Somewhere, Ho!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Daily Tales : One Thread
How does so much keep happening? How does so much else not?
I'm stepping up a gear and feel my use of this space morphing again. I'm starting a thread that will probably end up with a number of extensions/answers, based on the new interaction I'm having with Tom Atlee's group in the Bay Area.
It's where I'll be while you're here. sigh.
There are elements of momentum arising. I feel a wind at my back. I think this is the beginning of a long threadship...
Down the Rabbit Hole - meeting the folk from Tom Atlee's group:
on 5/18/02 6:25 PM, Tom Atlee at firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Dear friends, >
> Since I needed to come down to the Bay Area before Adin this time, my trip
> to be with you is now being made possible by my friend Cynthia Beal. She's
> the one who got Karen and me to come to Eugene in the first place (after
> we'd decided to move out of the Bay Area), as she was a close colleague of
> mine in our Y2K work. For many years she's run the most principled natural
> food grocery in Eugene and is extremely well connected with people on all
> sides of Eugene's community life. She was one of the dozen most active
> national leaders on Y2K community preparedness.
> Anyway, I wanted to ask if you'd be willing to have Cynthia present at our
> next meeting -- not as a participant, but just as a friendly observer. She
> has said she'd be really interested, but would understand that it would be
> disruptive of our process (especially at this delicate stage, when we're
> just finding our collective coherence) to participate. So she'd just watch.
> It might be very interesting, of course, to find out at lunch what she
> observed in the morning!
> Anyway, Cynthia is the most brilliant person I know, in terms of pure IQ.
> And, as one of my other close friends here in Eugene says, "I operate on
> about seven levels. Cynthia leaves me in the dust on all of them." She is
> into complexity theory as well as grocery store accounting. She can talk
> engagingly with the most ordinary people or with those interested in the I
> Ching or the mathematics of the Mayan Calendar. Politically, she can dive
> readily from views normally thought of as progressive, to conservative, to
> green, to never-heard-of-before. Intellectually, she's a very free being
> and a stimulating thinking partner. She has a warm heart, a strong sense
> of ethics, a wild wit, and a spirit-informed consciousness.
> She's selling her store to the people working in it, and moving on in her
> life. Her next step is writing a sci-fi novel about our future. That's
> part of why she's interested in watching us. She's building her vision of
> how the future would be/could be governed, and she might be observing us as
> a future anthropologist. Of course, I'll be talking about governance with
her a lot on the drive down...
Tom's letter is too kind, but he frames me generously and the folk who don't know me in the group agree to have me come. I respond to them...
Hello to those of you I don't know, and those I'll soon come to.
Thanks for agreeing so readily to have me sit in on short notice. It's not my intent to take up too much time here, nor there either. I'll share some things now because I might end up having/wanting to answer questions several times individually, and a synopsis here is more efficient.
While I gather that my active participation is at least a possibility for some of you, Tom's caveats
[from another e-mail]
(and he *knows* me!) are well-placed - let me just say at the outset that my intent is primarily to listen.
I'm interested in what you're doing, for practical goal-related reasons as well as simple curiousity about the efforts of a couple of my favorite people. I'll also most likely confine that interest to making cryptic notes, and not burden either myself nor you with my need to understand. I don't plan on "reporting" - I'm ready to be inspired.
I have been asking the question for some time:
"How do we get *there* -"there" being, in part, a place/path of enough coordinated social coherence that we can deeply focus on the necessary work of mitigating our collective impact on the biosphere to shift current trajectories of Climax Communinity Collapse *much* further out than they presently are - from *here*, with "here" being that 't = now' place that seems to have collapse as a fixed point attractor up ahead.
-And I'm afraid my vocabulary is hopelessly embedded with Complexity language, for I'm in a school - http://www.prototista.org - for it, and that's the way I'm thinking right now. I make an effort to use it in a technically accurate manner--
To uncover and illustrate creative social equations that definitively adjust those pragmatic vectors in both informal societies, and the more formal emergent institutions that are just beginning to measure them, while also giving many more people hope (energy!) for a future that includes a lot more of what we aspire to be is my search right now.
What I find I'm headed for is a story book for adults and thoughtful children, because that's the only sandbox with enough room in the metaphors for me to play in.
To make it less abstract - a quote from another letter:
"... I'm concocting/writing a tale (a number of friends are helping) about moving the North American temperate forest northward (set about 30-40 years from now) - sort of a bio-diversity MacArthur Plan forced into play with the advent of stronger global warming symptoms..."
I listen more accutely every day for values to plug into my processor, and the terminus of "story" (as opposed to the next job, or cause, or project) becomes more apparent with every iteration.
I'm satisfied with the parameters of my involvement with your group that Tom outlined in his recent e-mail of the vision statement and I look very forward to meeting all of you next week. We should have a great drive down there, and an amazing one back.
I'll see you all soon.
One more "C" variable of the Complex Plane
My story begins to emerge. I'm walking it.
Today is one more iteration - me* (t = now +1)
I just made a thesis statement about "Chasing Spring" in this letter to these folks that feels grounded and true, and is the most concise one to date. I can tell that they're going to pull more parts of the Tale from me, just as you are pulling the Voice.
You remain, as always, the strangest basin of attraction I've ever encountered.
Again, If you want to get rid of all the html, you can hit the site listed below - pw is next.
-- Anonymous, May 21, 2002
I'm a babe in the woods. I think I just dove in over my head... Oh well. Steady as she goes...!
This is the Chaordic Group's Mission Statement - this is not the group's real name, though some members are from the Chaordic Commons) comprised in part by Atlee, Leonard Joy, Tom Hurley, Kenoli Oleary, Rosa Zubrietta and a few others.
Interesting references are:
David Korten's Dialogue with Atlee
Tom Atlee's 2002 Wisdom Survey Results
Leonard Joy participates in AHIMSA
Mission Statement compiled by Tom Atlee as of 5/18/2002
Our purpose is to support the development of wholesome new forms of self-governance by fostering conversations and other forms of social engagement that bring forth the wisdom of the whole on behalf of the long-term good. We expect this to involve collective decision-making, visioning, storytelling, community-building and/or any other dimension of collective dialogue at all levels of society.
OUR FIVE YEAR STORY
We intend that in five years we shall report:
1. A network of forums, meetings, conversations and other large and small group gatherings and events that seek and bring forth the collective wisdom we need to guide our collective lives.
A) Involving a growing number of participants,
A-1) Including many activities, meetings and forums that continue on an ongoing basis,
B) Discussing public concerns
B-1) Paying special attention to the structures, attitudes and behaviors of institutions -- especially governments, corporations and communities -- and the attitudes and behaviors of individuals,
C) Iteratively, generating collective learning and an evolving body of collective wisdom,
D) Clarifying and defining moral imperatives,
D-1) Deriving principles and codes of conduct based on these moral imperatives. This will include respectful and useful critiques of current policies and behaviors,
E) Presented in findings that are publicly disseminated
F) Based on data and analysis from respected and legitimized sources, as well as inspiration and the stories of those involved
G) Evoking non-violent witness and action to delegitimize unacceptable behaviors and to promote transparency, accountability and dialogue -- especially nonviolent action that doesn't demand a particular outcome, but demands dialogue in search of solutions that work for everyone.
H) Influencing the development and adoption of new principles and practices of organizational process and structure which support the long term public good,
I) Engaging local, national, and international institutions,
J) Modeling and spreading the capacity for dialogue, wise collective decision making, community-building and other capacities, and
K) Weaving together the many dialogues that these activities generate.
II. These wisdom-generating activities have been promoted by:
A) A network of participants committed to principles of public dialogue,
B) Ongoing institutional capacity to contain and further such dialogue, emerging out of and supporting the evolving formal and informal working relationships of the network
C) An evolving toolbox of selected dialogue processes usable by anyone. Certain of these tools are used as standards for certain specific forms of public conversation
D) A movement of people taking these principles and practice into a variety of settings, including:
1) Diverse civic, religious, corporate, community, political and governmental organizations and activities at all levels of society and
2) Experiments with institutional structures which enhance the capacity for public conversations to directly impact public awareness and policy.
E) Core groups of people, organized chaordically (as a network of nodes self-organizing within an explicit shared vision and set of principles about the nature of their activities and relationships)
1) Establishing think tanks and institutes
a) To identify issues of public importance around which people seem ready to produce long term social and institutional change.
b) To articulate the values and world views driving each issue;
c) That provide strategic analysis for effective action based on deep understanding of non-violent witness and action.
2) Establishing the ability to research and publish respected and widely read reports, analyses and other materials in written, website, audio, visual and other formats.
3) Establishing training programs for facilitators.
4) Developing content and materials for trainings, with a growing body of practitioners connected in networks of communities of practice.
5) Engaging the media in publicizing and participating in these public conversations and activities.
F) Financial viability. Activities are fully funded from a variety of sources including: philanthropy, websites and shareware, forum membership, publications and events. Philanthropy for transformational work has been promoted by influencing donors regarding the importance of this and other transformational work, especially the think tanks and the many promising start up activities.
G) A history of learning from experience and research resulting in substantial advances in concept and practice. This has been supported by solid process documentation (and consequent evolution of the dialogue toolbox noted in II C, above).
H) Widespread dissemination of this experience, its relevance, and its accompanying sense of positive possibilities for our collective future.
I) Continuing generation of activities that facilitate dialogue and collaboration among those working to promote wise democratic methods, institutions and practices.
J) Being fully conscious of the importance of a full diversity of participation and an openness to differing perspectives and experience. This includes racial, cultural, gender, age, class, income, educational, institutional, national and other demographics, orientations and life experience.
III. The effects of the institute's work can be observed by:
A) A record of having shifted public opinion effectively to change behavior and legislation and thence the condition of people, communities and the environment.
B) A notable impact on world views, public vocabulary, and discourse. This has explicitly included reference to values and questions about what it means to be human and where we are going as a species.
C) Evidence of having significantly affected the lives of individuals and promoted their personal development.
D) The development of a network of conversational activities of, by and for youth -- ranging from local to national (and, in some places global) -- as a distinct element in the overall activities of the movement described here, with its own management and materials. This is in addition to the integration of youth into the other activities of the movement.
E) Having walked our talk and modeled forms of organization, process and power that reflect our principles.
Tom Atlee * The Co-Intelligence Institute * PO Box 493 * Eugene, OR 97440
http://www.co-intelligence.org * http://www.democracyinnovations.org
Please support our work. * Your donations are fully tax-deductible
-- Anonymous, May 21, 2002