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What else do we need to learn and do to play our most life-serving role in the collapseful transformation of social systems that is currently accelerating?


TomAtlee (convenor & lunch notetaker) JoshuaGorman (morning notetaker) LynBazzell CherylHoney MargoAdair NormaBurton JunAkutsu MiltMarkewitz HaroldShinsato JosephMcCormick? RachelLynRumson AdinRogovin? HeatherTischbein


Here is a brief summary from Tom. (Joshua or Cheryl, please post the full notes on the morning session at the end of this report.)

In general we felt that LSOW generated a strong sense of community, but had not, itself, taken on the task of collective leadership in a world in crisis. We shared a sense that time is short and that we process people hold a vital piece of the puzzle and thus need to contribute our gifts to help midwife this difficult, promising time of transformation -- not just anywhere, but with awareness of our systemic impact.

Our conversation included visionary images to embrace our role, such as helping create virtuous cycles to replace the current downward vicious cycles of society, and the idea that consciousness is co-creating where it is going and our processes have a role in that. We looked at the need to identify what has worked, to share stories, and to realign with fundamental principles whose violation/betrayal are generating the current crises. We agreed that many systems are coming apart and many leaders now say that they don't know what to do -- and that this is a resource.

There was a sense that we could help transformational movements (like Transition Towns) make a difference by connecting them up interactively using our processes. They would also gain process consciousness and carry processes into their work. Two of us agreed to begin researching movements that we could engage in this way to make a significant difference.


At lunch we discovered disagreements over how much to center our work -- future conferences, gatherings, networks, etc. -- on

  1. redesigning large scale systems (political systems, economic systems, etc.)
  2. industries and sectors
  3. local communities
  4. issues, problems, solutions
  5. process

Tom suggested systemic change requires focusing on systems and that local and issue-based work can be ineffective or even counter-productive if it isn't contributing to changing the dysfunctional or destructive systems that cause the problems in the first place. He offered new economic indicators and citizen deliberative councils as examples of systemic changes that would enable healthy whole-system self-organization -- the kind of LSOW that was not much present among the factors raised during the rest of this LSOW conference.

However, Joseph, Cheryl, Margo and others pointed out that most people and organizations do not think systemically. Their attention is focused on the issues facing them in their community or industry, or on some broad issue area. It would be hard to get them to come to any conversation focused on systems. They also suggested that few people would be attracted to anything having to do with process.

There was considerable passion around these topics, but it became clear that these issues would not be resolved before we became totally distracted with LSOW good-byes and departures. Tom volunteered to arrange a listserv and/or conference call to provide a forum for continued conversation on this subject, to which other LSOWers would be invited.


After the group dispersed, Tom and Joseph continued the discussion and came up with a vision that they thought might integrate all concerns so far offered:

Joseph believes he might have access to sources of funding for such an undertaking.



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Last edited May 19, 2009 10:52 am USA Pacific Time by TomAtlee (diff)

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