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Hardcover | $29.95 Trade | £24.95 | 264 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 6 b&w illus. | September 2017 | ISBN: 9780262037198
Paperback | $17.95 Trade | £14.95 | 264 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 6 b&w illus. | August 2018 | ISBN: 9780262536189
eBook | $20.95 Trade | October 2017 | ISBN: 9780262343831
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Leading from Within

Conscious Social Change and Mindfulness for Social Innovation


Gretchen Steidle knows first-hand the personal transformation that mindfulness practice can bring. But she doesn’t believe that transformation stops at personal wellbeing. In Leading from Within, Steidle describes the ways that personal investment in self-awareness shapes leaders who are able to inspire change in others, build stronger relationships, and design innovative and more sustainable solutions. Steidle argues that both personal and societal transformation are essential for a just society, and with this book she offers a roadmap for integrating mindfulness into every aspect of social change. Conventional methods attempt to compel people to change through incentives or punitive measures. Conscious social change calls for leading with a deeper human understanding of change and compassion for the needs and perspectives of all stakeholders.

Steidle offers mindfulness practices for individuals and groups, presents the neuroscientific evidence for its benefits, and argues for its relevance to social change. She describes five capacities of conscious social change, devoting a chapter to each. She writes about her own experiences, including her work helping women to found their own grassroots social ventures in post-conflict Africa. She describes the success of a group of rural, uneducated women in Rwanda, for example, who now provide 9,000 villagers with clean water, ending the sexual exploitation of disabled women unable to collect water on their own. Steidle also draws from the work of change agents in the United States to showcase applications of conscious social change to timely issues like immigration, racism, policing, and urban violence. Through personal stories and practical guidance, Steidle delivers both the inspiration and tools of this innovative approach to social transformation.

About the Author

Gretchen Ki Steidle is Founder and President of Global Grassroots, a nonprofit organization that works with women and girls to be leaders of conscious social change in their communities. She gives lectures and workshops worldwide.


“Gretchen Steidle’s approach to applying mindfulness and empathy to social entrepreneurship will help you lead, innovate, and advance social change effectively and happily.”
Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO, Ashoka
“Many are uncertain about the relationship between mindfulness practice and social change—they seem so different, in intent and application—can they possibly enhance one another? If you would like to see how powerfully they can come together, this book is for you. Through her experience and understanding of each, Gretchen Steidle illuminates the vast potential held in pursuing both.”
Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness and Real Love