The Berkana Institute
The Berkana Institute supports life-affirming leaders around the globe. We intentionally support those who are giving birth to the new forms, processes, and leadership that will restore hope to the future. We define a leader as anyone who wants to help, who is willing to step forward to create change in their world.
Berkana supports local leaders around the world who work to liberate the capacity for human goodness that is common to all people.
Our most vibrant initiative is presently the Berkana Exchange, which connects pioneering leaders throughout the globe around their shared commitment to making a difference in and beyond their communities.
We work with leadership learning centers, places where people gather to develop their capacity as leaders in their organizations and communities. We believe substantive change happens locally through the collective actions of ordinary people. And we believe transformation happens globally when local efforts are connected and people learn together.
A leadership learning center is a local initiative committed to strengthening a community's leadership capacity and self-reliance by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in its people, traditions and environment. We have found these learning centers in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Senegal, India, Brazil, Mexico and Canada. We know they are everywhere.
By connecting them to one another—and to people worldwide who want to support and learn from their experiments—enormous power for change emerges. All too often, organizations in the development sector complain that the learning is getting lost. Each initiative they support reinvents the wheel. They don't share what they know. The work of the Berkana Exchange is about discovering what happens when the learning does not get lost, when it moves openly and fluidly around the globe.
We believe many people in all places are being called to help, to be leaders.
We trust that people want to learn how to live together in ways that sustain humans and all life.
We believe that humans are at a critical choice point—our very survival depends on how we choose to live together now on this planet.
We believe that life (living systems) is the best teacher for how to organize, change, and create. Our work is based on an in-depth understanding of living systems.
We believe that people thrive in relationships. We experience connecting with the global family as joyful.