Fellow: (In academia) a member of a group of learned people who work together as peers in the pursuit of mutual knowledge or practice (per Wikipedia).
For nearly a year, our Creating the Future community of immersion graduates have been referring to ourselves as fellows. As a community, we played with words like graduate, practitioner, player and alum. Consistently, we came back to the word “fellow” as the term that represented our shared use of a common framework and philosophy as a foundation for our work.
What we call ourselves reflects how we see ourselves. Who are we in relation to Creating the Future, and how do we want to share our knowledge and experience with the world? Once we began using the term, we never really continued the discussion about what BEing a fellow means in our lives and work, and how that will evolve.
When I finished the first immersion class, it was with the passionate belief that I was now part of something bigger. Together, we would begin changing the world, by bringing this new way of thinking and being to everyone our lives touched.
Over time I realized that not everyone in our community shared that view. Some people take immersion for continuing education, to learn new skills or because they are looking for a new approach. Others jump in with both feet and want to live this philosophy and process, or even learn how to teach it All those perspectives, approaches, and levels of involvement make us the diverse and rich community we are.
Last December, Justin Pollock posed a question to the Creating the Future community regarding how we acknowledge our Creating the Future training to others. He raised some interesting points about how that attribution reflects on Creating the Future and on us as individuals. His questions have led to questions of my own:
- If we present ourselves as fellows of Creating the Future, what does that say to the world about who we are and what our relationship is to the organization?
- When we think of being part of a community of fellows, what do we picture? How will we embody our fellowship individually and as a community? What do we imagine we would be experiencing on a regular basis?
- Given the definition of fellows as a member of a group of learned people who work together as peers in the pursuit of mutual knowledge or practice , if you picture yourself as a Creating the Future fellow, what do you aspire to be for other fellows?