Network Weaving

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Panarchy


The Plexus Institute has a self-organized group that is reading the book Panarchy edited by Lance Gunderson and C.S.Holling.

You can dowload a chapter of their book at the Resilience Alliance web site or purchase the book and join us at our next call on September 10th at 11 AM Eastern. Check the Plexus website for call-in number.

The book is about ecosystems and humans, but I found it incredibly provocative about transformation in any sphere. One of the most interesting new ideas I gained was the concept of nested cycles--that some aspects of social systems work on very short timeframes--say a microprocess in a meeting--and some things work on very long timeframes--for example, deep structures that program how we see the world. They point out that small changes or shifts at one scale can trigger rapid shifts in other scales.

This made me think that an effective Network Weaver strategy could be to have people practice listening to another person quite different from themselves followed by a quick reflection on their internal reaction. Could this move them from a reactive stance to one of much-increased awareness? Done well and repeated several times, could such quick cycling activity trigger an important shift in deep structures from a we/they rigidity to an appreciation of networked diversity as the provoker of breakthroughs?

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