Years ago, as my body was flying like a missile through the air after my bicycle was hit by a car, I was surprised by the single thought that formed: p = mv, momentum = mass x velocity. The car had slowed to 20 MPH, but it had so much dense mass that it quickly imparted tons of momentum to my little bike and me.
Momentum is the word that comes to mind as I think about the CHI Center. But the physics are quite different. We have velocity ― like everyone in the information age, it seems that the activity level approaches frenzy at times. But the mass of the Center is small ― 4 high-level staff members, 5 faculty and two more arriving soon. But this small core is amplified by 25 multidisciplinary faculty members with adjunct or secondary appointments, and by diverse partners locally and worldwide. The momentum of this breadth feels more like a rapidly responsive energy field than a linear missile.
What does momentum look like for an energy field with a mix of tight and loose connections? It:
- moves at the speed of trust,
- advances quickly when the next step on a complex problem becomes clear,
- slows to try to discern when the path is not clear, or when self-interest or ego gets in the way,
- invests in relationships,
- engages the continually renewing proceeds from that investment to advance the collective good.
This newsletter highlights two people ― Delores Collins and Anne Gaglioti ― who are investing in the relationship bank and using the interest for the collective good of equity that advances both the previously advantaged and disadvantaged.
As we expand the core and connections of the CHI Center, we want to develop as a resource in community health, generalist understanding, and systems science. We want to use that growing capacity to reinvest in relationships that have been strengthened or distanced by the pandemic. We want to work with you to develop momentum that moves beyond the linear connections of Newtonian physics to foster the abundance of collaboration. Please reach out to us whenever you see opportunities.