a STEINBRUCH  for EASIER RETRIEVAL so I can add it better to the main page - this page will change very often !! as it contains notes and points to add.

NOTES: Dedicate to Tony, Walter, Bela ! Aleco, Baerbara, Willis; Jerry and Jamie 

add SynCons and Syntegrity !  !!!!!!!!!! and the new Millennium Report Chapter to participative Future Research methods


Futures Research Methodology--V3.0

 - [ Diese Seite übersetzen ]Futures Research Methodology Version 3.0 is the largest, most comprehensive collection of internationally peer-reviewed handbook on methods and tools to ...


ICA since the 60ies

Syntegrity and Stafford BEER

Anthony Blake and SUPREME DIALOG ! 

see also SCHOOL of IGNORANCE ? and BOHM Dialogues and the UIA, Brussels:

the work of  Anthony JUDGE: where also Erich Jantsch, Hasan Ozbekhan and their input to get the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential: where the PROBLEMS have been collected since 30 years. See also how the input of the 3 volumes have been brought together in an IBIS- Issue bases Information Systems  - better Hyper-IBIS for the World Population Confernce in Cairo in 1995 to see how problems connect !  It is no time her to evaluate IBIS and SDDP but it is time to bring them both onto teh next plateau !

before lets check UIA, 60 years work on International Clearinghouse and Publishing activities and the work of ANTHONY JUDGE: (here a glimpse):

UIA   and  Laetusinpraesens documents and links:

Documents relating to Dialogue and Transformative Conferencing

by Anthony Judge

Those marked (ref) only provide a link to bibliographical information on the document.
An indication of the size of accessible documents is given in kilobytes (eg 42k) -- meaning 42,000 characters.
Where a document has active weblinks to other documents, this is given as (42k, 15w) -- meaning 15 weblinks

Keywords: avoidance / conference / conferences / conferencing / congress / conversation / denial / dialogue / dialogues / dialoguing / encounter / engaging / gathering / meeting / meetings / messaging / metaconferencing / participant / participants / roundtable / roundtables

Documents for years: 2000 + | 1990-99 | 1980-89 | 1970-79 | 1962-69 | ALL years

Maybe start here:

·  Selected Websites on Dialogue

 - [ Diese Seite übersetzen ]

Anthony Judge (unless otherwise stated) · Bio of Anthony Judge ... Bohm dialogue links maintained by William van den Heuvel; David Bohm Dialogues Home Page ... -

·  Research Themes and Papers: Anthony Judge

 - [ Diese Seite übersetzen ]

Dialogue and transformative conferencing. Human development ... Where work by Anthony Judge has given rise to a Database, or been inspired by it, ...

See also at:


Organizations and networks    

Human development

Knowledge organization

Knowledge organization

Conceptual patterns

Knowledge presentation

Learning, experiments, patterns

Strategy and governance

Challenges, problems, issues

Management & information systems



See Larger Image


by Sandra, Spayde, Utne editors
Item # 3214

Format: Paperback 

ISBN: 0865714444

Pages: 188

Copyright Year: 2001

Availability: Usually ships within 24 to 48 hours unless otherwise noted in the product description.

Salons are lively gathering places where people engage in talk that amuses, challenges, amazes and is sometimes passionately acted upon. They have been the incubators of provocative and at times even dangerous ideas: the frontiers of cultural change. This book tells you all you need to know about joining salons, organizing them, how to attract new members, where to meet and what topics to explore.






ICA since the 70ies


A Comparison with the Institute of Cultural Affairs


Stuart Umpleby felt that the purposes of the New Agoras Project, as described in Fuschl in April 2002, were very similar to the work that the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) undertook beginning in the 1970s. (Umpleby and Oyler, 2003)  Hence, a comparison of the New Agoras Project (NAP) with the work of ICA might be helpful in identifying what is unique about both NAP and ICA. Perhaps the NAP could learn from those who have gone before, and perhaps the NAP could advance more rapidly by joining forces with some of the current ICA activities.  This assumes that the purposes of the two organizations are very similar.  If the two groups were to become aware of each other, they could decide what they can learn from each other or do together.


I recommend:

Table 1 is the work of Stuart Umpleby and Doug Walton.  Umpleby created a first draft as a way of understanding the NAP in comparison with ICAWalton added additional material to the table.



The New Agoras Project

The Institute of Cultural Affairs
















Millennium Project




HIS and magnertic Portals …


BOOTSTRAP  XEROX and Dough elebart




VUMC  Dialog and Leadership

Vanderbilt University VUMC: Mary Ann Zarrett, Leadership Development – Guide to Dialogue





structures of meaning






Christakis A. 2001. Exploring Six Principles of Dialogue for Managing Complex Societal

Issues. A self published paper. World Headquarters: 1770 E. Lancaster Ave., #L5, Paoli,

PA 19301.



TORQUEVILE  !!!!!!!!!!





The International School of Ignorance ?

-- an ongoing experiment in dialogue meeting design





BOHM School




Berlin IONS Co-Laboratory !

Judge Tony Blake etc…




Need to know what you sedarch for  !! no know ( about and roughtly or precisely ) no find

Support students and scholars – serchers and researchers – as a preliminary and ongoing effort



And NCDD and






  • Asilomar team 1, which has developed a comprehensive set of generic functions for steward agoras;
  • Asilomar team 2, which has devised a system for the web-based implementation of a Q&A system about the New Agoras;




  • The Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA): Over the past thirty years, ICA has created methods for supporting community development based on extensive research and experimentation (Umpleby & Oyler, 2003).



Over the last 60 + years !???





A Comparison with the Institute of Cultural Affairs


Stuart Umpleby felt that the purposes of the New Agoras Project, as described in Fuschl in April 2002, were very similar to the work that the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) undertook beginning in the 1970s. (Umpleby and Oyler, 2003)  Hence, a comparison of the New Agoras Project (NAP) with the work of ICA might be helpful in identifying what is unique about both NAP and ICA. Perhaps the NAP could learn from those who have gone before, and perhaps the NAP could advance more rapidly by joining forces with some of the current ICA activities.  This assumes that the purposes of the two organizations are very similar.  If the two groups were to become aware of each other, they could decide what they can learn from each other or do together.


Table 1 is the work of Stuart Umpleby and Doug Walton.  Umpleby created a first draft as a way of understanding the NAP in comparison with ICAWalton added additional material to the table.



The New Agoras Project

The Institute of Cultural Affairs


Started in the 1980s or 1990s.                                 

Started in the 1970s, based on work in the 1950s and 1960s.

Origin was in a school of education,        Bela Banathy's work at the Saybrook        Institute.

Origin was in the World Council of Churches, the University of Texas, and Garrett Theological Seminary. A key leader was Joe Mathews.

Intent is to encourage people to take    responsibility for the direction of cultural evolution and guide human progress toward a sustainable and consensual         future.  Emphasis is not on fixing the current system but on imagining and creating a new one that is (relatively) free of the contextual assumptions that underlie the present one.  The underlying values are based on sustainable societal evolution, not any explicit theology.  Imagining an ideal future is just one method, discussed below.

Intent is to help the poorest of the poor and to build communities, that is, live the teachings of The Bible, but through secular, not religious, activities.

The supporting literature is from the fields   

of education, evolutionary theory (Jantsch,   

Laszlo), psychology, organizational development, and creativity, as well as systems science (Ulrich, Bertalanffy, Jackson, Miller, Boulding, and others).

The supporting literature is a mixture of secular (e.g., K. Boulding, M. Mead) and religious writers (e.g., S. Kirkegaard, P. Tillich).

A goal is to share ideas developed in               agora conversations via a knowledge base on the internet.

Develop methods that people around the world can use to define their visions and work to achieve them.

Encourage people to intentionally work together to imagine and design an ideal future society.  The dominant meta-methodology is Evolutionary Systems Design, which involves: a) transcending the state or the existing system; b) envisioning an image of the system; c) designing the system that transforms the existing system to the ideal state; d) displaying the models of the system that was designed; e) planning for the implementation of the design.  As a point of comparison, phases (a) to (d) would correspond to the “vision” and (e) to the rest.  There may be two keys to understand the differences:  1) the envisioning of the ideal state, and 2) the modeling of it prior to deciding on an action and using that model to guide action and further understanding.

A multi-step brainstorming and planning activity: vision (What do we want to see in place in five years?), obstacles (What are the obstacles that prevent achieving the vision?), strategies (What strategies will remove the obstacles?), actions (What actions are needed to implement the strategies?), implementation schedule (What actions will be taken during each quarter of the coming year?).

Assumes that new visions of what                  is possible will lead to actions to achieve       reforms.  Seeks to link up multiple                 groups to form a whole society pursuit. Further, assumes that those persons who will inhabit the future system have the ethical right to be involved in its design.

Assumes that a group working together can accomplish things that individuals cannot. So lead the group through the planning process after defining the shared vision and the obstacles to achieving the vision.

An emphasis on imagining ideal worlds and thinking about cultural evolution.

A combination of “images of possibility” and “learning by doing” using participation methods and working on community improvement projects.


There are three levels of participation: the local level, the steward level, and the linkage level.

There are people in communities and organizations, ICA full-time staff, and volunteers who help with projects.

A steward group of facilitators is              needed to lead the various agoras.  The          Steward groups have been growing out     of the annual Asilomar Conversation Conference and conferences of the Saybrook Graduate School.

The members of ICA met each summer in Chicago to review methods, strategies, and programs. The International Association of

Facilitators, an offshoot of ICA, meets annually.

Largely self-financed as a part-time activity of academics.  There has been some support from IFSR.

Financial support from churches, individuals, government, and foundations.

Individual agoras are self-funded. Leaders are volunteers.

Funding has been received from UNESCO, the World Bank, corporations, government agencies, and individuals. Early work was more "missionary-like", later work is more "NGO-like."

Stewards are the resource people.

Local resource people, who provide skills, equipment, and contacts, are involved in planning sessions led by facilitators.

Some articles, books, dissertations.

Quite a few books, many, many newsletters and press articles, some journal articles and websites. 

The Asilomar Conversations and the Fuschl Conversations have resulted from these efforts.

ICA activities have led to the creation of many community organizations, day-care centers, health clinics, and small businesses around the world.

Primarily an intellectual exercise.

The intent is to improve the quality of life by encouraging and enabling the involvement of people in improving their communities.

Well connected to the academic community, especially the field of education.

Widely known among churches, NGOs, and development institutions, such as the World Bank.

A few methods, focusing primarily on            conversations defining ideal circumstances,   

most importantly involving evolutionary,  systems design (Banathy, 1996) applied   to the system of cultural evolution. Dialogue and conversation occurs through the Evolutionary Systems Design (ESD) methodology.  The ESD modeling process involves envisioning, generation of alternatives, evaluation, and modeling that can incorporate numerous other well established techniques (i.e., brainstorming, nominal group technique, Delphi process, heart-storming, as well as implementation and strategic planning methodologies). This can structure highly complex socio-technical design problems that are pursued and changed over time.

Methods are developed for enhancing participation, community development, strategic planning, “re-imaging” people through conversations, raising awareness, leading workshops, etc.

Not much writing on what results have been achieved so far. Some people are encouraged by the conversations they have participated in.

A great deal of writing about results—project descriptions, evaluations of projects for funding agencies (e.g., effects on employment, average incomes, education, health), stories and anecdotes.

Table 1.  Comparing the New Agoras Project with the Institute of Cultural Affairs












Team Syntegrity has also been used to develop long-term shared visions. (Espinosa, 2003)


Syntegration  & ELC s




Key-words und tags


Design Conversation: Future Building and Consciousness Evolving.- The Conversation Movement.- Design Communication: Systems, Service, Conspiracy, and Leadership.- The Power of Dialogue In Social Systems Design.- Searching Together: Approaches, Methods, and Tools.- Conversation: Creating A Living Metaphor.- Appreciative Inquiry as Conversation.- Rights and Responsibilities in Conversation Practice.- Transcultural Communications: Theory and Practice.- The Critical Role of Dialogue in Emancipatory Systems Design.- Dialogue and Designing our Future: Conversation as Culture Creating and Consciousness Evolving.- The Making of A New Culture: Learning Conversations and Design Conversations in Social Evolution.- The Cogniscope™: Lessons Learned in the Arena.- Narrative Story as Discourse in Systems Design.- Conversation as an Activity System: the Mediational Role of Discourse in Systems Design.- The North End Agora: Design Conversation at the Neighborhood Level.- Conversation as the Communication Method of Choice: Designing New Agoras for the 21st Century.- A Post-Formal Intervention Strategy: The Case of the Texas Educational Model.- The Experiences of Long-Term Practitioners of Bohm’s Dialogue.- Creating our Shared Future


Designing Social Systems In A Changing World by Bela H. Banathy: Book Cover

Designing Social Systems In A Changing World by Bela H. Banathy

  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
  • Pub. Date: September 2007






The Agora Project: the New Agoras of the twenty-first century

Patrick M. Jenlink 1 *, Bela H. Banathy 2

1Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas, USA
2International Systems Institute, Saybrook Graduate School, Carmel, California, USA

email: Patrick M. Jenlink (




This article, published in Systems Research and Behavioral Science in June 2003 is

dedicated to the memory of our beloved Bela H. Banathy. He was a father of the new

world view of conscious evolution, and serves countless social pioneers with his

wisdom, knowledge and kindness. He was for me a guide, teacher and friend. His loss

is felt throughout the whole community. He asked me to write this article, and acted as

its editor. David Loye has kindly asked me to put it on our website for

others to see. I have made a few minor changes in this text (which will not appear in

the published version) to bring it up to date, since it was written almost 2 years ago.

- Barbara Marx Hubbard, 9-16-03



Barbara Marx Hubbard

Foundation for Conscious Evolution

P.O. Box 4698

Santa Barbara, CA 93104





Dialogue for Conscious EvolutionDialogue for Conscious Evolution


C.West Churchman and Related Works Series


Volume 2


Wisdom, Knowledge, and Management


Springer New York






Wisdom, Knowledge, and Management
A Critique and Analysis of Churchman’s Systems Approach



John P. van Gigch

15. Dialogue for Conscious Evolution

Christakis A. N. 








A Technology of Democracy is needed to overcome the propensity toward Spreadthink,

Groupthink, and the "Erroneous Priorities Effect" and to facilitate meaningful group dialogue that

enhances the pursuit of community wisdom and power. This is the only way to realize the

promise of democracy.

New Agora:

New Geometry of Languaging


New Technology of Democracy: *

The Structured Design Dialogue Process 1


Vigdor Schreibman and Alexander N. Christakis

The Dream of Mary Parker Follett

Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933), the early 20th-century philosopher of

democracy was one of the first management scientists. She is now celebrated as

the "Prophet of Management."2 One of her most enduring observations was the

statement in her book, The New State (1918) (republished by Pennsylvania

State University, 1998), in which she confronted the difficulties of realizing the

fundamental goal of democracy: for the people to rule. "We now ask" Follett

exclaimed, "'How are they to rule?' It is the technique of democracy, which we

are seeking. We shall find it in group organization."

Follett was unable during her lifetime to realize her goal but the Technology of

Democracy produced in our own time would have made her very proud, and this

unique dream of creation should be shared as part of the legacy of Follett.











Home ~ Newsletter ~ Contacts

Samples from the November 1997 Newsletter










BILD !!!



How We Work

Authenticity Dialogue uses a step-by-step process that eases groups and

organizations into self-examination and change.

1. Dialogue to Authenticity — Getting ready to do the work

Introduction to The Principles of Authenticity

Discussion of The Principles of Authenticity

Group Ranking of The Principles of Authenticity

Relationships among The Principles of Authenticity

2. Organizational Dialogue Process

"Brainstorming" Organizational Issues and Problems

Discussing and Clarifying the Issues and Problems

Ranking the Issues and Problems

Relationships among the Issues and Problems

Clustering of the Issues and Problems

Readiness for Problem Solving

3. Defining and Solving Organizational Problems

Organizing the Issue/Problem Clusters

Defining Clear Problems to be Solved

Defining Problem Solution Strategies

Defining Problem Solving Motivators and Blocks

Defining Block Solution Strategies

Client Action Strategies

Current AuthenticityDialogue Designs

Customized Existing Designs

New Designs for Client

4. Action Planning

Collecting and Organizing all Strategies

Ranking All Strategies According to Order of Completion

Assignment or Delegation of Roles Among Organization Members

Deadlines and Steps to Completion

Results and Performance Expectations

Re-Working of Action Plans if Necessary

© Authenticity Dialogue is a business of Michael Silverman, Ed.D. and Alexander Christakis, Ph.D.

1006 Prospect Avenue, Melrose Park, PA 19027 Phone:

Michael Silverman E-mail -

Alexander Christakis E-mail -

Authenticity Dialogue Process

1 von 1 24.08.2009 14:39



Dialogue as a Means of Collective Communication Dialogue as a Means of Collective Communication

Banathy, Bela H.; Jenlink, Patrick M. (Eds.)

2004, 458 p., Hardcover

ISBN: 978-0-306-48689-0


7. My Dialogue with Dialogue
Maurice Friedman


9. Facilitating a Global Conversation through the Universal Demosophia Facility
Matthew Shapiro
10. Becoming Aware: A Dialogical Approach to Consciousness
Maurice Friedman
11. Doing and Talking: Two Sides of School
Alexander Sidorkin
12. Bohm's Notion of Dialogue: Examining the Philosophical Roots
Linda Ellinor
13. Carnival and Dialogue: Opening New Conversations
Alexander Sidorkin


15. Future Search Conversation
Karen Norum
16. Dialogue and Improvisation: Developing Capability for Highly Effective Conversations
Glenna Gerard
17. The Conditions for Thriving Conversations
Kathia Laszlo and Alexander Laszlo


18. A Community Round Table: An Experiment with Self-Organizing Conversation
Judith Bach
19. Conversation in the Corporate World
Diane Gayeski and Gordon Rowland
20. Conversation and the Development of Learning Communities
Kathryn Kinnucan-Welsch and Patrick M. Jenlink


21. Creating Future Societies: Reflections on Searching Together
Bela H. Banathy and Patrick M. Jenlink



Dialogue as a Collective Means of Design Conversation Dialogue as a Collective Means of Design Conversation

Jenlink, Patrick M.; Banathy, Bela H. (Eds.)

2008, XVI, 385 p. 13 illus., Hardcover

ISBN: 978-0-387-75842-8

Cover illustration by Doug Walton



The North End Agora: Design Conversation at the Neighborhood Level

Matthew A. Shapiro

Full TextPDF (275,3 KB)

 237-262 No access to content


Conversation as the Communication Method of Choice: Designing New Agoras for the 21st Century

Douglas C. Walton and Halim Dunsky


The Experiences of Long-Term Practitioners of Bohm’s Dialogue

Mario Cayer

Full TextPDF (371,3 KB)





Complexity Management, Democracy and Social Consciousness: Challenges for an Evolutionary Learning Society

Complexity Management, Democracy and Social Consciousness: Challenges for an Evolutionary Learning Society

Systemic Practice and Action Research

Springer Netherlands

1094-429X (Print) 1573-9295 (Online)





What's New



Origins of the Institute

The Greeks created the agoras. The agora of Athens is the reputed birthplace of democracy. The idea of reviving participatory democracy based on the Greek agora was developed by Aleco Christakis, Bela H. Banathy, and others in the 1996 to 2000 Asilomar conversations of the International Systems Institute (ISI).

Bela H. Banathy later developed this concept in his book, Guided Evolution of Society: a Systems Perspective, Kluwer Academic, 2000. Since then Bela and members of ISI have established the Agora Project that promotes new agoras of the 21st century The Agora Project seeks "to reinvent the public sphere as an assemblage of 'New Agoras' that exist both face-to-face and in cyberspace." It provides a philosophy, a knowledge base, yearly conferences, and links to like-minded organizations. It is a catalyst for designing "evolutionary guidance systems" for families, neighborhoods, community groups, and organizations.

The Institute for 21st Century Agoras advances agoras for local, regional, national, and international arenas. Using Co-Laboratories of Democracy, it fosters mutual respect among diverse stakeholders, identifies the roots of complex situations, and generates consensual action plans out of diverse, individual thinking. In forums large and small, these co-laboratories lay the foundations for functioning agoras that can meet their local challenges and hook up with like-minded communities.

©2005 The Institute for 21st Century Agoras



Annual Board Meeting

The first annual board meeting of the Institute for 21st Century Agoras was held at Asilomar, California on November 2, 2002. Members present were: Aleco Christakis, David Loye, and Bela Antal Banathy. LaDonna Harris was absent. Also in attendance were Diane Conaway and Ken Bausch.

The board first amended the Bylaws with the wording urged by the IRS to wit:

Individuals on the governing body that are also employed by the Institute for 21st Century Agoras will:

· Be compensated in the capacity as a board member for justifiable expense related to meetings (mileage, etc.) only
· Remove himself/herself from the voting process when determining compensation, benefits, etc. in his or her capacity as an employee.
· Ensure that all compensation/salaries paid to any employee of the organization will be reasonable for the services rendered and comparable with other like exempt organizations

It voted Marie Kane onto the board and invited two other persons to join.
It approved our official gift policy statement.

The rest of the meeting was spent discussing our Corporate Records and our plans for the future.


ISI 2002

From November 1 - 6, members of the Institute and the Crete Coordinating Committee joined attendees at the annual conversations of the International Systems Institute. Working as Group F, they shared "stories from the arena" that exemplified active designing efforts, drawing from them inspiration and learning ways to improve our efforts. Of special interest to the Institute were the WebScope experiment that defined the purposes of Crete 2003. The whole process can be viewed on line at under the Pre-Conference Dialogue heading on the menu. The second discussed the generic formats for co-laboratories that are planned in different parts of the world and at Crete 2003.






Complexity Management, Democracy and Social Consciousness: Challenges for an Evolutionary Learning Society

Angela Espinosa1 Contact Information and Roger Harnden2 Contact Information

Keywords  Democracy - Evolutionary learning - Organisational cybernetics - Sustainability -New Agoras











Angela Espinosa

Scarborough Management Centre

Hull Business School 

University of Hull 

Filey Rd, Scarborough

YO11 3AZ

North Yorkshire, England, UK

Tel 01723-357260

Fax 01723-357119




Stuart Umpleby

The George Washington University

Washington, DC USA







September 17, 2005 







Published in Systems Research and Behavioural Science

January-February, 2007, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 15-26

An earlier version was prepared for the annual meeting of the

International Society for the Systems Sciences

Heraklion, Crete, Greece, July 7-11, 2003









Angela Espinosa                                           Stuart Umpleby

University of Hull                            The George Washington University

    Hull, UK                                                  Washington, DC, USA





The New Agoras Project is the result of the leadership of Bela H. Banathy in encouraging ideal-seeking conversations in many venues, including the Fuschl conversations held for several years in Fuschl, Austria, under the sponsorship of the International Federation for Systems Research.  In April 2002 one of the conversations in Fuschl was devoted to the New Agoras Project.  Doug Walton and Patricia Gill had participated in earlier meetings on the New Agoras Project and so led the conversation.  The co-authors of this paper were new to discussions of the New Agoras Project but were familiar with other similar efforts in several countries.  This paper is a reflection on the conversation that occurred in Fuschl.  It compares the New Agoras Project with the work of the Institute of Cultural Affairs and lists websites and other work that we believe are related to the intent of the New Agoras Project.


Keywords:  Agoras, evolutionary systems design, group facilitation, syntegration



The New Agoras Project


The New Agoras Project is a form of discursive organization proposed by Banathy (2000).  The International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR) Fuschl Conversation in 2002 afforded an opportunity for nurturing what is at times called a “steward agora.” A steward agora is one of three types of evolutionary design communities that are constituent elements of the New Agoras Project. Although steward agoras have occurred in other contexts, the Fuschl 2002 conversation provided an occasion for inquiry in a multicultural group.






Add: ICA Freak !!






ADD  JUDGE  19 –














I was recently asked to look back into when and how the thinking about a New Agora, a new Agora for the 21st Century "evolved". This seems necessary as different streams of community development, conscious evolution, planning, systems thinking, model theory, dialog and deliberations, governace, .... came together at that time and it might make sense to confront the dimensions needed for a New Agora.


After the website discontinued in its original format it seems appropriate to revisit milestone and recommend positive new developments and trends.


First I remember was talking with Bela Banathy in Asilomar about the need for new community development and new commons. I had presented

"New Voices / New Spaces" - to know - to connect - to transcend

and he immediately added "to create" in order to follow the circle not only from the "cradle to grave" of ideas, but to start new co-creative circles of conscious evolution.


This was in 1997, a difficult time for him, as his wife had just died. He very much liked my papers on interacting along and across scales, linking not only from the individual and local, regional and global, but across issues, themes, and languages. I introduced him to the concept of glocal we had developed by searching for a word for something concrete, the dimension across magnitudes. See Wikipedia.


My concern at that time was a Humane Information Society and Dialogue and Democracy for the Information Age, and as we had many people we both knew and liked, I had arrived with Barbary Vogl and we spoke about Barbara Marx-Hubbard, he promised to look into this approach to bridge in a tangible way mindsets. (I had called this new shared continuum or negotiation space borderland at that time).

I knew him as the mover behind the Fuschl Conversations - so we agreed to follow up next time close to Salzburg. Unfortunately he did not manage to come to Fuschl again but had forwarded my report on the Bohm Dialogues in Ljubljana and my Summary of the <a href=" ">Asilomar exercise</a> to the Fuschl team which asked me for permission and a more complete version for the IFSR Newsletter which was published a year later.


Agora, Covenant, governance, scales, proportions, consequences, civil society, conscious evolution, democracy, discourse, evolutionary guidance systems, New Agoras, public sphere, societal evolution





Bibliography of other Co-Intelligence-Related Literature
(not available from the Co-Intelligence Institute)

Methods to nurture collective intelligence
Holism, the new sciences and cultural transformation
Democracy and the new activism
New economics
Approaches to multi-modal intelligence and personality diversity


The Change Handbook: Group Methods for Shaping the Future, edited by Peggy Holman and Tom Devane (Berrett-Koehler, 1999). Describes 18 different approaches, including dialogue, future search, open space, appreciative inquiry and participative design, in doable detail -- with thoughts on the future and a unique matrix chart comparing all the methods described.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter Senge (Doubleday Currency, 1990). This book introduced the world to the idea of an organization that can learn. It was followed by the The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, by Senge, et. al. (Doubleday Currency, 1994), jam-packed with strategies, tools and exercises to help us build such organizations.
Future Search, by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff (Berrett-Koehler, 1995). A how-to book for finding common ground and co-creating the future of organizations and communities -
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Compassion, by Marshall B. Rosenberg (PuddleDancer Press, 1999) - Good for interpersonal communication and thinking about human needs.
Open Space Technology, by Harrison Owen (Berrett-Koehler, 1997). The how-to manual for one of the simplest, most powerful self-organized collective processes we have.
Facilitators Guide to Participatory Decision-Making, by Sam Kaner, et al. (New Society, 1996). A detailed guide to facilitated consensus process, organized so pieces can be copied and used by the group.
Dialogue: Rediscovering the Transforming Power of Conversation, by Linda Ellinor and Glenna Gerard (J. Wiley and Sons, 1998).
The Joy of Conversation, by Jaida N'ha Sandra (Utne, 1997). The Utne Reader-sponsored guide to co-creative salons of all types. Excellent writeups on study circles, listening circles, etc. -
Study Circles, by Len Oliver (Seven Locks, 1987). The history and practice of small-group, democratic, adult education and social learning.
Calling the Circle: The First and Future Culture, by Christina Baldwin (Bantam 1998). A spiritual approach to talking/listening circles. .
The Leader as Martial Artist, by Arnold Mindell (HarperSF, 1992). The Aikido of conflict resolution, relationship and change.
Confessions of Empowering Organizations, by Redburn, Ray, et al. (Association for Quality and Participation, 1991). 92 case studies of partnership and empowerment, self-managed work crews, self-directed reorganizations -- with names and phone numbers.
Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher and Willima Ury (Penguin, 1981). The classic introduction to principled negotiation. (See review of Roger Fisher's books by Rowan Smith and William Ury's GETTING TO PEACE.)

go to top of bibliography->


Complexity, by M. Waldrop (Simon & Schuster, 1992). This book opened my eyes to the way nature generates totally new phenomena through the co-evolution of complex synergies.
Leadership and the New Science, by Margaret Wheatley (Berrett-Koelher, 1999). How to relate to organizations as natural systems.
Seven Life Lessons of Chaos: Timeless Wisdom from the Science of Change, by John Briggs and David Peat (HarperCollins, 1999) - A brief layman's introduction to chaos theory and how it applies to life.
The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems, by Fritjof Capra (Doubleday, 1996). Our favorite all-around introduction to the new sciences.
Seeing Nature: Deliberate encounters with the visible world, by Paul Krapfel (Chelsea Green, 1999) - Engaging examples of nature dancing entropy into life, and how we humans can join that dance.
The Aquarian Conspiracy, by Marilyn Ferguson (Tarcher,1980). The book on the holistic "new paradigm" revolution which laid the groundwork for co-intelligence.
Necessary Wisdom, by Charles Johnston (ICD Press, POB 85631, Seattle, WA 98145; 1991). The dance of opposites into creative co-evolution; building living bridges between us, where we come alive together.
Transforming Human Culture, by Jay Earley (SUNY, 1997). Tracking the evolution of integral culture from prehistory into the 21st Century.
Reworking Success, by Robert Theobald (New Society, 1997). An accessible re-examination of how to make communities and societies work better in the 21st Century.
New World, New Mind, by Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich (Touchstone, 1989). One of the biggest obstacles to social change is that our human nervous system, wired for life in nature, leaves us unable to directly perceive and respond to the many "invisible" threats generated by civilization.

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The New State by Mary Parker Follett. This 1918 classic explains the first vision of holistic democracy and has a greater density of quotable material on this subject than anything we know of. Follett coined the term "power-with." It is available in full online.
Society's Breakthrough: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People by Jim Rough (1stBooks, 2002). The creator of Dynamic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council weaves them into an innovative political vision that could make a real difference.
Heart Politics, by Fran Peavey (New Society, 1986). One of the most creative inquiries into what it means to live a life trying to change things for the better, sensitive to the interconnectedness, mystery, beauty and quirkiness of life.
The Quickening of America, by Frances Moore Lappé and Paul Du Bois (Jossey-Bass, 1994). Powerful examples and new theory about how Americans are "doing democracy."
Democracy and Technology, by Richard Sclove (Guilford, 1995). Shows how technologies support and undermine democracy, and asks: "What role should democracy have in the development of technology?"
The Double Helix: Technology and Democracy in the American Future by E. Wenk (Ablex,1999). Describes the threats to democracy from technological innovation, focusing on those that require a political rather than technological solution.
Resource Manual for a Living Revolution, by Virginia Coover, Ellen Deacon, Charles Esser, and Christopher Moore (New Society Press, 1978) - Vision, analysis and practices from the Movement for a New Society who brought consensus and affinity groups broadly into activist movements.
A House Divided: Six Belief Systems Struggling for America's Soul, by Mark Gerzon (Tarcher/Putnam 1996). The divisions in America and how a new brand of patriots are trying to bridge those chasms.

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The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism, by David C. Korten (Berrett-Koehler, 1999). A vision to move beyond corporatism to "eliminate the economic pathology that plagues us and create truly democratic, market-based, life-centered societies."
The Ecology of Commerce, by Paul Hawken (HarperBusiness, 1993). How an economy would work that fully collaborated with nature.
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, by Paul Hawken, L. Hunter Lovins, Amory Lovins (Back Bay Books, Oct 2000) - More about a nature-based economy, including powerful technical developments.
Who's Counting: Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies, and Global Economics - A very moving film about the measurables and immeasurables in our lives, and how economic measurements and policies affect them.
Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators, edited by Hazel Henderson, Jon Lickerman, and Patrice Flynn. Here are detailed, sensible ways to measure a dozen diverse aspects of our national well-being, so we as citizens can tell if things are getting better or worse, and take action.

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Creating Community Anywhere, by Carolyn Shaffer and Kristin Anundsen (Tarcher/Perigree, 1993). "The most comprehensive book I know of about the community movement." -- M. Scott Peck. Building community with friends, family, support groups, neighborhoods, co-workers, cyber-companions, shared households and visionary communities. Excellent guidance on conflict, decision-making, celebrations, communication and dealing with community evolution and "shadow side."
Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets, by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight (Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, 1993; $15 from ACTA Publications [800] 397-2282)
The Spirit of Community: The Reinvention of American Society, by Amitai Etzioni (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 1993). The kick-off of the communitarian movement.
Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life, by Robert N. Bellah, et al (U of California, 1985). A breakthrough classic on the nature of American community.
A Different Drum by N. Scott Peck. Tells us what needs to happen for us to feel like we're in community.
The Power in our Hands: Neighborhood-Based World Shaking, by Tony Gibson (Jon Carpenter, UK,1996). How-tos and stories for those who want to make a creative difference in their communities.
Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age, by Michael H. Shuman (The Free Press, 1998). The title says it.
Self-Reliant Cities, by David Morris (Sierra Club Books,1982). The classic visionary text on the relationships of American cities to energy. This and many other books on that topic can be found at

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Who Do You Think You Are? by Keith Harary and Eileen Donahue. (HarperSF, 1994). How to use The Berkeley Personality Profile, which explores human differences without "typing" people.
The Three Faces of Mind by Elaine de Beauport (Quest, 1996). An integrated theory of multi-modal intelligence based on the functions of the three parts of the human brain.
Frames of Mind by Howard Gardner (Basic Books, 1993). The first fully-researched theory of multiple intelligences that opened the door to expanded views of intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (Bantam, 1995). How we deal with our (and others') emotions can be a greater indicator of success than our IQ. A direct and successful challenge to the "cult of IQ."
The HeartMath Solution by Doc Childre and Howard Martin (HarperSF, 1999). Scientific evidence of the intuitive problem-solving capacity of the heart, and how to access it.
Seven Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Many Intelligences by Thomas Armstrong (Plume, 1993). An accessible, useful popularization of Howard Gardner's ideas.
Personality Types: Using the Enneagram for Self-Discovery by Don Richard Riso (Houghton Mifflin, 1987). An introduction to one of the most popular personality typing systems.
LifeTypes by Sandra Hirsch and Jean Kummerow (Warner, 1989). A popularization of the widely-used Myers-Briggs system of typing based on Carl Jung's analysis of personality.




Dialogue - structured dialogue - social systems - designing - CogniScope - democracy - Information Age - globalization - stakeholders - design arena






By comparing the NAP with an existing agora-like organisation, the ICA, we discovered important aspects that experience shows are relevant in using systemic tools for supporting evolutionary communities. Clearly, the systems and cybernetics community can offer multiple approaches and tools to support democratic decision-making and community development in agreed directions. The implementation of actions is more complex than the formulation of plans or visions, as the ICA experience shows. Other agora-like organisations also provide instruction, for example the UN Global Compact or the Co-intelligence Institute.


A crucial difference between the current vision and strategies of NAP and examples like those mentioned is that while NAP has been an intellectual exercise for academics, the ICA seeks to improve the quality of life in poor communities by encouraging and enabling people to be more involved with their communities. ICA therefore faces more complex challenges by supporting actual communities rather than discussion groups. We can consider ICA’s model villages as evolutionary learning communities or viable systems.  Each way of seeing them brings new tools to support the design and implementation of improvements. Furthermore, the Critical Systems Approach offers tools for making informed choices about the systemic tools required to support each stage of development of an agora. A good example of the application of this approach to support agora-like organizations is the work of Moreno and Cardenas (2003).


To advance to the next step, the NAP may decide to support both design and implementation of agoras, integrating knowledge and experiences by using tools that have proven to be useful in similar situations.  Still missing are explicit steps toward development of the required communities of knowledge and their assembly into a network with adequate support. Identifying academics and practitioners who are willing to be members of this community and identifying a set of useful tools would make NAP capable to support evolutionary learning communities.





The New Agoras Project (NAP) is an idea that may prove to be a very significant development within the system sciences.  NAP has increased discussion within the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) of group facilitation methods and how they can be used both to improve society and to connect the systems sciences to practice. However, currently there seems to be a gap within NAP between goals and actions.  Although the intent is to involve many people in many countries in discussions of ideal future worlds, so far most of the conversations have been among academics in the US and Europe.  The work that has been done on NAP has been thought provoking for those involved.  But the absence of a plan to reach out beyond the academic community raises questions about the stated purpose.  The gap between vision and action seems particularly wide when NAP is compared with ICA, which has conducted participatory planning meetings in thousands of communities and organizations around the world.  To prevent confusion or disillusionment, perhaps either the vision or the strategy needs to be modified.


Clearly NAP needs to develop its vision as a supportive network for evolutionary communities, offering knowledge and information on systemic approaches for designing and implementing projects.  It also needs to network with other agora-like organisations and steward groups. NAP needs a clear statement in its mission to “create a community that collects and promotes the experiences of existing communities and organizations that have been successful in developing participative dialogue for achieving meaningful and valuable results and progress toward a better society.”  In practice, this means:


  • Developing in parallel both the steward community and the agoras;
  • Emphasizing a “learning by doing” approach for agora-like organizations;
  • Including other systemic methodologies for enhancing participation, community development, strategic planning, “re-imaging” people through conversations, raising awareness, leading workshops, etc.;
  • Supporting the use of participation methods to generate agreements on community improvements and implementation schedules;
  • Continuing to develop the NAP network and knowledge base through the Internet, as well as holding occasional face-to-face meetings.


The NAP may refocus its strategy towards becoming a steward system that organizes and makes available information and knowledge on issues that experience shows to be of value for developing agora-like organizations.  For improved performance, particularly in the first stages of development, it might be helpful to focus NAP on a strategic sector. For example, NAP might decide to acknowledge its base among educators and choose to focus on developing the global network of universities as a foundation for community improvement (Umpleby and Shandruk, 2003).

We expect that the existing members of the NAP will carry on developing its purposes and consolidating its resources for converting NAP into a formal research project with the necessary support for developing the steward community and the knowledge repository. If this work continues, in the medium term there will be a Steward Community producing the expected services through the Internet and occasional workshops and meetings and communities of practice learning and reporting on their experiences as evolutionary communities and the usefulness of particular tools.





We want to thank the members of the New Agoras team at the April 2002 Fuschl Conversation held in Fuschl, Austria.  They were Mieczyslaw Bazewicz, Peggy Gill, Farah Lenser and Doug Walton.  Special thanks go to Doug Walton and Peggy Gill for leading the conversation.  We also want to thank the International Federation for Systems Research for funding the conference and Gerhard Chroust and Christian Hofer for organizing it.





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To Bela


Our world is a better place because Bela was with us.  He touched our souls with his intellect and his human warmth.  He inspired us with his passion, commitment and dedication to a better world.  Bela was the embodiment of “systems thinking” as a spiritual and humanistic way of being and becoming, an ongoing conscious and creative inquiry about transformation and transcendence.


His vision and wisdom are the foundation of our own work.  He helped us to discover our calling and envision our future.  He taught us how to design the social systems – our family and our organization – where we could live our dream.  He guided us to develop our evolutionary consciousness, and in so doing with us and others, he created a path for conscious evolution.


He showed us, through example, how to live a healthy, meaningful, and fulfilling life while serving humanity, working for the greater good, and stewarding our socio-cultural evolution.


His work will continue on through the work of many of us — the communities that he inspired, nurtured, and empowered.


We feel very fortunate to have been the recipients of so many of his gifts.  He is our mentor, our model.  We will miss him.  And he will continue to live in our hearts and minds, and to be felt through our actions and creations.



Kathia & Alexander Laszlo

September 2003


[Picture: withBela.jpj]


structures of meaning

Anthony Blake

305 pages, with illustrations; including glossary, bibliographic references, name and subject indices
£15 (UK) $30 (USA)
DuVersity Publications

order from Karen Stefano


European Journal of Operational Research 187 (2008) 636–651



Interfaces with Other Disciplines

A complexity approach to sustainability – Stafford Beer revisited

A. Espinosa *, R. Harnden, J. Walker

Hull University Business School, Scarborough Management Centre, Filey Rd, Scarborough,

North Yorkshire YO11 3AZ, United Kingdom

Received 17 February 2006; accepted 30 March 2007

Available online 19 April 2007


There is wide acceptance of the need for a more holistic approach to sustainability. However, practical solutions remain

elusive and tend to exhibit underlying conflicts between different paradigms and their associated methodologies. This paper

argues the need to wield analytical tools that themselves embody the principles of systemic, ecological thinking. We present

here a theoretical framework based on complexity science – focused on organisational and second order cybernetics – that

highlights our understanding of the concept of sustainability. The paper goes on to reflect upon how current practice would

benefit from such an approach.

_ 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: (P) OR in societal problem analysis; (S) Complexity theory; (P) Organization theory; Sustainability; Cybernetics; Second order

cybernetics; Environmental management; Systems thinking; Viable system model

1. Why sustainability needs a holistic approach




Journal of the Operational Research Society (2006), 1--9 2006 Operational Research Society Ltd. All rights reserved. 0160-5682/06 $30.00

Team syntegrity and democratic group decision

making: theory and practice

A Espinosa1 and R Harnden2

1Hull University Business School, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK; and 2Nascent Form Ltd., Liverpool, UK

Stafford Beer created Team Syntegrity as a methodology for social interaction that predisposes participants

towards shared agreement among varied and sometimes conflicting interests, without compromising the legitimate

claims and integrity of those interests. This paper outlines the methodology and the underlying philosophy,

describing several applications in a variety of countries and contexts, indicating why such an approach

causes us to re-think more traditional approaches to group decision processes, and relating Team Syntegrity

to other systems approaches.

Journal of the Operational Research Society advance online publication, 19 July 2006


Keywords: OR/problem structuring; systems thinking; democratic group decisions; cybernetics; Team Syntegrity

Team Syntegrity: a tool to support democratic group

decision making







October 1997


This paper builds on the first two chapters of my Ph.D. thesis titled Ecological Footprint and Appropriated Carrying Capacity: A Tool for Planning Toward Sustainability which I completed at the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning in 1994. Special thanks to my academic advisor and "Doktorvater" Bill Rees as well as my Ph.D. committee members Peter Boothroyd, Tom Hutton (all three from the School of Community and Regional Planning) and Bob Woollard (from the Department of Family Practice). In addition, I was generously supported by the UBC Task Force on Healthy and Sustainable Communities, namely by its coordinator Janette McIntosh and by its academic members, Peter Boothroyd, Larry Green, Clyde Hertzman, Judy Lynam, Sharon Manson-Singer, Bill Rees, Bob Woollard, and more recently Alec Ostry and Mike Carr who all stimulated and encouraged my research.

Collective mass com GALLAGHER  !&  Welf SChröter TÜTE re Foucault Tübingen PRO CONs