– Message from the Author –
What follows is an excerpt from a chapter of my draft book manuscript entitled Why Maturity Matters. As explained in a prior chapter, maturity in this sense is reflected in the theme of “mature liberalism” promoted by several mid-century public intellectuals such as Daniel Bell, Reinold Niebuhr, Lionel Trilling, and Irving Kristol. They used the term “maturity” to refer to the importance to the liberal tradition of having experienced, ethical, skilled and generally highly developed political leaders.
This concept of maturity is supplemented here by the science of developmental psychology, which clarifies among other things that people at more mature stages of human development have increased capacity and inclination to connect well with a broad spectrum of people and to achieve higher quality outcomes with transpartisan approaches. One could discuss and promote transpartisanship without referencing the aspect of maturity, but the point of the book is that it is critical to understand the enormous impact of maturity in politics and society generally, which is almost completely missing from mainstream social and political analysis and commentary.
Transpartisan Maturity In Utah
Developing a National Transpartisan Constituency and Movement
by John Kesler
Having developed momentum through our two Utah citizen summits we decided to reach out nationally in order to help promote and develop a more connected and sizable transpartisan constituency and movement. With deep involvement of John Steiner, we began with successfully soliciting unanimous support from leaders representing the full spectrum of Utah political, business, civic and non-profit leadership. We convened in Salt Lake City a large group of national bridging, transpartisan and integrally informed leaders in July of 2018, to provide mentoring and guidance. Their ongoing support has been invaluable. After several months of doing focus groups with conservatives, liberals, and people representing the diversity of America, we developed an, inclusive approach. We were then able to obtain significant initial financial support from the public, private and non-profit sectors in Utah. Brandyn Keating was retained as CEO, and we have been organizing a national board and many additional partners to join us in this effort. Through this process this initiative has morphed into being led by a national group, and SLCN and UCCC have released any aspect of ownership of what is emerging other than SLCN is providing non-profit sponsorship and hosting of the first national event in Salt Lake City. There is further national outreach going on through mapping, networking and additional partnering in order to establish connections and organizational infrastructure across the United States.
This ground work is leading to what we are calling the “YOUNIFY Summit” and Festival (younify.org) to be held in February of 2020 in Salt Lake City. It is unique in that everyone is invited. We believe each person no matter their background or political orientation will be able to feel that they are heard and that they can contribute to unifying all of us. We plan on welcoming thousands of attendees from across the nation together with welcoming many thousands more via live streaming. The full spectrum of the United States will be represented at the Summit and Festival including but not limited to business, community, interfaith community, political and government leaders, organizations, grassroots people and community leaders. We are inviting the international community to attend and be engaged as well, since developing more mature and transpartisan approaches is a vital global concern.
We are considering the YOUNIFY Summit and Festival as an initial catalytic event to help launch a more interconnected and self-aware constituency and movement in order to help transform America and the world. We hope to have a substantial budget following this event in 2020 to further develop this bridging, inclusive, collaborative transpartisan phenomenon.
YOUNIFY is addressed more fully in another chapter. Click on the above image to read our brochure or visit our web site at younify.org for additional details including registration for the Summit and Festival, connecting with us, and donations.
We are thrilled that so much mature and productive transpartisan work is being done in Utah. On the other hand, if one lives and works in Utah, there are also daily examples of damaging hyper partisanship and immaturity in the public square. Many of our political and government leaders on all levels, and many of our citizen interactions in the public square in Utah are disappointing in this regard. We have much work to do in Utah and look forward to connecting, networking, and collaborating more fully with and learning from those modeling more mature and transpartisan approaches across America and the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John T. Kesler is an attorney, facilitator, writer, consultant and lecturer residing in Salt Lake City, Utah. He served as Communities Editor of National Civic Review, the oldest and most respected journal in the United States addressing local civic and democratic practices. He led several studies relating to civic and citizen engagement and community movements, funded by national foundations, and is credited with identifying, writing about and improving on many cutting edge aspects of citizen engagement and community flourishing. Mr. Kesler founded and chairs the Salt Lake Civil Network and the Global Civil Network. As executive director of the US healthy community coalition, John revived the healthy community global action network and served as senior consultant to the founding of GAN-Net, the network of global action networks. He was a founding member of the Integral Institute and a founding teacher of the Integral Spiritual Center. He is a visiting faculty for Pacific Integral in Seattle. John has also developed and shares an integrally informed awareness and life practice called integral polarity practice through the IPP institute.