This blog is part of an online learning platform which includes the Pathways to New Community Paradigms Wiki and a number of other Internet based resources to explore what is termed here 'new community paradigms' which are a transformational change brought about by members of a community.

It is intended to offer resources and explore ideas with the potential of purposefully directing the momentum needed for communities to create their own new community paradigms.

It seeks to help those interested in becoming active participants in the governance of their local communities rather than merely passive consumers of government service output. This blog seeks to assist individuals wanting to redefine their role in producing a more direct democratic form of governance by participating both in defining the political body and establishing the policies that will have an impact their community so that new paradigms for their community can be chosen rather than imposed.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Formally Introducing the New Community Paradigms Mind-map

The New Community Paradigms mind-map was recently introduced but not formally.  This introduction is admittedly an expression of my inner geek and a growing interest in Systems Thinking.

This is still at a rudimentary stage of development subject not only to the addition of new data and information as well as revisions and reorganization but it provides a useable conceptual framework.

As explained previously the different ideas making up the mind map mirror the concepts found within the wiki-sections and wiki-pages of the New Community Paradigms wiki.  The posts of this blog have also been interrelated with the mind-map.  The mind-map makes use of the same information as found in this blog and the related wiki but provides pathways for different insights.

The continuing process of creating the mind-map helps to demonstrate why functions in any enterprise, whether public or private, may first be separated then segregated and finally become 'siloed' working for their own continued existence and not their original mission if left unexamined and unchallenged.

This is also true of the conceptual framework behind thinking about a system of community governance and economic development.  Economic concerns and environmental concerns are often put in opposition to each other as if we have the choice of succeeding in one but not the other or that the other would simply take care of itself.  Even when not put in opposition, it is often difficult to see how different functions can be related to each other so we concentrate on one to the detriment of the other.

The New Community Paradigms mind-map helps to both discover unrealized connections and redefine connections.  One example was changing from a concept of Community Environment to Community Ecology. provides the following definitions:


  [en-vahy-ruhn-muhnt, -vahy-ern-] Show IPA
the aggregate of surrounding things, conditions, orinfluences; surroundings; milieu.
Ecology the air, water, minerals, organisms, and all other external factors surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time.
the social and cultural forces that shape the life of a personor a population.
Computers the hardware or software configuration, or themode of operation, of a computer system: In a time-sharingenvironment, transactions are processed as they occur.
an indoor or outdoor setting that is characterized by the presence of environmental art  that is itself designed to be site-specific.


  [ih-kol-uh-jee]  Show IPA
the branch of biology dealing with the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment,including other organisms.
Also called human ecology. the branch of sociology concerned with the spacing and interdependence of people and institutions.

It was judged to be more appropriate to associate the word ecology with community rather than the word environment because it provided a greater biological orientation to the concept of community and the process of relating to the environment.  It is differentiated from the concept of Places at the highest level of the map having an equal, related but different function.

The concept of Community Ecology connects to the concepts of Sustainability and Environment, which in turn connects back through Built Environment (which still needs to be developed) to Places and the concept of Livable Communities.

Thinking about relationships and interactions between the community and its environment also assists in starting to consider the relationship of Streets and Transportation to Community Ecology, Places and Regional Economics.

The system of mind-mapping involves creating a framework of parent and child connections concerning various ideas, concepts, data or other features.  It also includes something called a jump link which is for concepts that are not related in a hierarchal manner but are still important for understanding, such as Community Ecology with Streets and Transportation.

One tweak of the New Community Paradigms mind-map is to redefine the jump links to serve as bridge links  defining certain concepts as the conceptual intersection of two separate and perhaps seemingly unrelated concepts.

One example is Place as Economic and Social Engine which is connected both to the concepts of Places and Economics through the wiki and associated blog posts.  It also provides a conceptual connection to Strong Towns though it needs to be made clear that the connections are from my perspective not necessarily theirs.

Tomorrow I am going to write about someone who expanded the concept of ecology even further applying it not only to the economic concerns of the community but to the overall health of the community itself.  Now just have to think about how to map it.

Past Posts