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Importance of Networking and the Internet for Survival and Transformation

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In this website I aim to provide, with others, interesting and informative examples of people exploring and modelling co-creation in the process of innovating in ways that seem aligned to current and future needs.

This and other related websites can help us learn together fast enough to keep pace with crises and opportunities for change. So it is to be a forum for networking and sharing experiences and ideas, using links and email addresses on the site. Contributors will be by invitation only. But they can also of course provide direct links to their own and others’ work, projects or experiences.

There are two assumptions here:

  1. We need to collaborate and learn together to survive and be more resilient in the face of shocks, risks and uncertainties in turbulent times so that we can ensure a future with less loss of  human (and other forms of) life, and destruction of our habitat and our past cultures and heritage, during a period of transition. It has been found from studies of societal change that networks are key for collaboration and support in the innovation process and for spreading best practice, and that they need to extend across the key groups in a society and link those operating at local and national or international scales.
  2. The internet, as seen by many, is a key tool for our survival and development in times when our actions, aided by our technology, can affect each other and all life on the planet much more than in the past adding to more connectivity, interdependence and complexity, and the need for greater co-responsibility. A recent (24th May 2010) talk at the Royal Society of Arts by David Eagleman stimulated me to take this further. This was Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilisation. He identified some reasons why previous civilisations or communities had collapsed and suggested from this how we must harness human ingenuity, social capital and new technology (e.g. the internet) to ensure a sustainable future for humanity.

The exchanges between us will, it is hoped, not only help people see what is needed or wanted but also to share ideas and practical examples that point to solutions or the way ahead, combining an informed realism with real signs of hope – a polarity (hope and realism) that the US President Obama used in his inaugural address in January 2009. The aim is to play a part in empowering people to use what they know and to learn what they need to, and to expand their own networks.

About me

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About me:                         

I have been interested in the history of humanity from my university days onwards, and have since worked professionally for 30 years as an advisor and coach to leaders and managers of organisations of all kinds to help them and their teams to renew and improve their organisations in adapting to continuous social and economic change, for the last 15 years on a self-employed basis. My core discipline has been in applied social science – individual and group behaviour and social change. I now support others in these roles of advisor or coach, and also leaders and their teams who seek to innovate in some way in their area.  I also help bring people together to undertake such initiatives – especially when they seem to be relevant to the challenges we all face today, such as finding a way of living that is more sustainable in every way while being personally fulfilling. My own networks include people and groups who are innovating in these ways, in business, community and public or third sector settings, and researchers and writers on societal innovation and learning either in universities and research institutes or working independently.

Over the last 15 years I have also worked with people individually on emotional and relational issues affecting their mental health and stability, and combine a private practice in this with supervising and teaching the model I use (seewww.acat,me,uk ) within the UK national health service.

Categories: Areas of Innovation

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Different Kinds of  Innovation

The categories in this website (see alongside this page) refer to different areas of focus of innovation, and will be elaborated as it develops. We will start with:

Climate and global temperatures: latest science and technical innovation

Oil depletion, oil dependency and effects on oil prices and our economy

Local, healthy, affordable food and urban food production

Local renewable energy

Local businesses and community ownership and investment

Collaborative governance in organisations and society

New economics: paradigms, institutions, systems

And then include: Policy innovation, Buildings and Urban Design, Health, Resource Efficiency (low waste), Habitat regeneration and species protection

Learning from Action and Experience

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The focus is not just on innovation of all kinds but also learning – and the sharing of knowledge about how we learn from action and experience in living, in work of all kinds, in managing, governing and so on. The aim is to use and make links between different forms and sources of knowledge: reflections on stories of experience and experimentation, action learning and research, the best science available in each area, and, in this, to use all relevant media – text, voice and video, and metaphor, symbol and art forms too.

A Period of Potential Transformational Change

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As can be seen from historical studies of societal change and learning, complex problems usually require a change in the systems through which our way of living is organized, and a change in the paradigms that organize our perceptions, values, thinking and action (our culture). Einstein said that some problems cannot be solved within the mindset that created them.

Like others I see this as a period of necessary and potential transformation and development in our way of living in relation to nature and our biosphere, to each other and to a greater reality. Relating to and co-operating with a greater reality can be through forms of alignment and knowing that might guide us, and through forces that enable us, to take a step in our development together. This last relationship might be outside our ordinary day to day awareness; some of us are open to it but might conceive of it in very different ways. There are three key relationships here and they will all be covered in this website.

The signs of the way ahead are often seen intuitively and felt to resonate as having promise or something about them. The potential guiding ideas for our times, as seen by many, include synergy, or working together and collaborating  (see www.margaretwheatley.com ). Another theme may be knowledge development. Some see the future and its uncertainties as an unfolding drama, with costs and consequenes that are not clear, in which humanity as it were “grows up from adolescence into adulthood” in the way we relate to our habitat, each other and the wider world or universe. Having more institutions that are based on human needs and values that go beyond basic ones (www.maslow.com ) seems part of this too. The theme or guiding idea of synergy can be expressed in different ways: greater awareness of interdependence, and an understanding of (self-organising) “systems”, or holistic and relational, thinking, are just two examples. Relational thinking can also be seen as a counter-balance to the over-emphasis on useful, but limited, logical sequential and analytic or reductionist, thinking in western cultures over recent centuries.

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