StartingBloc’s upcoming Institute in South Africa is our first Institute outside of the US in twelve years. It’s also our first-ever Institute on the African continent and an Institute driven by the leadership of a StartingBloc Fellow and StartingBloc Regional Chair, Dieudonne Allo.

At StartingBloc, we’re building a decentralized, highly collaborative community of engagement, leadership, and support. We trust our Regional Leadership teams to build local partnerships, co-design and iterate curriculum and support our recruitment work. With celebration, we’re excited to share this conversation with our South Africa Institute Coordinator and South Africa Regional Chair, Dieudonne Allo.

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Why did you decide to lead on bringing a StartingBloc Institute to South Africa?

Written by Kristine Sloan, StartingBloc’s CEO

StartingBloc’s team is completely remote and we serve a global community of 3100+ living in 56 countries around the world. Outside of our in-person events, sometimes it can be hard to keep tabs on all of the activity and engagement happening within the organizations ecosystem. A couple of years ago, our former colleague Melina suggested that we create a #winsandfeels channel on our team Slack account so that we can keep better tabs on all of the great things happening in StartingBloc’s orbit.

As our final note of this decade, we’re sharing with you some of our favorites. From the last 6 months that is, because we *definitely* have a free Slack account (nonprofit budget) and that’s as far back as the archive goes. …

We live in an interconnected world, and we need new networks and new skills to advance our ideas and create the change we imagine. At StartingBloc, we seed these new networks and skills within our Institute spaces and in the lifelong, global Fellowship.

Our Institutes are engaging and intimate, transformative and challenging. Over the five days, incoming Fellows connect and grow with one another through mentorship and peer coaching, discover new frameworks of leadership, and craft their story and vision.

This kind of transformative community and personal development matters now. Our world is shifting rapidly, and when we look into 2020, we want to ensure that change-making, risk-taking leaders have the accountability and support required to step into the next decade and beyond.

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StartingBloc Los Angeles Fellows gather and prep for 2020, thanks to local Regional Chair Annie Bickerton and local Fellow Park Cofield.

As we prepare for 2020, our regional teams have been gathering in cities across the world to celebrate the year end and welcome future Fellows into our growing community. …

Written by StartingBloc Director of Community Engagement, Martha Cavazos

Injustice is inextricable from the design of our neighborhoods, workplaces and beyond. As protests break out across the globe, we can see the root of these issues caused by social inequality and systems of oppression result in protests breaking out across the globe and some of us not feeling safe in our everyday lives.

Tackling injustice can feel hopeless and isolating. Where do we begin? What pathway(s) do we walk down to create the liberated world we imagine?

DC’15 StartingBloc Fellow and Creative Reaction Lab Founder, President and CEO, Antionette Carroll, recognized a pathway to create a more just society during the protests and challenges in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. By bringing community members together to center their experiences and dismantle silos of civic engagement, together, her community came up with solutions and ideas for equitable social change. …

On the day of our first ever StartingBloc event on the African continent, the rain poured. Roads all over Lagos, Nigeria were flooded, leaving cars to trudge slowly through murky waters as deep as 1–2 feet on city roads. This weather was not typical for October; our team learned from our hosts that the rainy season was longer than usual this year. This was one of the many changes in weather patterns seen throughout the last year, probably due to climate change, they noted.

Suddenly and directly, the importance of the Bootcamp training was palpable — the leaders we train and support at our StartingBloc Bootcamps, Institutes and global Fellowship community are tackling the world’s most pressing problems, including climate change.

Written by StartingBloc CEO, Kristine Sloan

This November, StartingBloc is teaming up with Creative Reaction Lab, founded by DC’15 StartingBloc Fellow Antionette Carroll, on our St. …

Written by StartingBloc’s CEO, Kristine Sloan

On October 19th, we’re collaborating with our long-term partners, Baltimore Corps, to deliver a StartingBloc Bootcamp in Baltimore. As with all of our Bootcamps, we arrived at the theme for our Baltimore Bootcamp from the direction and leadership of our local partner. So why is High Trust, Authentic Community so important to Baltimore Corps?

From Jennifer Clark, Deputy Director of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Baltimore Corps:

Our StartingBloc Fellowship community is global.

Over the last several years we’ve seen significant growth in our Fellowship community from West Africa and thanks to the leadership of our StartingBloc West Africa Regional Chairs, Weyinmi Eribo LA’19 and Ifeanyi Arinze NOLA’17, and the West Africa Fellowship community, we are hosting our first StartingBloc event on the African continent in Lagos, Nigeria on Saturday, October 12.

In partnership with Acumen West Africa, join us for our one-day Bootcamp on Saturday, October 12. Participants will receive exclusive access to an intimate conversation with the Associate Director of the Acumen West Africa Fellowship, a community of global social impact influencers and capital and design thinking training to build your business or idea. …

For the first time ever, StartingBloc is spending the Fall facilitating Bootcamps across the globe. StartingBloc Bootcamps are open to all current StartingBloc Fellows and all impact-driven, global, intersectoral leaders. The day is focused on network building, intensive leadership training and place-based exploration with our local partners.

So far we’ve facilitated Bootcamp in Detroit and Seattle, and we’re thrilled to soon be in Lagos on 10/12 in partnership with Acumen West Africa, Baltimore on 10/19 with Baltimore Corps and St. Louis on 11/9 with Creative Reaction Lab.

Why should you be at a StartingBloc Bootcamp this Fall? Hear from our Fellows from our Seattle Bootcamp below.

Reserve your spot today for Lagos 10/12, Baltimore 10/19 or St. Louis 11/9.

  1. INSIGHTS + RELATIONSHIPS: “The Bootcamp was an amazing experience: learnings from the various sessions & meeting with other participants provided me with both insights and peers that I’ll bring into my professional and community life in Seattle.” …

Written by StartingBloc’s Director of Community Engagement, Martha Cavazos.

StartingBloc’s connection to climate justice is not new.

Three years ago a group of StartingBloc Fellows came together and created a weekend retreat focused on biomimicry and the exploration of social change inspired by dynamics of nature. Throughout the weekend, Fellows wondered, how might we design systems and organizations that embody and reflect core aspects of the natural world? Together they thought, what is our unique role in preserving nature and ensuring we seek regular inspiration from it?

Back in 2016 in the StartingBloc world, these weekend retreats were known as Unpluggeds or Re-Ups. They acted as a reconvening space for Fellows to reconnect with one another, explore critical topics in leadership, co-create possible solutions and importantly, dance. And like all StartingBloc events, they were specifically themed around core questions being held by leaders in those moments. …



Shifting the Culture of Leadership

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