Speaker: Tuesday Ryan-Hart

Equity and Relationships at the Center of Systems Change

Tuesday Ryan-Hart leads large-scale systems change with a deep understanding and practice of how equity, when put at the center of new movements, frees the path to better ideas that work. She is a co-founder and partner of The Outside, an organization supporting efforts at making systemic change that centers equity into design and delivery to fuel the movement and big change beyond the way things always go.

Tuesday believes that the impetus for social, organizational and systems change often starts with a "big bang" -- "something urgent enough to make us realize the effectiveness and relevance of our systems is diminishing exponentially." But such a big bang "is not a resolution"; it is "a dramatic state change from which we explode outwards towards exponentially greater complexity and chaos."

Such an impetus simply provides the basis for the longer term process and practice of bringing together groups to work toward common intentions, to "move and keep moving, perfectly imperfect, learning and stumbling and iterating with every application." We may "like the drama of epic turning points" or big bangs, but "from the long game’s perspective, exponential complexity is a gift. It forces disparate groups into conversation."

Tuesday's approach for working with groups and organizations through such a resulting emergent change process is guided by the view that finding a shared purpose or vision is not a prerequisite for doing work together; rather, doing work together is frequently the prerequisite for building relationship and getting to shared purpose. According to Tuesday, attempting to arrive at shared purpose too early can leave some voices marginalized. And so the ordinary practice of seeking shared purpose at the start of collective work leaves some people out -- thus holding groups back from doing the real work.

Tuesday believes that when we work together, we nurture our relationships with each other and find shared purpose. “The thing that drives collaboration is the work that is in front of us.”  This is the basis of the Shared Work Model.

“Often the differences between collaborators -- different perspectives, backgrounds, ideologies and aspirations -- becomes the focus of meetings rather than getting work done together,” Tuesday says. “Shared Work offers a way for us to think about taking the next step together to begin to move forward on those issues and challenges we care about in our organizations, communities, and systems.”

A host/facilitator who left the fields of traditional social service provision and academics to become a new kind of change-maker partnering with clients around the world, Tuesday’s work is featured in the book Walk, Out, Walk On by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze, and she is known internationally for her strategic work with organizations and communities engaged in systemic change. Tuesday helps diverse organizations and communities with shared interests reframe commonly-held assumptions and persistent issues, surfacing a new mindset for action with greater participation and shared impact.

“We do not believe in three-ring binders,” she says. “We believe in rooms full of energized people who know how excellent it feels to make progress, and who are incentivized by those good feelings to make more progress. Though the status quo approach may feel easier or less uncertain, defaulting for comfort stunts movement. Let's look outside the usual expectations, assumptions, and actions for the greatest possible potential. This is how we enliven the space we share. Events, training sessions, the long game of systems change. Practical experimentation. Mindset-altering learning. This is how we turn the ship into an entirely new current.”

Tuesday acknowledges that she, like any individual, can have only part of the answer.  In a complex world, one person cannot have all of the answer, and so hosting diverse teams is the task of leadership.

Trained as a psychotherapist, with a BA in Individual/Family Studies and a Master's in Social Work, Tuesday is an expert in transformational work, specializing in helping individuals, non-profits, governmental agencies, and organizations of all sizes undergo the changes that will help them grow and become more successful. With a passion for social justice and expertise in gender & racial equity, Tuesday excels at working with groups to enhance awareness and understanding, build alliances, and take positive action together. 

As part of a Columbus, Ohio “community of practitioners,” Tuesday is a steward of the Art of Hosting global community of practice, mother of two, and a long-distance runner who recently ran her first triathlon. She feels pride and awe for her African-American side of her ancestry, while recognizing the impact of generational trauma and enslavement on Black families.  “There is beauty in the oppressed experience and hardiness and resiliency. When I look for strength, I am looking to my Black ancestors,” she says.

Join us in conversation with this gifted systems change strategist.

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