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3466Re: [globalvillages] Discovering and applying patterns

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  • Pamela McLean
    Apr 25, 2014
      Hi Mark and Everyone

      ref "knowledgebase designed to be an 'affordance' for that purpose, and for eliciting the paradigm shift."

      We are thinking in similar ways. Here is a quick update to tie together what you say with my current practical work.

      I'm working toward building a knowledge commons of what does work and what doesn't work (and why) relating to the work of changemakers in Africa. This will build on my work to date with John Dada, and the First Thursday group and the GlobalNet21 Africa and Change group in London.

      You already know a good deal about how my work relates to finding out how "we" (people in my groups/community/network) can make best use of the communication channels available (phones, Internet, and local low-tech communication channels) in order to learn-from-each-other and collaborate effectively in practical ways.

      I'm pulling together my previous and current work. I'm currently looking at ways to transform a tiny little charity called Dadamac Foundation into an organisation that will enable me/dadamac to:
      • do more of what we've been doing
      • do it better,
      • benefit more people
      • capture the information that is generated
      • shared it in more effective and accessible ways.

      I will have three kinds of contributors to make this happen (some people will contribute in only one way, others in two or three ways):

      • Changemakers in Africa - who are usually rich in local knowledge but poor in financial resources and with very little time to share their stories
      • Information agents - who will help the changemakers by harvesting information from them and presenting it within the "knowledge commons" - a rich, freely available online resource serving a number of different purposes
      • Sponsors - who will help financially (or with gifts of things we would otherwise need to purchase)

      All of these contributors are equally important, and all of them stand to gain in some way from the creation of the knowledge commons. (I could explain how, but the purpose of this email is to let you know about our overlapping interest in creating a knowledge base and a paradigm shift).

      There may not be complete overlap between the interests of the Dadamac Changemakers and the people in Global Villages, but there are many common concerns. 

      I have lots of experimental stuff on www.dadamac.net and be developing a new tidy site based on this new model at www.dadamac.org - where you can already see a video of the changemaker who inspired this approach.

      Regarding paradigm shifts - in Dadamac Foundation I hope and believe this is what will happen:
      • our knowledge commons will grow
      • the work of our changemakers (individually and as a group) will become more visible
      • we will demonstrate the way that ICT can enable communication
      • we will demonstrate effective two-way communication between changemakers and sponsors
      • we will demonstrate new models of genuine collaboration that challenge traditional top-down ideas of "participation"
      • our sponsors will see unfolding stories of grass-roots projects demonstrating transparency and giving evidence of value for money projects 
      • we will challenge and disrupt the existing top-down approaches to International development that are rooted in heirarchical systems and outdated attitudes

      On 24 April 2014 07:42, Mark Roest <marklroest@...> wrote:
      Hello Andrius, Pamela and all,

      In addition to the value of mutual support and learning which comes from sharing, we can also plan to put it into a knowledgebase designed to be an 'affordance' for that purpose, and for eliciting the paradigm shift.

      Affordance is an industrial design term, which refers to a design that is so good that the item's use is intuitively obvious and natural, like opening a door with a doorknob or a sliding bar. That's my standard for the knowledgebases -- both economic design and health care.



      On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 6:51 AM, Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...> wrote:

      Franz, Pamela, Ben and all,

      I'm writing my letter to a few groups that arose through Minciu Sodas,
      my online laboratory for independent thinkers. I read a post by
      permaculture author Toby Hemenway that I think is relevant to us in
      different ways:

      Permaculture is a vision and practice of a home and yard for a lifestyle
      that is sustainable ecologically and spiritually. Toby Hemenway teaches
      permaculture as a way of thinking about designing your surroundings. He
      calls his website "pattern literacy" and thus alludes to architect
      Christopher Alexander's pattern languages. Patterns are rules of thumb
      that make sense in theory but have to be optimized on-site.

      Toby Hemenway reflects on why the "Transition movement" is incredibly
      popular whereas permaculture thinking which gave rise to it is not. The
      Transition movement offers action plans to people who see that the end
      is coming to our fossil fuel civilization and want to prepare for what
      comes afterwards. People prefer to be given the "answer" rather than be
      taught how to figure it out. That's why the Transition movement is so
      much more popular than the Permaculture movement.

      I want to point out that this is intrinsic to patterns. Patterns are
      meant to be applied over and over again. They also are meant to be
      discovered and rediscovered. So people will be expecting two very
      different things from patterns: being able to think less (because you
      are told the answer) and getting to think more (because you can figure
      it out yourself).

      Pamela is my first student at my Self Learners Network, a new version of
      Minciu Sodas that I am developing. She is investigating the logic of
      the 21st century way of learning. In our most recent conversation, I
      realized that in Minciu Sodas I always hoped to inspire people to not
      look just at their own personal projects but to think in terms of what
      they contribute to a broader culture. Pamela is coming up with this
      challenge in her own way, as she's helping changemakers in Africa to
      tell their stories of what's working or not. She's observing many
      valuable things along the way but they may not be interested or have
      time. But perhaps they don't have to, so long as she has others like me
      who she can talk to. In other words, we can wish and hope, but we can't
      expect everybody to become "pattern discoverers" right away. But we,
      pattern discoverers, can be supportive of each other, and interested in
      each other's learning, even when others are not. We should also put our
      thoughts into practice, which is to say, our integrity requires that we
      be pattern appliers as well, so that we know what we're talking about.

      Thank you to Ben de Vries for recommending the Humanure Handbook
      http://www.humanurehandbook.com I downloaded it for $10, have started
      reading it, and am very pleased with what I've learned. I currently
      don't have any septic system and simply use a bucket which I empty each
      day in my outhouse. It turns out that that is not too much different in
      practice or spirit from creating humanure. I just need to learn how to
      mix in Carbon rich material (sawdust) to balance the Nitrogen rich
      material (my waste) so that different bacteria and organisms can create

      I also bought two books by Art Ludwig on grey water (from the laundry
      and shower) and Hemenway's book on permaculture.

      Overall, I'm transforming my house step-by-step, pattern-by-pattern,
      gradually as I learn how to live in it, I learn about the seasons here,
      I learn about my land (12 ares) and the local "economy". For example, I
      bought 50 boards locally and the local youth worked for me and I have a
      growing collection of shelves on my walls. I should keep a summary of
      how my house is unfolding.

      Please know, I've written up my philosophy as an electronic illustrated
      book, "The Truth, from Relative to Absolute":


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      +370 773 306-3809