Sharon Tennison’s Message Through Her Book

The International Museum of Cultures is excited about the opportunity to have Sharon Tennison possibly lead an event at the Museum in the next couple of month; dates and times to be announced.

Ms. Tennison is founder and President of the Center for Citizen Initiatives (CCI) in San Francisco. Ms.Tennison has worked for 25 years in Russia and the CIS, creating numerous multi-year, multi-million dollar TA programs to provide training for Soviet and Russian citizens to gain independence and skills designed for self governance. She lives and travels extensively part of the year in Russia. Sharon Tennison’s book The Power of Impossible Ideas is available from

Sharon Tennison

Sharon Tennison

Ms. Tennison contributes to a blog called Russia: Other Points of View. As stated in the Blog’s ‘Welcome Message’, the blog fills a need in the public forum for a venue which offers opinions and facts that at times may differ from the prevailing view in western media. The Blog goes on to state that their point of view is not political, is not theoretical, and is not academic. It comes from decades of working at the grassroots of Soviet and post-Soviet society and being avid watchers of Russian politics, economics, history, societal conditioning and current mindsets.

In a recent blog post, Ms. Tennison  speaks of a meeting she had with a representative from one of Russia’s largest companies in timber and pulp. The man wanted to  discuss how to encourage charitable services and volunteerism among their workers.

The man’s name was Dennis. As stated in Ms. Tennison’s blog, “Dennis seems obsessed to find new ways to create volunteerism where none has existed previously (and was forbidden by the Soviet state – unless permitted by large companies like his).  He dates this current effort to when the American partners came into the corporation. He was proud that during the original negotiations, their American partners approved of the company’s big outlay for social causes.”

Ms. Tennison goes on to state in her blog post “By the end I realized I’d felt more passion from this young man about how to create volunteers out of ordinary Russians than I’d felt in a long, long time”.

Ms. Tennison is no stranger to enthusiasm in her own work. Ms. Tennison’s sister writes in an article published in the Pagosa Springs Journal:

“Her work began before Gorborchov, Yeltsin and the entire Russian revolution; this was the old communist USSR in every way. She created an organization, The Center for Citizens Initiatives (CCI) that intended to introduce American citizens to Russian citizens so the Russians might learn more progressive ways. In the beginning this was less than acceptable for the USSR; there were difficult years.

She also has an “attitude!” Her organization’s motto was “When the citizens lead, sooner or later the leaders will follow.” She has always done things in her own way and always will.”

Stay Updated

Ms. Sharon Tennison is truly an exciting and interesting woman. To stay updated on the plans for Sharon Tennison’s visit to the museum, subscribe to this Blog or contact the International Museum of Cultures at (972) 572-0462.

2 thoughts on “Sharon Tennison’s Message Through Her Book

  1. What an inspiring woman. There is a certain type of person that can sweep the world off their feet and I think Ms. Tennison is one of them. I’m going to have to visit that forum and especially check out that book. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Sharon Tennison Presenting Her Views on Russia at the International Museum of Cultures | International Museum of Cultures BLOG

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