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Posted - 10/29/2018
As You Sow Takes a True Pause

image006.jpgWe have completed our Pause, with much gratitude to Maggie Kaplan and Invoking the Pause.

As You Sow:  We are the nation's leading non-profit practitioner of shareholder advocacy. Corporations are responsible for most of the pressing social and environmental problems we face today — we believe corporations must be part of the solutions. We know shareholders to be a powerful force for creating positive, lasting change in corporate behavior. We use that power, to create that change.

Our Pause: After working productively and joyously with ITP through several grants, this year we applied for a literal Pause. We had found ourselves particularly drawn to Invoking the Pause's governing idea - a creative pause - a reflective retreat - an intentional break from daily routines in a place of natural beauty, to reflect upon and think more deeply about some aspect of the climate challenges we are confronting. 


As an organization we requested exactly that: permission and support for a reflective and intentional break from our intense daily work to think more deeply about our approach to climate change, to fine-tune the efficacy and resilience of our tactical toolbox, to consider fresh approaches to our organizational narratives, both internally and externally — in short, to reflect on who we are, what we do, how we do it, and how we might do it better.

To our great joy and slight astonishment, ITP agreed!

Collectively, we struggle to take time away from our daily demands. The ITP grant actually functioned as external permission to take that kind of time. And what a relief — after more than a year of climate, environmental, social, rule-of-law, and regulatory attacks and reversals from the Trump administration, we were feeling a bit exhausted.

So we're just back from the first-ever retreat in 25 years of As You Sow history. We had two and half days at Westerbeke Ranch. Every single staffer was there, which is pretty astonishing in itself, considering that to get us to go to even a staff lunch usually requires almost physically prying fingers off computer keyboards. We even had one not-yet-staffer with us - our new Communications Project Manager came, a full week before her official start date!

At Westerbeke, we did an enormous amount of strategic and tactical thinking and exploring. We aired and dissected a wide range of concerns and issues and possibilities. We reflected rigorously on our approaches and processes.


We also relaxed. We sat in the sun. We swam. We played games. Some of us even took midday naps!

We ate some of the best food ever. We sat around the table after meals, instead of leaping up to get back to work. We got better acquainted with each other, discovered hidden talents (charades!), and reaffirmed how fortunate and grateful we are to be working together.

We returned to the office invigorated, focused on our next steps, and deeply grateful to Invoking the Pause, for our Pause.

Thank you.