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Last year at this time, we were so thrilled when the Bailey J & Kellner Siegfried family contacted us with amazing news. They had learned that Kosmos awards Seed Grants of $2500 each year to people and organizations working at the glowing edge of transformation. They wanted to offer an entire Seed Grant on behalf of their family! Their generosity enabled us to give an extra Seed Grant last year and inspired us to create opportunities for others who are interested in supporting transformational change, to give.
Here is their story:
Kellner and I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have 4 children… age 9, 3 and twin 1 year olds. You asked us about local concerns in our community… gosh, we would say normal concerns as parents, but Kellner and I are optimists but realists… so ultimately, we see a lot of opportunity to enhance or improve things (families, society, leadership, interactions, consciousness, awareness, the world around us).
In short, we like to focus on leadership and developing leadership capacity as best we can (our kids, schools, company, everyone we interact with). How did we get here? Looking back we can see it more clearly now but when our first child, London, was young (about 1), I had the opportunity to study for a masters at the University of Notre Dame. This was a tough time for us as I traveled every week for work and the week off… i traveled up to Notre Dame to fit a month of MBA into 4 days. It was tough, but it was strengthening and growing for us as a family starting out.
The MBA program began with a full week emersion in what they called “Executive Integral Leadership.” This ultimately was the beginning of a transformation of awareness and understanding of the impact of leadership for us individually and society and humanity. The MBA program ended with a capstone class/engagement around global issues. Both classes were taught by Leo Burke. So it also was the beginning of our friendship with Leo, and the beginning of understanding and seeing a bigger picture.
On the last day of the last class, Leo had a box of magazines he said talked about lots of the things we had learned and offered one to everyone who wanted one. It was Kosmos. From then on, we followed Leo and Kosmos – staying in touch and reading.
As time went on things became more clear to us about what we are passionate about. Ultimately, the challenge is one of necessity for now and the future. We believe that we need more leaders making decisions from a deeper place of wisdom. That’s it in a nutshell. So, the more dialogue, conversation, understanding and engagement on raising children and leaders to lead from within, a place of reflection, understanding, awareness, consciousness, the better the world will be.
As 2015 was coming to an end, Kellner and I and our kids were in the mode of year-end reflection, and thinking about 2016. On December 29th, the call for proposals email for “Seed Grants – Igniting Civic Engagement” arrived in our inbox from Kosmos and it just clicked for us. We can’t talk about leadership and make a difference in society without promoting collaboration and civic engagement! There are lots of great ideas and efforts to make a difference in the world but without collaboration and civic engagement, it is hard for them to take off.
We thought, “two grants isn’t enough and maybe we can help, and keep it simple by just replying to the email.
…and here we are!
At Kosmos, we wondered how to acknowledge such a generous act, so we decided to ask the Siegfrieds to select a Seed Grant Recipient from a list of eight finalists. After careful deliberation, the Siegfried’s chose a recipient from the list and Kosmos chose two more. The remaining five applicants received Project of Promise recognition from Kosmos.
This family’s beautiful act also reminded us that others might wish to play a similar role, by donating money, time or talent to the 2017 Seed Grant Campaign. Now we have created a way to do that and we have the Siegfrieds to thank!
2016 Kosmos Seed Grant Recipients:
Activist Ashram, New York, NY
Project NEWS (Native Engagement within Systems), Mandan, ND
Wilmington in Transition Timebank, Wilmington, DE
Kosmos 2016 Projects of Promise:
The Chicago Wisdom Project, Chicago, IL
Thriving Communities, Friday Harbor, WA
Raices Cultural Center, New Brunswick, NJ
Schumacher Center and Berkshares, Great Barrington, MA
Great Lakes Commons, Little Britain, Ontario