In this series, we spotlight our four extraordinary Circles USA Board members: the governance team who oversees CUSA operations, advises on strategic directions, and contributes to specific projects that enhance what CUSA has to offer to its community of practice. Examples include upgrading our website, brochures, and curriculum, developing our Big View policy platform to advance systemic change based on chapter input, and connecting with national partner organizations like Ideos to strengthen our capacity for generative dialogue. While our network will not be surprised by our Board’s commitment to CUSA, we hope the scope of their collective knowledge and experience—from public policy to community organizing and spiritual leadership—will delight and inspire you.
Christy Vines, a member of the Circles USA Board since October 2020, is an empathy expert, thought leader, and social commentator. She founded Ideos Institute to focus on the advancement of empathy and the equipping of trusted leaders to engage empathically in the big questions of our time. After leaving a professional career in national security and global conflict, she leads Ideos Institute’s research in the field of Empathic Intelligence and its application to conflict transformation, social capital, communal resiliency, and servant leadership.
She is best known for her high-energy keynotes; unique perspective on Christianity, society, and culture; and her ability to help people bridge differences and connect more authentically. You may remember her powerful presentation at our virtual conference in April of 2021, “The Power of Empathy in Creating Systems Level Change.”
Christy also is a published writer, international speaker, and the executive producer of the 2022 documentary film Dialogue Lab: America, a moving take on the current state of division and polarization in America. She is currently working on her first book, titled Empathic Intelligence. Empathic Leadership for our Time. Christy is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School.
Christy says: “I am a Circles USA Board member because I believe deeply in the power and agency of those closest to social challenges and issues to transform them. The Circles model, and the leadership that supports it, inspire me every day to keep engaging in the difficult work of social transformation; and I’m both proud and humbled to be a part of the CUSA mission of building community to end poverty.
I’m especially excited about engaging with and supporting CUSA’s work to influence policies and practices at the local, state and national levels to interrupt the systems that keep individuals and families in poverty.”