Your NameDan Butt
Cohort AssignmentAmericas with In-Person Intensive in Boston 2023
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

In my roles as a Service Designer and an Urban Planner, I’ve dedicated my career to co-designing opportunities, experiences, and contexts that builds a more equitable world where all people can choose the life they want to live. As a Service Designer at Feeding America, I’ve collaborated with people experiencing food insecurity and poverty to co-create better services, roles, and systems that makes the charitable food system more accessible and connected to other services people need.

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

Depending on the context, I am often a facilitator, helping to bring people into the conversation and build collective knowledge. I am also often an integrator, connecting ideas and people to offer new ways of moving through challenges. As a white passing, male, person of color, I strive to recognize the privilege I bring to a space and am working to be better at recognizing when I need to play support or lead roles.

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

I strive to find the balance of bringing my whole unique lived and professional experience with knowing when and how to bring in or allow in the whole selves of those that also want to speak to the topic. In terms of my work, my goal is to more intentionally focus on the intersection of transitioning to a regenerative future, while co-creating the context where all people have the agency to choose the life they want to live. A learning question I am exploring is: What opportunities will people whose power is limited today, need to thrive in advancing and benefiting from a regenerative economy of tomorrow?

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

Finding balance in how I live, so that I am giving and grounding at the right pace that lets me be my best self.
Finding ways to more actively align my actions and attention with my spiritual beliefs.
Learning how to be the father my son needs me to be for him.

5. And for professional growth?

Building my capacity to think in and engage others using systems thinking and foresight to frame systemic challenges and opportunities.
Building my capacity to envision and inspire more regenerative systems and services with those I work with.
Building and contributing to a community of learners that are elevating collective knowledge about the work I do.

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

I have invested in education, relationships, self-improvement, self-reflection, committing to work longer than I needed to, ideas of justice and equity, my curious attention, time.
I have also benefited from privilege and luck.

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

Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum - Capabilities Approach, Development Theory
The poet Rumi and Sufism, Buddhism, Islam
Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Dan Kahneman
Ecological / circular design, McDonagh
Social enterprise thinking, Muhammad Yunus
Livable urbanism, Jane Jacobs
Sociology and universal myths, Joesph Campbell
Living like an Ancestor, Various

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

We are all connected. Spiritually, emotionally, physically and unconsciously to each other and everything around us. People are part of nature. Everything we do has an impact and we are responsible for our impact, seen and unseen. LIfe is change and the more we embrace that, the less we will suffer. We all deeply need belonging and to be understood, but our experiences can block us from enabling or allowing ourselves to belong and be understood and we all have our own unique journeys and paths to find/remember what we need.

Date CreatedApril 24, 2023