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5 billion people around the world lack basic access to justice. These organizations are out to – Ensia

Posted: January 11, 2020 at 5:41 am

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January 9, 2020 In 2007, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit Perus central coast, killing hundreds of people and injuring many more. In the port town of Pisco, about three hours south of the capital of Lima, the earthquake hit especially hard: Homes and buildings crumbled to the ground, the roof of the San Clemente cathedral collapsed upon churchgoers, and, as The New York Times described it, the citys main plaza was transformed into a makeshift morgue. In the months that followed, humanitarian assistance was focused on finding survivors and ensuring that the basic needs of some 85,000 affected families were met. But as the dust settled and the crisis subsided, Piscos victims found themselves in limbo.

You have humanitarian intervention in the moment itself and when the emergency is gone, people have to take on their new life, says Patricia van Nispen tot Sevenaer the founder of Microjustice4All, a legal empowerment organization. That process takes time.

When Microjustice4All began working in Pisco eight years after the earthquake, many of those affected had fled to the outskirts of town or the rural areas beyond because they lacked the property documents required to access reconstruction assistance from humanitarian aid organizations. Living in informal housing, often without access to water or sanitation and with no legal right to the land they depended upon, earthquake victims risked being displaced once again. For the Microjustice4All team, which focuses on ensuring that vulnerable communities have access to basic legal documents, this was especially concerning.

For two years, the Microjustice4All Peru team worked in Pisco and held almost 2,500 legal consultations with residents, seeking to obtain or correct their personal and property documents. In one case, facilitators met an elderly woman whose home was damaged in the earthquake but because of unresolved legal issues, she was unable to access loans or government programs to aid with repairs. A legal facilitator from Microjustice4all helped her resolve the issue in about a month.

The Microjustice4All team in Peru reviews a map of the village of Caucato before conducting a census as part of their work following the Pisco earthquake. Photo courtesy of Microjustice4All

People need to be able to go on with their lives and get back to their pre-disaster situation, at the very least, says Van Nispen tot Sevenaer. To do that, legal documents are essential.

Worldwide, some 5 billion people lack basic access to justice, according to a report by the Taskforce for Justice, an initiative of Pathfinders for Peaceful,Just and Inclusive Societies, an interdisciplinary group working on peace and justice issues. For these people, the law can appear to be either an abstract concept or a threat to their livelihood. Because of this, thousands of organizations, including Microjustice4All, have begun to advance the idea of legal empowerment: equipping people with the knowledge and skills necessary to use the law to exercise their basic rights. While the term itself emerged in the early 2000s, the practice dates back to the 1950s, when South African paralegals helped nonwhites defend themselves against apartheid.

More recently, as communities face a multitude of environmental problems, some exacerbated by climate change and others born from extractive industries, legal empowerment has become a powerful environmental justice tool. The idea and practice has even gained enough traction to be included among the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.

Vivek Maru, the founder of Namati an organization that trains and employs community paralegals across six countries estimates that about 70% of their work is focused on land and the environment.

Were living in a time of historic concentration of power, says Maru. And the law, which is supposed to be one of the most important tools we have for challenging environmental destruction, has fallen victim to that concentration of power.

In an ideal world, says Marco Simons, an attorney with EarthRights International (ERI) a global environmental organization that describes itself as combin[ing] the power of the law and the power of people any legal strategy would be formulated and spearheaded by those from the affected community. But most of the world is not yet at that point, Simons says.

Wed like to move in that direction, because thats when communities have the tools in their own hands to resist and demand accountability, he says.

In the meantime, partnerships forged between those with resources and those without are beginning to close the gap between who is able to defend their rights and who is structurally or economically prohibited from doing so. From Peruvian farmers litigating against mining companies in the U.S. court system to community paralegals fighting the harmful impact of extractive industries in India, legal empowerment offers communities a way into the legal system and a means of reclaiming its power.

In Pisco, Microjustice4All began by researching who, because of poverty or other circumstance, did not have access to personal or property documents and as a result was excluded from the legal system. Alongside displaced victims living in temporary housing, the team found that among the widows and single mothers who had received legal assistance from people such as tramitadores (people who process documents), many still, nearly a decade after the natural disaster, had incorrect papers and were living in unsafe homes across the city. Additionally, Van Nispen tot Sevenaer says, most peoples property issues had begun long before the earthquake itself, adding another layer of complexity to the recovery process. Through their work in Pisco, Microjustice4Alls local legal team addressed some 500 cases in the city, the majority of them tied to untangling complex property rights.

Our clients always say, finally we belong, Van Nispen tot Sevenaer says. Its not only the paperwork, its also a feeling that you become a citizen.

While the work Microjustice4All engages in is one method of tackling basic legal issues, another is the practice of barefoot lawyers or community paralegals. Since 2011, Namati has been building a global movement of community paralegals focused on environmental justice in India, Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Kenya and, most recently, the United States. While community paralegals dont need to have a legal background, Maru says theyre often looking for locals with a proven commitment to the common good and a strong rapport with the community in which they live. In India, where more than 31 million cases filed in court are classified as pending, Namati has had success in tackling polluting companies, multi-billion-dollar coal conglomerates and municipalities failing to protect residents from dangerous waste dumping. But much like the dangers faced by global environmental defenders, theres also an element of personal risk for community paralegals confronting corporations.

We have found that you cannot train paralegals and then leave them alone, says Maru. Thats a way of doing more harm than good.

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In part because of this, Namati formed the Global Legal Empowerment Network, an online and in-person forum that helps lawyers and grassroots organizations share knowledge and resources. This vertical network, as Maru describes it, also supports those taking on powerful interests and companies. Natural Justice, an environmental and human rights law organization based in sub-Saharan Africa, is a member of this network and works with a similar paralegal model. For example, in northern and coastal Kenya, community environmental legal officers train and assist community members on how to submit complaints that arise from legal violations caused by extractive and infrastructure projects.

For Maru, part of the appeal of legal empowerment is the ability to make meaningful progress without the need to necessarily go to court. While taking a case to court can be effective, it has traditionally been viewed as an expensive, prohibitive and disempowering experience. But sometimes, cases are best litigated in court and as a result, organizations have begun to apply the principles of legal empowerment to a that more traditional process.

In communities across Californias Central Valley, where sprawling agricultural fields abut oil wells, the Center for Race, Poverty, and the Environment (CRPE) a U.S. environmental justice organization takes a community-first approach to litigation. When cases go to court, staff attorneys collaborate with local community groups to build an organizing plan alongside the case. This could include protests, petition drives or even organizing a court translator so that those most affected often low-income immigrants can participate in the proceedings, according to Ingrid Brostrom, the organizations assistant director. While CRPE has several ongoing cases related to resource extraction, climate change and the management of utilities, Brostrom says that the goal is to help communities become the solution.

Rather than attacking every single polluter, we can reduce pollution by building power, she says.

ERI has used other innovative strategies in the pursuit of justice.

As part of its strategy of legal empowerment, the California-based Center for Race, Poverty, and the Environment collaborates with local community groups to build an organizing plan alongside legal cases. Here, Juan Flores, a community organizer for the organization, is seen taking part in the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice march in 2018. Photo courtesy of, from Flickr, Taken by Brooke Anderson with Survival Media Agency, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

For the past two years, the organizations attorneys have been working with Mxima Acua Atalaya de Chaupe, a subsistence farmer from Perus rural highlands and Goldman Environmental Prize winner, to fight a case against Newmont Mining. According to ERI, Chaupe and her family have been pressured and physically harassed to vacate their land in order to accommodate a gold mining project. Family members say they have been attacked and threatened by representatives from the mining giant and their property and possessions, including livestock, have been damaged or attacked. Given that Newmont is a U.S. corporation, Chaupes case for damages is being tried in Delaware, where the company is incorporated.

The U.S. has a very strong court system and a strong tradition of upholding powerful actors accountable for the injuries they inflict on others, says Simons. Unfortunately, thats not true in many countries around the world.

ERI has pioneered the use of another legal tool the Foreign Legal Assistance (FLA) statute to help public interest lawyers working abroad. Through the FLA, local lawyers can access relevant documents and testimony from people or corporations based in the U.S. In 2012, ERI filed an FLA action on behalf of five Nigerian villagers who were suing Chevron Nigeria, claiming the corporation caused environmental and health harm to their community. Historically, this type of request has been used by multinational corporations including Chevron. While the statute itself dates back to the 1940s, filing an action has been difficult for those outside of the U.S. with few resources. As such, ERI believes the action filed on behalf of the Nigerian villagers may have been the first time a public interest group used FLA for a community seeking to gather information about a U.S. multinational.

For us, all strategies are potentially on the table, Simons says. Whats really important is putting the community first and making sure their voice is being heard and their priorities are front and center.

As legal empowerment gains more momentum, organizations have recognized the need to train local people in the legal methods they have adopted and pioneered. Each year, Namati holds a Legal Empowerment Leadership Course in Budapest whereby selected leaders, policymakers, donors and researchers working on the issue of legal empowerment come together to learn from one anothers experiences. Microjustice4All has recently begun to scale up and is developing a program to help young lawyers in Bolivia, Serbia and Kenya establish their own law firms and work on issues around basic legal documentation. In Southeast Asia and Latin America, ERI coordinates recurring trainings for local or indigenous paralegals, lawyers and legal advocates working across the regions. Through training and knowledge sharing, the hope is that people affected by environmental injustices will not only be able to confront those accountable but represent their own communities while doing so.

You see a shift when communities that are most affected by these kinds of abuses have the tools in their own hands, says Simons. And if you talk to people, youll find that they share the goal of having a greater voice in their own path forward.

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5 billion people around the world lack basic access to justice. These organizations are out to - Ensia

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January 11th, 2020 at 5:41 am

Visiting author will read from chronicle of tragic event in LGBTQ history – OSU – The Lantern

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The Up Stairs Lounge crowd gathers together in the bar, circa 1972. Credit: Courtesy of Johnny Townsend

Nearly 47 years ago, a fire shook the gay community in New Orleans. This week, a journalist will come to Ohio State to tell the tragic story.

Author Robert Fieseler will visit Denney Hall Friday to read from his book, Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation. The book won the Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime and Lambda Literarys Award for Emerging Writers, according to Fieselers website. A Q&A session and book signing will follow the reading.

Fieselers book focuses on the 1973 arson of the Up Stairs Lounge, a New Orleans gay bar, that killed 32 people and devastated the citys underground, blue-collar gay community. The event stood as the largest mass murder of homosexual people in U.S. history until the 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Fieseler said.

Fieseler said the event received little media attention at the time and was largely ignored until recently.

A massacre in the past was deemed politically inconvenient due to its homosexual overtones and thus permitted to become an historic mystery, which is how it existed for decades, Fieseler said.

Fieseler is a journalist who has spent much of his career covering marginalized communities. As a member of the LGBTQ community, he said Tinderbox represents both a professionally and personally rewarding opportunity.

Ive always longed to try to understand what the past was like for people like myself, Fieseler said. What did they have to fight through? What was their daily reality like? And what sacrifices did they have to make so that I could live an open life in the way that I do?

Fieseler said he thinks that events like his upcoming reading are important in telling the stories of those who have long been silenced. He said his goal is to help people overcome victimhood and find empowerment.

Uncovering the truth behind mysterious and overlooked events such as the Up Stairs Lounge fire is essential to that empowerment, Fieseler said. He references author, anthropologist and filmmaker Zora Neale Hurstons quote, If you are silent about your pain, theyll kill you and say you enjoyed it.

Robert Fieseler will visit Ohio State Friday to read from his book, Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation. Credit: Portrait by Ryan Leitner

Fieseler said he finds that speaking about tragedies can bring relief.

There is nothing more exciting, nothing more fulfilling, nothing more essential, than attempting to, in present-day context, fight for your rights in America with a little bit of truth on your side, he said.

The reading was organized with assistance from Nick White, an assistant professor of English at Ohio State who teaches creative writing and queer literature. Fieseler said he met and formed a strong bond with White at a Mississippi book festival when they were both on a queer literary panel.

The book is talking about a queer history that has, until Robert wrote about it, not really been given its due, White said.

White said he is grateful to LGBTQ community members who have come before him to ensure his rights and people like Fieseler, who have documented and memorialized them. White also expressed a close personal connection with the subject matter of the book.

The reason why the book touched me so much was because I am a gay man from the South and a gay man from Mississippi, and I think about how hard, even today, it is to live out in places like Mississippi, where Im from. Its getting better certainly but theres still farther we can go.

The program is being held by the Master of Fine Arts creative writing program. Fieseler, a University of Michigan alum, said this will be the first time he sets foot on Ohio States campus.

The reading will take place at 4 p.m. Friday in Denney Hall Room 311. The program is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase.

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Visiting author will read from chronicle of tragic event in LGBTQ history - OSU - The Lantern

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January 11th, 2020 at 5:41 am

Q&A on The Host Leadership Field Book –

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Key Takeaways

The Host Leadership Field Book: Building Engagement for Performance and Results provides 30 cases and experiences from people who are applying host leadership in different settings. The book emerged from the 2019 Host Leadership Gathering, and was edited by Mark McKergow and Pierluigi Pugliese.

InfoQ readers can download the introductory chapter from the Field Book which describes the book and provides a summary of the Host Leadership roles and positions.

InfoQ interviewed Mark McKergow and Pierluigi Pugliese about host leadership.

InfoQ: What made you decide to create this book?

Mark McKergow: It was Pierluigis idea. We were thinking about the 2019 Host Leadership Gathering which he was keen to host in Munich, and he suggested that rather than just have a conference/meeting, we could have an objective to actually create something as a purpose for the event. It has been wonderful to see the contributions coming together, both from those participating on the day and those who put their hands up and volunteered afterwards. Its a great chance to see how Host Leadership is in use around the world in so many different practical ways, five years after the original Host book was published.

Pierluigi Pugliese: It all started with an observation I made many years ago: while Open Space conferences are great, usually there is not much that becomes available to people who did not participate; either you were there and it was wonderful, or you missed it all. Actually, Harrison Owen had already codified the concept of "Instant Proceeding" in his book "Open Space Technology"; I had just never seen it implemented in practice (with the exception of a few in-house events I facilitated). So for a while I had played with the idea of using that format to create something collaboratively to give back to the community. Once Mark mentioned the idea of having an Open Space day as part of the Host Leadership Gathering, it was just a matter of connecting the dots ...

InfoQ: For whom is the book intended?

McKergow: Its intended for anyone interested in building engagement within their teams, organisations and communities to lead to better performance and results. We think that leading as a host is a great way to do that, and its borne out by the book chapters. So potential users might be helping agile teams, project leaders, school principals, healthcare professionals, local community organisers - anyone wanting to bring people together to achieve something in an effective way.

Pugliese: Agree with Mark. And for me, this book is also an invitation to explore the metaphor of the Host in more detail; while its very easy to understand and to apply it at a basic level, there is a wealth of richness in exploring how the Host interacts with the Guests in all the possible configurations.

InfoQ: How do you define host leadership?

Pugliese: For me, Host Leadership is a superb way to reflect on how we interact with people. While we typically all agree that leadership is about having followers, many other authors still place the leaders in the middle, describing with various levels of prescriptiveness what they should or should not do, usually forgetting that in order to have an interaction we need to be at least two ... They might be talking about post-heroic leadership (for example see why your organisation needs post-heroic leadership), but the focus and the language used are still referring to the leader in a heroic fashion: "the leader is ...". Host Leadership is different in this respect: while the Host needs to take on - for example - the Inviter role, the "how" this is done, the focus on the interaction with the Guests, is so definitive that it makes a lot of difference in practice. Its not anymore about "me", but about "us", and how we relate. Suddenly, the interaction between Host and Guests is what is worth talking about!

McKergow: The great thing about Host Leadership is thats it is BOTH a metaphor and a model. The metaphor can do a lot of work on its own - indeed there are a couple of chapters (notably the piece by agile consultant Gry Derbier) that are totally about his use of the metaphor to get people to think differently about what they are trying to do. We all know about being a host, and also about being a good guest. So suppose you ARE the host in this situation, and the other people are your guests ... what would you do next? Its amazing how much rich new thought and insight this simple activity can provide.

Then there is the model, which is about stepping forward and back, six roles and four positions of a host leader. These are summarised in the first chapter of the book. Briefly, the six roles are:

Our four positions of a host leader are places to stand (physically or perceptually) to get different perspectives on what is going on and what needs to happen next:

Host leaders use these roles and positions, stepping forward into the role which needs to happen next, with a focus on helping people interact usefully and constructively.

InfoQ: How does host leadership differ from other modern leadership approaches like leader-leader (from Turn the Ship Around), servant-leadership, or humble leadership?

McKergow: I see Host Leadership as a build on the ideas of servant-leadership. Robert Greenleafs ideas and writings have been important over the last 40 years or so. We think Host Leadership is a more complete and easier to grasp idea; yes, host leaders serve their guests - and they do a whole lot of other things to which actively contribute to success. Hosting feels more like an active leading role to many people, which helps them start off in this direction more easily. Its a rich idea for which we have a lot of existing competence and experience - both conscious and unconscious. Hardly anyone has servants anymore, so that role may be less familiar and accessible to the vast majority. Its not an accident that the places where servant-leadership has gained traction are places where they have a sophisticated idea of what service means, such as church organisations.

In comparison to the other leadership approaches, I think Host Leadership benefits from being both an instantly-understandable metaphor and a rich model. People get an initial idea of what its about right away (from the metaphor). They can then explore the model in more depth to extend their understanding and get new insights. I love David Marquets ideas in Turn the Ship Around, but there is no shortcut - you have to read the book to understand them. Think like a host is something people already know how to do (at some level) - they can start in a flash and then deepen their understanding later, based on real actions and experience.

Pugliese: For me, Host Leadership is more than a leadership approach: its an approach to human interactions, with leadership being one of the application fields. For me it is also not an alternative to other approaches but rather integrative! You might want to use the ideas of Humble Leadership, yet in order to interact with your organisation you will have to initiate, invite, create a space, i.e. Host Leadership might be the operational tool you can use to implement other leadership ideas and models. Yet, on the other hand, Host Leadership could be everything you need, as Gry Derbier hints in his book chapter "Can it be that simple?", where he describes how a minimalistic usage of the metaphor was everything he needed to achieve great results.

InfoQ: The book contains experience stories on applying host leadership. Can you give some examples of the stories?

McKergow: The book contains some 30 stories about people using Host Leadership in many different settings. Some of these are about using Host Leadership over an extended period. I like the chapter where Bjorn Z Ekelund and his colleagues from Norway are working with six refugee families, with the workers consciously shifting their professional perspective for the first time from we are helping you, to lets do this together. Its fascinating how they apply the different roles over a six-month period which results in the families, as well as the professionals, becoming more engaged and more connected to each other, and towards positions with more dignity and more personal empowerment.

In a different vein, there is a super chapter from Rachel Lindner in Germany about hosting global virtual teams as part of a cross-cultural initiative. She not only shows how using Host Leadership roles and positions have helped her build these virtual teams quickly and effectively, but also how she then encouraged the team members to take on hosting/leading roles on their own. There is a fascinating piece from Hans Christian Nielsen and Jonas Hedegaard from Denmark about how the Roskilde Festival - N. Europes largest music festival with 130,000 attendees - uses the principles of hosting to rapidly transition from a small full-time team to an organisation of 30,000 volunteers and back again within weeks.

Not all the stories are about such large-scale ventures. For example, there are chapters about using host ideas within a coaching framework. I have already mentioned Gry Derbiers chapter where he coaches people to just think like a host, and in a few moments they have new insights and realisations about working with others. I have a chapter with Peter Roehrig about using the Users Guide To The Future framework from the original Host book as a coaching tool - its a wonderful way to start with a huge idea and break it down into well-founded actionable steps within a few minutes. Theres a very nice chapter from Pierluigi himself alongside Markus Reinhold about taking a hosting perspective as a trainer, preparing and running training courses and workshops. There are also chapters about teaching Host Leadership ideas and inspiring people to start using them.

Pugliese: There is also a section on using Host Leadership and agility; the metaphor has become very popular in Agile and many people are applying it in the most varied situations: from daily standups to retrospectives to creating communities. And while this section might be the first one the readers of this site are interested in, I found many other chapters to be incredibly inspiring in my work with agile teams and organisations.

InfoQ: What are the challenges when moving towards host leadership and how do people deal with them?

McKergow: We have found that once people become aware of the possibility of leading as a host, many people take to it relatively quickly and enthusiastically. Its so usable right out of the box; people connect to their existing knowledge and experience and away they go! The difficulty is not in getting them to start using it once they know about it. If anything, the challenge has been more about getting them to keep going past this initial success to really engage with the richness and multi-dimensional possibilities of the model. There is so much potential and nuance in the six roles and four positions, but not everyone is prepared to take it on right away. We are hopeful that this book will be an encouragement to dig a little further into these ideas and practices.

Pugliese: I fully agree with Mark; there is an incredible potential in the metaphor that remains untapped because once people use it and have success with just the rudiments, they stop exploring. There is more to it - and I also hope the book will inspire people to go deeper.

However, a very interesting aspect for me is the lack of challenge in implementing it; Ive seen people change completely the way they interact with others after just having learned the metaphor. There is something in Host Leadership that resonates very naturally with some people, and once they become aware of the very idea of hosting, thats enough for a significant change.

For one of my clients we developed an advanced education program for Scrum Masters, and once I suggested they include Host Leadership, they recognised the potential and they wanted it as the overarching frame for the entire program!

InfoQ: How do the host leadership roles fit into organisations that work according to agile?

McKergow: We find that many organisations who work with agile have taken on the servant-leadership idea, and then struggle with it. Its great to want to serve your teams, but what does that mean? How do you perhaps reconcile accountability as a manager/team leader with simply serving? We find that the idea of hosting the team is in many ways more graspable and achievable - the six roles are all things that the host leader can do and look after, which are to do with helping the team come together productively rather than trying to control the results of the meeting.

Another subtle difference is in the way that the leader has their own potential say in the discussions - as a coach/facilitator, the leader is supposed to stay out of it. As a host, they are also a co-participator and have the option to (carefully) offer their own thoughts on whats happening. Just as leaders eat last, hosts too hear others first before offering their ideas.

Pugliese: Id say: perfectly, and in two ways:

InfoQ: How can we apply host leadership for distributed, dispersed, or virtual teams?

McKergow: Thats an excellent question! We think that Host Leadership can fit well with these kinds of setting. Firstly, there is good experience in the Rachel Lindner chapter mentioned above about virtual teams. Because the channels of communication are narrower in a virtual context, it can be even more important to take care to invite people carefully, make a great space for interaction, share time, make sure everyone is included, connect people together afterwards and generally make effective use of the precious together-time.

Then as time goes on, the hosting role can be shared- either with different people taking on different elements of the hosting, or people acting a host leaders in their own spaces and places to engage even more people. Its a powerful combination to show host leadership (by doing it), to teach it (by making people more consciously aware of what you are doing and why), and to encourage others to use it for themselves. This same kind of tactic can be used in distributed or dispersed teams as well. It makes for a coherent approach within the team/organisation, which is itself a powerful move for alignment and engagement.

Pugliese: Just be the best Host you can! Again, Host Leadership is about interacting better as humans. You can invite face-to-face or over a phone line or via email; there is no structural difference in how you do it. And it becomes an even more important skill when working remotely; it seems to me Host Leadership makes the intention of an interaction clearer and inherently more respectful.

InfoQ: How can we use host leadership in training, mentoring, and coaching?

McKergow: Thinking and leading as a host fits very well with the functions of training, mentoring and coaching. Because the host is always looking to promote useful interaction and engagement, the six roles can all play their part. We both come from the field of Solution-Focused (SF) coaching, where the focus is on helping the coachee/learner connect with their own experiences, hopes and wishes, rather than imposing our own ideas. Good hosting can have such a huge impact on the quality of the dialogue, reflection and learning that occurs; when the client really feels heard, understood, appreciated, looked after, then they are in a position to go further, deeper, be more challenging (and also possibly challenged).

InfoQ: How can organisations introduce host leadership?

McKergow: This is a question that comes up from time to time. We find people coming along, enthusiastic and fired-up, wanting to convert their whole team, department or organisation. We always urge caution! You might love this, but if you start hitting people over the head with it (in your desire to get things moving), then its hard to see good things emerging. Go slowly. Use it yourself. Dig in a little bit to the aspects of the model. Start getting results yourself. Then, when people are noticing that youve become more effective, more caring, more aware in your leadership, that might be a good time to let them into the ideas and encourage them to start trying things for themselves.

There are stories emerging from around the world about people starting to introduce and teach the approach. Ralph Miarka and Veronika Kotrba from Austria show a way of getting people focused on the relationships implied in different leadership approaches, which works very well. (If you think youre a shepherd, do you really want the others to be sheep!?) Host leaders, of course, and view the other people as their guests, which is already the start of some very interesting conversations. Host Leadership can be an integrating metaphor, as another chapter produced by participants to the Host Leadership Gathering points out. And Leah Davchva from Bulgaria shows how she introduces the metaphor and model in a four-hour workshop, complete with downloadable posters. Its a great resource.

Pugliese: Start simple: the very simple metaphor of behaving as a Host would is a very powerful game changer for many people. Then, you can explore the six roles and the four positions, and finally delve into more and more nuances.

Having a few good examples of Hosts in your organisation can make it spread. My observation is that this metaphor speaks very strongly to some people; its natural, it rationalises a way they would like themselves to be, hence they start using it very naturally and become role models for its application in a company.

InfoQ: What skills should host leaders have and how can they develop them?

McKergow: Thats a huge question! The starting point is to bring both a large-scale awareness of what you are trying to do, and line it up with some great attention to detail. An outward focus is very important too - its very hard to be a good host leader if you are self-obsessed or inward looking. (But that doesnt mean that introverts cant succeed - some of the very best host leaders we know enjoy having the chance to take on a people perspective from time to time and use their inner resources to prepare and reflect.) Alertness and awareness are key - you have to be both a good planner AND be able to adjust and adapt as things move along. Working with complexity (as opposed to fighting it or simply giving in) is a key benefit from the Host Leadership stance. Surprising as it might sound, we find that if the ideas of Host Leadership speak to you, you will very likely be able to make a great start with your existing skills and experience, and then build on these as you go along.

Pugliese: Situational awareness comes to my mind, which means being open to the signals coming from the world around us. A few months ago, I attended a meeting where one person behaved in a very toxic way. The whole group was uncomfortable about the way this guy took control of the discussion and made it his show. He was simply not picking up any of the non-verbal signals coming from the twenty-something people kept "hostages" by him in that meeting; it was clear to everybody how unaware he was of the situation around him, yet, he continued. Anyway, I think situational awareness is a basic skill for everything related to human communication, not just for learning to be a Host.

Yet, I believe that simply appreciating what it means to be a Host in your daily communication might help you develop the necessary observational skills to become a better Host.

InfoQ: What's next for host leadership?

McKergow: We are keen to find more ways to support people wanting to try Host Leadership and then expand their ability. We are thinking of adding a Resources page to our website soon to help with this - there are some good resources out there, but they are not yet very well assembled and accessible. Were keen to keep adding resources to the Field Book too - there are a couple of chapters that arrived too late for the book, but that we want to make available through the website. Wed like to get more conversations going in our LinkedIn and Facebook groups, so please sign up to those. And the next Host Leadership Gathering will be in Vienna, Austria, on 13-15 May, 2020!

In the longer term, there is an excellent chapter towards the end of the Field Book from Mark McKergows original co-author Helen Bailey. She writes about how the simplicity of the basic Host Leadership idea belies its depth, and that the way forward for those wishing to deepen their practice is not to learn more about it, but rather to revisit the basic ideas again with new eyes and new experiences. Our understanding of these ideas continues to grow and expand, and were keen to support people along the journey.

Mark McKergow pioneered the idea of hosting and leadership starting in 2003 and wrote the book Host: Six New Roles of Engagement with Helen Bailey (Solutions Books, 2014). He is a speaker, author, consultant and trainer who brings new ideas into the world of management. He loves ideas that make things easier, simpler, shorter and more effective than people thought possible. McKergow is based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His previous work in accelerated learning and Solutions Focus has taken him around the world, and his book The Solutions Focus (with Paul Z Jackson, Nicholas Brealey, 2007) has been translated into 11 languages.

Pierluigi Pugliese is founder and managing director of Connexxo GmbH and active as Agile Coach, Systemic Consultant and Trainer. He has a lot of experience in various roles in software development organisations and complex international projects. As an expert in agile and Scrum, he is working flexibly in various functions: consultant, coach, trainer, facilitator, depending on whether the client wants to implement agile methods in just one team or spread the agile values and principles throughout the whole organisation.

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Q&A on The Host Leadership Field Book -

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January 11th, 2020 at 5:41 am

Opinion: Richardson played politics on homelessness bond and civility lost out – Long Beach Post

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People Post is a space for opinion pieces, letters to the editor and guest submissions from members of the Long Beach community. The following is an op-ed submitted by Phil Hawkins, CEO of Pacific West Association of Realtors,and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Long Beach Post.

According to Long Beach City Councilman Rex Richardson during the Jan. 7, 2020 council meeting on his proposed housing bond ballot measure, the vote was merely about a cup of coffee a month, or less than a monthly Netflix bill. Not supporting his Everyone In initiative at that amount would be, well, according to him, anything less than democracy minded.

Richardons attempt to place a $298 million affordable housing and homeless services bond financed by property taxes on the Nov. 3 ballot ultimately failed in a 5-4 vote.

But if Richardson was really about good governance and empowerment as he asserts, he wouldnt have tried to railroad through a measure he knew lacked council support in the name of slogans and to undermine his colleagues up for re-election in March. No wonder voters have a higher opinion of root canals, traffic jams and used-car salesmen than politicians.

Attempting to present a September 2017 staff memo as a now is the time to act item and ignoring 28 other recommendations on revenue tools and incentives for the production of affordable and workforce housing adopted by the council in May 2017 makes one wonder if Richardson was really paying attention while he was vice mayor.

Raising property taxes to make housing more affordable is the exact opposite of creating a local economy that includes and benefits every resident. Contrary to what was stated by some, the December 2019 median sales price of a home in Long Beach was $650,000. Many in the council chamber chanted, make them [homeowners] pay, they can afford it. In this case, it would be more like four coffees a month per homeowner, but whos counting? And our Long Beach leaders wonder why, according to property tax data, theres only a 38% homeownership rate in the city, 17% less than the state, and why rents are rising for the other 62%.

If we want to talk about equity around the investment in the production of affordable housing and capacity to address homelessness, residents need to know that Richardsons proposal would have meant a building cost of $463,472 per affordable housing unit to be borne by taxpayers. And no, that doesnt include homelessness services in the cost. Modeled after the city of Los Angeles measure, by 2023 we might have a few more units opening in Long Beach, meanwhile the homeless rate increases by 40% and not one of the roughly 78,000 residents who are housing cost burdened have been helped. Wheres the equity in that?

Tuesdays night meeting was a display of personal attacks, name calling and incivility. Apparently, the quality of being fair and impartialthe definition of equityis reserved to one point of view. We deserve and expect more from our leaders, and our fellow neighbors, if we truly want Long Beach to flourish and not flounder.

Opinion: Richardson played politics on homelessness bond and civility lost out - Long Beach Post

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January 11th, 2020 at 5:41 am

Nothing wrong with different ideologies, practise them after college: Venkaiah Naidu to Tiruchy students – The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

TIRUCHY: Dissent and protests are part of democracy, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday while addressing students in the city. He, however, stressed that protests should be peaceful and the destruction of public properties should not be allowed. Naidu was speaking at National College as the chief guest of its centenary celebrations.

He emphasized that one should not allow violence to take place in any public activity and that peace was the pre-requisite for progress.

Further, Naidu advised students not to waste time during the course of their study and instead be pragmatic. There is nothing wrong in knowing different ideologies, but practice them once you are out of educational institutions.

He added, Your focus should be on academic excellence for better future. We must pursue education with all vigour. Students must draw inspiration from our glorious history to make a magnificent future.

The Vice-President appealed to students to dispel political tainting of initiatives like yoga promotions, Swachch Bharat, digital India and Clean India. He said the initiatives were for personal well being and nations development and should not be viewed politically.

Appreciating Tamil Nadu for its higher Gross Enrolment Ratio, (enrolment into higher education)he said more is needed to be done. He said private players should also invest in education. Investment in education is investing in countrys development, he said.

ALSO READ | Campuses shouldnt let politics of hate thrive: Venkaiah Naidu

He added, Literacy is the first step to empowerment. We must hence step-up the pace of our literacy campaigns, especially those that have an impact on adult literacy.

Referring to ancient India where education was free, egalitarian and accessible to both men and women, he said, "The curriculum was comprehensive and placed equal emphasis on the intellectual, emotional, psychological and physical development."

He called for restoring ancient glory where India was the educational capital of the world by fortifying modern education with ancient wisdom to face todays real-world challenges.

He said that the treasure of wisdom handed down to us by generations of wise men and womenneeded to bepreserved, protected and promoted.

Naidu also suggested students learn as many languages as possible.

Among those present at the event were Vice President of National College Jayakar Krishnamurthy, Secretary K Ragunathan and Principal R Sundararaman.

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Nothing wrong with different ideologies, practise them after college: Venkaiah Naidu to Tiruchy students - The New Indian Express

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January 11th, 2020 at 5:41 am

South Korea Moves Toward Institutional Acceptance of Cryptocurrency – Nasdaq

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By Landon Manning

The South Korean Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PCFIR), a committee focused on coordinating regulatory policy around cutting-edge technology in the country, has made recommendations that the government work toward institutional acceptance of crypto assets, causing some to speculate that South Korea is preparing for a crypto arms race against the Chinese digital yuan.

Local media outletBusiness Koreareportedon January 6, 2020, that the PCFIR suggested that the Korean government allow financial institutions to launch cryptocurrency-related products, such as Bitcoin derivatives, as a medium- and long-term strategy for the institutionalization of cryptocurrencies.

As part of this strategy of working toward both nearer and longer term goals, the committee also recommended the development and implementation of a Korean custody solution to avoid relying solely on foreign custodians in the process of handling crypto assets.

This problem seems especially salient for South Korea, as it also formally recommended directly listing bitcoin for sale on Korea Exchange, the nations sole securities operator. Additionally, the report called for the legalization of private firms selling futures on bitcoin products. For this latter measure, the report explicitly drew comparisons to governments like the United States, which have enacted similar measures, calling these regulations a model to be emulated.

Given the way that the PCFIR referenced the international crypto industry, specifically claiming that it is no longer possible to stop crypto-asset trade worldwide, commentators havedrawn attentionto Chinas test phase of developing its own state-backed crypto asset: the digital yuan. The Chinese economy being a significant competitor to South Koreas in a wide range of areas (and also considering Chinas support for North Korea) adds validity to this notion that South Korea has a rivalry with the economic giant in mind in its own approach to formal crypto adoption.

The proposal of these new measures has not been the only crypto-friendly overture from the South Korean government recently. On December 30, 2019, the Ministry of Finance and Strategyconfirmedthat nothing in the countrys tax code currently supports the taxation of capital gains made through trading cryptocurrencies. Although there has been some chatter that the government will seek to tighten its tax codes in the future, concrete legislative attempts are yet to materialize.

Although it is unclear what amount of material resources the South Korean government will commit to the promotion of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies, the suggestion that it will allow private firms more leeway to expand their services independently is a good start. As the possible global implications of Chinas new program begin to crystallize, South Koreas response will surely also become clearer.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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South Korea Moves Toward Institutional Acceptance of Cryptocurrency - Nasdaq

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January 11th, 2020 at 5:41 am

BCC launches service workshops for Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration – Fall River Herald News

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FALL RIVER Bristol Community College will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. with free community breakfast and new service workshops on Monday, Jan. 20.

For its 20th anniversary, Bristol is transforming the colleges annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. community breakfast into an all-new, interactive Day of Service, serving multiple age groups and community offerings. Following the breakfast and a brief program, including a keynote presentation by Marquis Taylor, founder of the school improvement initiative Coaching 4 Change, guests will have the option to visit multiple fun and engaging workshops and activities throughout the Bristol Fall River campus.

The annual celebration will be held in the Commonwealth College Center (G Building) cafeteria, on the Bristol Community College Fall River Campus, 777 Elsbree Street. The breakfast and brief program, which includes a keynote address, as well as entertainment by Mia Vaughn, will begin at 8:30 a.m., before transitioning to workshops and activities at 10:30 a.m.

New additions to the event include 90-minute workshops, about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., personal empowerment, financial literacy, a theatre workshop, as well as a motivational youth basketball clinic and more. For the most updated list of Day of Service workshops and activities at this years event, including descriptions and registration details, visit

Taylor founded Coaching 4 Change while attending graduate school, at the age of 27. Marquis passion is inspiring people to understand that where you start is not where you have to end up. He encourages young people to fight negativity by taking action, evaluating and thinking differently. Growing up in a low-income community in South Central Los Angeles, he witnessed violence, experienced failure and overcame many challenges, which led him to dedicate himself to motivating others.

He graduated from Stonehill College with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and earned his Master of Education in Teaching from Smith College. He has also been honored as an Echoing Green Fellow and Pahara Institute NextGen Fellow.

For more information about the 20th Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast and Day of Service, please visit

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BCC launches service workshops for Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration - Fall River Herald News

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January 9th, 2020 at 6:45 am

HUD Awards More Funding And New Designation To CMHA – WCBE 90.5 FM

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U.S. Housing and Urban Development officials were in Columbus Wednesday for a trio of announcements regarding the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority.

HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph Galvan announced that CMHA has been awarded nearly $156,000 to help families attain self-sufficiency.

"These funds will help residents of public and voucher-assisted housing increase their earned income andreducetheir dependency on public assistance and rental subsidies," Galvan said. "HUD's Family Self-Sufficiency Program helps local public housing authoritiesto hire a service coordinator who can work directly with residents to connect them with existing programs and services in the localcommunity."

It's part of almost $3.5 million HUD awarded similar agencies across Ohio. Galvan also announced a $142,451 grant to CMHA to provide permanent homes to 24 veterans experiencing homelessness. The Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, known as HUD-VASH, combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. Officials say the vouchers help homeless veterans obtain affordable housing in the private market.

"Since 2017, the Columbus VA along with CMHA has provided permanent supportive housing to 310 veteran households," Director of Veterans Affairs Central Ohio Healthcare Vivian Hutson said. "The Columbus HUD-VASH program leads the region with an average occupancy rate of 96 percent."

HUD also designated CMHA's RISE center a HUD EnVision Center. The designation enables resource-sharing and partnerships with additional federal agencies, including the Commerce, Health & Human Services, Labor, Agriculture, and Education departments. RISE Center director Sonja Nelson.

"Once people have stable housing, they can begin to address the barriers that stand in their way to self-sufficiency," RISE Center director Sonja Nelson said. "The needs are many, from affordable child care and transportation to mental health services and job training. Everyday people walk through the doors of CMHA overwhelmed with challenges beyond housing. Coordinators at RISE will connect residents to resources provided at local agencies to support our residents in addressing obstacles to create pathways to personal and economic empowerment."

In addition to economic empowerment, educational advancement, health and wellness, and character and leadership are the other points of emphasis.

"It's focused on CMHA residents, but it's open to anyone," Nelson continued. "When our housing advisors meet with someone and they need child care or help in finding a job, unfortunately our housing advisors don't have the time or the capacity or the tools. They're regulatory. So now they can say, yes you have support right across the street. You can go over to the RISE Center, and they will help you."

Nelson says while the HUB sits across the street CMHA's main office near 11th and Cleveland Avenues, there are also satellite locations at the organization's housing communities. Additional locations and services will be based on feedback from residents. Officials say they will measure success based on the outcomes of the residents they serve.

HUD Awards More Funding And New Designation To CMHA - WCBE 90.5 FM

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January 9th, 2020 at 6:44 am

Top 5 albums of the 2010s – Wichita State Sunflower

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Karen Galindo and Brogan Gillmore|January 8, 2020

The Sound of the Life of the Mind album art

5. The Sound of the Life of the Mind by Ben Folds Five

Having broken up at the beginning of the millenium, Ben Folds Five reformed in 2011 then produced The Sound of the Life of the Mind, their fourth studio album, in 2012. The album debuted at number 10 on Billboards Top 200 and retained everything that made the band a hit in the mid-90s: catchy pop lyrics and piano riffs that take a 2-year lease in the back of your head.

In anticipation of the album Ben Folds Five released a music video for their uplifting pop-rock anthem Do It Anyway, featuring Jim Hensons Fraggle Rock muppets. Like most of the rock-groups albums, they have songs ranging from peppy feel-good anthems to angsty and aggressive songs like Draw a Crowd that you turn on just to blow off steam on bad days.

Beat the Champ album art

4. Beat the Champ by The Mountain Goats

If you ever thought Wow, I really need a whole album about pro-wrestling, then look no further; Beat the Champ is The Mountain Goats 2015 ballad album detailing the rise and fall of a pro-wrestler in the American southwest. If youre not a wrestling fan, this album still has something for you, with its vivid lyrics and storytelling that have more to do with morality and the mistakes we make in our lives than it does with wrestling. Although not successful on the awards circuit, the album received plenty of acclaim critically with Jer Fairall from Exclaim! referring to the album as a highlight in a career full of highlights.

Lemonade album art

3.Lemonade by Beyonc

Released in 2016, Lemonade resonated with the souls of fans across the world. The R&B album embodied vulnerability and empowerment with tracks such as Daddy Lessons, Dont Hurt Yourself,and Formation. In the album, Beyonc was able to unapologetically discuss gender and racial inequality and empowerment, all while singing from personal experiences and heartbreak. The singer was thoroughly honest with all her tracks, which range from R&B to country to rock. Nominated for nine Grammy awards and the winner of two (Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Video), this album continues to be talked about and listed to by music lovers all around.

To Pimp a Butterfly album art

2. To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar

Released in 2010, To Pimp a Butterfly launched Lamars hip hop career into a new stardom. The album won five Grammy titles, including Best Rap Album of the Year and Best Rap Performance. The Rolling Stones placed To Pimp a Butterfly as the third best album of the decade saying, To Pimp a Butterfly is the LP that defined hip-hops state of the art in the 2010s, not just for Lamars miles of MC styles and undiluted politics, but also for his musical vision Armed with introspective and powerful lyrics, the album became a symbol for the Black Lives Matter movement.

In To Pimp a Butterfly, Lamar vulnerably talks about Americas political and racial issues, his own mental health problems and his life growing up in Compton. Lamar continued with greatness in his next album DAMN. where he earned his first number one hit with HUMBLE, however, To Pimp a Butterfly is vulnerable and raw in ways that his 2017 album is not.

1989 album art

1. 1989 by Taylor Swift

Nominated for 10 Grammy awards and the winner of three (Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Music Video) 1989 was and continues to be a force to be reckoned with. Being whimsical, light and upbeat while armed with Swifts talent of lyrical word-play, 1989 rightfully deserves a spot in the Top Five Albums of the Decade.

Nearly every track in this album became a hit. Gossip tabloids could not get enough of the drama-filled hits, Bad Blood and Blank Space. Wildest Dreams and Style spoke of past relationships in a bittersweet melody, which millions worldwide could relate to. Finally, Shake It Off was either absolutely loved or hated by listeners, but nonetheless, still continued to climb its way onto the Billboard Hot 100. According to the New York Post, 1989 sold about 1.3 million copies in its first week of release making it the biggest debut for an artist since 2002. The album marked Swifts official crossover from country to pop, and it made Swift a tough contender for the title of The Queen of Pop.

Honorable Mentions (in no specific order):

Midnight Memories album art

Midnight Memories by One Direction

One Direction took the world by storm in the 2010s. Their third album, Midnight Memories, which contained hits such as Best Song Ever and Story Of My Life, became the best-selling album worldwide in 2013. One Direction quickly became the most-profitable boy band in history, even breaking records that were set by The Beatles. After their indefinite hiatus was announced in 2015, their popularity still continued to stay strong, which may or may not have helped to boost each individual band members solo careers. One Direction undoubtedly made a cultural impact in the 2010s, and their highest selling album, Midnight Memories, will continue to be sung by fans worldwide for many years to come.

Doo Wops and Hooligans album art

Doo-Wops and Hooligans by Bruno Mars

Although Doo-Wops and Hooligans was released at the very begining of the decade in 2010, it has not been forgotten. Hits such as Just the Way You Are, Grenade, Lazy Song and Marry You caught the hearts of every hopeless romantic and continues to ring in the minds of many as a nostalgic memory. This album launched Bruno Mars into music fandom, but his continued masterpieces on later albums such as When I Was Your Man, Versace on the Floor and Uptown Funk solidified his career. Although Bruno Mars switched from wearing fedoras to snapbacks and from singing Pop to R&B by the end of the decade, he still continued to rock the music charts. The reason why Doo-Wops and Hooligans is listed instead of his later albums, 24k Magic and Unorthodox Jukebox is simply because it perfectly captures the essence that was the early 2010s with its sweet, pop love ballads and happy tunes.

21 album art

21 by Adele

21 by Adele earned the title of Best Album of the Year at the Grammys in 2012. Adeles soulful voice matched with her powerful, lyrical storytelling made for a beautiful album. Hits such as Someone Like You, Rolling in the Deep and I Set Fire to the Rain spoke of the mourning that comes along with heartbreak. Adeles ability to create emotional ballads is absolutely unique to her sound and cannot be overlooked.

Top 5 albums of the 2010s - Wichita State Sunflower

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January 9th, 2020 at 6:44 am

Youre Not Going to Kill Them With Kindness. Youll Do Just the Opposite. – The New York Times

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Id probably pick up any book that includes the words foreword by Jimmy Carter, because I know being in his company will make me feel better. OUR BETTER ANGELS: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World (St. Martins, 240 pp., $24.99), by Jonathan Reckford, C.E.O. of Habitat for Humanity, has such a foreword. When President Carter isnt writing his own historical or inspirational books, hes building homes with Habitat for Humanity for those who desperately need them. Our Better Angels lays out the seven virtues that can translate into action: Kindness, Community, Empowerment, Joy, Respect, Generosity and Service. This is a nifty way to organize a lot of great stories about people Habitat for Humanity has helped and to drive home the very important point that performing a service helps you, too even if the service is done out of duty, not love. Because in a certain sense, duty can become love as the British in general, and fans of Downton Abbey in particular, can surely tell you.

Which may be why I was drawn to a book called COSY: The British Art of Comfort (HarperOne, 176 pp., $19.99), by Laura Weir. The American market has been inundated with bossy little books in which other countries tell us how to behave. (Korea, please stop telling me to empty my mind so I can begin to claim the power of nunchi. I am 58. I can barely hold on to the few thoughts I have.) But O.K., Im an Anglophile, and I was drawn to this one. Unlike hygge, which is beautiful in essence, but too often seen through the lens of interior design magazines, being cosy is completely personal, affordable and democratic. Cosy is your authentic self undone. I particularly enjoyed the chapter Cosy and Kind, where Weir indirectly lays out the connection between duty and love, with advice like Become the stealth de-icer: rise early and chuck down de-icing solution on the drives and steps of your elderly neighbors homes. They dont need to know, but you will. Alas, she also talks a great deal about creating small dolls and knitting woolly hats for charity. My Anglophilia stops short of knitting. Can I just send a check?

Victoria Turks KILL REPLY ALL: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, From Social Media to Work to Love (Plume, 224 pp., paper, $15.99) is one of the more amusing digital-etiquette books youll read. Simply put, social media has created a new universe of ways we can be mean to one another. So digital good manners are a great kindness, whether they apply to friends, work or love. (I like one of Turks definitions of love: Texting them even though your batterys at 5 percent.) And now, I know I will never leave anyone in a specific circle of acquaintances out of a group chat, even if I think he or she is uninterested; let that person opt out himself. Lets say its a book club chat. By God, everyone must be in there, even if Janet has questionable opinions about Nabokov and Leslie can turn every club meeting into a discussion of her grandchildren. These, like many of Turks lessons, are kindnesses I can live with.

Perhaps the most interesting (because the most personal, while also the most steeped in data) is Kelli Hardings THE RABBIT EFFECT: Live Longer, Happier and Healthier With the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness (Atria, 272 pp., $27). For instance: In other wealthy nations over the past few years, life expectancy has been rising, while in the politically turbulent United States the trend has moved the other way. In 2016, we ranked 43rd in the world for life expectancy. Coincidence? We spend a fortune on health care, Harding notes. So whats missing?

Well, as it turns out: everything. To dismiss the role that issues like abuse, discrimination and loneliness play in health, Harding writes, is like fixing up an airplane engine and ignoring that the pilot is on his third drink at the bar and a massive storm is overhead.

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Youre Not Going to Kill Them With Kindness. Youll Do Just the Opposite. - The New York Times

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