Q&A: ADAM KAHANE, Author – Power and Love

Written on January 5th, 2010


Aired 12/27/09

When I received the book Power and Love, I was struck first by the ambition of anyone who would take on those two big notions. Then I read the subtitle A Theory and Practice of Social Change, and I was really curious. Its author Adam Kahane has been working for social change on a big scale all over the world. In the early 90s he facilitated the Mont Fleur Scenario Project, in which a diverse group of South Africans worked together to effect the transition to democracy. I’d let him tell you more about that, and he had learned some hard lessons that led to this book. Let me just read this quote:

Over the past twenty years of work, I have made two discoveries. I reported the first one in Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities. In that book I concluded that the key to creating new social relaites is to open ourselves up and connect: to our own true selves, to one anotherm and to our context and what it demands of us. Five years and many experiences later, I can see that this conclusion was right, but only half right and dangerously so.

That last phrase – "dangerously so" -- really caught my attention.