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13 Aug 2013 test run – 3Steps method for working with nature – ideal groups able to work well

                                  from the file         

                                   Commons Action for the UN (CAUN)
         The NGO Commons Cluster & The Commons Abundance Network (CAN)
Meeting announcement:

7:00-9:00 a.m. PDT, 10:00-12:00 EDT, 4:00-6:00 pm CET. 

Usual CAUN Call-in No. +1 (218) 339 4600. Access Code 999518#

  • To record the call we'd need to use Jessie's call-in, to have the pin number of that account to initiate it, so if we agree, we'd call back on:

Jessie's Conf Call Acct No. +1 (605) 475 4000.  Access Code 578614#

(to record use: 578614* to login, *9 to request & Host PIN: 215994# to allow)

                    Tues Aug 13, 2013 – Commons Cluster
                      3Step Process    –  training & trial run    

                 – letting your ideals guide you to how to work with nature —
                             Conf. Call on  "How to Work with Nature"
                  using Jessie Henshaw's  3Step workgroups learning method                                                                          
                                               Exploring the environ for: 
                                       "an ideal to be chosen in Step 1"
                                                Trial run & initial training

                                Side Bar & Chat   August 13, 2013

10:08Kai: Hello
10:36Akiwa Gizzel: On Titan now will log into conference
10:36Jessie : hi
11:37Myra: Myra here
11:39Akiwa Gizzel: back and forth – two meetings.
11:39Lisinka: Great, Myra!
11:42Myra: I would like to hear what you have to say Lisinka…
11:43Myra: 1. Determine a subject: Brainstoring for 5 mins – what subjects we have; vet thru the listed subject; decide which subject to go forward together; a group process – no discussion;
11:44Myra: 2. Pure brainstorming, no right – no wrong; what are the problems and the place that you go with that is to stipulate as a brainstorming session solely; list of ideas that prevent us from the ideal; in the brainstorming which belongs together – you bring the ideas together in clusters:
11:45Myra: 3. what suggestions do we have for each of the clusters
11:45Jessie : hi myra
11:46Myra: 4. the allow a natural order to follow — you have gone through a process where no right or wrong judgments have been imposed; facilitator guides that process without imposing a direction
11:46Myra: Lisinka suggests giving guidance to Lisinka and says that brainstorming is not apart of the 3step process
11:47Myra: Lisinka suggests that the brainstorming sessions keeps the facilitator from criticizing others…
11:47Myra: Jessie's says that she did not intend to criticize but to keep participants on track
11:49Myra: Jessie's says the central purpose is to separate the internal from the external process. She wants us to pay attention to the Living, natural world as the focus that informs our internal dialogue. She sees nature as what guides and orientation for our thoughts.
11:49Myra: Lisinka feels that many people feel about nature as Jessie does…
11:50Myra: Lisinka explains that I (Myra) is an example of one who knows that we are apart of nature…
11:51Myra: Lisinka wants us to go into nature to see how the living natural world addresses outside of human mental processes…
11:53Myra: Jessie feels that nature is outside ourselves; Lisinka presents another view that there is an internal dimension. Jessie feels that is not so when it comes to the living natural world.
11:53Myra: Jessie feels that today she was able to go further than with any other group and expressed appreciation.
11:54Myra: Lisinka thanked Jessie for her presentation today and to Rebecca. We expect to hear more from Rob on his ideas. It was challenging and enriching.
11:54Myra: Good bye all…
11:55Jessie : That "nature" as a **place full of living things** that behave independent of us and our views and theory… etc. Are you getting that in there?
11:57Jessie : that we need to observe with curiosity, guided by what really matters to us, to separate our thinking to ourselves from learning to rcognize what that "independently behaving thing" is doing on its own!! 😉

I.  Agenda   II. Background,  III. Preparation, 
IV. Meeting & Notepad,  V. Resources, 

I.  Agenda:  
In a diverse work-group, led by a guide, Spend 15-20 minutes discussing each Step:
  • Step 1 – The features of some motivating ideal purpose you care about,
  • Step 2 – Making observations on what's happening in the cultural/economic/natural environments that could affect the ideal and would need to be worked with.
  • Step 3 – Possible ways to intervene and bring out that ideal, working with those environments.
  • Step 4… Follow-up: working on the notes after the call, deciding what other ways this process might be used, and who else might want to try facilitating a trial session.
While others are talking try to both listen carefully and take quick notes on thoughts that come up as they speak.   Ask the guide to suggest other things to look for if the flow of ideas lags.  Don’t be sidetracked to dwell on any one subject.
During and after the discussion collect everyone’s notes on a common note page, like a TitanPad, a chalk board, a Wiki etc., to solidify the rich variety of ideas discussed, understood as valuably interconnected starting points to think over in further study.Add 
I. Background
We did a very brief experiment with a 3Step workgroup learning process in the Jun xx Conference call, selecting Lisinka's SDG1 as the ideal to use for guiding our exploration of the environment, seeming quite successful in stirring people to mention their unbiased observations and get others quietly work on adding their observation notes as they listened.  It led to quite interesting ideas for plausible interventions too.
Akiwa's Human Affect group is using the 3Step process with her youth network every Friday. A lot was leaerned in the trial run (see )  The announcements are posted to their Facebook page or Twitter, and are LiveStreamed on a Ustream channel  ( Facebook:  Twitter:  Ustream: [] )  
We were a little unprepared… but it was an important learning experience to feel the discomfort of not having come prepared with an ideal everyone cared enough about to focus on.  That left us having to struggle for what would motivate us at first, till we were moved by Akiwa's description of wholesale deforestation of Africa and the communites affected and people doing it.  It’s really important to the process for people to have that heart felt ideal to work from, to give direction to their search. 
II. Preparation:
1. Your Name & something about you: To identify your color, enter your name in the top box in the sidebar, and again below with a very brief note inentifying your background and/or interests. 
  • Jessie Henshaw – I study natural cultures, environments and "things that grow" as systems, and work with the UN Commons Cluster and Commons Action Group
  • LiSINKA Ulatowska. I am a lobbyist at the UN. I wonder whether we can't just go straight for the most difficult of all matters: How to live as human beings as an integral part of nature.Or is this much too ambitious.
  • Rebecca Field.  I work with the UN Commons Cluster Group and my interest is in building better human relations and bringing about conditions that open the possibility of human rights.
  • rob, kai, wolfgang, myra by text
2. Notes on the 3Steps Method
3. Sample 'Boundary Crossing" questions from the "Resources" section, for ideas on how to look for "what's happening" in complex environments.  
4. Think about the Ideal to focus on.  What ideal makes you passionate to discover how to change the world??  Look at this list for what we might focus on as we search the environment for what we'd need to work with.  Think of the personal experiences that have shocked you into action, and given you the drive to continue.   Lisinka  Question: Jesse, should we first as a group choose a topic before filling in the rest? Yes, it's best to have just one ideal the whole group is exploring the environment of at a time, so today, that's Step 1
  • SDG's
  • Everyone contributes to decision making
  • Dynamic multi-stakeholder partnerships
  • The wealth of the commons used to heal the commons
  • Getting the human rights we are owed
  • Water security, cultural security, minimum quality of life guarantee
  • How as a human species to live in harmony and as an integral part of nature.
              This gets close to a useable focus.
  • Organizational goals
  • balance large tasks and doing good work
  • learn to collaborate with other communities
  • …..
            During the call, enter your headings, notes, questions & links below
III. Meeting & Notepad:
  • Initial Introductions
  • Discussion on meeting process, volunteers to be note takers, 
  • Speak clearly and to the point, so lots of issues and perspectives can get raised 
  • Be actively working while listening, noting things to mention or adding variations to what others are
Step 1 –  What ideal for the subject moves you most strongly??
(to choose from as the focus for exploring what happening in the environment) 
  • Idillic times and experiences with lovers in the beauty of nature…
  • Peace at Home – & the environ it is affected by and affects
  • Destroying our envirion – & the many classic cases
  • I am most moved by authentic connection which is of course not static but an ongoing process with its own sometimts hard to fathom rules and challenges. Yes, but also hard to narrow down what parts of the environment affect that.
  • Getting the UN to focus on HOW to work with the environment and its competing systems, making good use of the wonderful ideals people have instead of getting stuck just advocating them, like "Occupy" also did.
  • The 2 ideals I am interested in focusing on are using taxes to raise funds for social and sustainability needs and to get the incentives right for limiting humanities' impact on the natural environment; and focusing more on transitioning to fully sustainable practices and processes than on trying to just limit economic growth. 
  • The ideal that every action we take will not degrade the life of the seventh generation to come and that humanity will transition to living in harmony with nature and within the carrying capacity of the earth?  
  • The problem that I am trying to address in my work is how to get the myriad of different groups who are trying to do good things, to find ways for tehir efforts to support each other, to synergize. How can we achieve that various groups look around in their "neighborhood" so that what they do supports what others are doing?I think that this would be a great thing to work on since this goes to the heart of what we are doing.  We might say that the fundamental problem that we have is fragmentalization (conflict etc). then how to build unity and synergy is really important.
Step II. What is happening that screws up the ideal?
What is the environment that makes hard?
Not all of us seem to be willing to reconsider our own understandings of how nature and the world work and what strategies may be effective or not. why not use observation to see if there's something our views might have left out?
  • I want to encourage us to deal with the ongoing conflicts/differences of opinion that have existed within our group because they have led to a lot of division and arguments about what policies we will or will not endorse and support, etc. This is why I specifically have brought them up. 
  • Have the group work well, and be effective.having a shared vision, speaking for ourselves and only speaking for the group when consensus is reached
Step 2 – What can you observe happening that affects the ideal,
The speed of change
  • in the local or distant environments, economic, social, ecological, political, professional, commercial, climate or other major environmental systems
  • both now and in the past,
  • and how they are changing and interacting with others
  • as they come to mind when listening to others are talking, or reflecting on your experiences
add Topics & Observations
(Response to the Living in Harmony with Nature topic: There is almost never the resources needed to invest in transitioning to sustainable practices and processes and the incentives do not support making such a transition.) 
  • The speed of change, makes the complexity of the issues unmanageable
  • People who lack a spriit of appreciative inquiry, and focus on the limitations
  • OK, then here is the question, what do we do when Jessie claims that the policies and approaches that others of us want to support won't work and doesn't seem willing to reconsider her understandings. 
  • There is a need for appreciative inquiry (on appreciative inquiry see – to listen to the truth of what somebody else is saying, and then to ask how we can build on that. Work we need to do is overwhelming. No one entity can do it. We can each do a part. So focus on the positive potential and make that bigger. Pointing to limitations creates defensiveness. Everyone is limited by their own experience and so their perspectives do not overlap and so they can not see the same thing. This makes agreement difficult.
  • People feel wronged if other people do not agree and so they pull back from the process and feel powerless or the need to lord it over others.
  • We come from different silos of thinking
  • Peoples cultures and values are a way for people to feel secure as a part of our group. When the groups values (culture is called into question) we feel our survival (not just our ideas) are at stake.
  • we do not have an accepted or agreed process for how we will make decisions when there are differing opinions on strategies, policies, recommendations etc or even who has the authority to make such decisions when the groups that are working on or discussing things continue to change
  • Differenet methodologies are suitable for different groups and situations. So it is important to have many methodologies.
  • Cultures are completely different ways of seeing things so that the same thing is barely recognizable when looked at from another culture's pers[ective. Talk, talk talk is very necessary.
  • We are often having to make decisions and give input to UN processes within a quite limited time frame.
  • we need to also learn to explor the issues external to their group ideals, and if that is an existental issue for a group it cuts off theri ability to work with other views
  • People have ideas fixe and find it hard to open to the perspective of other people.
  • There's an extremely strong tendency for people to see the world in terms of the information they have been exposed to, and to be exposed to very limited kinds of information
  • There's a strong tendendy for people to think the world works by how they "connect the dots" and not have a method for looking for how nature is connecting the dots..  like the way the world *really does* have quite different behavior than the parts people are aware of, and still see as "the world"
  • Some of us have very different perspectives, understandings or ideas about how nature works or is connecting the dots. So, it is hard at least for me to hear someone claim that there is a particular way it works – when I might disagree.
  • I have a problem with the above (re Appreciative Inquiry), given that what some people claim to be true seems to be diametrically opposed to what we or others are wanting to achieve. For example, Reagan called the SMX missile system "The Peacekeeper". They claim that US domination and repeated attacks on other countries will lead to world peace. So, some peoples repeatedly utter un-truths and it does not help to blindly inquire into or build on such obfuscations. Of course, if somebody is saying an untruth, one also has to call them out on that…
There are different cultures of speaking relating and process, not valued differently, consensus to action is vital.  
Step 3 – What responses to how the environments work would promote the ideal
  • Be creative, thinking of how different kinds of communities would need to work together in improving their environment as a whole system of all its interacting parts…
  • list other ideal purposes for intervention
add Topics & Describe Interventions
1. Schedule times when we can discuss specific areas where we disagree in depth
2. learn disciplines or methods appropriate to the group that needs to work together, learning to look at where they are coming from as well as whether they seem to see more or less of the points others are making
  • develop  and agree on how we will resolve or deal with differences of opinion  when either someone or a couple of us have a strong opinion about what  the others are wanting to recommend or support
  • having  a diversity of views is thought of a problem in advocacy groups, but  that keeps them from learning how their views may have become mistaken,  as the world changes or more of how things really work is discovered.  I don't think that diversity of views is the problem but more so  differences of understanding that are sometimes rather contradictory in  approach or nature or on what the most effective strategies might be for  responding to any particular problem.So  in a globalizing world we must learn to embrace different points of  view. We are not there yet. We must still practice for we have never yet  had a global world.
  • yes, especially so if it seems to  contradict common popular assumptions, though often IF it is truthful,  it's not a contradiction but a path to broadening an ideal that just  didn't include everything going on before.
  • discuss what to do when someone makes definitive claims that someone else doesn't necessarily agree with or support
  • Bahai? website:‎  The consultation process they follow in their discussions.They have  groups of 9 or more around the world. These communicate with other  regional groups and so on untl they get to their Greater Council who  then formulate their vision based on what the Bahais in 105  countries/territories  have said. That then is passed down the pyramid  til it reaches the bottom and so the Baha'is who believe in unity as  their religion bring about religion among their own members.
  • Appreciative inquiry
  • Sociocracy  method – has some  similarities to Bahai method (I just looked at their  website). They go  around the circle twice with each person stating and  explaining their  opinion – in the second round, they get a chance to  revise their  thoughts based on what was said inthe first round. Third  round involves  voting – but there is possibility of a person objecting  (with  rationale) if he/she thinks the proposed decision goes against   fundamental values of the group. This case is rarely suppose to occur,   but if it does, there can be no decision until the group comes together   again to discuss it again.
  • Systemic consensusing – it's a method for taking votes when there are more than two different options, and you want to establish which option generates the least resistance – i.e., it yields a decision that everyone can live with. It avoids polarizing a group of people.
  • The problem with this process is that we often have to make decisions very quickly. and do so at some risk if the community is unable to share their understanding of the environement the group is working witin.
3. need to learn what it really means that how our world works is changing ever faster, creating ever more extreme differences of viewpoint….
We have to see every fixed point as a part of a process.
  • How can we deal with the emotional hurts and frustrations that have already arisen within our group. 
  • The main gaps that seem to turn up appear to me to be due to not distinguishing betwen the "internal dialogs" and the "external dialogs", so think the learning methods that focus on that, System Bridging problem… like the 3Steps method itself…
  • Many people are not aware of their inner process. In my own case it took 
"Step 4" – (yea, always another step…)  Follow-up
  • arrange the ideas in a flow so that people can see the relationship between the ideas that came up and the ideas flow from one another. This way it makes sense and people can more easily integrate it into their thinking.
  • Make a commitment to write a response to the work done
  • come back after the discussion and clean up your notes and ideas, to be a record of the issues discussed
  • highlight topics that seem like important starting points for it further
  • and make note of related links and opportunities for networking
  • If the group is to write a report, 
  • highlight things to include in it
  • – list other closing objectives 
  • Deciding what other ways this process might be used, and who else might want to try facilitating a trial session.
IV. Resources:
Notes from the facilitator's guide:    
                Some Boundary crossing questions for exploring environments
A.        General hints
1.        Are there things that puzzle you, that "don't fit" 
              and might be signs of something else
2.        What hints are there of things being different that first assumed?
3.        What things reinforce our own values, and what could be interpreted differently?
4.        What things occur the same every time, and what things quite individually
5.        What common assumptions might be questioned, or might seem threatened.
B.        Time and place
1.        What was the character of the place 
   a)        in decades past, in centuries past?
   b)        What won't change in decades or centuries hence?
2.        What places have changed more, and what less, 
   a)        What have stabilized of destabilized
3.        What sub-cultures are involved, and how have they changed in relation to each other?
4.        What is constant or changing about the smallest scale cultures, human and natural
   a)        The medium and larger scale cultures, human and natural
   b)        for economic markets, for resources, products, labor & money
   c)        for the professions, the politics, the media
C.        Kinds of influence
1.        Are there points of control or influence?
2.        Are there sticking points in flows that could be relieved?   
3.        Are there barriers to what seem like the inevitable good, or inevitable bad?
4.        What players are there to collaborate with, to create new potentials?
5.        What things could help but might bring harm, or the reverse
D.        Culture & System Issues
1.        Put yourself in the shoes of others, 
              ask how do the issues change from place to place in the environment, 
              and for different communities, and different age groups
2.        Are there things being spread from one culture to another, 
              that do fit or don't fit, what's the pull and what's the push?
3.        What things are adapting easily to change smoothly, and what are not
   a)        Are those natural phases of their development, …
              or due to their changing environment?
4.        What things seem to be easily taking care of themselves 
              and what are highly dependent on others?
5.        Do you see signs of flowing change over time, speeding up or slowing down? 
   a)        What else goes along with the flows
   b)        What things are moving in swarms?
6.        What are the things working smoothly and flexibly, what things unstable, 
7.        Are there important things depending on either the well working or unstable things?
8.        Are there things notably thriving, as others struggle and fail?
9.        Are there things that show symptoms of unexpected overload, 
               of disruption and sudden change, unaccustomed challenges
10.        What changes are approaching or pushing on the limits, 
                and might trigger a rush of others
11.        Where are there shortages or places where businesses, economies, people or
                animals are seen changing their sources of supply? 
12.        When important events occur, do some responses occur in chains of reactions 
                and others in swarms of reactions??
13.        What things seem to depend more on local relationships and 
                what ones more on regional or global ones.    
14.        How are relationships, local, regional or global, changing over time, 
                are they always in the same direction, erratic or in some other pattern? 
15.        Are there local or global communities "probing around" 
                trying out various options for one that works, 
                like animals foraging or experimenters experimenting?

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