The Foundation for a Mindful Society is energizing to meet a new set of challenges.
We are pleased and excited to let you know that the Board of Directors has reaffirmed its commitment to continuing our mission: helping integrate mindfulness and compassion into society in enduring and beneficial ways. The need for this work is greater than ever, and it is evolving.
At the time of the Foundation’s launch in 2011 many told us that our mission was unrealistic. But, due to the work of many dedicated field leaders and internal champions, we’ve reached the point in just 10 short years where mindfulness is like water: it’s everywhere, it’s sustaining life, and now we have to think about caring for it and using it wisely.
The first phase to fulfill our mission was through the publication of Mindful magazine and Mindful.org.
In July of 2020, the Foundation transferred our media assets to a for-profit company which enabled Mindful to bring its benefit to many more people.
The next phase of the Foundation’s work will focus on addressing new challenges. With mindfulness becoming so widespread, with the plethora of apps and ‘experts,’ with millions in investment and the billion dollar valuations, the job of caring for and wisely using mindfulness practices comes into sharp focus.
Our Commitment Renewed
Now the Foundation for a Mindful Society is re-dedicating our efforts to supporting initiatives, practices, and teachers whose work will bring accessible mindfulness practices to a more diverse array of communities in ways that will ensure quality, depth, and enduring benefit.
The Foundation for a Mindful Society’s next generation of leadership is emerging.
We are fortunate and grateful that the Foundation has begun a shift to our next generation of leadership, and we’re excited to share this news with you.
The Foundation has just appointed Luke DeCoste as the Foundation’s Director of Programs and Partnerships. Luke brings a deep background in mindful leadership, a commitment to practice, the current generation’s spirit and perspective, the organizational skills of a successful entrepreneur, and a wry sense of humor to the job of serving our mission.
A New Phase
Luke has been immersing himself in the Foundation’s work and meeting many of our friends and field leaders to hear their perspective on how we can best help at this time. Ongoing counsel from all of our partners and friends will be critical to support Luke’s success.
Appointing Luke to this role is just the first step in our shift to a younger and more diverse leadership. We have much more to do, and are committed to making our next step the addition of a person of color to our leadership and core staff team.
Many have contributed to the success of the Foundation, including enduring energy since inception from Barry Boyce and James Gimian. While their inspiration and passion for the mission remain strong, we all share the aspiration for a new generation of leadership to reflect a more youthful and diverse view.
We are pleased that Barry and Jim will continue to be centrally engaged with the Foundation, easing into the roles of mentors as well as consultants rather than the main activators of the next campaigns.
What’s important now, with Mindful Cities and more — we’re listening
In times of significant transition, like the Foundation is in now, our first step is to listen carefully—to our friends, advisors, critics, and the field in general. Which is what we’ve been doing. We’re hearing from folks about their perspective on what’s needed, and what we can do to support them.
The energy and excitement we’re hearing about the Mindful Cities Initiative is already guiding our thinking about next steps. Our pilot phase has involved a variety of support for very different projects in Flint MI, Jackson WY, and Boston MA, along with ongoing conversations in other cities.
We’ve collaborated with service providers and funders to help bring the most appropriate training programs to cross-sector mindfulness and mindful leadership training for civic leaders. We’re poised to do more in this area.
Our listening campaign includes a review of all of the Foundation’s activities, including a fresh look at the various inquiries that come our way. What we’ve heard has reminded us of a central aspect of our unique role in this field: we place whatever’s needed to serve the mission ahead of any one product or service. This enables us to look across silos and into new areas, see trends that can accelerate the development in the field, and share them across sectors.
These conversations echo the ways the Foundation has always supported and brought
benefit to the field:
Providing counsel and consulting based on our broad knowledge of the field;
Making connections between folks that accelerate their progress and the benefit to society;
Offering guidance for early stage initiatives not aligned with a support network.
We’ll continue with our listening journey through the first quarter of 2022, and use what we’re learning to inform our specific priorities, campaigns, and engagements in the new year.