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Federating efforts towards a thrivable world


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The Commons as underlying logic to federate social disparate social change and sustainability efforts. A talk at the 'Imagine the Common Good' conference, Paris, August 25 to 28, 2013. Part of the Cultural Diversity & the Common Good panel.

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Published in: Education, Technology, Spiritual
  • Helene, I came across this link in a comment you made on John Hagel's blog. John is an old friend who I always find to be provocative and ahead of his time. We should be in touch as we are working on similar challenges in parallel paths. I've recently finished a 3-year exploration of leadership in the context of meta-system challenges (climate change, urbanization, etc.) with a lot of attention to social change. Posting more on this soon at
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  • Awesome! Is there a tool or how would I make a few proposals.

    Actually, Helene I started several of the items in my COMMON understanding and student of the academic system thinking world.

    I believe I'm nearly done with the proposal in Raw form for the Model UN based on feedback from OpenIDEO. My submissions didn't make the finals but I got some great feedback in the creative thinking for kids round we just closed.

    I've modeled a few tools in Insight Maker, debate graph, caccoo, developed models on the same in Facebook and Google+ which may have inspired Facebook to develop the local feature for pages, due any day now.

    Per clouds have some potential for the federation aspects.
    Community policing with Safety for Women in Urban Communities
    Online Protection Framework designed around the Insight Maker models.

    Please let me know if you'd like to take a tour on a 30 minute call soon.

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  • Thank you Helene
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  • Excellent :) I especially like slides 16, 21, and definitely into the commons. I think we are in alignment. I have some 'hard' principles or practices, e.g. mttp as a financial protocols to create the commons.
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Federating efforts towards a thrivable world

  1. 1. A  systems  thinking  experiment  
  2. 2. A  systems  thinking  experiment   LinkedIn  Systems  Thinking  World  conversa;on:     Time  for  revolu;onary  thinking  and  ac;on.  How   to  make  it  happen?     §  8000  comments   §  2  years   §  100s  of  commenters   §  Unanimous  recogni;on  of  a  threat   §  No  unifying  synthesis   §  Plurality  of  approaches,  levels  of  interven;on,   solu;ons  
  3. 3. Accumula;ve  systemic  threat  
  4. 4. Accumula;ve  systemic  threat   We  could  agree  on     §  ‘accumula;on’  of  systemic  threat   §  rapid  globaliza;on  of  new  forms  of   monoculture     §  technologies  and  models  that  foster   massifica;on  of  behavior   §  amplifica;on  of  effects  making  us   increasingly  vulnerable   §  need  for  urgent  ‘coordinated’  ac;on      
  5. 5. No  unifying  synthesis  in  response  
  6. 6. No  unifying  synthesis  in  response   Facing  accumula;ve  threat,  as  a  whole  we   §  Couldn’t  agree  on  problems   §  Couldn’t  agree  on  causes   §  Couldn’t  agree  on  priori;es   §  Couldn’t  agree  on  values   §  Couldn’t  agree  on  roles  &  responsibili;es   §  Couldn’t  agree  on  courses  of  ac;on   §  Couldn’t  ‘construct’  ‘common’  responses     >>  But  is  this  really  what  is  needed?    
  7. 7. An  ecology  for  transforma;ve  ac;on   SPIR ITUA L
  8. 8. An  ecology  for  transforma;ve  ac;on   We  could  [somewhat]  agree  on  the  NATURE  of   the  solu;on  space     §  Diversity  of  efforts  that  ‘need’  each  other   §  Each  individual/  group  from  his  own  place,   perspec;ve  and  ac;on  logic   §  With  various  mo;va;ons  &  needs   §  Clustered  around  shared  inten;ons  /  objects   of  a]en;on  that  are  not  interchangeable   §  Following  mul;ple  pathways  with  no  central   perspec;ve    
  9. 9. Diversity  people  >  pathways  >  efforts   •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  Back  to  basics,  rela;onships,  community,  gi^,  love…   Local  empowerment,  autonomy,  resilience…     Educa;on,  communica;on,  sharing  of  prac;ce   Ethics,  morality,  behaviors   Rules,  regula;ons  against  excess  &  abuses   Power  &  resource  distribu;on,  technology   Structure  &  framework  to  organize  discourse  &  ac;on   Big  picture  thinking,  systems,  interconnec;ons   Macro  and  micro  economic  models,  money  &  finance   Goals,  indicators  &  metrics   Mindfulness,  spirituality   ….  
  10. 10. How  to  coalesce  efforts?  
  11. 11. How  to  coalesce  efforts?   §  How  can  distributed  and  self-­‐organized  efforts   ‘add  up’  &  accumulate  cohesively?   §  How  can  we  evaluate  where  the  whole  is  going   in  its  diversified  intricacy  to  make  the  right   choices  and  take  correc;ve  ac;ons  at  each   locality   §  Without  being  diluted  in  pluralism,  decimated   as  a  whole  or  falling  off  the  cliff?        
  12. 12. A  scaffold  to  aggregate  coherence  
  13. 13. A  scaffold  to  aggregate  coherence     Ø  We  need  a  meta-­‐narra;ve  as  scaffold  to   aggregate  different  kinds  of  powers  and   mechanisms  to  support  the  emergence  of  the   new.       Ø  Something  strategically  ambiguous  to  draw   coherence  from  a  variety  of  disparate  micro   narra;ves.   Ann  Pendleton  Jullian   Architect,  professor  of  design     explores  the  interchange  between  culture,  environment  and  technology.      
  14. 14. Underlying  not  overarching  principles  
  15. 15. Underlying  not  overarching  principles     Ø  We  need  a  unifying  principle  that  increases   the  diversity  of  the  system.  One  that  does  not   transcend  and  resolve  differences,  but  that   preserves  and  adds  to  them.   Ø  Such  unifying  principle  would  be  founda;onal   to  genera;ve  processes,  as  an  undertow  for   transforma;ve  ac;on.   Bonni>a  Roy   Process  philosopher,  explores  post-­‐convenAonal  thinking  across   mulAple  domains  (psychology,  biology,  evoluAonary  systems,  process   dialecAcs,  etc…)    
  16. 16. The  Commons  as  genera;ve  system     Modular  Branching  Genera;ve  System  –  Anthony  Ma]ox  -­‐  h]p://archive.anthonyma]­‐2011-­‐blog/index.html%3Fp=2926.html    
  17. 17. The  Commons  as  genera;ve  system   The  commons  in  their  extended  defini;on  are:     §  resources  &  factors  of  enablement                >  the  common  goods  –  what  to  care  for   §  prac;ces  &  tools  people  use  to  relate  to  each   other,  to  their  resources,  to  earth                >  the  commons  ethos  –  how  we  care  for  them   §  outcomes  that  result  from  these  prac;ces                >  the  common  good  –  in  turn  objects  of  care     All  to  be  protected,  nurtured,  grown…  in  awareness  of   each  other  and  of  their  interdependence      
  18. 18. The  Commons  as  genera;ve  system     Ø  a  system  genera;ve  of  livelihood  with  people   at  its  core  that  takes  mul;ple  forms   Ø  a  tangible  ‘social  object’  versa;le  enough  to   aggregate  disparate  efforts,  and  to  play  as   underlying  logic  to  guide  choice  at  various   levels  and  scales    
  19. 19. The  ubiquitous  commons  logic   There  is  a  commons  logic   in  mul;ple  ac;on  logics…   Inspired  from  Barre]  Brown’s  work  on  communica;ng  with  many  world  views  
  20. 20. Going  back  to  the  source  &  essen;als   honoring  ancestral  tradi;ons  &  mother  earth   >>  The  mythical,  sacred,  spiritual   dimensions  of  the  commons  and   commoning.  Commons  as   harmony,  a]unement,  giving,   communing  with  each  other  and   nature.    
  21. 21. Self-­‐protec;ng  livelihoods     figh;ng  the  system  as  survivors  or  heroes   How the Red Opportunist relates to sustainability • • What is important regarding sustainability: Being seen as a hero; assertion of self over the system or Nature; obtain power and be free;;  respect;;  the  “Law  of  the  Jungle”;;   impulsivity and immediate reward; toughness; “hands  on/  street/survival”  skills. Examples may include: “Save  the  Planet”  hero   initiatives; Earth First!; ecoterrorism; frontier mentalities; off-the-grid housing, Social Darwinism; Monkey wrenching. >>    The  empowering,  enabling  dimension  and  distributed  nature  of  the  commons.   P2P  produc;on  &  crea;on  of  commons,  commons  ac;vism,  crea;ve  commons,   open  access,  local  commons,  genera;ve  of  autonomy  and  resilience.   Esbjörn-Hargens, S., & Zimmerman, M. E. (2009) Integral Ecology. Adapted from: Beck, D and Cowan, C; (1996) Spiral Dynamics
  22. 22. Crea;ng  Legi;macy  &  stewardship     through  governance  &  ins;tu;ons   >>    The  stewardship  and  governance  dimension  of  the  commons;  legi;macy  and   protec;on  of  the  commons  through  ins;tu;ons,  law  &  policy.     Preserva;on,  conserva;on,  human  rights,  right  to  access,  public  domain  &   intellectual  property,  global  commons,  jus;ce  &  equity,  ethics  &  behaviors.    
  23. 23. Seeking  ra;onal  solu;ons  &  efficiencies     via  new  strategies  &  mechanisms   chiever relates to sustainability ng sustainability: ndependence; chieving hings better nce and orces.” atural sm; science of utilitarian tal Psychology; dustrial ns, S., & Zimmerman, M. E. (2009) Integral Ecology. Adapted from: Beck, D and Cowan, C; (1996) Spiral Dynamics >>  The  ‘tools’  and  ‘science’  serving  the  commons…  Management  and  conserva;on/ preserva;on  technologies,  macro  and  micro  economic  models  and  policies,  indicators   and  metrics.  Alterna;ve  &  complementary  currencies  and  finance  instruments…  
  24. 24. Fostering  emo;onal  rela;onships     between  people  &  with  nature     >>    The  commons  as  social  prac;ce  and  outcome.  Community  involvement,  social   responsibility,  learning,  collabora;on.  The  loving,  sharing,  par;cipa;ng,  consensual   dimension  of  the  commons.  Commons  ideals  and  rela;onships,  prac;ces,  wellbeing.    
  25. 25. Understanding  systems  &  complexity   linking  theory  &  prac;ce   >>  The  integra;ve  and  dynamic  aspects  of  the  commons.  Commons  and  associated   prac;ces  as  a  system  and  process.  Interweaving  contexts  and  development,  the   cultural,  natural  and  technological.  Dialogue  based  methodologies,  leadership   development.    
  26. 26. Transforming  self  &  others   integra;ng  the  material,  spiritual,  societal   >>  The  commons  as  enlivenment,  at  the  interplay  of  awareness,  thought,  ac;on,   effect.  Experience  of  wholeness  of  existence  through  mind  and  spirit.    Sense   making  and  deep  awareness  of  systems  interac;ons  and  dynamic  processes.    
  27. 27. The  commons  as  support  narra;ve  
  28. 28. The  commons  as  support  narra;ve   The  commons  take  mul;ple  forms,   speak  mul;ple  languages...       They  can  support  the  implementa;on  of   strategies  and  narra;ves  of  a  variety  of   ac;ons  logics  expressed  on  the  ground…     In  return  they  benefit  as  a  whole  from   each  of  the  individual  ini;a;ves  in  a   feedback  loop.        
  29. 29. What  next?   How  can  each  of  the  strategies,  stories,  ac;ons   towards  a  thriving  world  find  more  strength  in   the  commons  as  common  ground?     How  can  a  story  of  the  commons  and  a  new   paradigm  emerge  from  these  various  stories?       How  can  the  ac;ons  in  each  of  these  areas   contribute  to  strengthen  each  other  and    the   commons  as  a  whole?    
  30. 30. The  Commons  Abundance  Network  
  31. 31. The  Commons  Abundance  Network