How the Plague Year Changed Me and My Organization

Budworm in its chrysalis (image: wirestock)

I have changes to share. Even though I know there are more to come, it’s time to make them public. Time to break the chrysalis.

1. My name is Mer. You probably know me as Mary. Last spring, I changed my name to Mer (pronounced “mair”). It’s a more accurate reflection of my gender and its meaning (sea or ocean) has calm and powerful associations for me. My pronouns are still she/her.

2. Do Big Good has pivoted. In the before-times, Do Big Good focused on impact measurement and evaluation. Then, sometime between the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter uprising, the economic collapse, and the coup attempt, impact measurement no longer felt like “big good.”

As a result, we decided to apply the participatory methods we used to co-design evaluation systems to instead co-design structural change. We now facilitate inclusive decision-making so networks and organizations can shift and share power, both internally and with their communities. We’re seeking partners, and collaborators. Feedback and questions welcome.

3. Let’s redesign America. This is my newest project. Willow Idlewild and I are in the early stages of putting together a virtual conference provisionally called “Redesigning America”. We’re looking for speakers, advisers, sponsors, and co-organizers. QTBIPOC, women/nb, working class, disabled, and neurodivergent people to the front!

I imagine the past year has been a time of turmoil and transformation for you too. I’d love to know how. My email is below.

Mer Joyce is the founder and principal of Do Big Good, a Seattle-based participatory design studio. You can reach her at Mer AT DoBigGood DOT com.

inclusive decision-making //

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My transition is over — and it ended very differently than I thought it would.

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