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.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Kumu Map of New Community Paradigms Wiki

This blog post's purpose is to introduce the New Community Paradigms Wiki Map created with the Kumu relational mapping program. For more than five years, New Community Paradigms has been meandering meaningfully through a host of public, civil and community issues. It could be more truthfully called, "Explorations and Experiments in Discovering Potential Pathways to New Community Paradigms" (EEDPPNCP) but that seemed a bit long. It has been a means of interacting with new ideas of interest providing the opportunity to interact with some interesting people who propagate those interesting ideas. 

This blog has though been only one component of the journey, another is the New Community Paradigms (NCP) Wiki which serves as the storehouse for discovered online resources and created personal insights on these matters. Together, the blog and wiki are built upon concepts from the MITWorld video Media in Transition 6: New Media, Civic Media which put forward the idea (at 8:27) of “time-based” durable, static versus "space-based" ephemeral, dynamic in terms of storage and transmission. These were then blended with the ideas of Alex Bruns' in “Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life, and Beyond: From Production to Produsage” page 102, of blogs being based on temporal organization, in which the most recent articles are placed in the most prominent position, making it difficult to serve as an in-depth platform for learning as contrasted with wikis, which implement a space-based structure seen as allowing both for deeper exploration of issues and an opportunity for greater collaboration. These differences are seen as being based on infrastructure versus interface. NCP attempts to combine these concepts together to create an expandable learning platform with some depth but still generally accessible. There isn't any claim of authority or correctness associated with the ideas gathered from either the blog or the wiki. Simply an offer to make them available so that they might be considered as to whether or not they could be beneficial. 

Through the explorations and experiments initiated by the NCP blog, the NCP wiki has grown encompassing a host of topics from Asset Based Community Development to Systems Thinking, many that were at first of little knowledge but one learns over time by engaging. The wiki is basically organized on a hierarchical basis, similar to the sections and chapters of a book. Wiki sections, involving broader concerns such as Economics, followed then by wiki chapters, composed of related wiki pages, such as Budgeting for Community Prosperity or Economic Growth and Equity respectively, extending to more inquiries leading to specific wiki focus pages such as B Corporations

It is within the designated wiki pages that the majority of the online resources are found. The other pages serve for the most part as organizational infrastructure for the wiki which has evolved over time. With each new exploration or experiment, new pathways have been forged and newly discovered relationships have altered the overall conceptual landscape. It becomes quickly obvious though that these relationships, particularly considered in total, become very difficult to visualize. Each wiki page is individually isolated and any connections to other concepts, within other wiki pages, are beyond the horizon of the page. 

Providing an expanding hierarchical landscape, however, was not sufficient. This form of organizing was too close to the institutional structures to which this effort was designed to find alternatives. An effort has been made then to discover and delineate relationships hidden by the standard organizational structures to assist in overcoming the conceptual silos often found in institutions. To this end, relationships between concepts that may not be seen as being directly subsumed under each other but still seen as being influential have been identified. 

Taking this approach a bit further, some new ideas or concepts were seen as being bridges between more traditional sectors found in most mainstream institutions. An endeavor has also been made to identify these bridges and new elements in a manner that makes clear their importance to the community rather than to the institution. 

Under this Kumu scenario, the New Community Paradigms Wiki is the territory and the New Community Paradigms Wiki Map, is obviously the map. The explanatory ability of this blog post is limited. The tour of the map provided below being in truth more seamless within the Kumu environment as each of the subsequent links would not open into new tabs. Another avenue for learning about the map is provided then through the New Community Paradigms Wiki Map Tour presentation in which nearly everything stays in one window.

An example of a wiki bridged connection is Participatory Budgeting which is seen as a bridge between economics and governance, more specifically in the wiki between Budgeting for Community Prosperity and the wiki focus on NCDD’s related resources under Governance through Community. Economic Growth and Equity is also seen as being related to the concept of Participatory Budgeting.  The Kumu mapped bridged connections of Participatory Budgeting are then graphically seen as a bridge between Budgeting for Community Prosperity and the wiki focus on NCDD under Governance through Community in the Main Wiki Map.

The map of the wiki is not designed to provide detailed information as does the wiki itself. Instead, it illustrates relationships across the entire wiki. It provides a different perspective allowing for the potential of new insights as suggested by the blog post, Sailing Complex and Wicked Seas with Icebergs (Systems Thinking) that latitude thinking is different from longitude thinking. It does though take some time to get familiar with this. 

In making the case that systems and systems thinking really are a thing that could be applied to these areas of change requires at the same time keeping true to the course with systems thinking principles. Both are needed, like using both longitude and latitude to keep a ship on course. Both are part of the same global grid but each is determined differently, together requiring new means of navigation. The danger is not in getting lost east and west or north and south but being either marooned by one's own limited perspective or being lost in a complex sea of interactions. A primary tool for navigating systems is the systems map

All of the different sections listed on the Front Page of the wiki can be found in the Main Wiki Map's narrative section (left side of the screen) under "Go to:", clicking on one of these sections will take you to a new map reflecting that particular section. The map section of the Main Wiki Map (right side of the screen) displays the major bridge connections between the primary concepts of the wiki. The specific elements (colored circles) comprising the Main Wiki Map and their relationships to each other are illustrated in the Wiki Bridges Map. Mousing over the bulleted elements of the narrative section of that map or any map will highlight that element within the map itself.

Each section, such as Places Map, when accessed from the narrative section of a map will open into its own map with both its specific and related elements being displayed in relation to each other. Mousing over the bulleted elements with the narrative section will again highlight the particular element within the map section.

With individual elements, such as Place as Social and Economic Engine, it can then be possible to see that element's relationship within other sections of the wiki, such as within Places, Economics or within the overall Wiki Bridges Pathways Map. It is also possible to open the actual wiki page using the provided URL link.

Relationships can be extended. Understanding  Participatory Budgeting and Microeconomics is seen as a bridge between Participatory Budgeting and Budgetary Discipline based on a premise that participatory budgeting should not be merely a wish list. Budgetary Discipline is also seen as being related to Homelessness - Seeking Solutions or being potentially related as more precise connections are yet to be made but a need for such a connection being seen as paramount for a community to be financially resilient and sustainable. 

Some connections are more constructed in nature. Direct Democracy and Systems Thinking has been a primary effort in finding pathways to new community paradigms serving as a bridge between Systems Thinking and (again) NCDD under Governance through Community. Other connections, such as under Asset Based Community Development, are more similar to hypotheses still being explored.

While the Wiki Bridges Map displays the elements and their relative positions, the Wiki Bridges Pathways Map is composed of wiki sectional bridges maps, such as the Places Wiki Bridges illustrating that section’s primary pathway of connections which in total extend across the entire wiki.

None of these pathways are set in stone nor is the relative position of concepts unalterable. They are also definitely not the only possible pathways. They are intended to serve as a means for coming up with new pathways to discover new ideas or relationships. All together, they may seem complex but starting from a single element one can hopefully begin to see undiscovered pathways for new community paradigms.

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