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Releasing complexity, source code solutions, training post-formal actors, next generation leadership, sensemaking, open participatory organizations

Why you’re so confused by money


An opportunity to turn things around has been laid on our doorstep
[Note, this and other articles in this publication, have been made possible by a writing grant from Perspectiva.}


How the Anthropocene is Changing our Minds


Native Narrative Architects, Children’s Learning Center, Phillipines

Outlining a new infrastucture for transformational education

Note: This and other articles in this publication has been made possible through the support of Perspectiva


Excerpted from a work in progress on education for human flourishing

This and other articles in this publication has been made possible through the support of Perspectiva

A philosophy of education based on transformation and human flourishing would switch the inquiry from how much is the student learning, to what kind of person is the student becoming? If you are an educator, this is probably a daunting statement. It leads to an overwhelming responsibility for one individual. This is why, if the educational system is going to take on the responsibility for the character of the person, it must undergo a significant structural change. In early childhood, when the task is most daunting, it means something like an entire village must be created to meet this…


Designing for emergent properties enables creative people to balance fiercely independent personalities with the benefits of team collaboration.

Over the past year I have had the privilege of working with a group of highly creative individuals who are trying to navigate a tremendously complex landscape. They were originally drawn to the notion of an OPO (Open Participatory Organization), but their situation pushes well beyond the boundaries and constraints that make an OPO workable. The OPO is, afterall, a structural approach that is designed to enable self-organization and catalyze emergence in complex situations.


Thinking in terms of complex potential states instead of complex adaptive systems may be helpful in our times

Something about the epistemological foundations of complex adaptive systems has been bothering me. It is very hard to think of complex systems without framing agency in the context of adaptation — in complexity science we see it everywhere. This alone is cause for suspicion, since when certain descriptions of reality are seen everywhere we look, it most likely means that the description is a feature of a limiting paradigm, an epistemological boundary, as it were, rather than a feature of the world. Buzz Holling, for example, became suspicious of his own panarchy framework when people started applying it to everything…


Information Flows Designed for Emergent Complexity

In complex environments, teams are built for emergent outcomes. This means they need to be optimized for coherence. Coherence refers to a particular dispositional state of a team, where the complex feed loops between trust, power and action thresholds are optimized for flow (see A Source Code for Team Flow). The degree of power asymmetry in the system is a crucial function of team flow. Power asymmetry in turn is a function of information flows and can be regulated by designing resilience through sensemaking up-hierarchies.


Christy Lee Rogers Photography

Team flow potential is now the holy grail of agile

[ Note: this article requires familiarity with the OPO model of self-organization in teams. You can read about it here and here. I also draw upon the Magic Number theory (which is an example of source code analysis) of Safi Bahcall from his book Loonshots. You can learn about source code analysis in my podcasts here and here and here. ]

The notion of flow states in human experience was most famously documented by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow has recently been hugely popularized by Steven Kotler in his book Rise of Superman and his work with the Flow Genome Project…

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