I woke up this morning remembering my Time Traveling Math Historian dream, wondering, actually kind of obsessed about it, like a schizophrenic trying to see through his meds.
But, Ivy had a poopy diaper, and so did Daquan, and Sunday morning rudely returned to Business As Usual. Which is OK, I think. I rather like Business As Usual at home. It helps when we are all here, rather than just some of us. It helps even more when all of us work together, rather than choosing not to invest in each other, at the time, and in the ways, and amounts of time, that I prefer. Although, of course, I have never bothered to tell any of them what those ways and means might be. Anyway, Business As Usual.
Today I have to design a PermaCulture Development class for the global Cooperative Economy Network, started by a consortium of social investors, public facilitators and community organizers, new economists, permaculture and ecology-missioned groups, intentional communities, including research cooperatives and funders, some public sector, most of the grant-making entities. In a sense I guess each of these subgroups is an intentional community, with its own language and justice issues, priorities, concerns, specific missions and vocations on behalf of our planet. Yet it feels like they share a common value and active disvalue infrastructure. I can see why this social constellation wants to look clear-eyed at their shared mission: to optimize Continuous Quality Improvement, natural growth, re-establish a global permacultured economy and ecology, inclusive of all species, with this Transition Generation, and the 7 generations to follow.
So that’s why I told them I would write up a cooperative contract proposal with them (not for them) and that proposal begins with asking each adult participating in this PermaCulture System Design training to bring one person under the age of 25 with them, if at all possible one of their own children, or a younger relative, down to the age of 12. These are the people that we all need to listen to about how to design their PermaCulture Planet. In Group Development Theory they act as a Lie Group, but that is certainly not appropriate for this event. I don’t know. For now, let’s just go with the “Shaman Team” and the “Observing Team.”
OK, so let’s see.
NSF, Division of Social and Economic Sciences: Science of Organizations
Organizations — private and public, established and entrepreneurial, designed and emergent, formal and informal, profit and nonprofit — are critical to the well-being of nations and their citizens. They are of crucial importance for producing goods and services, creating value, providing jobs, and achieving social goals. So, how do we improve the design and emergence, development and deployment, and management and ultimate effectiveness of organizations of all kinds?
The Cooperative Economy Network (CEN) is committed to our fundamental understanding of how cooperative systems develop, form and operate. The PermaCulture Design Project will develop and refine Regenerative System Development Theory, and develop new measures and standards for Continuous Quality Improvement of community and global development projects. Educational, Communication, and Information Systems implications may be of value to the business practitioner, policy-maker, educator, parent, and research communities.
The PermaCulture Design Project will illuminate aspects of organizations as organic systems of coordinated diversity, self-management, and inclusive governance.
Germane theoretical paradigms include (but are not limited to) organizational theory, behavior, sociology and economics, business policy and strategy, communication sciences, entrepreneurship, human resource management, information sciences, geometrics and Group Theory, Synergetics (B. Fuller), managerial and organizational cognition, operations management, public administration, social and industrial psychology, and technology and innovation management.
Phenomena studied will include (but are not limited to) value and power structures, iteration frequencies, choice-making effectiveness, competitiveness, innovation, communication and Binary Information System dynamics, change and evolution.
Levels of analysis will include organizational, cross-organizational cooperative relationships, and global implications, and will include individual and team value metrics.
Research methods include archival analyses, surveys, simulation, comparative case studies, and network analyses.
Intellectual merit: The Cooperative Economy Network’s final report will further articulate a Cooperative-Appositional System Theory of Evolution.
This Cooperative Development Research Project has the potential to provide globally inclusive societal benefits, meeting sustainable value optimization standards for a socially, culturally, and ecologically balanced cooperative economy.
Welcome, and thank you for saying yes to our invitation to spend some time listening and speaking with each other. Those around the walls are our Observer Team. They are also your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or maybe even that crazy adult who asked you to do this with them, as a partnership. You around this inner circle are members of a Transition Generation, ages 12 to 24.
Here is what David Orr predicted for your future: “The generation now being educated will have to do what we, the present generation, [this was published in 1997, so you would be 22 now if you had been in kindergarten at age 5 in 1997] have been unable or unwilling to do: stabilize a world population that is growing at the rate of a quarter of a million each day, stabilize and then reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, which threatens to change the climate—perhaps disastrously; protect biological diversity, now declining at an estimated rate of one hundred to two hundred species per day, reverse the destruction of rain-forests (both tropical and temperate), now being lost at the rate of one hundred and sixteen square miles or more each day; and conserve soils; now being eroded at the rate of sixty-five million tons per day.” You must “learn how to use energy and materials with great efficiency.” You “must learn how to utilize solar energy in all its forms.” You “must rebuild the economy in order to eliminate waste and pollution.” You “must learn how to manage renewable resources for the long term.” You “must begin the great work of repairing, as much as possible, the damage done to the earth in the past two hundred years of industrialization. And, you must do all of this while addressing worsening social and racial inequities. No generation has ever faced a more daunting agenda.” (Hannum, ed. Environmental Literacy: Education as if the Earth Mattered)
I believe the life trajectory situation of your children and their children has reached a transition era of crisis. Those of us in this room are hear to listen to what your experience has been like so far, and what you think you might like to do as a Transition Generation before your kids arrive (if kids are in your future) and maybe even with your kids as you imagine your adult futures.
We begin today with three fundamental questions for each of you. In the first round we will ask these questions in reference to what happens in this room, with and to these people. Then we will talk about the same three questions in reference to what happens outside this room, with everybody else.
1. What interests you most? What is the creative or learning scenario that feels most compelling to you? You would do more of what if you could? If you had the resources, time, money, property, health, education? What seems most compelling to you right now, in this situation, that we might even be able to do together here?
[High faith power indicator.]
2. What makes you angry, gets you really riled up? What is the specific scenario that is most likely to get you to erupt, that could conceivably happen to one or more people in this room, yourself included? What will really tick you off if somebody does it, or doesn’t do it, today?
[High hope for justice, equity, mutual respect.]
3. What makes you sad. What is the scenario in which you are most likely to imagine yourself as lonely, isolated, incapacitated, depressed that could happen to you today? What would really shut you down and out, and make it impossible for you to care to participate any further? Imagine yourself really sad and hopelessly bored by mid-afternoon today, what happened to get you into that mental space?
[High enthymematic reverse-resolution. Compare to “1” above.]