Episode 1.14: Togetherness




When we intentionally practice what it means to be together, we increase the possibility of levelling-up — practicing our mastery of being together. In episode fourteen, facilitator, mentor, and friend Gibrán Rivera joins us for a conversation about how to co-create the space to tackle insurmountable problems.

Together, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart are THE OUTSIDE—systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.

1.14 —— SHOW NOTES

  • Tues: Today we’re talking to one of my favourite people in the world, Gibrán Rivera, a facilitator also working in systems change. Gibrán is an internationally renowned master facilitator who has devoted his life to the development of leaders and organizational transformation.

  • Gibrán: My great friend (RIP), Jake Brewer, said to me “our only known response to increasing complexity is exhilaration.” All we know how to do is go faster. As we go faster, we do less of what matters. I’m interested in a different response because complexity will keep increasing regardless. We’ve reached the upper threshold of exhilaration. What I’m interested in is what is an evolutionary response to this moment. How do we learn to be in this together better? 

  • Tues: Can you talk about this ‘leap’ that you can see us making?

  • Gibrán: Is this going to be our evolutionary crash or our evolutionary leap? The only way to meet this moment is a leap. Linear action is doomed. We need to literally leap. I want to orient my work, my life and my spirit around that possibility. That’s what I am talking about.

  • Tim: There is some undefinable confidence in the face of what looks like catastrophe. We’ve defined this at the heart of The Outside - there is always a way.

  • Gibrán: If we can make order out of VUCA—volatility,  uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity— we may make things feel more “normal” or stable, but we will be projecting a confidence not based on truth.

  • Gibrán: I feel like there is a wakefulness, a part of us that knows what is true in each of us. I think looking at someone like that’s true. Interacting with someone like they know what they know, they are capable of what they are capable of. It’s integral. See people’s greatness.

  • Tues: That brings up two things for me: 1) the charismatic facilitator and how we’re often made the maker of miracles; and 2) the quality of courage.

  • Gibrán: Important for all of us to become aware of how much we bring to the spaces we’re in by cultivating that in ourselves - wellness or steadiness. It impacts our space. 

  • Tim: What happens when facilitators are not in the room anymore? When it’s back to work? There’s an attachment that facilitators have to epiphany.

  • Gibrán: I am familiar with a discourse that warns against charisma because we know it can lead people astray. I think about my work as helping nurture a state experience of being together. I believe that as we become familiar with what it feels like to be together, then we can become more masterful, we can create more ease in entering those states of being together.

  • Tim: We often talk about referential experiences—we know we can do it because we’ve did this. They illuminate possible futures.

  • Gibrán: When we talk about the evolutionary leap, two things are integral: 1) Pattern of a web or network - connection is alive as any of us are. 2) Sense of self is decentralized. We need to ask: “What is the thing that I am cultivating?” “What is the seed that I am holding?” “What is the wisdom and the prayer I will transmit to my descendants, to my next generation?” Human-to-human in a world that we know is coming up against some real serious suffering. That is my orientation.

  • Poem of the day: Everywhere by Hafiz


    Through the streets

    Throwing rocks through windows,
    Using my own head to ring
    Great bells,
    Pulling out my hair,
    Tearing off my clothes,
    Tying everything I own
    To a stick,
    And setting it on

    What else can Hafiz do tonight
    To celebrate the madness,
    The joy,

    Of seeing God

  • Song of the day: El Farsante (Remix) by Ozuna · Romeo Santos


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Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.


Duration: 45:23
Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good Studios
Theme music: Gary Blakemore
Episode cover image: source