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Re: [holistichelping] We'll Meet to Organize Endeavors into Schools

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  • Pamela McLean
    Andrius I love this idea about the structure of Minciu Sodas. You know that I think of MS as my university - where I am free to learn, and do research, and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 20, 2008
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      I love this idea about the structure of  Minciu Sodas. You know that I think of MS as my university - where I am free to learn, and do research, and exchange ideas with others - and I do not have to pay any kind of fees to join. Also I have great choice. I only study modules that interest me, and I only write the assignments that I choose to write. I can be a self directed learner - following my own interests - which are shaped and enriched by the interests of my fellow learners - as we all investigate the questions that interest us. We do it in theory and we do it in practice.

      I think you have created a wonderful learning space for us, which  is a prototype of a truly 21st century educational establishment. MS is not some "ICT enabled add-on" tied to an existing 19th or 20th century educational establishment. MS is totally ICT enabled. It is a completely new kind of educational establishment, which belongs in many countries and yet it belongs in none because it has no buildings. It is located entirely on the Internet. I am proud to be studying here.

      Of course there are some organisational details I would like to discuss with you - which is natural when any exciting new idea is emerging - and which you invite in your original email.

      Personally I prefer the word "faculty" rather than "school". The word school has bad connotations for me -  see the book "De-schooling Society" and similar work.

      Regarding my own role, and the proposed School of Earners and World Without Poverty (WWP). I do not see myself as a leader in a School of Earners - Earning is definitely not my area of expertise  (I have a life history of not earning very well - a series of jobs, not always related to teaching - threaded through other aspects of my life - my work has paid the bills, it hasn't been a career path) 

      I see our study of the Yunus Book Creating WWP more as a study group within one of your Schools/Faculties, rather than a separate school/faculty at this stage. I am very happy to work with Ken Owino on WWP as I admire him greatly as a thinker and as a leader, as well as appreciating him as a friend. I am hoping very much that our study of the book will lead to practical outcomes. I guess we might describe the focus on practical outcomes as "project work" in our "study group" setting. Maybe later it will become larger and be part of a MS "research" programme  - or, better still perhaps, become linked with industry for "research and development" of social businesses. Hmm - if that is how I see it growing perhaps it should be a school/faculty -  but I don't know what it shoudl be called, and we would also need study groups on business start-ups, and Peter Burgess' accounting etc. And we should offer study groups for other books too, to get a shared vision of the kind of economic system within which we want to work.

      Regarding WWP, I am also very pleased to be involved because of my own interest in educational systems in 21st century.  WWP is coming together in innovative ways. It is ICT enabled. Its structure adn information flows are building on the Internet and phone networking experiences of PoP. It is designed to be inclusive - you do not have to be part of a reading culture or have access to the Internet to be included in a study group. Only the group leaders need to be able to read. Regarding ICT, the leaders do need to at least have access to a phone.  In my imagination the study groups are like little flickering lights of learning, which will one day be huge blazing fires.

      I hope the study groups will be able to take photographs of themselves as they gather in someone's home or in some public space, perhaps in the shade of a tree. I want photos too of the minimalist ICT - with the leader phoning Kennedy perhaps, to give feedback on the study group's deliberations. In years to come those photos will be prized archive material. I see them hanging on the walls of  community study centres - centres that will trace their beginnings back to the time when a small group of local people gathered for WWP studies. Perhaps the study centres will develop one small step at a time - from the original "leader and phone", through the MS ideas of the Includer and   minimalist  Internet centres etc., to grow to whatever size is appropriate and sustainable - powered perhaps by the children's roundabout.

      I hope that people beyond Kenya and beyond MS will get this vision and consider getting involved and maybe some could accelerate things by contributing financially. Things will move on more quickly if we can attract some funding to help the study groups to pay for phone credits so they can arrange their meetings effectively, and help with transport costs so that people can get to the study groups, and leaders can communicate effectively, and people can afford to get online, for discussion through our usual groups and chatroom meetings, and to get information back to the wiki etc. However we will not let lack of funds stop us from doing what we can, even if we have to start small and move slowly.

      Regarding online meetings - please note I will not be able to be in the chat room on the First Thursday in July. I need a chat room leader - it is not a difficult role. But it helps to have a named person who will be the one to choose the main idea for discussion if too many separate conversations are starting to cause confusion. Please, let me know if you are confident that you will be able to attend the chat room session, maybe there will be a couple of people and you can take turns at the leader role - but it is  good to have named leader(s) in advance so other people know the session will definitely be happening.

      Andrius - I am excited by the way MS is moving forward for its second decade, and very happy to be included in helping to make it happen. Thank you for all you are doing and the opportunities you are making for us here at MS.


      2008/6/20 Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...>:

      Ed Cherlin, Mark Roest, Ben de Vries and I are meeting Friday, 5:00pm to
      10:00pm at 3329 Los Prados St., San Mateo, California at the community
      center of the eco-housing where Mark lives and I am staying. All are
      welcome. My number is (312) 618-3345.

      Tuesday we talked intensively about how we might work together. I noted
      our Minciu Sodas laboratory's many endeavors
      and how I have been organizing them into "ecosystems". As we spoke, I
      started to look for a new word to explain what I mean, and inspired
      perhaps by Pamela McLean, I would like to call them "schools".

      So I have made a list of "Schools":
      and for each one I wish to find a leader.
      School of Earners - Pamela McLean (our world without poverty)
      School of Thinkers - Andrius Kulikauskas
      School of Learners - Edward Cherlin
      School of Growers - Ben de Vries
      School of Includers and/or Writers - Ricardo? (includers in the sense of
      people who do outreach to include others in our conversation)
      School of Fighters - Andrius Kulikauskas
      School of Villagers - Franz Nahrada
      School of Elders - Mark Roest
      and more to come and we can change the names as the leaders prefer.

      Each school will have a wiki page that includes two reports, that is, two
      - a list of the people who are being helped (the learners, earners,
      growers, etc.)
      - a list of the endeavors that are nurtured by that school.
      See for example:
      Friday we'll spend some time learning how to use our wiki and to add pages.

      Each leader will present their vision for the school, for how all the
      people and their endeavors can be woven together. Each school supports
      are particular human activity, for example, the School of Growers supports
      "growers", including full fledged farmers but also anybody who grows a
      plant. There can be many many schools, as many as we have visions for.

      We will also look to the leader for leadership to nurture all of the
      participants and their endeavors, and also to develop a strategy for
      pulling together that "ecosystem of endeavors" and engaging clients who
      might hire for paid work the teams that we organize.

      And we will also build teams for each school but I do wish for clear

      I look forward to our thoughts and leadership, especially as on Sunday I
      fly to Vermont for Stephen Wolfram's summer school "A New Kind of Science"
      and will be less in touch for three weeks. Then I will visit Boston and
      perhaps part of the East Coast. And then I will be based in Chicago at
      David Ellison-Bey's for two months from about July 19 to September 19.
      Then I might fly to California for a week or two. And in early October I
      plan to return to Lithuania.

      Greetings from Palo Alto, California where I am visiting Peter Kaminski of
      Socialtext http://www.socialtext.com Tomorrow I visit Dr.Eric D.
      Rasmussen of InSTEDD to introduce our work on team building for


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas
      +1 312 618 3345

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