Malii Watts Witten | Engage Between
San Antonio, Texas, USA. Culture builder and centerer of people. Founder of EngageBetween. Mama. Zebras Unite founding member.
A Zebra is…
… a cool, real-world creature that needs protecting in the wild of our world.
A people-based future
I am Bahá’i by faith. As a Bahá’i, I believe in collectivistic society. Bahá’i principles focus on community building, alleviating the extremes of wealth and poverty, and upholding the inherent equality of men and women, to name but a few.
My Faith teaches that one day, people will achieve unity. Being a product of this day and age, I have a hard time imagining what the future looks and feels like–even as I work to build that future with others every day.
EngageBetween partners with organizations– non-profit, for-profit, academic and government. I’ve been able to cross-pollinate the knowledge and experiences I’ve gained from different clients and sectors. I’ve worked with so many smart people and yet, unity and inclusion remain really difficult topics. I think that Zebras Unite in particular, and cooperatives in general, represent viable paths towards the quality of tomorrow I want for today’s children.
Diversity as the key to problem solving
I believe it’s important to keep it fresh: In the professional spaces of my field, I see the same people over and over speaking on panels and webinars. And it makes sense. It’s easier and more comfortable to work with people who look and speak and think like you. But that doesn’t make for the most meaningful conversations. Even among Diversity professionals, variety within the whole–a definition I often use–is key to solving for solutions.
In order for our service to hold integrity, we must ensure that different constellations of people come together to solve problems. Yes, there’s value in expertise. And also there’s value in the experience of the novice. I want there to be more space for people to rotate in and out of influence. I want to see more of that, even at the expense of my desire to be at the forefront.
Leveraging possibility: The role of community
Zebras Unite cannot happen without community. Community is what drives Zebras Unite, creates content and co-creates culture.
Community means broad-mindedness.
We’re in this world together and community allows us to leverage our skills, interests, values and possibilities. Let’s make the most of Us!
Unity. Responsibility. Tact. Humility. These are all values that I would love to witness more, and that I strive to practice myself.
EngageBetween: Advancing the power of shared purpose
In my work at EngageBetween, I believe in leveraging our shared purpose. In much of my work, I encourage people to think of themselves as their best technology.
Let’s recognize our shared purpose!
EngageBetween works with partner organizations to understand that their people are their true process and value. Once they understand that they’re all pursuing a shared purpose, it allows them to invest themselves into this work and move the organization ahead toward that common goal.
Many organizations have a set of beautiful values. With good intentions, some fail to understand what those values really mean for their day-to-day business at hand.
I work with organizations to figure out how we might build workplaces differently. Spaces in which people can work together better – individually and collectively. In brief, EngageBetween works with organizations to figure out how they can center people in all they do.
What does support look like?
Please consider or refer EngageBetween as a collaborator as you practice inclusion in organization with others.
Malii asks the community…
I’m currently very interested in what humans can learn from “swarm intelligence.” As you have learning resources and examples that have been helpful for you, please share them with me!
I appreciate the graphic recording work of ConverSketch, founded by Karina Branson. Karina is a thought partner who helps people better understand each other by documenting real-time conversation through live illustration. I would love to work more with Karina because of the benefits of witnessing a visual reflection of ideas and the service she offers to support peoples’ voice and visibility.
Malii Watts Witten
San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Culture builder and centerer of people. Founder of EngageBetween. Mama. Zebras Unite founding member.