Thriving Women, Thriving World:
An Invitation to Dialogue, Healing and Inspired Actions
This book is a celebration of women. It is an invitation to journey from #MeToo to thriving women via appreciative inquiry, dialogue, and story telling. It addresses topics, through an appreciative lens, that may be difficult to talk about, yet must be talked about to heal social wounds and create conditions for women to thrive worldwide. If you are wondering what to do in response to the global cry of #MeToo, this book is for you.
Authors: Diana Whitney, Caroline Adams Miller, Tanya Cruz Teller, Marlene Ogawa, Jessica Cocciolone, Haesun Moon, Kathryn Britton, Angela Koh & Alejandra Leon de la Barra
Taos Institute Publications, 2019
Paperback, 200 pages
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More about the Book:
The book includes a foreword by Taos Institute, co-founder, Mary Gergen, PhD, a chapter describing ways to use the question in the book, and nine chapters containing 94 Appreciative Inquiry questions, poems, stories and specific practices to make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls at home, at school and at work. The chapters are:
- From #MeToo to Thriving Women
- Ways to Use Questions in the Book
- Claiming Ownership of Our Bodies
- Healing from Relational Abuse
- Educating for Social Change
- Leveraging Financial Savvy
- Working for the Greater Good
- Women Supporting Women
- Men Supporting Women
- Creating Thriving Relationships
- Living Life as a Work of Art
- The Arts of Thriving
The final chapter puts forth five Arts of Thriving that emerged in the writing of the book: Curating Life-Affirming Stories, Creating Meaningful Disruptions, Caretaking Generative Relationships, Celebrating Strengths and Successes, and Cultivating Conditions for Thriving.
Thriving Women, Thriving World is written to be user friendly for women and men, in separate conversations and together. It is intended to foster relationship enhancing conversations and collaborative actions among people in a wide range of settings around the world. It is a valuable resource for coaches, consultants, facilitators, educators, leaders, and parents - for anyone seeking resources for compassionate conversations about gender issues.
Wisdom from the book includes the following chapter opening quotes:
- Women are the owners of their bodies and the authors of their lives.
- Women and girls fleeing violence and sexual abuse need safe haven and companionship for healing.
- The education of girls and women pays it forward forever.
- Financial savvy empowers women to lead the economies of their lives, their communities, and the world.
- Thriving women are a powerful, unstoppable force of social transformation creating a world that works for all.
- Women who support each other to achieve personal hopes, dreams, and goals are the change.
- The journey to freedom and social justice is not a solo journey. Women need male allies to transform patterns of male privilege.
- Thriving relationships are the social milieu needed to empower women and foster a thriving world.
- A life well lived is a work of art leaving the world a better place.
Listen to the Podcast featuring Diana Whitney about the book Thriving Women, Thriving World! Click here.
From our readers:
This masterful guide provides an honest yet positive path forward for women who have suffered and those who love them. Its adept appreciative inquiry questions invite learning, compassion and world changing actions. Prophetic in voice, compassionate in tone, it is a true treasure. The world needs this book.
- Amanda Trosten-Bloom, MSc
What an amazing and inspiring resource Diana Whitney, co-authors, and contributors have created! Talking about what bothers us is easy. We do it all the time. Rarely do we stop and ask ourselves what we would like to see in our relationships and ourselves — what would bring joy and connection. This book is jam-packed with creative resources that invite us to reflect on what we value, what we want more of, and how we can engage with others to create these thriving spaces.
- Sheila McNamee, Ph.D., Professor of Communication, University of New Hampshire. Vice President, Taos Institute
In this provocative book, Thriving Women, Thriving World, Diana Whitney and co-authors invite us to tell our own stories – new stories, infused with hope and positive possibilities. Using the positively deviant practice of Appreciative Inquiry, Diana and company nudge us to turn the #MeToo movement inside out to catalyze inspiring dialogue and much-needed change. If you’re looking to find new energy to solve age-old and often tiresome problems surrounding gender inequality, this book stands to be an excellent guide.
- Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D., Kenan Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Author of
Positivity and Love 2.0
As I read this book, in one sitting, I kept thinking of all the people to whom I wanted to give a copy of it: my daughter, my sons, my sisters, my friends, my clients…I could just see how their lives would be enriched, as mine was being enriched almost instantaneously, through this beautiful collection of stories and questions. I am excited in anticipation of how the combined brilliance, generosity and skills of the authors of Thriving Women, Thriving World will help many people have fuller lives and greater well-being, all over the world.
- Margarita Tarragona, Ph.D., Co-founder, Grupo Campos Elíseos, President, Mexican Positive Psychology Society
As Mary Gergen notes in the foreword, Diana Whitney and her colleagues put forth a refreshing and challenging approach to gender issues: appreciation rather than aggression. They speak to the remarkable potential for new understandings and ways of living ‘gender issues’ that an appreciative perspective and action offer—with enormous benefit for all of us, our world and our futures.
- Harlene Anderson, Ph.D., Co-founder, Houston Galveston Institute and the Taos Institute
Thriving Women Thriving World is a delightful treasure chest of stories and artistry to raise-up conversations around women’s empowerment. This book is an important resource to bring more self-love, connection and wisdom to women’s lives, creating a ripple effect on our world for positive good.
- Kami Guildner, Business Coach for Women and Author, Founder and Host, Extraordinary Women Radio
Filled with questions that represent a wise and generative call to action for empowering thriving women for a thriving world. A book for our times and essential reading for us all!
- Marilee Adams, Ph.D., Author, Change Your Questions, Change Your Life
This book explores the notion of a world where women thrive. It provides an opportunity to take part in creating that world. A wide range of topics are explored with insightful questions that the reader can employ to engender meaningful conversations. The vignettes spoke to me of a world of thriving women that already exists, forming the foundation of a future where all of us, regardless of gender, will thrive.
- Bonnie Milne, Ph.D.
Thriving Women Thriving World unfolds virtually all areas within the female and female-identifying perspective, encouraging explorative dialogue into what was, what is, and what could be in this critical stage of the feminist movement. Diana Whitney and her coauthors share historical background, and then a treasure-trove of carefully designed Appreciative Inquiry questions around these topics, enabling groups of people to enter into critical dialogue in any number of settings, such as social clubs, advocacy groups, professional gatherings, and so many others….in order to unwrap and explore these sometimes sensitive subjects, share stories, and together design new possibilities for moving forward. I was awestruck as to the myriad of applications for this work and inspired to run out and gather a group to get started!
- Fran Lyon-Dugin, Ph.D., Faculty, Augsburg University
For anyone committed to making the world a place where women can be fully their powerful, brilliant, contributory selves, Thriving Women, Thriving World is a welcome and much needed resource. It doesn’t shy away from the toughest challenges - those that rightfully enrage us, frustrate us, shame us - relational abuse; body shame; misogyny; gender discrimination and bias; among others. However, the authors invite us to engage with these emotionally laden issues using an approach that can seem counter-intuitive at first, but when followed we find our powerful, resourceful, creative and connected self is unlocked and activated. I know I want that for the women I work with.
- Caroline Hopkins, Director, Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Division, Optimal, South Africa
A brilliant piece of work that calls for much reflection and introspection. At times, I would slow down as I go through the pages and found myself smiling at the joy that some of the authors’ questions brought to my heart. As opposed to a problem mindset, the appreciative tone of the book energizes me and instills a sense of hope and personal agency. For example, the section on Women Supporting Women recounts different events where women activism brought about social justice and economic development. It is a responsibility of every woman or man who reads this book to pass it on and cause “ripple conversations” in society. The pen ultimate is the provision of practical tools and insights towards a socially inclusive environment that is thriving.
- Nene Molefi, CEO: Mandate Molefi Consultants Author: A Journey of Diversity & Inclusion in South Africa.
Diana Whitney demonstrates leadership as she invites us to turn the conversations that have brought tensions, disrespect and abuse in gender relationships to light, and explore: “Where do we go from here?” Engaging with her co-authors, Caroline Adams Miller, Tanya Cruz Teller, Marlene Ogawa, Jessica Cocciolone, Alejandra Leon de la Barra, Haesun Moon, Angela Koh, Kathryn Britton, Diana offers concrete guides to conversations and ways of engaging that help us create a path forward. This path fully acknowledges what was in the commitment to helping us create what else is possible. This is an invaluable resource for those of us who are committed to use inquiry and relational engagement to address the structures that trap us so that we can design ways of thriving together.
- Ilene C. Wasserman, Ph.D., President, ICW CONSULTING GROUP
I was so excited by this book I couldn't put it down and immediately recommended it to a team who are planning a women’s conference. And, I’m highly recommending it to anyone who wants to make the world a better place for all…as clearly illustrated in this book, changing the world for women leads to changing the world for all. It is a great resource on so many issues of differences in power, privilege, and inclusion. It is full of background history about these critical issues and uses appreciative inquiry as the means to solve them – known as critical appreciative inquiry. Every critical issue has a series of appreciative inquiry questions that can be used to explore the issue - inquiring into what’s already working and what else can be done. The stories from all the authors illustrate powerfully the key to thriving women thriving world. Diana Whitney, thanks for bringing this book to the world and for engaging so many other women in telling these stories and contributing to this significant work.
― Jeanie Cockell, Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting, Co-author of Building Resilience with Appreciative Inquiry: A Leadership Journey through Hope, Despair and Forgiveness and Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education: A Transformative Force