“between the ambiguity of the unfamiliar, and the sense of a mutual, deeply-felt human connection…”

In this tension between the ambiguity of the unfamiliar, and the sense of a mutual, deeply-felt human connection…, I’ve often wondered if there might be a universal “way of being”. A way of being which allows us to see, accept, and embrace one another, for who we are as human beings. Bobby Ricketts, UMass Boston graduation speaker

Video of full speech

From the statement nominating him as graduation speaker:
A Boston-area native, Bobby Ricketts has, in his forty-year career as a jazz musician, performed and run master classes around the world, worked as a musical director in Danish TV, and served as a cultural ambassador to—and “Band Doctor” for—African youth for the US State Department (http://bobbyricketts.com/). He joined the CCT Program to focus in a “more conscious and deliberate manner” on “inspir[ing] positive transformation” among the wider public challenged by “complexity, uncertainty, change, and shifting paradigms”—a state of affairs that working musicians have always had to face. His capstone synthesis, “Social Architecture for Personal Leadership in the 21st Century,” draws on fields as diverse as Futures Studies, Systems Thinking, Design Thinking, and Cognitive Psychology to arrive at a framework that “encourages a range of co-creative social behaviors beneficial to the realization of a visualized, desired outcome, from an economy of means.” From his application statement the CCT faculty felt that Bobby could well serve as our teacher. What we have seen during his studies is a person who delves deeply into the perspectives, tools, and frameworks introduced in courses and weaves them into his evolving thinking and practice, while still making time to support his peers through hours of conversation outside class and comments on their drafts. We look forward to continuing to learn from Bobby as his music and mentorship influences audiences from the international concert hall to the local workshop.


About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor teaches and directs programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He studies the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context as well as innovation in teaching, group process, and interdisciplinary collaboration (see bit.ly/pjtaylor). He is especially interested in conversations with others who are, in diverse ways, "troubled by heterogeneity" (bit.ly/tbhblog)

2 Responses to “between the ambiguity of the unfamiliar, and the sense of a mutual, deeply-felt human connection…”

  1. David Kooharian says:

    Well done Bobby, I believe you are right. I am thinking about your words.

  2. Beautiful. Provocative. Resonates with a lot of thoughts about taking big steps forwards, anyway! Thanks Jennifer in San Francisco

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