Your NameAlex Herbig
Cohort AssignmentAmericas with In-Person Intensive in Santa Fe, Fall-Winter 2023
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

I currently work as a project manager for a design / build / development firm in Seattle called Hybrid. We develop market based speculative multi family infill projects in the City of Seattle. I am feeling burnt out from the day to day of project management. This has lead me to step back and prioritize skill building for the next season of life. So all that being said, the work I am drawn to in the arena of housing and space creation, but with a working to build skills to shift my role in that arena moving forward.

2. What role do you see as yours to play?

What comes easiest to me is as an idea generator and as someone who can hold the tension of complex concepts to create beautiful values driven outcomes. I am drawn to design roles because the communication method that is most clear to me is in a visual medium, as opposed to written or otherwise.

3. What goals or aims do you have in regard to the above?

I aspire to become an expert communicator, artist, and thinker—a professional known for the ability to attentively listen to the nuanced needs imbued in spaces, places. My goal is to generate a body of work that not only resonates with empathy but is also forward-thinking, addressing the evolving needs of those it serves. These aspirations are built on the premise that my main medium is the production of a body of work, where I play a pivotal role, whether working independently or collaboratively within a team.

4. Where do you feel your next arenas for personal growth are?

I have a tendency to lean towards a more solitary approach. At times, I may hesitate to share or connect, due to my concerns about potential misunderstandings or the fear of becoming overshadowed by someone else who is more comfortable or confident in their ideas and more compelling in their communication style. A lot of it stems from a discomfort with conflict. I could work on being more comfortable with conflict and confrontation. Neither of those come naturally to me.

5. And for professional growth?

I would like to get better at communicating my ideas and beliefs to others, both visually and orally.

I would also like to improve my ability to create safe spaces for others to come to generative collective outcomes and work better in team environments.

As noted in the personal growth section, a healthier balance with conflict would aid in my ability to lead and create spaces for myself and others to be comfortable sharing and being themselves.

6. What have you invested in to get you where you are?

I have invested a lot in my skills professionally, learning various architecture programs from scratch. I did not go to school for architecture, so I have needed to put in the personal time to become proficient in these programs. I am also currently applying to masters programs in the study of Architecture.

I have invested heavily over the last decade in a church community. We spent a lot of time and energy on learning about and practicing empathy as well as holding tension and nuance. I have benefited immensely from that group and given a lot to that community, it has become a second family.

I have invested a lot of time and energy into my spiritual life. Ready and listening to many books and podcasts and maintaining a mindfulness practice.

I have been in therapy for the last 2+ years, which has been extremely impactful as well.

7. What fields of learning and which thinkers have been important in your life?

I come from a Christian religious tradition and many of the most influential thinkers in my life have come from that tradition. Richard Rohr and his work on the Cosmic Christ. Rob Bell and his work on Everything is Spiritual. Pete Holmes - Comedy Sex God and its integration of non-duality into the christian tradition.

I have more recently (last 18 months or so) been very impacted by work in the regenerative agriculture space. I have been learning about the earths potential to sequester carbon through the soil. Permaculture principles of multiple yields and mimicking our natural environment has been very influential. In a similar vain, Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass was incredibly transformative for me, providing me with a bit of cosmological update to my christian upbringing.

On the more academic side - The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein / The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee have been extremely important for me to frame the work of any economic development that takes place in America. The integration of historical racial precedent is constantly on the forefront of my mind in the work of development. Likewise - Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein has offered a radical view on the destructive nature of usury and its foundation in our capitalist system.

Lastly, musicians and music in general have been extremely influential in my life as a catalyst of fully bodied expression and as a medium of deep knowledge.

8. Can you frame your philosophy or cosmology of life? What role(s) do humans play in it?

My upbringing involved a traditional Christian cosmology during my teens and early 20s, but over time, I've gradually expanded and updated my worldview. Initially, I held a somewhat egocentric perspective, viewing individuals as autonomous beings navigating a singular life toward a definitive end. This viewpoint has shifted, and I now see humans as momentary expressions of a broader life force. In this understanding, individuals resemble the fruiting bodies of a larger, interconnected organism that, at its core, is not composed of separate, autonomous entities. Instead at its essence, it is one unified being—life expressing itself in diverse forms. I believe that our role as humans is to recognize our inherent connection to this singular source and to live our lives in accordance with that profound truth. From that place we as humans do our best work. We work towards the betterment of ourselves, those around us and the world. This because when we realize we are a part of the one unified being, we come to find we are inextricably linked to all well-being of everything else.

Date CreatedJanuary 21, 2024