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In the Spotlight: New Beginnings
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An interview with Lyndsay Dyson, Volunteer Program Manager



With the new semesters and new recruiting seasons starting this month, August’s MPACE communication theme centers on new beginnings and activation. Pachamama Alliance, an MPACE employer member, embodies activation through its unique mission, vision, and operations. Lindsay Dyson—the Volunteer  Program Manager at Pachamama Alliance—shares with us their unique story and offers insight into how we can all become activators in our own worlds.


A Dream that Spread to Action


For the Achuar people—an indigenous society in the Amazon rainforest—dreams play an important role in cultural guidance and community life. Since the early 20th century, the modern world has exploited the Achuar region in the Amazon for its oil. Noticing the diminishing resources and acting upon dreams of the imminent threat to their home region and culture, Achuar elders bravely and urgently sought American allies to help shift the mindset of consumption in the modern world to one that honors and sustains life. From this invitation, a group of Americans traveled to the Amazon and forged a partnership with the Achuar people in the mid-1990s. This committed partnership came to be the Pachamama Alliance.


While Amazon preservation has continued to be a central part of Pachamama Alliance’s mission, the scope of this mission has broadened to “educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just, and sustainable world.”  Pachamama Alliance now has a staff of 19 employees in their San Francisco office, 7 staff working remotely, plus a network of over 4600 facilitators who spread the Alliance’s vision, values, and principles across the globe exponentially through local trainings.


Pachamama Alliance’s Purpose


From Pachamama Alliance’s website:


Pachamama Alliance, empowered by our partnership with indigenous people, is dedicated to bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet.


Our unique contribution is to generate and engage people everywhere in transformational conversations and experiences consistent with this purpose. We weave together indigenous and modern worldviews such that human beings are in touch with their dignity and are ennobled by the magnificence, mystery, and opportunity of what is possible for humanity at this time.


We are here to inspire and galvanize the human family to generate a critical mass of conscious commitment to a thriving, just and sustainable way of life on Earth. This is a commitment to transforming human systems and structures that separate us, and to transforming our relationships with ourselves, with one another, and with the natural world.


This purpose is lived out through the people who participate with the Alliance’s work. One of the primary criteria considered in their internship and employee application process is an interest in the work, and a desire to truly make a worldly difference. These ideals are certainly what drew Lindsay to Pachamama Alliance, and are what propels the organization’s activist and community educational programs.


Embodying the Pachamama Alliance Community


If you or your organization has a dream to implement or a passion to pursue, Pachamama Alliance would love to help make this reality. Through the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, Pachamama Alliance helps people explore ways individuals can bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on the planet.  This transformational experience can be done online in under 3 hours, solo or with a group.  For maximum value, however, a four and a half-hour in-person symposium for a group offers interactive exercises and deeper experience of the material. You can find out if a local Facilitator is available and request a live symposium through their website. Pachamama Alliance also offers the Game Changer Intensive, a seven-week online course designed to educate, inspire, and equip you to be a pro-activist leader and a game changer in your community.


Part of Lindsay’s role at Pachamama Alliance is to coordinate the organization’s unique internship program. Interning with Pachamama Alliance not only allows students to gain valuable job skills and experience, but their work truly makes a difference. Interns in each department function as full members of the team, contributing to their mission of empowerment, preservation, and activation. Lindsay herself began with Pachamama Alliance as a donor, then in 2005 became a volunteer Symposium facilitator before ultimately becoming a full-time staff in 2009. Her work there has been rewarding, encouraging, and deeply meaningful.


As you look forward to the new season ahead, adopt some of Pachamama Alliance’s guiding principles in order to create a more meaningful, sustainable year:


One of the most effective ways to produce results is to empower other organizations through skillful alliances, and a principle of skillful alliances is that amazing things can be accomplished when people aren’t worrying about who’s getting credit.


You can learn more about the Pachamama Alliance at http://pachamama.org.



Lindsay Dyson is the Volunteer Program Manager at Pachamama Alliance. She can be reached at lindsay@pachamama.org or 415-561-4522. Learn more about Pachamama Alliance at http://www.pachamama.org.



This Spotlight article was compiled by Eric Bloomquist of the MPACE Communications Committee. Eric is a Career Coach at the University of Utah, and can be reached at ebloomquist@sa.utah.edu or https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbloomquist1

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