The Weaver's Way
Fires, floods, the rising cost of living, and increasing inequality. We need a new approach to social change.
- by Corrina Grace
In The Weaver’s Way, author Corrina Grace argues that the sense of safety and security we in the West carry with us is a dangerous illusion. And the only way forward toward a more certain future is to throw off that illusion and find new ways to engage in shaping change in the world around us.
Changemakers. Healers. Leaders.
Author Corrina Grace is a social entrepreneur, engineer, sustainability leader and bilingual facilitator with over 15 years experience building and strengthening social impact organizations.
But not just any approach to social change will work. Whether it’s in the aftermath of a natural disaster or in the daily lives of those living in marginalized communities around the world, it’s become clear that the business-as-usual approach to change—change that makes a real difference—isn’t sustainable.
Based on Corrina’s first-hand experience, social impact strategy is most successful when ordinary people are empowered to come together and weave their communities back together.
Drawing from those experiences, The Weaver’s Way provides a blueprint for shaping change that harnesses our deep inner instinct for connection and caring. Inspired by the intergenerational legacy of Guatemalan women weavers, The Weaver’s Way calls for all of us to come together, pick up the threads, and become Weavers.
The Weaver’s Way proposes that we toss out the traditional changemaker playbook and try a new approach. Instead of providing a prescriptive pattern to follow, however, the book gives you the basic techniques—the stitches—to create your own pattern. These are the tools for change you can use whether you want to be a changemaker in your immediate community or you’re working towards transformative leadership in the formal social entrepreneurship and innovation sector.
What to Expect
Part I: A Narrative for the 21st Century 21
A Narrative for the 21st Century 21
The Games We Play
Calling Forth the Future
Part II: We, the Weavers
A Metaphor for Change
The Weaver’s Way 95
The Laws of Interconnectedness
The Journey of Becoming
Weaving for Change 153
Finca Ulew - Place of Fire
7 Strategies for More Effective Weaving
A Tribute to the Weavers
Part III: The Weaver’s Workshop 241
Joining the Weavers Guild 245
In The Weaver's Way (excerpt)
Loida comes out of the kitchen to weave, and a couple of rust-red chickens scatter out of her way with an indignant squawk. At just under 1.4m in height (around 4’7”), she is fairly typical of a demographic for whom chronic malnutrition is a childhood constant, leading to the highest prevalence of stunting among under-five children in Latin America. Her long black hair flecked with gray is plaited down her back and tied with a bright ribbon, which matches the handmade indigenous dress that is her daily outfit. She has her loom in her hand, a bundle of “sticks and strings” as I once heard from a passing tourist.
It is true though. When carried this way it could easily be mistaken for a confused jumble of yarn and wooden rods. But once you see it in situ, you quickly recognize the simple yet complicated tool that it is—a trademark of both literal and metaphorical weaving, as any systems thinker would recognize.
The backstrap loom is so named because of the strap that wraps around the weaver’s back, fixing the loom in front of them to do their work. As Loida prepares to weave, she ties one end of the loom to a wooden post. It is the corner of the covered walkway that encircles the patio 103 of their small housing complex. Then she spreads a small mat out onto the dirt floor and, in the exaggeratedly precise and intentional way of one whose body is a reservoir of accumulated memories each with its own physical reminder, she slowly and carefully lowers herself down. She wraps the strap of the loom around her back. Still not faded despite years of wearing, the purple-and-white-striped strap contrasts beautifully with the aquamarine blue of her güipil (Mayan blouse) and the vivid tree-green-yellow blend of her skirt.
The chickens wander around the courtyard, picking caterpillars and bugs off the trees and plants growing there, disturbed and disturbing now and then with the occasional squawk as one of Loida’s five dogs or seven grandchildren wander by. This house was once among the poorest in the village, but through the economic support of her children, Loida’s home now has electricity, running water, a flushing toilet and a refrigerator–things she didn’t have growing up in the 1950s.
Another one of those “comforts” is the low, three-legged stool on which she now sits, bare feet stretched out in front of her. In her hand is a small rod, wound with the yarn she will be using, as well as a big stick which she uses to beat the weft (the actual weaving) with each pass of the shuttle. The loom rises sharply at an angle in front of her, a collection of brightly colored possibilities.
With everything in place, Loida begins to weave. As she does so, she shows us The Weaver’s Way, demonstrating the five guiding principles that underpin The Weaver's Way.
Put The Weaver's Way Into Practice
Download our discussion guide to deepen your understanding and practice of the concepts, ideas, and strategies outlined in The Weaver's Way. These are great to use with your organization or small group. Enter your name and email address below, and we'll send you the discussion guide. You'll also get updates about the author and the book from Ingenium Books.