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.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Exploring with the Dialogue, Deliberation and Systemic Transformation Community to Discover New Possibilities Part 2 of 3

Continuing the tour of the engagement with the Dialogue, Deliberation, and Systemic Transformation Community from the last blog post, December 15, 2014, DDST Community World Cafe had 6 spaces for the second round of conversations. I was assigned to Round 2 to Room 27 to continue by addressing the question, "What would keep you coming back?” 

The initial and guiding thought came from Ben K, “I would have to see action and progress - one of the Achilles heels of this kind of thing is a lot of talk - when talk is detached from action, it's detached from reality”, to which I wrote and came to believe that we needed, "More insights - we need action, but sometimes we need spaces that give us a sense of connectedness and foundation - the change we're going for is so large, that we'll need that connectedness to help us reach the tipping point." 

Also agreed with others who called for the need to, "Transcend the duality - Iteration and integration between talk and action. What of our actions have worked, and what have not worked? Blue sky thinking valuable, risk of getting stuck in it, thus the need for integration.”  Also, the need to, "Be in ‘dialogue' with the world/reality."

For myself, the primary inspiration was the possibility of collective thinking bringing people together to face wicked challenges through both our technology and our deeper understanding of community and change. Crucial to that success though was learning how to govern our communities without being entrenched in our current systems of government institutions and political power.

The next World Cafe session on January 6, 2015, increased to a total 20 separate spaces for conversations and went for three rounds. Round One Room 14 for World Cafe discussed the assigned topic, "What is alive in you that could pay a role in what we need to discover and do?" which was a bit touchy-feely for my taste. In the conversation, I admitted to being, “More comfortable with ‘hard’ system practices such as visual diagrams...using Causal Loop Diagram and other relational  maps and finding ways to bring hard and soft practices together in community governance venues/practices.

The touchy-feely aspect came forward more so with, "The energetic vibration of love. Curiosity...engaged in a research project on ‘love'--finding the language of love--seems like ‘love' is following me." , put forward by fellow DDST community member Heather T., who called herself and seemed a definite INFP, and who was interested in creating a thriving, resilient local food system. 

Heather, although coming from a  noticeably different psychological perspective zeroed in on what I also saw as one of the primary challenges facing us. She raised the issue, “How do we speak to the differences we are (e.g., Meyer-Briggs, etc.) or other ‘groups’ (e.g., Tea Partiers)?” and later “Am sensing something biased by personal choices--seeing opportunities that are showing up and the ‘larger’ crises; seeing my connections and where I have traction. How to invite/relate to those who are ‘different’; see who shows up in front of me as ‘different'...don't go looking for them—“

From my own vantage point, I contributed that, “Empirical evidence shows that attempting to convince people that they are wrong in their views only makes them hold on to them all the more firmly. Our current systems, especially in political governance is competitive, winner take all.  As Linda says, (in prior introductory comments) many feel unable to contribute because they don't see themselves as experts, a perspective often encouraged by institutions. “  

For Round Two Room 20 for World Cafe on Jan 6, 2015, the topic was: 
Imagine collaborating on some thrilling initiative that is making the difference we most need...  

As each round of a World Cafe brings new people together, I mentioned again being a retired redevelopment project manager, this time though to assert some credibility in stating that many practices by governments were detrimental to community governance and that I was instead looking for more participative community paradigms. 

The conversation turned to the concept of WE space. Heinz  P., a German living in Canada asserted, “The WE space will tell us what to do”. To which Rachel E. asked, “Can you unpack WE space?” 

It involved, we were told, inviting higher consciousness to see from where the calling was based on an (EVOLUTIONARY COLLECTIVE) that we are going into as a whole system, space which wants to evolve. New ways of doing things have to come from that space, not individual space.

This raised some others of my ongoing perspectives.

“We try to create new systems but entrenched systems must be addressed at the same time. Find systems of disruptive innovation to move from scarcity to abundance (as asserted here and here). Clayton Christensen at Harvard has a theory with commonalities. Systems of control and power that have a pretense of democracy need to come up with new ways to break the stranglehold. Not just disruptive but also innovative to give people power they need to make changes.”

Heinz raised the possibility of, “Working nonlinearly? Unexpected possibility not normally available to us?

My response, “Yes, entrenched manipulative power keeping things from changing can be overcome by means which creativity is opened up ... creation and destruction seem to go together…"

Heinz, “Creating, which I'm excited about. Shiva is creative and destructive at same time. by dancing!”  Which the group seemed to agree was a "Great metaphor for complexity."

Jeff A. introduced us to the, "Two Loops model by Meg Wheatley and Deborah Freize and friends has great value for people understanding the systems change that they are in, and how to be allies with others who are working in different aspects of the old system dying and a new system emerging." It is explained more fully here by this Two Loops: How Systems Change video and is based on the Berkana Institute Our Theory of Change arising from the article Lifecycle of Emergence - Using Emergence to Take Social Innovations to Scale, by Margaret Wheatley & Deborah Frieze, 2006.

Round Three Room 31 for World Cafe on Jan 6th, 2015 asked, ”Sensing into everything you've said and heard, what's taking shape here?"  

Neither I nor Heather T., who ended up again with me in this round, were as of yet not seeing what's taking shape as it was so big and complex and would we felt take a few days of reflection. I am still reflecting.  

Unfortunately, I  had to miss the January 29, World Cafe for DandDTrans. There were two conceptual bridges used to begin to tie together the diverse variety of ideas presented so far. The graph below taken from The World Cafe by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, and Fungi as a metaphor for DandDTrans, created by Ben Roberts, who was the primary force behind the DDST Community.  Metaphor played an essential part throughout the engagement.

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