May 14, 2010

Chaordic Chat Practice / social media jedis / ContemplaTweet

yoda.jpgChaordic Chat is a practice for social media jedis, I don't use the "jedi" metaphor lightly but in its original meaning: jedis are bound to a code of morality and justice and are trained in the use of the light side of the Force.
That morality today, implies using the power of social media for supporting the unfolding of the Great Story, of the world transition to our Emerging Planetary Reality. It is a transition driven by the same evolutionary impulse that pulls you into learning and growing new, more complex capabilities.

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April 5, 2008

How well can collective self-reflexivity scale?

I woke up this morning 4 o’clock and not only because the jetlag. Yesterday was the first day of the first World Café Research Conference. Due to the delay of the flight from New York, I arrived late and when I entered the room, I stepped into a conversation about the reflexive nature of knowing and research. It was strangely familiar and excitingly new, at the same time.

It was familiar because a central theme of my thesis, 30-something years ago, was a critique of the objectivist sociology and its claim that its interview methods are neutral. (I suggested that interviewer and interviewee interact and their relationship constructs the meaning of their exchange as much as the words uttered by the second.)

It was also new because the context, the implied assessment that the quality of new knowledge developed in a typical World Café setting is a reflection of the quality of relationship between participants, as well as, the attention they give to the inner space, from which they are listening and speaking. (Bow to Otto Scharmer’s concept of the “blindspot.”)

At the dinner table, I happened to sit next to Fred Steier of the Fielding Graduate Institute and editor of a series of books on reflexivity in research. Fred is a gentle man with deep caring to squeeze out every once of learning from a conversation, with the power of second order self-reflection. In my exchange with him and the others around the table, I discovered this:

If people in conversation are observing and reflecting on both the source and the direction of their attention (the inner and the inter-subjective space), and sharing those reflections, a spontaneous combustion of consciousness can occur. If so, collective self-reflexivity can lead to deeper, more fine-tuned sensing of reality, thus to wiser action.

How well can collective self-reflexivity scale? What does it depend on whether it will grow into a system of influence or wither away, unfulfilled its potential? I feel those questions deserve a focused and rigorous research. My first thought about it is this:

For conversations that matter to grow into communities of practice and social systems at increasing scale, they have to be able to absorb the increased complexity involved with those systems. What does it depend on whether a community or a network of communities is capable to do that? One of the factors seems to be the trust and appreciation that flow among the participants in the conversation, besides their capacity for double loop learning in real-time, on the spot…

That’s what I got out from the bed with. Now, I go to get a breakfast, and continue the conversation, in the 2nd day of the conference.

August 6, 2006

Escaping from the Museum of the 20th Century

As I woke up, I immediately knew: the meaning of this dream will grow with me, keep unfolding; I will see clearer the guidance that I’m getting from it, over the years. At the time of that dream, in the early seventies, I was living in Hungary under communist governance, between two markers of my life's journey:

• being freshly released from prison, after serving 20 months for organizing a student movement, in September 1969

• being forced into exile for continued opposition to the policies of the ruling elite, in July 1975

Back then, there was an artistic avant-garde in Hungary, mostly young people who expressed their dissidence by engagement in artistic happenings, street theater, amateur films, etc. that was considered too "edgy" by the communist censorship. I was part of the scene, and after years of the rather ascetic, movement organizer lifestyle, I really enjoyed the fun, and was inspired by the irreverent, creative manifestations of my peers; some of our best happenings started as a "chance" experience. Like this one:

I am walking on the "grand boulevard' of Budapest, named "Lenin boulevard,'" in the afternoon rush hour, the sidewalks teeming with people streaming from the offices. In their midst, I feel my movements slowing down, my legs move more and more unhurriedly, hardly lift, and advance at a snail's pace. It feels like time itself slows, while the rushing continues around me. The boulevard is crowded and a bit dangerous because some people are so little present to their body or the space around it, that have a hard time to avoid bumping into and getting mad at me.

As I turned the spontaneous slowing down of my movement, into an "experience," a happening, I didn't intend to provoke the people on the street; I knew it may happen but that was not the point. My way of walking became a full-body, immersion experiment of not being part of the system, stepping out from the drub reality of living in a country without freedom. It was a little bit like a walking meditation, except I didn't know that time what meditation was. I performed that slow-motion happening at different places of Budapest, a couple of times, weeks before the following "teaching dream" occurred.

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July 29, 2006

All presencing is co-presencing

Talking about “presence,” Andrew Campbell wrote in email, “what it means is not what it is -- and does.” It reminded me of Aurobindo’s saying, “Man’s greatness is not in what he is but in what he makes possible.”

What our times demand us to make possible is nothing less than what the unknown author of the following graffiti on the wall of the occupied Sorbonne asked in 1968: Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible! It is to bootstrap ourselves onto higher stages of individual and collective consciousness by simultaneously letting go of the illusion of a separate self-sense, yet embracing our full respons-ability for our choices in every moment.

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July 25, 2006

Wisdom society and navigating towards it by CI

It was one of those rare teaching dreams. I was the captain of a ship returning to the harbor. There were cheering crowds waiting there, giving us a heroes' welcome. They must have already known what we came back with.

It was not an ordinary ship sailing on water; we were explorers navigating in a different horizon of time, returning from the future. What guided our exploration was our individual and collective inner navigation. That's what steered our ship into the unknown era calling us, which we grew to appreciate as the era of "wisdom society."

Initially, there was no map to it other than the maze-like patterns of branching trees of new possibilities triggered by every turn we took, every choice we made. It was like UK artist Andy Campbell's "Lightning Branches" that I discovered in Dave Pollard's blog. See below.

To advance with confidence in the right direction emerging, we needed to turn navigation into a community art.

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November 1, 2004

Stories of CI within

My last entry on What Is My Collective IQ? - Boosting CI from Within received some juicy comments, to which I prefer to respond here as to both salute the contributors, Robert David Steele, Mark Ranford, and Andrew Campbell, and make my reply referenceable by URL.

Mark Ranford wrote:

> Somehow I feel that its relevance is not going to be recognised as widely as it deserves (I maybe wrong).

Mark, I think relevant ideas are not recognized because they deserve to be but because they express something valid in an accessible language. My “boosting CI from within” approach maybe valid but certainly not expressed in an easy-to-grasp way. That’s because I use the blog, basically, as a notebook of drafts not polished writings--almost like a collection of self-reminders--on subjects that at some future point I want to refine and develop. So, your point is well taken.

> But what I feel is that the language and the terminology is too far ahead of the thinking of many practising managers... I just wish that the gap to bridge this thinking with the majority of practicing managers was easier to bridge.

That's a very inspiring comment! See what it triggered:

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October 28, 2004

What Is My Collective IQ? - Boosting CI from Within

In the last couple of months I've been swamped by work aimed at raising the collective intelligence of three global professional networks. It kept me busy and away from blog-writing but it also provided snippets of new experience that will certainly flow into the blog. I'm not yet emerging from that work but have just come across, in the CI folder of my hard disk, the "What Is My Collective IQ? CI Starts Within!" paper that I presented first at International Colloquium at the University of Ottawa, June 24, 2003. Whilst you're waiting for some fresh materials, I thought that some of my newer thoughts triggered by that paper could lead to an interesting, collaborative inquiry. Let me know whether you agree.

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