Systems & Structures

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Systems and Structures are all around us -- and they are always impacting us. Can we start to see this relationship more clearly?

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Systems & Structures All Around Us - Presentation with text

It seems that sometimes ---- to provide the fertile ground for self-organization to grow, we need to be fiercely controlling!

Links related to these Systems & Structures concepts

I, Pencil by Leonard Reed - A self-organizing system is behind the production of things, even something as "simple" as a pencil.

Lifecycle of Emergence: Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale - Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze describe how social change really happens -- through networks and emergence.

A Neat Inversion by Charles Eisenstein - Is the individual or the system more important?

Why Black Market Entrepreneurs Matter to the World Economy by Robert Capps - This seems to be a self-organizing system of companies in the shadow economy.

The Tyranny of Structurelessness - Jo Freeman examines the concept of structurelessness. Although self-organizing systems are often seen as being strutureless, they are not!
- This quote from the article speaks to the key objection that I hear about adopting self-organizing systems. It's thought that a self-organizing system will allow "the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others." Here is the complete quote

"This means that to strive for a structureless group is as useful, and as

deceptive, as to aim at an "objective" news story, "value-free" social

science, or a "free" economy. A "laissez faire" group is about as realistic as

a "laissez faire" society; the idea becomes a smokescreen for the strong or

the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others. This hegemony

can be so easily established because the idea of "structurelessness" does

not prevent the formation of informal structures, only formal ones. Similarly

"laissez faire" philosophy did not prevent the economically powerful from

establishing control over wages, prices, and distribution of goods; it only

prevented the government from doing so. Thus structurelessness becomes

a way of masking power,"

Bruce Lipton speaks about "The Rise of the Butterfly" as it parallels our planetary evolution.

Rebecca Adamson: Indigenous Perspectives on Sustainability & Business - a Cherokee leader and economist who challenges global corporations to respect indigenous culture & prioritize sustainability.

The MetaCurrency Myth by Arthur Brock -- A story told from the future about how we are now and how we are making the transition to a new way of being -- moving from money to a larger view of currency. 

Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari -- Excerpt from Chapter 5, pages 78-79:
 "Scholars once proclaimed that the agricultural revolution was a great leap forward for humanity. They told a tale of progress fuelled by human brain power. Evolution gradually produced ever more intelligent people. Eventually, people were so smart that they were able to decipher nature’s secrets, enabling them to tame sheep and cultivate wheat. As soon as this happened, they cheerfully abandoned the grueling, dangerous, and often spartan life of hunter-gatherers, settling down to enjoy the pleasant, satiated life of farmers.
That tale is a fantasy. There is no evidence that people became more intelligent with time. Foragers knew the secrets of nature long before the Agricultural Revolution, since their survival depended on an intimate knowledge of the animals they hunted and the plants they gathered. Rather than heralding a new era of easy living, the Agricultural Revolution left farmers with lives generally more difficult and less satisfying than those of foragers. Hunter-gatherers spent their time in more stimulating and varied ways, and were less in danger of starvation and disease. The Agricultural Revolution certainly enlarged the sum total of food at the disposal of humankind, but the extra food did not translate into a better diet or more leisure. Rather, it translated into population explosions and pampered elites. The average farmer worked harder than the average forager, and got a worse diet in return. The Agricultural Revolution was history’s biggest fraud.
Similarly, we now believe that by making the corporation, and other large organizations, more efficient, our lives will become easier. I remember, that many decades ago, we were promised much shorter work weeks because of all the efficiencies. In addition, we were told that tools such as washing machines and computers would make our lives easier. But, in spite of these predictions, our lives have become more busy and more stressful.......
Pamela Schreiner,
Jan 19, 2016, 9:18 PM
Pamela Schreiner,
Jan 19, 2016, 9:18 PM