14: The long view

Session 14: April 27

The long view: pattern-shifting and becoming

Managing emergence, working through long-term shifts in social patterns; managing an emergent approach

As a guide for work, the creative process is a powerful and practical model. As a model for engagement, the Cynefin framework helps us be discerning in our approach, and the systemic approaches and interventions we have studied so far all have something to teach us about this kind of work. But social innovation and transition do not conform to our plans and schedules. Each effort and intervention may affect a system’s patterns, but we cannot predict exactly how or how much. The big shifts, the real transitions, will take time. What can be said about managing for the long term?

Also, one risk of living towards a better future, is that today — who we are and what we have — can become some bothersome thing we need to live with until things get better. Yet, we are the world today and what we need to get “there” is “here.” What does it mean to, as individuals and organizations, actively engage in our own process of becoming?

Lecture and activities

  • Lecture: stories of long-term pattern shifts and long-horizon projects
  • Lecture: the rhythm of managing a portfolio of probes
  • Lecture and activity: becoming the change we seek through partnering with the process of life
  • Personal story: the human journey — coming home to ourselves, taking our place, developing a frontier identity

Key concepts

  • How people are handling long-term change
  • Models of long-term systemic change
  • The worldviews and habits that help us cultivate our own creative fire, work with fear and hang in for the long haul

Required materials

Watch Organization Unbound’s video “Changing the way we change the world.” 

Peter Block, Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community

Video: Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest

Optional materials

Social Labs site

The Alberta Co-lab Story

Video: Richard Bresnahan, The taste of the clay

Lecture by Bresnahan, Ancient fire to a humane future

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