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September 14, 2018

An Exploration of Catalytic Thinking

Editor’s Note: Hildy Gottlieb is a social scientist and asker of powerful questions. She is the co-founder and Chief Boundary Pusher at Creating the Future, a 10-year experiment to answer the question, “If people everywhere are asking the kinds of questions that bring out the best in themselves and those around them, how much more humane could the world be?”

Tenets of Catalytic Thinking as shared by Hildy Gottlieb of Creating the Future

Tenet #1:
Our power to create powerful results lies in our power to create favorable cause-and-effect conditions towards our dreams.

Tenet #2:
The most favorable conditions begin and end with bringing out the best in people vs. focusing on stuff (money, food, education).

Tenet #3:
Together we have everything we need; it is only on our own that we experience scarcity. (The reality of Collective Enoughness)

On September 6, 2018, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading gathered community leaders from four counties to experience an “Exploration of Catalytic Thinking” led by Hildy Gottlieb, co-founder of Creating the Future. This event, a gift to our region from The Patterson Foundation, brought together individuals, nonprofits, businesses, Government and the media to learn about the tenets of Catalytic Thinking.

#CatalyticThinking is a practice that asks us to focus on the future we want, rather than centering our thoughts on solving problems. Hildy Gottlieb believes that if we change the questions we ask, we can change the future. Take a look at the examples below:

The workshop included the presentation of information from Hildy with time for discussion and reflection at each table. Participants eagerly explored this different way of approaching our shared aspirations with robust conversations about bringing out the best in each other.

This workshop has given us new tools to apply to the work of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and our community will be stronger as a result.


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