An Open Letter to the First Co-Active Summit

Posted on 28. Feb, 2011 by in Culture & Change, Edge, Leadership

I regret that I did not say it then. But I was not ready, we were not ready. In the intervening hours, I have talked to some of you–bemoaned that we did not collectively ‘get to closure’–and I promised to do something. Here is a first thing. [Note: this blog was published Feb. 28, with an edit on March 9.]

Here is one man’s proclamation for our summit, our summit communique. I hope YOU will consider whether you could align yourself with this statement, for the good of our mother Earth and our human family. Change it as you need to make it true for you. Then, please pass it on.

The 400 leaders and coaches of the first Co-Active Summit in Marco Island, Florida, representing 22 countries throughout the world, make known the following Promise to our Co-Active colleagues, to friends and loved ones, to our communities and to the people of the world:

We believe the human community is at the critical time to change the dream of the world, a dream we have created together, a dream that leads to the destruction of the planet through overconsumption, the wasting of our human environment through social injustice, and the loss of spiritual fulfillment through disconnection and fear.

We believe that by uniting together, We can make the critical difference. We are committing ourselves to changing the dream to one that envisions a sustainable environment, spiritual fulfillment, and social justice for all people and beings. We hold that by taking this stand, our decision can provide the tipping point that the world needs now.

Each in our own way, we will help change the dream: in our selves, in our families, with our children, in front of our friends, inspiring our communities. Because we are leaders, we are coaches, we are human activists. Our weapon is love.

We have less than four years to take decisive action. To change our own life, to change our world, to change our collective dream, to alter the Earth’s destiny.  For the sake of our humanness, for the sake of our grandchildren’s grandchildren. In the words of Henry Kimsey-House, we must act from the paradox of Love AND Power, Feminine AND Masculine energies, Co AND Active. We can’t pick sides any more, coming from one OR the other. We must act from both.

One action we can all take right now, together, is to align with over 6,000 others who have taken the pledge at

Because if not us, then who will? And if not now, then when, exactly?

We are the ones we have been waiting for. The time is now.

Four years…


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28 Responses to “An Open Letter to the First Co-Active Summit”

  1. Karen Kimsey-HouseNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    Dear Michael:

    Thank you for your incredible post. I am completely aligned with what you have written.

    Our greatest hope for this Summit was to empower leadership, to nourish and serve that in our community and then to get out of the way and set that free. You’re incredible post represents what Henry and I most wanted from the Summit.

    On the way home, Henry and I decided that we need to take further action to bring closure to the incredible work we did on Saturday.

    It is completely thrilling to see that process is already unfolding. Thank you, Michael, for your leadership and for your love.


  2. […] is my riff on an open letter to the first Co-Active Summit originally posted by Michael K. […]

  3. Michael SpaydNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    Thank you, Karen, for your kind acknowledgement. I am so happy you are able to align with this proclamation. May the process continue to unfold…with all due speed :-).

    Thank you, Lyssa, for your wonderful riff on this letter, and your extension to the world of Agile coaching.


  4. CliveNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    Thank you Michael, I am totally aligned with your letter.

  5. Sharon TaylorNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    Thank you, Michael. I am in alignment with everything you wrote in your letter and feel hugely encouraged to know there is someone (you) who has put this eloquently in writing.

    Love (Because what else is there?) (Borrowed from Steve Mitten because it sys it all.)

  6. Olaf LewitzNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    aligned with your goal, Michael.
    We can change the world, and we should start now!
    2011 is the year of the Linchpins…
    Let’s make an artful difference.
    Thank you, take care

  7. Henry Kimsey-HouseNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    Hello Michael,
    Great connecting with you in the airport and seeing how quickly you have begun this movement towards alignment around a specific proclamation or promise.

    I am completely aligned that we have to begin acting from a shared commitment and looking at what our “piece” of that commitment is and how we will take it into the world.

    I want to bring in the paradox of Love AND Power, Feminine AND Masculine energies, Co AND Active into this proclamation as a reminder that we can’t pick sides any more and come from one OR the other. We have to act from both at the same time.

    In addition to people aligning with this proclamation I would encourage everyone who will come here to go to 4 YEARS GO and make the pledge

    My gratitude is flowing from Gratefulness to Thanksgiving :-)

    Henry Kimsey-House

  8. Art ShirkNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    Right on! This really captures it….. Bravo!

  9. Judith CohenNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    I wasn’t at the Summit but I followed along as best I could via Facebook and Twitter. Your proclamation is excellent and I can fully support it. While I can’t talk for how anyone else is already living or going to live this more empowered lifestyle, I want to comment on how I see my role both as a member of the CTI Faculty and as a leader in the world outside of CTI.

    Years ago, Stokely Carmichael said, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” (Or at least I believe that he was the first to coin this phrase.) I don’t believe that it is either/or. We are each the problem and we contain the solution in our intentions, our actions and how we structure our relationships.

    We become problematic when we let ourselves go unconscious and fail to see our impact on both the natural world and in our relationships. I will no longer allow myself to escape the pain of another’s suffering, whether that be another human being, an animal or our natural home, Mother Earth.

    As coaches, I believe we have a responsibility to call our clients forth as fully conscious and responsible (able to respond) world citizens. We don’t have any more time or lives to waste. The ecosystem of the planet has already been damaged, too many lives have been sacrificed to greed and ignorance. Coaching can be a powerful force for change but first we have to use our own power to stay awake and be vigilantly aware of our impact and footprint on those we care about, those whom we do not care about and the rest of the planet.

    It is not an easy job. It will require undoing a lot of the thinking and mechanization that has dominated almost all industries in the past 60 years. We need to ask ourselves some very hard questions. What are we personally willing to sacrifice so that we may all survive? What do we really value? And many more questions revolving around ethical decisions for the coming years.

    I wish us all success in this noble endeavor. Thanks again for sharing your proclamation, Michael.
    Judith Cohen

  10. Jeanny HouseNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    Thank you for your clear, cogent, and stirring synthesis of our work at the Summit.

    I am in alignment.

    I stand for the power of fierce love to change the dream of the world.


  11. ArianeNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    Thank you Michael for your open letter – I am aligned AND –

    will add – It is clear our CTI community has – communication, connection, intimacy, love and leading in this emerging world down – what a field of love we created at the Summit.

    AND what I can offer is – where we need to look is shifting our economic system so we stop turning our Sacred Earth into a Scarred Earth – can we all take on a commitment to a way of life practice that supports the regeneration of the Earth’s bio-systems – earth, air, water? From consumer culture to regenerative culture.

    This could be a commitment to composting, and growing a portion of your food, or not eating meat, or eating meat once a week, making your bicycle your main form of transportation, or looking deeply at financial investments and seeing where you can invest – slow and local, putting your money in a local credit union, to keeping wealth local by buying local – so choosing the mom & pop coffee shop over s*arbucks and the farmers market over the Marts. AND if these things don’t exist in your local community then taking action and set them up. These things will become a way of life sooner or later – this brilliant CTI community has the capacities to get them going. And we can do it all with Love and Compassion for self and others even when the going gets tough!


  12. Donna KroneNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    I wasn’t even at the summit Michael and I am aligned so you can make that 401!


  13. Michael SpaydNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    Thank you, Donna. That is very touching…and encouraging!

  14. Tom GogliaNo Gravatar

    28. Feb, 2011

    I was there but we did not meet. However we are aligned and in connection via your writing.

    Thank you

  15. Cynthia Loy DarstNo Gravatar

    01. Mar, 2011

    Outstanding, Michael,
    Thanks for putting it into words for us all!!
    Yes, I/we promise to shift the dream.

  16. ZoëNo Gravatar

    01. Mar, 2011

    Deeply and gratefully aligned. Thank you for creating this manifesto to hold in front of us, between us and within us.


  17. Sharon LemanNo Gravatar

    01. Mar, 2011

    Hey Michael,

    Love how you’ve encapsulated what we are all committed to.

    Last night I was telling my family about how our commitment emerged in the “fireside” exercises, and it struck me that we have demonstrated the new paradigm for successful summit meetings: by forming an alliance around the new dream of our world, without judgment or making anyone wrong and without having to SOLVE the problem or even come up with ONE answer.

    The beauty of it was in a shared dream and then each person goes away with their piece – their unique contribution to the new dream. There is not one answer, there is only the collective’s commitment to the new dream and the individual’s will to act on what they know they can contribute.

    Each of us has to be the change we want to see and in doing our unique work individually, we create the One dream collectively.


  18. Thank you Michael for being the one to step up and say so eloquently what needed to be said and what needs to be done. I am very proud to be a member of this coaching community and promise to do my part to be the change we want to see.


  19. Julia MatternNo Gravatar

    01. Mar, 2011

    Michael, thank you for expressing so eloquently the message and the commitment that we all took away from this amazing summit. With the power of love and the co-active community behind us, we ARE the ones and the time IS now! Absolutely in alignment with what you have written. Thanks for putting the voice to this and for keeping the conversation alive.

  20. Jennifer HanlonNo Gravatar

    01. Mar, 2011

    Thank you Michael…I was experiencing a little “cognitive dissonance” and wanting to have a proclamation to hold on to and this is fabulous! Thanks for articulating much of what we were stirring in our cocoon soup!!! This will fly lovely! With a side of holding paradox as Henry indicated, I’d say we have a path for that JOB TO DO!!!!! The Big Chill has nothing on the Co-Active Summit!!!

  21. Nikki CollinsNo Gravatar

    01. Mar, 2011

    Thank you, Michael – for your letter. I am totally in alignment.

  22. David HarrisNo Gravatar

    02. Mar, 2011

    Michael, I’m fully aligned and with you. Eloquently captured and shared. We didn’t get to talk much during the summit, what I did see was a clam, gentle soul and now recognise a powerful passion too.

    I look forward to witnessing the unfolding of this new dream in different communities around the world. Taking that ember from the fire we created and creating new beacons throughout those 22 represent countries.


  23. LindaNo Gravatar

    05. Mar, 2011

    Thank you, Michael. I found my closure the morning after the summit completed. As a be-ing, not a do-er, time was required to process my own promise as a co-active coach in this collective dream. Your eloquent words say it so beautifully. I promise to be fully present in my creative spark so that I may hold a place for others to be fully present in their creative spark for the sake of the individual creative journey and the destiny of the earth we call home.

  24. Sharon MartinelliNo Gravatar

    05. Mar, 2011

    Michael, I am so grateful that you summed up the summit so beautifully and I am in complete alignment with your proclamation. Since coming home, the part that really resonated and is taking time to really settle in, is the Change your Dream part. As I get closer to retirement and I think about my future, this is a powerful concept to hold onto and it really weakens the fear over the loss of financial resources over the past couple of years.
    I wish I had met you at the summit. One day, our paths will cross.

  25. Bahieh K.No Gravatar

    06. Mar, 2011

    Hi Michael!!

    This is very powerful statement, I am glad I stumbled upon it.

    I’m gonna dare to make one comment though… I am curious what the piece of the coactive community is… what is the critical thing only we can do as part of this transformative movement??

    maybe that’s the question we are still working on… by doing… by observing… by intuiting…

    Btw I posted it on this page so that more people can benefit from it:

    feel free to add more blog posts you might write about the summit.

    blessings, Bahieh K.

  26. […] Managing Director of Collective Edge Coaching, wrote the following declaration for his personal blog as a way to put a finishing touch on his personal experience. Due to popular response to his words, […]

  27. Michael DuhaneyNo Gravatar

    10. Mar, 2011

    Overwhelming! What an outburst of energy towards world transformation. I stayed connected to the tweets and blogs during the summit and felt the surge taking place. I admire your passion and join you in this transformation. Cheers.

  28. […] is my riff on an open letter to the first Co-Active Summit originally posted by Michael K. Spayd. The 400 leaders and coaches of the first Co-Active Summit […]

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