Unsung Hero Spotlight: Vince Schutt

To you, what is an Ecosystem Builder?

Someone who helps others, and empowers in a way where the student becomes a teacher. Core to building new prosperous ways of being, is a focus on empowering autonomy for others to succeed and use their skills not only for themselves, but collaboratively with others.

What motivates you as an ecosystem builder?

I am motivated by helping our society transition into the future – into a world where we have succeeded in our desire to resolve the pressures of climate change. Core among the way I work is democratizing power structures.

What is the most successful/impactful program/event/thing you do/have done in your ecosystem?

I delivered behavior change workshops with a lot of people. How many? I’ve lost count. One of the experiential workshops I did was with Citizen’s Climate Lobby. A week after the training and the CCL lobby days Canada became the first country to make a carbon fee & dividend carbon price. Evidence tells us this is the most effective of carbon prices.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an Ecosystem Builder?

Foundations and funders don’t know about behavior change science – and have parameters of behavior change programming focused on behavioral economics. Behavioral economics is like a significantly less developed academic pathway for changing the behavior of others. Behavioral economics is specifically less effective because it, as a field, is agnostic of the autonomy of others. Yet we know from motivational interviewing clinical research that emphasizing autonomy is one of the most powerful utterances we can share with another to help them change.

What is your biggest frustration as an ecosystem builder?

Bearing witness to environmental allies and colleagues being manipulated into confrontational communications with so called “climate deniers”.

What ecosystem building skill/knowledge do you want to gain?

I’ve done a lot of convening in the past five years. It would be good to learn about the processes of other conveners and how they convene people. i’d like to take my work to the next level, and maybe even go on a provincial learning tour.

What are the most important things that need to happen to advance the field of ecosystem building?

Integration of behavior change science, specifically motivational interviewing theory into the way we communicate.

What others are saying about Vince

Vince offers all of his training workshops at no cost, ensuring equity of access to those who are not financially well to do. He hosts the CURL community group – building a community network to use skills gained in the free workshops in a variety of entrepreneurial and personal pursuits. Everyone involved is free to pursue their own personal interests in the use of the skills he teaches.

Vince’s goal is to change the culture of how we communicate about climate change.

Vince is an expert in Motivational Interviewing, and a great teacher.

In the goals below, it was hard to pick any of those because he really seems to do all of those things.
1) inclusivity – he doesn’t charge, to make sure anyone can come and puts a lot of work into reaching out to diverse audiences.
2) collaborative – if you go to one of Vince’s workshops you’ll find him customizing the workshop for each group. As someone who has been to his “MI intro” workshop multiple times, I can say that each time it was different and special
3&7) The participants of Vince’s workshop are brought together with the prospect of applying motivational interviewing to create a new culture around climate change (the leading known approach from clinical psychology to help people change)
4) When Vince is requested to do a workshop on MI he’ll invite students from his more advanced classes to join him or lead the teaching sessions.
5) Vince taught me about the contemplation ladder measurement and how it can be applied as a surrogate measure to behaviour change. I’ve also seen his webinar on Net Promoter Score and how to use that to improve one’s own work with the benefit of feedback.
6) Vince has been very supportive of every application of MI I’ve pursued – and is always willing to make time. When I went to my first intro workshop, we stayed and talked for a good 2 hours after the end of the workshop.

So yea, he’s a really good guy and you should meet him. If you ever have the chance to go to his MI intro workshop you won’t regret it!

 

Related: Cultivate a Culture of Trust and Collaboration within our Field: ESHIP Goal 2

Anika Horn

Anika Horn is an ecosystem builder for social change, social enterprise advisor and storyteller. She is on a mission to equip ecosystem builders with the insights, resources and community to lead fulfilling lives and purpose-driven careers. Learn more about her work at SocialVenturers.com and AnikaHorn.com.

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