Archive for category: Politics

The Change Agent: Shifting the Conversation of Mexico

mpoderando las relación México – Americanas

Words create our world. Our conversations create the context of how the world occurs to us. Relationships are born and built of conversations.  So what are the words and conversations we hear in the press about Mexico? Drugs, drug cartels, violence, revenge, corruption, illegal, immigration, killings, death etc.  The conversations are invariably about the problems of all those words. On these conversations we then build the relationship of America to Mexico and Mexico to America. A relationship akin to a two-way mirror so dirty and damaged we have no idea what or who we’re really looking at,  so we make up what is by what we hear.Jorge Flores-Kelly for a long time had been disturbed and resigned by this terrible press image of Mexico. When he started the Team, Management and Leadership Program from Landmark Education almost two years ago he resolved to create a project that would change the nature of this conversation of Mexico.

Jorge started a blog  in both English and Spanish to discuss the vibrant activity that is happening  in this country of over 113 million people. Starting conversations on subjects like technology, education, art, literature, economic growth, health care , and Mexico’s international relations.  The blog is called in the Spanish version and in English. The blog’s subtitle sets the contexts for the site: “Empowering the Mexican – American Relationship”. Here’s the genesis of his idea explained on his site

The Catalist is not a spelling mistake.

Our name is the result of the  combination of two other words that define the essence of this blog:
catalyst and optimist.

catalyst n.  someone or something that helps bring about a change

Since starting the blog in his participation on Team Mexico, things have really taken off for Jorge. He’s produced and presented two videos and written a book that talks about creating a powerful context to relate to Mexico.  He talks about what is going right in the country, what is working and working  well. The intention is that by developing a positive context for people’s conversations about the country, the general decision-making will no longer be biased by negative sensationalism.

The book,  Mexico Piensa + , released in Spanish, but translated as Mexico Thinks Positively, was published in November 2011. As of this March it was sold out and the publisher was printing a second edition.  One reviewer on had this to say about Jorge’s book:

The book is a call to action for Mexicans and an eye opener for foreigners. It also challenges the way we tend to speak about one’s self and it’s a powerful illustration of the impact words can determine our destiny and shape our view of ourselves and subsequently, others views of us. 

In  Mexico,   Jorge’s  book  has  been featured in more than 15 different magazines. He’s been interviewed about it and his work to shift the context of the conversation of Mexico by more than 20 different TV and radio programs.  He’s been invited to speak on creating powerful contexts about Mexico and it’s citizens by Universities, the British Embassy, the Embassy of Finland, and the TEDxCondesaRoma conference.

On Team he’s developed the ability to create powerful contexts that allowed him to fulfill his dream of writing a book that is making a difference for his country. Primary for this was developing the ability to give things up or let them go. Letting go his  thoughts of  “I’ll write the book when I have something interesting to say”, and just starting to write it.  He applies this to the country also,  urging people to give up : “I’ll invest, travel, create a company, etc. when conditions are favorable..”, and instead having people understand they can create favorable conditions by informing  oneself in a proactive, profound manner.

Jorge looks back over the last two years and sees how being on Team has brought opportunities and experiences to his life that he never even dreamed about. The communication tools he’s acquired and the power of team are reinventing his life.  And who knows, apparently a whole country’s image as well.

Jorge’s blog in Spanish:
and in English:

Jorge Flores-Kelly, Team Mexico
Written by: Paola Bortoluz, Mexico,  James Marchand, NY

Playing Big: Beyond the Borders

In Landmark Education’s Team Management Leadership Program, Jorge Flores-Wells’ created a project to empower the relationship between Mexico and the United States.

The name of Jorge Flores-Wells’ game in the world is “Playing Big.” The possibility of the game is leadership, love and sharing. The intention is to “create an empowering context and a bridge among people to take a stand for Mexico´s image around the world.” Read more




Angela Wilson-Team Detroit, T2,Q4

ANGELA WILSON has a vision for Detroit. She has a vision of a city where children are nurtured and cared for, a place where families have access to everything they need. She believes that it is city leaders who will transform her city.

With this in mind, she made the decision to run for Detroit City Council. She used her participation in the Team Management and Leadership Program to create a Game in the World where, with the help of four teams, she would be elected to the city council. She and her teams created the acronym PEOPLE – standing for People Empowerment, Openness, Principled Leadership and Excellence in Detroit government.

The four teams, with two leaders on each team, are:

1) Resource development team – to raise money and secure other resources including businesses, people and time;

2) Community team – to engage the community, recruit volunteers, community events, creating events around a platform and align with others platforms;

3) Partnership team – to focus on creating partnerships with other candidates and share resources; and

4) Leadership team – to manage all teams, making broad policy decisions, approaching and supporting other teams.

When Angela lost the primary on Tuesday August 4th, she and her team leaned some invaluable lessons, the most important of which was to not give up on the game. They are still passionate leaders committed to transforming their city, but have aligned behind two winning primary candidates and will bring the power of their game to those leaders.

The transformation Angela is committed to for Detroit has already begun. People are seeing the possibility of a city that isn’t doing business as usual – they are not settling for ‘the way it’s been.’ A big shift occurred in the last election: of the six incumbent members running, only two made it into the top five. Since the top nine candidates will become the city council members, at least four will be new. This has never happened in Detroit politics before. Detroit is playing a different game now – a game of transformation.

Angela has learned two critical things from her game: First, that team–a real team, not just names, requires people who are committed and clear about their role. Second, she learned that it is crucial to listen ‘for’ what people are committed to, not just the words but for the intentions behind the words.

As she completes her second year in TMLP, Angela found out what was important was not just winning a council seat, but the training and development in playing the game and learning what works in the practice of playing.

Written by Judi Romaine, Edited by Jeff Bonar


walkinparkRob Hubbard loves the park. Rob is inspired by contribution. Put those two together and you have Rob’s Game in the World—A Walk in the Park.

Rob is establishing a group of volunteers who will walk the various parks and trails around Cincinnati and report back to park administrators on a regular basis any problems or concerns. The outcome of A Walk in the Park will be an ongoing team of volunteers who recruit, train and coordinate efforts to keep the parks in great shape. The added benefit, or maybe incentive, is they actually get to take walks in the parks.

Rob designed this game because walking in the park means a lot to him. He sees how it would benefit people to be in the park with a specific purpose of contributing to their community.

But it wasn’t always a ‘walk in the park’ for Rob to get his game going. Some of the park administrators were excited about it, but at first, some were discouraging. Rob didn’t let that stop him. He says that his advice for people creating a game for the world is to not rush into making up something just to get it done, but instead to keep having conversations with others until you discover a game that inspires you. He is surprised and excited to discover he can make something happen in his community. In fact, he says “I don’t have to convince people, but instead I see it’s an opportunity.”

His long-term vision for A Walk in the Park is that it spreads out to other communities. He asserts walking in the park is something that feeds the human spirit, makes people aware of the beauty in nature, promotes well being, serenity and peacefulness and has the added benefit of contributing to the community.

He plans to expand A Walk in the Park in the future to include volunteer organizations who put on cross country sporting meets, along with businesses, social groups, churches and individuals who live within the vicinity of the parks.

Ultimately, for Rob, through A Walk in the Park he’s discovered he’s someone who can inspire and move people, someone who can be a contribution to individuals and to communities.
Rob Hubbard, Team 1, Quarter 2, Team Cincinnati

Duncan Spotlights Louisville Immigrants

They follow in the footsteps of all Americans who’ve come to this land over millennia to weave a wonderful tapestry of culture and history.

This is the chronicle of our journeys, our struggles, our stories:

Our America!


Georgetta Duncan, known as Juja created an unusual and compelling project for her team game in the world in Landmark’s Team Management Leadership Program: She created “Our America,” her own television program that covered Louisville’s Worldfest, a leading, annual American multicultural festival that celebrates immigrants and the diverse cultures that comprise the United States.

Every year, 1.4 million immigrants come to the United States seeking a better life. Duncan, herself an immigrant from Bulgaria, interviews various festival attendees about the uniqueness of their culture and quotes Louisville officials about the importance of immigrants to the American work force and the American dream.

Bridging Communities Transforming Poverty in Honduras

honduras-bridge.jpgWhen I took on my project, my intent was to enhance the life of a community outside of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, by putting in a bridge. My project transformed this quarter, to a partnership with the government which is committed to changing a counhonduras-b-june-2007-145.jpgtry with extreme poverty to a country of prosperity – RIGHT NOW!

At the end of June, I went to Honduras for my game and what I saw was a beautiful country that is on the edge of going under. It is a country of 7 million people – 70% are under the age of 14 and 60% live in extreme poverty – and they are demanding a change. The key government people I met with on my trip are looking for a different way of doing things because what has been done in the past hasn’t worked. The money has gone where the votes are and not where it’s needed. They asked me to partner with them in turning around poverty in their country.

My original team was Rafael, a pastor in Honduras, Pastor Don Miller who is head of our international missions here and the University of Wisconsin, Madison chapter of Engineers Without Boarders. I am now in the process of forming 45 teams that will address specific issues such as health, sanitation, disease control, infrastructure, clean water education and many more. I created the possibility and outcome and I have an idea of what I want to accomplish and it is from this, that I get calls and emails from people who I don’t know me but they have the expertise to do what’s needed are want to help. People are contacting me daily. My teams now consist of some of the following groups: Volvo Construction, Rotary International, the Minnesota National Guard, the South African Embassy, a local structural engineering firm, Doctors and Dentists Without Boarders, Dole Fruit, Cargill, Sea Foam and many more. A strong team player that has shown up unexpectedly is the government of South Africa. We have started conversations about what is possible through an alliance between the two governments.

I have watched the growth of Rafael. In just the past month alone, Rafael has been given a new office in the municipality building including admin support, he has been added to the city board, he is working daily with the mayor on the community, weekly meetings with top government officials and today, August 3rd, he met with the President and the First Lady to review our ideas and vision for the country. It’s not what you would expect to see for a pastor in a poverty community. This is only the beginning for him.

Ingiero Cesar Salgado is head of the Fund for Social Inversion in Honduras (FHIS) and second-in-command in Honduras. He knows the information on the extreme poverty in Honduras inside and out. I got to see his heart for the people of his country. Ingiero Salgado is not a bureaucrat, but someone who wants to make a difference in this country before it is too late.
In Honduras I experienced communication at whole new level. It wasn’t the words that were spoken but the love I saw these leaders have for the people of their country. It radiated from their souls. It was the unspoken communication of the children who lived in extreme poverty but their spirits had not been broken. It was in all of the single mothers who despite everything they face, love their children more than I can express in words.

I envision a country that will not be the same in three years. They are demanding it and there is a sense of urgency. It will not be because of what is specifically done but it will be a change in thinking that will push this country to its tipping point that will send a ripple affect across Honduras and through Central America in what’s possible.

Who I am is leadership, love and generosity.
— Kathy Powell-Larson, Team Minneapolis

Police Inspector Trains as Hostage Negotiator

My name is Paul, and I am an Inspector in the Metropolitan Police Service. In July 2003 I was selected for the National Hostage and Crisis Negotiator’s Course – a result that would have been inconceivable prior to my participation in the Team Management and Leadership Programme. My interest in becoming a Hostage Negotiator was fostered through my participation in the Landmark Communication Programme and in particular in my training in listening what another person is saying, to get behind the words, to hear their concerns and to be in their world. I formed a team with other MPS Negotiators to support and coach me through the application process. I successfully completed the National Course in November.

Since then I have been called in to negotiate on two occasions: one where a young man had climbed onto the roof of a three-storey building and was threatening to throw himself to the ground, and the other where a woman had barricaded herself into a house with three children and was on the point of setting it on fire. Both incidents were resolved without bloodshed.

This is just one of many examples of the way that bringing my experience of participating in this Programme into the workplace continues to have a profound and positive effect. In another project the outcome has been a measurable, sustained reduction in serious assaults on the streets of my district of South-East London, and improved public reassurance.