朝邦基金會董事長顏瑛宗. 執行長吳咨杏 聯合執筆
《領導的勇氣》一書，對於領導的定義是: 一個 無關於頭銜或地位的角色。不論是在生活中或社會上，我們每個人都可以是領導者。
社會先鋒者嘗試在不衝突、不騷動下驅動社會前進；他們邀約人們投入， 對於需要的改變產生共識。他們通常把自己置在尖端上，在「不復存在與尚未發生」兩者之間運作。 很多的非營利組織就是社會先鋒者， 企圖把某些問題從「不再如此」的 狀態 移動到另一端「尚未存在」的理想中。
《The Courage to Lead （直譯：領導的勇氣）》是一本引發深層省思的著作，引領我們思考什麼才是驅動正向社會變遷的重要動力。推動社會變革的先鋒不斷在「不復存在與尚未發生」兩者之間寫下歷史新章節。在文化事業學會(ICA)的費樂理(Larry Philbrook)引導的讀書會中，我們也注意到朝邦文教基金會在過去十八年的歷史中，扮演的正是促進社會變革先鋒的角色，而促成這些正向改變的工具，就是從台灣文化事業學會(ICA)以及其他機構所學習的引導與對話的技巧。
2016年，朝邦成為《親愛的，我老了 - 與時間對話》特展的策略夥伴。面對台灣社會人口快速老化的現象，這項活動希望藉由訓練銀髮族來擔任引導員的概念，來激勵銀髮族更積極投入社會，活出更美好人生。它的社會意義有兩個層次: (一)培養正確積極的高齡心態，(二)開展生活中跨世代的對話文化。朝邦基金會也因為這個活動獲得2016年全球引導影響力金牌獎。
「反當權體制Disestablishment」則是反對從中國大陸撤回台灣的國民黨政府。這是一個高度不安的年代，大家都盡量避免與政治有任何牽連 ，而知識份子唯一能夠在改革過程有一點貢獻的方式就是跨體制參與 (Transestablishment)，也就是當權體制 - 反當權體制 - 跨體制這個三角形的第三個元素。《領導的勇氣》說得很好，「雖然反當權體制與當權體制不斷為了現在或是過去的型態而紛爭不已，跨體制則是為其他人的未來提出詢問，勇於想像出不同的景象。」
每一個人都可以成為社會先鋒者. 你不需要成立一個基金會或組織才能促進社會變革. 你也可以從社區的小項目開始, 比如: 種一棵樹, 將社區空地翻轉成花園等.
當然在進行社會變革, 你可能會面臨如何有創新的解決方法, 如何鼓勵與激勵他們也成為社會先鋒者, 同時還要照顧自己. 社會先鋒 是長期的承諾..
附注: 此文參考加拿大文化事業學會出版的《The Courage to Lead （直譯：領導的勇氣）》《領導的勇氣》，第三部分-與社會的關係中的第七&八章內容為反思。
Social pioneers then and now
Written by George Yen, Chairman , Jorie Wu, Director of CP Yen Foundation
In the Courage to lead, leadership means a role that someone assumes, with or without a specific title or position. We can all be leaders in our life and in society.
Social pioneers are people who pioneer positive change in society. They address major social concerns, based on their every day care.
The task of social pioneers is to create positive change in structures and people’s life.
Social pioneers attempt to move society forward without confrontation or agitation, but through engaging people in a consensual understanding about what is necessary.
They often put themselves at the leading edge of a wedge, working between no longer and not yet. Many NGOs are social pioneers, attempt to move society out of what is no longer working, forward to somewhere that is not yet existing , an ideal place. Social pioneers are creating history “between what is no longer and the not yet”.
In the ICA book study group ably led by Larry Philbrook, it occurred to us that the CPYF (Chao Pan Yen Foundation) has been a social pioneer through most of its 18 year history. Its tools to facilitate positive changes are Facilitation and dialogue learned from ICA Taiwan and others.
Almost from the beginning, CPYF, being a non-profit organization, chose to differentiate from the more profitable corporate market and focus on the less well-served public sectors of governments and NGO/NPOs. In the early years, it honed its skills and builds its capacity through a series of “Imagine Taiwan” – a social dialogue program in Taichung, Kaoshiung, Hualien, as well as Taipei. Over time CPYF was able to build a team of practitioners of the craft and became a platform for positive social change in organizations through dialogues. In the hierarchical organizations in Taiwan, genuine dialogue goes against the traditional cultural grain. Once discovered and internalized, dialogue became a powerful strategy for organizational change. Hopefully over time and cumulatively, these individual, organizational cultural changes became the building blocks of positive social change.
“Imagine Taiwan” series was done in 2007 at a time of social and political turmoil during the final years of the disgraced President Chen Sui Bien and the Red Shirts protest movement. Community dialogue through “Imagine Taiwan” was an attempt to shift the division in society to positive social change through dialogue. As the Persian poet, Rumi so aptly wrote, “Beyond the realms of right and wrong there is a field. I will meet you there.” That field is the space of dialogue where people can listen before judgement.
Last year in 2016, CPYF was a strategic partner in a program “Dialogue With Time”. In the face of Taiwan’s rapidly aging society, the program aims to promote active aging, by training retired elderly volunteers to engage in society. The project touches two levels of social meaning (1) It advocates an active and positive attitude toward aging, (2) It generates cross generational dialogue in the society. CPYF was therefore awarded by 2016 Facilitation Impact Award- Gold by International Association of Facilitators.
It is in this reflection of The Courage To Lead, and the mission of CPYF that we came to see that foundation is continuing the mission of social change of my father Yen Chao Pan, for whom the foundation is named after. He and the educated elites of his time had lived the life of social pioneers in the pivotal period of Taiwan’s history as it bridges the Japanese to the KMT era in the half century bracketing World War II. It was also a time that Taiwan made the transition from an agricultural society to an industrial one and which in turn laid the foundation for today’s high-tech industry.
As a member of the small, educated elite of that time, they took it upon themselves to be social pioneers charged with the responsibility of creating positive social change. It is important to note that native Taiwanese of that era, both under the Japanese and the KMT rule, were restricted from participating in politics and government as means social change. The only avenues for the educated elites of that time were in non-threatening fields of medicine, engineering and agriculture. In such restrictive time, they see it as their responsibility to lead in Taiwan’s “what is not longer and that which is not yet”.
The vehicle for them was an NGO, “The Taiwan Association for the Advancement of Science” which was established in 1930 with the aim of promoting positive social change through science and technology. The founder is a Dr. Tu Tsong Ming, the first Taiwanese medical doctor and recognized as the father of modern medicine in Taiwan. He also founded Taiwan Medical Association in 1902 and was an authority of world repute on tropical diseases. Dr. Tu married a member of the Yen family and is therefore considered a relative. My father was inspired by Dr. Tu’s vision to modernize Taiwan and devoted 50 years of his life in this pursuit. As a professional electrical engineer born in 1918, he served as the Chief Editor of its publication “Formosan Science” since its debut in 1947 at the age of 29 and its President from 1990 until his death in 1995.
1947 was a dangerous time for the educated elite as it was the year of the “February 28 incident” when thousands of such elites were killed by the KMT soldiers. In the decades that followed that regrettable episode, native Taiwanese were treated with suspicion by the Chiang Kai-shek government. Paths to join in the establishment as “pro-establishment” were limited.
“Disestablishment”, on the other hand, means to stand in opposition to the KMT government that was in full retreat from Mao in mainland China. It was a chaotic time of paranoia and politics is something to avoid all together. The only avenue for the educated elite who want to play a role in the change process in Taiwan was “trans-establishment”. It was the third pole in this triangle of “Pro-establishment—Disestablishment and Transestablishment. The Courage To Lead said it well, “While the disestablishment and pro-establishment argue over the shape of the present or the past, the trans-establishment asks the futuristic questions on behalf of everyone else, dares to imagine something different.”
It is quite clear that the NGO, “The Taiwan Association for the Advancement of Science” was their only means of bringing about social change without getting into trouble with the prevailing power of that time. Transestablishment is the only viable avenue for social progress. Brian Stanfield noted, “A key method of transestablishment leadership is framing, or networking to establish support and authorization for a change project.” Or, as an Indian proverb so aptly puts it, “If you live in the river, you should make friends with the crocodile.”
So it is more in hindsight than in foresight, that the CP Yen Foundation, is carrying on the vision of its namesake—creating positive social change, albeit by a different avenue. The Courage to Lead provides an excellent framework that helps us understand what we have been doing for two generations in Taiwan—the transformation of society through the transformation of self.
Anyone can be a social pioneer. You don’t need to establish a foundation or an organization to make social change. You could start with small project, such as share left over with people who need it , start a community garden to keep aging people active
When you are pioneering social change, you might be facing challenges such as how to create innovative solution, how to encourage and inspire others to be on the journey of social pioneers and at the same time how to take care of yourself; because social pioneering is a continuous commitment.
It is with this article, we salute to social pioneers then and now, who continuously struggle between the space of < no longer and not yet>, moving the society forward in transestablishment.
Note 1: “Courage to Lead” by R. Brian Stanfield, published by The Canadian Institute of Cultural Affairs
Note 2: This article is based on the reflection of “Courage to Lead” , Chapter 7 &8, Section C: Relation to Society