A Process Born From Deep-Held Values
BFF Executive Director Ami Becker Aronson is wholely commited to the idea that the world should be a soulful place where all people feel valued. She is driven by creating wholeness and wellness around her – personally, professionally and spiritually. With this dedication comes the idea that creating a ‘place at the table’ for those who don’t currently have a voice is one of the most impactful things we can do. Providing an opportunity to have presence, combined with the economic capital to pursue solutions to the issues of our world, is her passion.
Through her dedication to the Foundation that was created by the family patriarch, Leo (Ami’s grandfather), she has been able to lend capital to programs that have impact across several verticals. It has also given her an opportunity to ask key questions that have helped to form how the Foundation is working now, and how it will function in the future.
- What honor has been paid to the matriarchs of our society? We have impressive monuments to the men who formed our country, but where are the places that honor the women who also had important parts to play?
- If we recognize that women have always played a significant role in the development of cultures, including ours, how might we get into a ‘feminine’ headspace to think about how we might intentionally shape a better future?
- Is there something unique and different about a feminine approach to problem solving? Ami strongly believes there is, and that this has nothing to do with gender or one’s biology, but about traditionally feminine methods of thinking about problems in a holistic, nurturing, human-centric way.
This train of thought led Ami to develop a new analysis process, Feminine Design Strategy, the goals of which are:
- To actively and intentionally disrupt traditional, patriarchal patterns of thinking and to look at the world from a new point of view, both at a macro and micro level.
- To take intentional risks and to become a responsible disruptor of the status quo.
- To think outside of the box. Or, as Ami says, to ignore that there even is a box in which we are constrained, and to create an entirely new paradigm.
- To connect with the world not as an observer but as a participant, and to actively engage in programs that can bring about tangible change to issues that we see around us.
This way of thinking allows a person, company or foundation, or even a society to press pause, to take a step back, and to look at the world in a completely new way. It allows us to give birth to new ideas and new ways of seeing and shaping the world.
Evolving the Foundation
Using the principles of FDS, Ami and her fellow Board members have shifted the way the grant process at the Bernstein Family Foundation works. They have organically pivoted funding to more female-oriented and female-led programs in the DC area that are focused on these feminine concepts of wholeness and healing.
Another feminine aspect of Ami’s approach is the innate drive to create connections and to leverage human capital. In the future the Foundation will not only fund discrete projects but will actively work to create connections and synergies among the Grantees, with the idea of seeing exponentially greater returns for DC culture and the residents of our City.
Feminine Design Strategy in Business
Ami sees FDS as a viable and powerful tool for businesses that are stuck – stuck in old ways of thinking, stuck in paradigms for business that are no longer working. Coupled with her extensive financial background, this new approach to breaking apart old ways of functioning and creating something new will have significant impact on DC area businesses who apply FDS principles to their business challenges or redesign.