physical presence—or lack thereof—we will signify to our leaders and colleagues whether community engagement is important to us. Secondly, as participants, we will shape the structures and practices that support our community engagement—the ones that matter to us, the ones we may have requested or complained about in the past.
In this powerful way, we will guide the direction of the university. If this matters to you, please step boldly into this intersection so we can create the future of an engaged GVSU together.