Challenges to Comprehension Implied by the Logo
of Laetus in Praesens
University of Earth

1980

University of Earth: Meta-organization for Post-Crisis Action

ANNEX 5: RESEARCH INITIATIVE SUMMARIES

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See Document overview. [See also website for University of Earth (2007)]



Initiatives 1-50

1. Process initiative 

  Processes are explored to find ways of describing and comprehending essentially dynamic conditions in which the observer is a participant. Special attention is given to ways of detecting new psycho-social processes and the invariants to which they give rise - especially in the case of dysfunctional processes. An important concern is with the emergence and recognition of higher order processes, whether of greatermaturity/complexity or of greater malignancy/destructiveness. Processes currently being explored as illustrative examples include: developmental, metabolic, environmental, educational, manufacturing, evolutionary, socio-political. 

2. Change comprehension initiative 

  Investigates ways in which psycho-social change (in contrast to continuing processes) can be understood, especially by those participating in it. Deliberate efforts are made to move beyond the characteristic limitations of the "observer" and excessive confidence in "explanation". Enduring change is recognized as a fundamental and essentially mysterious challenge to comprehension. 

3. Energy configuration initiative 

  This initiative explores the extent to which self-reliance in psycho-social systems is based on different and essentially incompatible energies working in some kind of energy configuration. The degree of self-reliance is then dependent on exceeding a threshold or critical mass condition so that energies "fit" into a pattern. The question is what kinds of energies are possible or necessary in what kinds of configuration. Attention is also being given to energy cycles as configurations manifesting over time. 


4. Change failure initiative

This initiative examines any internal factors contributing to the failure of social change programmes. The sub-initiatives below illustrate some of the major concerns. 

5. Policy innovation monitoring initiatives 

  This initiative investigates ongoing and past initiatives which bring together key resource people from different disciplines, ideologies and cultures to formulate desirable new socio-economic development policies. The research focuses on hidden, and often unmentionable, factors which restrict the value of such initiatives and limit their cumulative impact. Efforts are made to draw conclusions to guide the structure and processes of future "councils of the wise". 

6. Credibility initiatives

  This initiative investigates increases and decreases in credibility, both within small groups and in the individual's relation to large institutions. Current concern is with the number of levels or intermediaries possible between the individual and an institutional figurehead before the possibilities of unconfirmable abuse make the latter's pronouncements suspect. The programme is exploring the consequences for social organization of such constraints, and the value, in the case of large institutions, of reversing the traditional legal principle of "innocent until proven guilty". 

7. Recommendation rejection 

  Examines the ways in which recommendations for change are effectively rejected or ignored. Associated questions of whether and how adequate recommendations can be formulated are explored together with the problem of locating an appropriate body to whom they can be addressed with any hope of effective action. A large collection of significant international recommendations has been built up in a machine-readable form to assist these investigations. 

8. Implementation inadequacy 

  Explores the discrepancy between action programmes as publicized and the actual dimension of the problems to which they are supposed to respond. One aim is to clarify the extent of institutional complicity in concealing the dimensions of the problem and the ineffectual nature of any programmes. The main concern is to determine the conditions a programme must meet to come to grips with complex psycho-social problems. 

9. Illegitimacy of innovation 

  Explores the extent to which significant psycho-social development in present day society is only possible through essentially illegitimate processes (e.g. strikes, paradigm shifts, etc.). The concern is to determine whether and how significant innovative breakthroughs can mesh with existing structures and procedures or how the necessary disruptive challenge can be better received. 

10. Problem/Remedy misconception 

  In formulating programmes for psycho-social change, both the nature of the problem and the remedy required are frequently misunderstood. How this occurs and how it can be avoided are investigated. Of special concern is the projection of unresolved issues from previous programmes onto the conception of any new programme. A special "corner greengrocer" project investigates the advantages and disadvantages of "rationalizing" programmes in major centralized programmes which "eliminate duplication". 

11. Transitions and metamorphoses initiative 

  Explores the nature of those essentially discontinuous changes in psycho-social organization which are perceived as breakthroughs by those involved. Concerns range from project "take off", through meeting stages, to changes of consciousness and initiations. 

12. New frontiers initiative 

  Recognizing the importance of the kind of challenge associated with the pioneering spirit and new frontiers, this programme identifies such frontiers and the manner in which they can be reached. The concern is mainly with the new psycho-social frontiers already emerging or which can be foreseen with the changing nature of boundaries in society. The programme seeks ways of rendering such frontiers credible as zones of activity and a locus for lifestyles. 

13. Empowering initiative 

  In contrast to the conventional concern with organizing projects for the benefit of people, or supplying them with artifacts, this programme explores ways of enabling people to elaborate their own projects. The focus is therefore on catalysts for psycho-social change, how they are to be conceived and designed, and how they can be made available. This includes a general concern with psycho-social "blueprints" or do-it-yourself "kits", and with facilitation in all its aspects. Empowering is viewed as a response to the increasing sense of impotence felt by individuals. 

14. Reconceptualization initiative 

  Many sets of concepts, values, problems or conditions of considerable importance to the understanding of psycho-social processes are currently described in terms of essentially limited elements. This programme explores various possibilities of reconceptualization. 

15. Dynamizing initiative 

  Techniques of converting static sets of concepts into dynamic sets ("dyets") and elaborating rules for doing so are explored within relevant constraints. This includes useful ways of substituting verbs for nouns and other descriptors which reinforce a static concept of society. 

16. Generalization initiative 

  Ways are explored for taking any concept applied to a limited domain and generalizing its relevance to a wider domain whilst clarifying the necessary constraints on significance. 

17. Structural initiative 

  Explores new levels of significance resulting from the modification of the many concepts based on simple structural concepts (line, plane, circle, etc.) to new concepts based on an extrapolation of any such structural series (e.g. to cube, sphere, etc.). 

18. De-anthropomorphization initiative 

  Explores the implications and problems of generalizing the many concepts centred on the human being to apply to other animals and to hypothetical extra-terrestrial beings. 

19. Impotence initiative

  Concerned with the pathology of collective impotence, namely individual and collective inability to respond effectively to dramatic problem complexes or to conceive viable strategies or new forms of organization as a result of interacting with them. The programme is primarily concerned with paralysis of the will to act when the dimensions of the problems (e.g. evidence of famine or genocide) have been fully unveiled and lack of information is no longer an excuse. 

20. Paralysis conspiracies initiative 

  Explores the various ways in which people engage, whether consciously or unconsciously, in processes to disguise their inability to act or recognize this apparent condition of collective paralysis. 

21. Subtle energies initiative 

  Ways are sought to give greater content and significance to use of "energy" in describing a group or its activity. These investigations are not limited to the general concept associated with "activity" but extend to cover the traditional Eastern concept of chi or ki energy. They also explore the implications of positive or negative energies such as hope, despair, inspiration, etc. The possibility that such subtle energies may usefully be detected as sets of complementary energies is also examined (e.g. 4 kinds of 4-type energies). 

22. Apathy initiative 

  Explores the nature of resignation and apathy as a psycho-social disease in both its individual and collective manifestations whether in hyper-civilized or in underprivileged conditions. A full range of possible remedies is under investigation. 

23. Dis-empowerment initiative 

  Concerned with any kind of context in which individuals or groups feel a sense of powerlessness. Explores de-energizing behaviour and countervailing energizing possibilities. The possibility of making creative use of dis-empowerment is also considered, since this is associated with a special kind of flexibility. 

24. Energy leakage initiative 

  The subtle "energy" associated with psycho-social activity within a group, an organization, a community, or a meeting, can easily "drain away" under certain conditions. This programme explores how a structure or process becomes vulnerable to energy drain and how this can be prevented. 

25. Channelling enthusiasm initiative 

  Enthusiasm and commitment are often generated by happenings without there being any process whereby they can be stored or maintained at optimum levels to energize processes over longer periods of time. This project explores ways of channelling and storing enthusiasm in order best to conserve such energies. 

26. Staleness initiative 

  Explores the ways in which initiatives come to appear stale and uninteresting. The aim is to clarify where such a perception is unavoidable, whether justified or not, and what can be done otherwise. 

27. Immediacy initiative 

  A sense of here-and-now immediacy is considered to be central to the initiation of transformation. The programme explores the dimensions of this awareness and how best it may be related to action and to the structures resulting from it. 

28. Choice initiative 

  This programme explores the problems of individual choice (and the experience of choosing) in a society characterized by information overload and maldistribution. Whilst the ultimate concern is with the learning implications of selection of qualitative information in a data bank environment, the problems are currently researched in terms of individual selection of music, perfumes, garden plants, fabrics, fiction, entertainment, art, wines, holiday environments, and life-styles. In each case verbal or pictorial descriptions of the experience raises severe problems of communication in facilitating the individual's continuing quest for more congenial and significant experience, given the frustrating limitations of trial-and-error in an environment rich in experiential possibilities and able to catalyze the release of human potential and insight. 

29. Risk initiative 

  Explores the various ways in which risk is experienced whether as an unwelcome threat to security or as a positive challenge. The problems of the avoidance of risk are considered as well as its "illegality" in many contemporary situations. The relationships to death, renewal, initiation and sacrifice are also examined. The intention is to clarify a creative stance in response to risk, especially collective risk. 

30. Will-to-change initiative 

  Explores the manifestation of will whether in personal decision-making, risky initiatives, habit breaking, martial arts and in relation to death. The aim is to discover points relevant to the collective will-to-change. 

31. Leadership initiative 

  Explores those dimensions of leadership which are relevant to innovative constructive change in confused situations where refinement of values is necessary. Emphasis is on catalyzing the action of conscious groups characterized by very strong differences of opinion. 

32. Statesmanship 

  Concentrates on the factors making for initiatives above and beyond narrow or short-term interests. 

33. Entrepreneurship 

  Explores ways of assisting people to understand the special skills of entrepreneurship with regard to risk-taking, strategy refinement and tactics, especially as a gestalt, "gut" approach to any situation. One part of the programme is concerned with making this experience widely accessible in a society characterized by unemployment. The other part is concerned with adapting it to constructive innovation where personal self-interest is not the prime concern. 

34. Initiative 

  Focuses on the nature of initiative and how it may be encouraged, especially in relation to constructive collective transformation. The emphasis is on initiative as a dynamic, experiential process which entrains other processes in a new manner. The programme is particularly concerned with initiative traps and dampers and how they may be circumvented. 

35. Enrichment tools initiative 

  Develops a range of tools to be used to enrich the approach to any particular psycho-social domain. These tools include: generalization techniques, dynamizing techniques, projection onto more complex mapping structures, projection onto more dynamic substrates, exchanging variables or dimensions (e.g. space and time), reduction or extension of spatial or temporal scales. 

36. Prediction initiative 

  As a complement to the envisioning initiative, this initiative explores ways or predicting new attention foci such as: new subjects of study, new global problems, new areas of consciousness, new lifestyles, new values. Work is based largely on the enrichment tools and resources initiatives, and endeavours to locate gaps in the pattern of diversity in the light of insights from the functional emergence initiative. It is assumed that much may be accomplished by identifying such potential foci, even if they are not explored in detail. 

37. Functional emergence initiative 

  Explores the order in which psycho-social functions become explicit in society, especially in relation to the progressive increase in functional diversity which this implies. This functional articulation is studied in terms of such examples as: emergence of new occupations in communities of increasing size,emergence of new roles in groups of increasing size, emergence of new needs (including products and services) in societies of increasing levels of development, emergence of increasingly diverse modes of appreciation in cultures of increasing sophistication, emergence of new government ministries in countries of increasing administrative complexity. In each case the concern is with when a function is called into explicit activity and what this implies for the emergence of new ranges of functions in the future. 

38. Envisioning initiative 

  Explores ways of using the informed imagination to clarify directions for psycho-social change. The initiative develops visions or scenarios of the future which highlight unexplored destinations within present day attitudes, and behaviour. Current areas of investigation include visions of future: non-physical relationships between people, ranges of concepts of being human, perceptions of life opportunity, relationships to ideas and beliefs, relationships to organizations and how such bodies are perceived, perfect organizations, perfect meetings, perceptions of ignorance and human imperfections, relationships to non-humans (whether terrestrial or extra-terrestrial), relationships to past and future, relationships to the body of knowledge, education in an over-informed environment, visions of perfection or perfectibility, criteria for optimization or daily priority concerns, ecstasy and fear. 

39. Vision orchestration initiative 

  A major difficulty with encouraging people to envision their futures and act to bring them about is that of developing some way in which the harmony between very different futures can emerge. Avoiding this problem merely leads to the characteristic clashes between advocates of competing visions. The initiative explores ways of orchestrating visions conceived as different instruments contributing to a symphony greater in scope than that possibly for any particular instrument. The focus is on how competing visions can contribute to harmonic chords and useful discords and the nature of the constraints on such harmony as well as the development of the concept of harmony in this context. 

40. Salvage initiative 

  Operates on the assumption that each discipline generates artifacts in a manner relevant to its own narrow ends, but that these artifacts frequently have great, unrecognized value when their significance is adapted to a wider psycho-social context. The initiative explores techniques for recovering such value and making it more widely accessible. It is an exercise in "recycling concepts", including those which may be considered out-dated or which are rejected as defective. The initiative currently encompasses the following areas: literature, history of ideas, pre-modern technology, theology, art, martial arts, art. 

41. Literature salvage data bank 

  Contains information on a wide variety of insights associated with individual characters, attitudes, scenarios, concepts, lifestyles, transformations, etc. in the world's classical and contemporary literature. The premise is that over the centuries considerable creative insight and energy has been devoted to the elaboration of these works which despite the rich variety of models they provide, are often inaccessible to the technically educated. Entries therefore stress the essential psycho-social significance of the selected perspectives without elaborating in any detail on the work as a whole (to which bibliographical references are supplied). Efforts are directed towards ways of interrelating the entries to provide useful learning pathways through the insights and to facilitate access to particular insights when specific models are sought. 
42. Change agent recording initiative 

This initiative makes or collects recorded interviews with self-motivated change agents at different stages in their careers. The premise is that such individuals marshall and apply their psychic resources in unique ways, learn rapidly, and are significantly affected by the consequences of their chosen strategies. As a result others can learn from the evolution of these strategies through the course of the change agents successive challenges. Of special interest are the insights which cause many such individuals at a critical stage to abandon further effort in favour of private life. The initiative seeks to analyze the factors underlying self-motivation, the strategic traps, transition points, and the possibilities for breakthrough to more fruitful strategies. 

43. Resources initiative 

  This initiative collects information on every kind of living or non-material resource. The intention is to establish the extent of the resources active, or potentially active, in global society. Collection of information focuses as much on resources which are widely accepted as those whose significance is difficult to determine. By including the latter, it is hoped that their relevance to psycho-social organization can be demonstrated more easily if the need arises. The programme at present includes: disciplines, beliefs and values, stereotypes and cultural species, occupations and roles, species of organization, animal and plant species, patterns, concepts, proverbs and sayings, lifestyles and styles of behaviour, styles of decor, varieties of sensation (odours, colours, textures, tastes, sounds), experiences, states of consciousness.  An emphasis is placed on classifying such resources in such a way as to suggest the existence of undetected varieties and new combinations of characteristics. 

44. Diversity initiative 

  Using the information collected by the resources initiative, the nature of diversity is explored. The intent is to discover techniques to demonstrate the importance of diversity in psycho-social organization, especially in the case of non-material resources. Of particular interest is the manner in which diversity is spontaneously self-organizing and self-managing, rather than chaotic, and as such then requires a minimum (rather than a maximum) of external organization and control. 

45. Relevance initiative 

  Using the information collected by the resources initiative, ways of clarifying the relevance of a particular non-material resource to its context are explored. The intention is to develop more sensitive ways of understanding the subtle contributions of different resources to the self-organization of highly diversified psycho-social organization. 

46. Resolution and implementation data bank 

  Used to file all resolutions and declarations formulated at international and key national meetings. Information on implementation and follow-up is also included. The premise is that such conceptual constructs are the focus of much effort and considered major achievements at the international level, and that much may therefore be learnt from the "resolution syndrome" and the avoidance of subsequent activity as a guide to collective response to future resolution-formulating opportunities. The data bank enables well-formed resolutions on any combination of topics to be accessed on demand. 
47. Conceptual scheme data bank 

Contains information on the concept structure used in well-formed articles from a wide range of disciplines or policy formulating settings. The premise is that the necessity to limit the number of concepts grouped within any scheme results in the inadvertent use of a fairly standard range of concept patterns which partially determine how the included concepts are comprehended. The schemes are ordered in the data bank in terms of the number of concepts in each set within the scheme. The information is used to compare similarly formed sets, to explore more complex patterns, and to predict their probable impact on concepts grouped by them. 
48. Language idiosyncracy data bank 

Contains information on a wide range of conceptual peculiarities associated with many language or groups of languages. The intent is to gather together striking examples of different ways in which very different languages categorize reality or associate phenomena that in other contexts are considered to be totally unrelated. Also collected here are concepts for which satisfactory terms are lacking. Efforts are being made to interrelate the data entries to draw attention to unrecognizedgaps in certain languages or to highlight areas of unrecognized conceptual richness in others, with the consequences of both for translation. 
49. Personality types data bank

Contains information on all distinguishable personality types. Major effort is directed towards registering relationships between personality types as well as networks of transition pathways between types. The data bank is extensively used in investigating complementary sets of personality types as a basis for the formation of richly variegated, and yet viable, organizations and communities. 


50. Language sound recording

Concerned with collecting and ordering the set of sounds (phoneme combinations) specially characteristic of each language in order to facilitate understanding of the qualities of each language and the drift in quality between them (e.g. "tion", "zzione", "cion" etc.) 

Initiatives 51-100

51. Constraint and opportunity data bank 

  Contains information on a wide range of "constraints" on useful action. Entries are based on factors from the natural and social sciences, as well as from traditional material such as fables, proverbs and sayings. Efforts are directed toward interrelating constraints into patterns so as to clarify the domain of relevance of each of them and the manner in which contrasting constraints complement each other. Investigation of these patterns is leading to the discovery of "windows" or opportunity pathways between the traps marked by the constraints. 


52. Concept set databank

   Contains information on concepts grouped into sets of concepts of differing numbers of elements. The intent is to register what concepts "fit" with what other complementary concepts, in sets of increasingly larger numbers of elements, and to observe any shift or drift in meaning as the set size changes. Particular attention is paid to locating "missing" concepts in sets of any size. The data is used as a guide to the elaboration of conceptual sets of any kind and to assist in testing them for completeness, especially insofar as it affects any implications for a viable programme of action. 


53. Resource strengths and weaknesses data bank

   Contains information on various kinds of psycho-social resources including: human values, ideologies, religions, philosophies, intellectual disciplines, etc. In each case the essential strengths are registered as elaborated by proponents, together with basic weaknesses in practice as perceived by concerned opponents. Efforts are directed toward interrelating the entries and the opposing or proposing schools of thought in order to clarify the complementarity between the resources and to explain and justify contrasting perceptions of them. The intent is to design better ways of combining these resources in practice. 


54. Species interrelationship data bank

  Contains information on all individual plant or animal species. The data bank is organized to evolve in response to data availability and funding. Where necessary information is minimal or grouped by order rather than at the individual species level. Major effort is directed towards registering relationships between species in food webs, possibly as determined by types of ecosystem. Cross-references are made to pollutant data banks to clarify pollutant pathways. Access to the data is facilitated by a variety of mapping techniques. 


55. Role data bank

   Contains information on specific human roles of all varieties. The data bank is organized to evolve in response to data availability and funding. Where necessary information is minimal or grouped by category or occupation rather than at the specific level of the role. Major emphasis is on less salient roles or those on the verge of disappearance. A major use of the data bank is in research on the design of lifestyles based on patterns of roles and in envisioning new roles. 


56. Organizational types data bank

   Contains information on all varieties of human groups and organizations as types (but citing examples). Major emphasis is on less salient types and those on the verge of disappearance. A major use of the data bank is in research on the design of societies based on patterns of organizations of complementary types and in envisioning new types. 


57. Cultural type data bank

   Contains information on all distinguishable cultural, ethnic and professional types, including national stereotypes. Because such information is highly conditioned by the culture from which the observation is made, it is filed in such a way as to reflectthis. Entries deliberately include exaggerated positive self-evaluation and highly prejudiced negative evaluations. Efforts are directed towards finding ways to interrelate and represent this information to demonstrate the necessity of the range of types and the manner in which they complement each other as well as to benefit from their perceived strengths and weaknesses. The data is being used to predict conflictual and compatible configurations of types and to discover ways of striking a stimulating balance between them. 


58. Meetings initiative

   Assumes that meetings are a key arena within which psycho-social change occurs but that they currently fail to respond to the expectations of participants. The initiative explores ways of maturing the reflective, focusing and transformative power of meetings, especially in the case of large groups. 

59. Operational checklists initiative 

  Collects and processes checklists of "do's and don'ts", wise sayings, religious injunctions, etc. The intention is to discover useful ways of consolidating and presenting this information as a guide to life strategy decisions. Of special concern is the amount and order in which such material can usefully be provided to avoid premature rejection and overload. Of special interest is the possibility of locating sets of such material on maps which a user slowly traverses, possibly retracing certain pathways and returning to some points from different directions. 

60. Subpersonalities initiative 

  Explores the dynamics whereby factions emerge in organizations and meetings, each articulating perspectives opposed to or in harmony with those of other factions. Such factions are usefully perceived as subpersonalities of the group as a whole and their interrelationship is the central challenge for the integration of the group. The work is related to that on functional emergence. 

61. Ecosystem design initiative 

  Explores ways in which it is possible and useful to add species to an environment in order to increase its maturity. Although this initiative devotes considerable attention to natural environments, this is mainly done in order to gain insight into possible approaches to psycho-social environments and their maturation. In both cases the emphasis is on ensuring the presence of a network of species which can interact to protect the maturity of the systems threatened with some form of erosion. 

62. New tracks initiative 

  Takes as point of departure the need to avoid the possibility that new initiatives will simply become locked into tracks whichhave already demonstrated their limitations. The emphasis is on the detection of activity tracks at a new energy level, especially tracts with balanced energy characteristics providing some guarantee of stability. 

63. Casting initiative 

  Explores the art of selecting and allocating people to roles in organizations and meetings. It is assumed that casting involves concerns which are a stage beyond the job-slot preoccupations of conventional personnel departments. The programme clarifies the dramatic and poetic dimensions which make for significant performance. Of special interest is the manner in which variety is built in, balanced, and guaranteed adequate expression. 

64. New responsibilities initiative 

  Explores emerging areas of explicit individual and group responsibility. Emphasis is on subtle responsibilities which are currently easily neglected or rejected as insignificant. 

65. New freedom initiative 

  Operating on the assumption that with the future evolution of society new freedoms will emerge as significant, this initiative explores ways of identifying such possible freedoms. Current areas of interest include freedom to define new: categories, relationships, lifestyles, forms of income generation, aesthetic guidelines, initiatives and lines of development. 

66. Computer software initiative 

  Develops software to handle and explore alternative patterns. Whenever possible versions of the packages suitable for use on small home computers are also developed. Work currently focuses on: classification assistance (with transitions between assistance schemes), storing thoughts and mapping their interrelationships (as an aid to the restructuring of patterns of personal viewpoints), pathways and relationship networking, group and team formation and transitions to alternative operational configurations, comprehension of problem networks, storage and analysis of sets and associated attributes, design of highly diversified ecosystems, research on regular polyhedra and transformations between them, facilitation of personal life strategy. 

67. Instant change initiative 

  Focuses on those psycho-social situations in which instant change is expected and called for, and when anything less is perceived as frustrating and unnecessary delay, especially such substitutes as cosmetic change and minimum rates of change. The programme explores ways of shifting the locus of expected change from the external environment to the mind-set from which it is perceived, thus transforming the change into a psychological one which can be more easily brought about within the expected time frame. The nature of instant change in this context is explored. 

68. Equivalence initiative 

  Explores the significance which can be associated with domains of attention between which it appears fruitful to consider that transformations exist. Such transformations would then establish the equivalence of such domains, throwing new light on each of them. Domains currently under study include: space and time, the senses (sight, taste, smell, hearing, touch), modes of expression (writing, plastic arts, music, dance, theatre, sport). The initiative clarifies the problems of understanding between people associated closely with different domains. 

69. Inter-personal relationships initiative 

  Explores ways of clarifying the variety of possible inter-personal relationships, especially of a non-physical kind. The intent is to make available a rich collection of such possibilities to facilitate transitions from one pattern to another. Given the difficulty of describing such patterns, familiar metaphors are developed to provide a substrate on which distinctions can be made. 

70. Forgettables initiative 

  Identifies and documents systematically classes of experience which tend to be most readily forgotten. Emphasis is on discovering what of significance can be learnt from experiences which are almost automatically classed as insignificant. 

71. Zero experiences initiative 

  A major breakthrough in mathematics came with the discovery of the number zero and its cyclic function. The initiative explores the possibility that there may a psycho-social or experiential 'zero' with functions of equal significance for transformation. Work is related to that on problems of discontinuity in awareness, transfer between levels of consciousness, death, and transcendental experience. Different "bases" are considered. 

72. Qualitative equality initiative 

  Explores the possibility that psycho-social qualitative experience as a whole may be usefully considered as equally distributed and equally accessible to people - the constraint being that each sub-quality is only accessible to some people, whereas others will have access to some other sub-quality. Work focuses on the way in which frustration is generated by the different value attached to the sub-qualities to which people have access, or do not. The challenge for this initiative is to find ways of "travelling" from experience of one set of qualities to experience of another. 

73. Long-term transformation initiative 

  Looks beyond personal growth and current social, economic and political objectives in relation to local, national and international communities. Emphasis is on discovering fundamental modes of transformation which may ultimately be of central significance to humanity. A major interest is in clarifying the nature of the essential core of humanity as the invariant in any such transformation. To the extent that this raises questions of complementary invariants, the work is associated with other initiatives on non-human and extra-terrestrial species. 

74. Tail-chasing initiative 

  Clarifies the extent to which the very act of defining a problem, and then mobilizing resources to solve it, effectively perpetuates the problem rather than moving beyond it. Work follows up on E. de Bono's suggestion for the use of "po" as a circuit-breaker in such circumstances. 

75. Transcendental presence initiative

  Explores the effects on daily life of continuous recognition of a transcendental presence. This presence may be experienced in an aesthetic, religious, or other form, including the moment-by-moment risk of death, the essential paradox of reality, the dream-like quality of experience, or being in love. Emphasis is on facilitating such an experience as an exercise and determining its effects on interaction between people (or groups) engaging in it. To the extent that this experience is a natural one, there is interest in the effects of functional substitutes for it in cultures in which only material experiences are legitimized. 

76. Multi-level sophistication initiative 

  Explores ways in which many levels of technical, politico-economic, and psycho-social sophistication can co-exist in a society to the benefit of all. It is assumed that a single-level society is both unrealistic in the light of present trends and undesirable because of the drain on resources. 

77. Institutional educationalization initiative 

  Explores strategies for decreasing operational dependence on institutions and belief systems whose function lies mainly in their educational value, rather than in their direct response to the problems for which they were established. Work involves determining how use can best be made of the existence of such structures as ongoing educational environments for the many people (in each generation) who need to experience their limitations before being prepared to consider more viable modes of operation. Links exist with the ensymbolment initiative. 

78. Meeting transference initiative 

  Explores ways of transforming the role of "conference leading speaker" into one in which that person uses the conference process to transfer the authority conferred back to the audience. The conference process is seen as related to the psychoanalytic process, with the speaker as "analyst" and the participants as "patients". The question investigated is whether participants then come to perceive themselves as roles integrated within the group by the transference thus giving riseto a significant degree of collective group consciousness. 

79. Survival attitudes initiative 

  Explores ways of choosing and working with metaphors as useful attitudinal templates appropriate to continuity of awareness under certain turbulent psycho-social conditions. The main interest is in determining how to adopt rock-like, plant-like, insectoid, fish-like, bird-like, or mammalian templates, and when each is to be favoured as an attitudinal response offering certain advantages and risks. Investigation of more specialized templates in each case is planned for a later stage. Links have been made to work on animism and totem spirits and on metaphor-shifting. 

80. Ever-present past initiative 

  Concerned with the manner in which structures, processes and attitudes, continually re-emerge when they have supposedly been superseded by more appropriate ones. Emphasis is on the extent to which such superseded phenomena are simply displaced into sectors or age-groups of society ahead of the slowly advancing educational process which informs of their inappropriateness. Work is related to initiatives on co-presence, on encoding of the past in the present, on multi-level sophistication, and on psycho-social recapitulation of territorially-based processes. 

81. Self-exploitation initiative 

  Explores ways in which an individual exploits himself or herself by adopting attitudes analogous to those defined by politics or economics. Of special interest are processes of colonizing one's future, as well as feudal, imperialistic and totalitarian relationships to the advantage of certain roles. 

82. Metaphorical shifting initiative 

  Explores the significance of shifting between metaphors by asking related questions of the type: within what metaphorical environments can the same individual (say) be modelled by an ant?... a tree?....a river?...a bird?...a mountain? Emphasis is on the nature and significance of the shift in perspective within the metaphorical context in order to obtain a good match on the same subject in each case, given the essential relatedness of the environmental elements selected as templates. The procedure is also applied using psycho-social roles, as in questions of the type: on what metaphorical ship is one? The captain?...the pilot?...the crewman?...a passenger?... a stowaway? Of major interest is whether there is necessarily an answer to each such role-linked question. 

83. Awe and glory initiative 

  Rapid technological advance has made the collective experience of awe and glory unacceptable because of the vulnerability with which such transformative experiences are associated in a society resistant to information overload. The programme explores the consequences of such insensitivity, seeks contextsin which such experiences continue to be possible, and clarifies the nature of the transformative experiences. 

84. Change blockages initiative 

  Documents systematically the full range of psycho-social obstacles to individual and collective transformation. Emphasis is on displaying the information in such a way that the possibility of unforeseen blockages is highlighted for further investigation. There is special interest in the positive function of such blockages. 

85. Psycho-social speciation initiative 

  Explores the extent to which mankind as a reproducing physical species is in fact fragmenting psycho-socially into a multiplicity of species, between many of which productive intercourse is already not possible. The programme explores ways of defining such species and their non-reproductive relationships (predation, symbiosis, etc.) with each other, largely guided by experiences with non-human speciation. Emphasis is on understanding the nature of the resulting "ecosystemic noomass", the direction of evolution, and the significance of endangered and extinct species. Associated work on population dynamics and the genetic pool is partly carried out in collaboration with the related initiative on psycho-social genetics. 

86. Concept fatigue initiative 

  Investigates the ways in which new concepts of psycho-social change pass through a succession of phases from being magnetically attractive to being rejected as outworn cliches in favour of other new concepts. Emphasis is on the involvement of intergovernmental institutions, academic establishments and the media in "wearing out" such concepts to the point at which they are no longer useable, despite their continuing relevance. 

87. Standpoint vulnerability initiative 

  Concerned with the manner in which attachment to a particular viewpoint, despite its validity, promotes distorted understanding and hinders further development in comprehension. The debate on the wave or particle theory of light is an obvious example, but the programme is especially concerned with the inherent limitation of any standpoint, however excellent, and how this may be circumvented. Work is associated with related initiatives on the dynamics of paradox. 

88. Living death initiative 

  Explores the intimate relationship between life and death with the purpose of clarifying the role of death in life, as opposed to the psychological transfer of its significance to the end of a life. The intention is to discover ways of experiencing death in daily life, thus sharpening the experience of life and clarifying the transformative function of death. The programme draws on material from the eastern martial arts and fromreligious "books of the dead". This it adapts to an understanding of daily psychological cycles involving discontinuities of awareness usefully understood as mini-deaths. 

89. Here-and-now encoding initiative 

  Explores the view that by an appropriate comprehension of, and identification with, the here-and-now, it is possible to avoid the need for psycho-social development strategies to modify existing unacceptable structures and processes. Emphasis is on discovering ways in which the changes, initially perceived as necessary, can be understood as being already encoded in the dynamics of the here-and-now in such a manner as to open up an even greater richness than was originally considered desirable. 

90. Necessary dramatics initiative

  This initiative takes the view that psycho-social processes can only be rationalized to a limited extent. Destructively chaotic irrationality can however be contained by channelling processes into dramatic forms. Work focuses on identifying the nature and necessity of dramatic processes under certain conditions. The work is partly inspired by themes in classical drama, opera and "soap opera", but is mainly concerned with relationships in and between groups, especially large groups. A major interest is in determining the function of "negative" processes involving arrogance, jealousy, ridicule, anger, betrayal, humiliation, bereavement, and the like. 

91. Qualitative ambiguity initiative 

  Depending on the amount of information available on them, particular actions of a person or a group may be judged by others as being extremely productive ("good"), unproductive ("bad"), if not more or less irrelevant. The initiative explores the ways in which a set of activities can come to be misjudged, either as a result of a lack of information, or as a result of inability to comprehend the information on the strategy in question, or because misjudgment is itself an advantageous strategy. Emphasis is on the resulting "interference pattern", namely the stratification of any society into successive layers alternating in their perceptions between positive and negative evaluations according to the extent to which they are informed about the issue. The main interest is in the resulting ambiguous quality associated with complex subtle strategies and the extreme positive and negative reactions to which they give rise. 

92. Phase shifting initiative 

  Explores the ways in which individuals, groups, nations, and probably the world, engage in cyclic changes of phase in responding to their psycho-social environments. Such phase shifts become a necessity when the strategic advantages of any current phase are undermined by the accumulation of negative consequences of the pursuit of that mode. Given that no meta-framework is recognized for such phase shifts, they tend to involve painfully traumatic discontinuity which distracts attention from fundamental issues of greater long-termimportance. Work focuses on distinguishing phases and clarifying the standpoint which makes evident their cyclic continuity. 

93. Priestly monarch initiative 

  This initiative assumes that styles of organization which have been abandoned for good reason may well prove appropriate under changed conditions in the future in response to new needs analogous to those for which they were originally adopted. In this context the nature of the role of a monarch, or a priestly monarch, is explored. Emphasis is placed on the integrative and symbolic value of such a role in an increasingly depersonalized society, especially as compared with the symbolic inadequacies of the current head-of-state model and their functional substitutes in the media. Work focuses on ways to build processes into a totally undefined version of the role which would safeguard against the well-established weaknesses of hereditary monarchy, whilst optimizing the expression of new levels of qualitative and psycho-social integration. Given the manner in which "aristocratic" elites emerge in any system, the programme also explores ways of giving a more healthy functional expression to any socio-cultural network around a monarch or a "roundtable". 

95. Wisdom-dialogue simulation initiative 

  Extensive use is made of artificial intelligence capabilities to simulate conversation between the complex belief systems derived by encoding analyses of individual beliefs. Independent belief systems have been encoded for major figures of different cultures, including philosophers, revolutionaries, charismatic and religious leaders, and scientists. Work concentrates on analyzing the simulated conversations between these different personalities, whether in groups of two or more. By changing the conditions, the conversations can be shifted between integrative and disintegrative extremes through various intermediary stages. This facility is used in various ways but especially to gain understanding of the functional significance of incompatible extremes and as an educational tool. 

96. Ersatz initiative 

  Explores the possibility of substituting artificial products or processes for natural products or processes. The aim of the programme is to clarify whether and under what conditions there is any ultimate resistance to such substitution. The emphasis is on non-material products and processes such as commercialized courtesy, loyalty by contract, computerized interpersonal communication, and drug-induced emotions. The most extreme possibilities likely to emerge in the future are documented as part of this work. 

97. University coherence initiative 

  The University is itself used as the focus of research in this programme. The intention is to discover the nature and quality of the more fundamental and subtle forces through which its coherence and integrity emerge, and which give rise to a widevariety of complementary initiatives. By so doing, a more profound understanding of the self-image, identity and direction of evolution of the University is obtained as a more appropriate foundation for the formulation of new initiatives. 

98. Synchronicity initiative 

  Explores various aspects of synchronicity following on the work of C.G. Jung. Emphasis is given to the phenomenon in relation to group and global processes. 

99. Oscillatory paradox initiative 

  Taking the conceptual implications of quantum mechanics as its point of departure, the initiative considers the nature of the paradox to which our current perceptions respond. It is recognized that, in their response to the world around them, people alternate between mind-set extremes. These can be as mutually exclusive as the wave and particle theories of light, each of which is an essentially partial description of the phenomena in question and thus ultimately inadequate. The initiative explores how people can oscillate between such extremes to contain an essentially paradoxical reality, or at least to maintain a conscious relationship with it. The possible implications of conceptual oscillations, analogous to those associated with circular movement in the electric motor/dynamo, are a major focus of attention. 

100. Large data set initiative 

  Recognizing the increasing number of large data sets which are intended to be comprehensible to decision-makers, researchers and the general public, this initiative explores ways of structuring and packing such information. Work focuses on ways of minimizing distortion in the significance of the larger set when its component elements are grouped for comprehensibility into smaller sub-sets numbering not more than about 20. Emphasis is on finding ways of preserving sensitivity to the variety of relationships between elements when packed in this way. 

Initiatives 101-150

101. Set representation exercise initiative 

  Recognizing the importance of understanding the nature and formation of sets, this initiative is concerned with the design of exercise books, videocassettes and computer programmes as aids to understanding sets. The initiative goes beyond the two-dimensional set representations in "new math" texts to draw attention to the importance of concepts emerging from three-dimensional representations and from sets with properties of symmetry. 

102. Fiction scenario initiative 

  Reviews serious and popular fiction to identify scenario stereotypes. The initiative assumes that good stories are essentially self-organizing (in the system sense) in terms of definable constraints. The intention is to discover these constraints, the conditions under which they are activated, andthe interrelationship between them, as a way of gaining understanding of the flow patterns with which people identify and by which they are energized. 

103. Fiction initiative 

  Considering the important position of fiction in society, this programme explores ways of identifying ideas and themes for new novels. The ideas sought are seen as responding to unfilled niches in the psycho-cultural ecosystem. Whilst emphasis is not placed on novels with a "message" in any narrow sense, themes are sought which enhance qualitative experience, whether directly or by contrast. There is special interest in novels as carriers in which several levels of information are encoded. Part of the programme also explores ways of overcoming the obstacles to the creation of novels by groups of complementary personalities. 

104. Self-enrichment initiative 

  Explores ways of collecting and presenting information to enable people (and groups) to engage in an integrative self-education programme. The focus is at present on the following modes: fiction reading, drama, painting/sculptures, theatre, music, and film/video. The information is presented so that each mode can be explored independently or as complementary to others. The traditional "reading list" approach has been discarded in favour of learning pathway maps on which easy and challenging routes are shown with self-testing indicators of success. Maps are produced for a variety of personality types, language groups and age ranges. The emphasis is on identifying the highest quality aids to self-enrichment. 

105. Post-catastrophe reconstruction error initiative 

  Social reconstruction following any major catastrophe is frequently based on the patterns of the past and consequently builds in the same problems and weaknesses. The programme clarifies the decision-making processes under stress and identifies the critical phases, danger signals and traps during reconstruction. 

106. Distinction initiative 

  Identifies the kinds of vital psycho-social distinctions made which have not yet been reinforced by any form of institutionalization. These tend to be meta-stable, evanescent, easily forgotten or ignored, and difficult to recognize or explain. The programme explores the conditions governing the relative stability of the associated concepts and the phases of distinctiveness through which they can move. 

107. Family extension initiative 

  Identifies areas of interpersonal relationship in which little guidance has been made available to assist people to avoid problem situations well-illustrated in the media or to discover viable new patterns of relationships. Explores ways offormulating such guidance whether in brochures, illustrated handbooks or videocassettes. Emphasis is at present on situations involving adaptation of the nuclear one or two-adult family to include: an elderly parent, a handicapped person, an adopted child, a distant relative, a close friend or a sexually-involved adult. 

108. Functional roundness initiative 

  Explores the possibility that demonstrating that the psycho-social world is functionally round would be of as much significance as the demonstration that the physical world was round. The initiative assumes that psycho-social functions are currently perceived through an essentially "flat-earth" perspective with all the distortion that this implies and the lack of freedom that it imposes. Guided by insights into the development of understanding of physical roundness, the programme develops techniques for detecting functional roundness and "navigating" around such a sphere. Of particular interest is the discovery of new functional continents. 

109. Unpleasant facts initiative 

  Maintains documentation on unpleasant features of society primarily in terms of the ways in which information about them is (or has been) ignored or suppressed. The programme explores how this collective avoidance mechanism works and attempts to uncover other domains in which it may be operating. Domains currently used as examples include: slave trade, broken treaties, corruption in government, vanishing species, vivisection, and elite control of resources. 

110. Bestial anatomy initiative 

  The underlying psycho-social diseases, of which conventional world problems are simply symptoms, can be usefully portrayed as attributes of a dangerous beast which is the dramatic challenge to humanity. Given the highly contagious nature of these diseases, observers close enough to perceive the beast clearly are easily corrupted by such contact. Determining its anatomy in thus a very risky enterprise calling for special precautions. Several approaches are being actively investigated. 

111. Future subtle problems initiative 

  Present day problems are relatively subtle compared to those acknowledged in the past. It is to be expected that those of the future will be even subtler and consequently difficult to comprehend with the concepts of the present. The initiative identifies the kinds of insidious problems which are likely to be considered of dramatic significance over the next several hundred years. The intention is to clarify how these problems are already inherent in society today even though they are not considered of any significance even when they are recognized. 

112. Macro-tracing initiative 

  Explores ways in which individuals (or groups) could themselves become conscious of patterns which may be traced out by their own sequences of actions. The emphasis is on discovering the nature of the patterns in which they are most deeply engaged, possibly only comprehensible to intuition as an aesthetic design, a symbol, or a story (in the psychoanalytical sense of the term). 

113. Exploitation strategy initiative 

  Explores systematically, profession by profession, ways in which professional considerations and privileges can be used to exploit those who depend on the profession for its services. The results are presented in the form of guidelines to professionals, showing in each case how they can maximize their interests at the expense of clients irrespective of any set of professional ethics. By anticipating such strategies, it is expected that a more appropriate pattern of professional-client relations can emerge. 

114. Psychic energy pathways initiative 

  Explores the way in which most common psycho-social phenomena may be usefully seen as transformation stages in the processing of "psychic energy" broadly defined. Thus even phenomena such as book browsing, lecturing, prize giving, cafe use, street minstrels and card exchange may be seen as part of definable energy pathways. Work focuses on the representation of such pathways on comprehensible maps (in an integrated "atlas") and the identification of phenomena which suggest the possibility of as yet unforeseen pathways. Of special interest is the extent to which social problems arise as a result of hindrances to the circulation of energy along such pathways. 

115. UN anew initiative 

  Explores the ways in which the United Nations could be reconceived if it were necessary to recommence the initiative. The programme is only incidentally concerned with the well-explored possibilities of reforming the UN Charter. The main emphasis is on clarifying a desirable alternative pattern for processes for secretariat operations and the way individuals and groups work with and through them, whether internally or externally. The desirable "feel" of the secretariat is thus used as a guideline for reflection, with legal and political considerations only taken into account as important constraints. 

116. Set membership data bank 

  Identifies for particular concepts the sets of other concepts of which it is a part. This is done systematically such that the concept (e.g. praxis) is first grouped with one other concept (in a 2-set), then with two other concepts (in a 3-set) and so on. The data bank may therefore be used to identify, for example, the eight other concepts which, with it, constitute a well-formed 9-set. This clarifies the distinct contributions of a given concept to different sets and identifies the necessary complementary concepts in each case. 

117. Game design initiative 

  Insights into the range and variety of psycho-social forces, and the patterns of their relationships, are given tangibility through the design of games which can be played for pleasure and education. A special emphasis is given to games which are neither purely competitive nor cooperative but rather which clarify the nature of the marriage between these extremes. The central concern is to render interesting and credible game strategies which transcend any oscillation between these extremes. Games are designed so that they can be played at greater or lesser degrees of complexity. 

118. Information significance initiative 

  Explores ways of deriving significance from very largecollections of information. The prime concern is not with conventional processing problems but rather with developing attitudes which can respond appropriately to information gestalts. Such attitudes are best described via metaphors of gliding through or over information, alighting on certain structures, sensing tides of significance, avoiding information whirlwinds and cyclones, and using thermal currents. Emphasis is on making such attitudes relevant to decision-making with regard to the world problematique. 

119. Indictment of humanity initiative 

  Assembles and consolidates statements which are embodied into a continually updated ("no-holds-barred") indictment of humanity's stewardship on Earth. This is carried out as an exercise in ways of cutting through the verbiage generated by short-term, self-interested initiatives and providing a clear declaration of humanity's irresponsibility, undisguised by the usual layers of self-praise which confuse the uninitiated. The programme focuses especially on the manner in which humanity uses it positive global initiatives (in the fields of health, education, agriculture, etc) to conceal inability to respond to issues which give rise to these problem areas. 

120. Significance tracks initiative 

  Clarifies the ways in which significance is explored. Each such manner of approach is seen as a source of psychic energy. The programme investigates how such tracks interweave, whilst remaining essentially different and even antagonistic or invisible to one another. Of special interest are the points of interchange between such tracks and the attributes of the total form they weave together. 

121. Functional niches initiative 

  Explores how the most general functions can be understood to differentiate into sets of more specialized functions. The emphasis is on discovering the nature of the process which engenders such functional variety and clarifying the dimensions in terms of which hitherto unforeseen functions are defined. Of special interest are the ways of detecting such functional niches. 

122. Insignificance dimension initiative 

  Investigates the extent to which the context in which perceptions occur can lead to the erosion, dilution or general loss of their significance. Work at present focuses on use of superlatives in qualitative judgements and the manner in which this can pre-empt any sensitivity to subtler qualities in a broader context within which the focal significance is therefore diminished. 

123. Field comprehension initiative 

  The programme builds on current processes of understanding as reflected in the use of isolated categories, systems, networks, and their variants. These are considered inadequate, or oflimited value, in that increasingly important aspects of reality are sensed to be too simplistically represented by such structured divisions of it, however elegantly they are interlinked. The shifting structure of fields calls for a different approach to comprehension and communication if effective use is to be made of current insights. 

124. Alternative logics initiatives 

  Investigates the conditions under which non-Boolean logics are of relevance. Of special interest is the implication of such logics for understanding problems of choice, development and appropriate structure. The initiative is not limited to conceptually well-formed logics. 

125. Modes of thought initiative 

  Explores the variety of modes of thinking, understanding and comprehension, whether verbal or non-verbal. The programme attempts to identify how these are related to each other in terms of their domains of relevance. Of special interest are the investigations of these matters in some Eastern cultures and the ways in which such modes are perceived as related by them. The programme clarifies the conditions under which each mode is of relevance at the present time. 

126. Rheomode initiative 

  Explores new ways of using language to describe and understand processes as the link between objects arbitrarily perceived as isolated and static. Of special interest is the necessary switch from static (noun) categories to dynamic (verb) categories. The programme seeks ways of identifying "objects" as temporary manifestations at the points of interferences between processes. Insights from non-indo-european languages are used wherever possible. 

127. Comprehension stages initiative 

  Explores the manner in which comprehension is organized into stages separated by some form of hiatus or discontinuity. This raises problems of the appropriate organization of learning material for each stage and the possibility of alternative pathways through the various stages. Of special interest is the process of transition across the barrier between one stage and the next. 

128. Explanation and experience initiative 

  Explores the changing status of experience and explanation. The initiative is mainly oriented to gaining some understanding of their probable status in the future in the light of past and present developments. Of special interest is the way in which an explanation is experienced as adequate and the way this sense of adequacy may vary under different conditions. 

129. Status of reality initiative 

  Explores the ways in which the complex fluidity of reality gets "frozen" as a context for particular societies and modes of thought. Of special interest are the possible consequences of "unfreezing" reality especially in relation to animistic perceptions, emergence of the entities of folklore, and the current problems of short-lived phenomena. 

130. Learning cycles initiative 

  Explores the way in which individuals and groups move through learning cycles according to their degree of experience of a problem situation. This results in communication barriers between those initially exposed to the problem, and those with varying degrees of familiarity with it. Of special interest is the constant emergence of new groups, relatively unfamiliar with the problem, having the communication advantage of an apparently "straight-forward" explanation of what needs to be done. Also of interest is the incomprehensibility of those most familiar with the problem at the end of the learning cycle. 

131. Distinction communicability initiative 

  Explores the problems of comprehending and communicating distinctions which are poorly reinforced by language or perceived reality. The distinctions embodied in such a set as "inter-", "multi-", "trans-", "cross-", "pluri-" and "meta-" constitutes a typical example. Despite their importance, the meanings are unclear and are completely lost on translation into many languages. Of special interest are conditions under which some of the terms acquire negative connotations. 

132. Perspective initiative 

  Explores the geometry of perspective in vision as a guide to understanding the nature of comprehension. Of special interest is the necessary distortion introduced by vision from a particular location and its importance for perspective (parallel lines meeting at infinity). This is contrasted with efforts to free explanations from such particular focii and the consequent lack of relationship of explanations to the appearance of perceived reality. 

133. Discrimination initiative 

  Explores the process of resolving ambiguity in concepts either more complex or less complex than those normally dealt with. The programme focuses on the problem of distinguishing between these two types of ambiguity as basic to discrimination between the two levels. 

134. Set reduction initiative 

  Explores thinking and comprehension as a process of set reduction. Complexity may be broken up into a set containing a large number of concepts. The problem is then one of how to reduce the size of the set in order that it may become comprehensible as a whole, whilst at the same time retaining the relationship to the larger set. Forms are sought whichfacilitate the shift in the level of comprehension between the smaller and the larger sets. 

135. Meta-modelling initiative 

  Explores ways of ordering the relationship between models of reality, especially in cases where the models offer alternative and conflicting views of reality. Particular attention is given to determining the criteria for an adequate meta-model and the problems of comprehension associated with it. The question of the status of new models, which will emerge in the future, is used to give a dynamic and self-referential dimension to the nature of meta-models. 

136. Received ideas initiative 

  Explores the range of received ideas and unexamined assumptions impacting upon policy making as well as the steps necessary to legitimate any efforts to transcend them. 

137. Policy options initiative 

  Reviews the manner in which policy options are currently limited by received ideas. The initiative outlines new approaches to major issues in the light of the alternative perspectives emerging from the other initiatives. 

138. Pre-logical bias initiative 

  Explores the nature of pre-logical and temperamental biases which determine "logical" responses to aesthetic, theoretical, value and action situations. Of special interest is their influence on choice of life-style, intellectual discipline, policy, presentation of information, and the like. Work also focuses on the consequences for the design of organizations and programmes sympathetic to such contrasting preferences. 

139. Time-binding comprehension initiative 

  Explores comprehension as a process of "time-binding", whereby the "normal" sequential perception in time is transcended and woven into new patterns. Of special interest is the nature of any temporal organization equivalent to the organization of space. 

140. Sequential experience initiative 

  Explores problems resulting from perceptions tied to a sequential time track, especially in relation to the comprehension of wholes whose facets can only be perceived successively. The problem is seen in relation to the organization of complex wholes in memory. Also of interest is the associated requirement for choice, priority and exclusion in exploring or presenting such a whole. 

141. Attention initiative 

  Explores the ways in which attention is absorbed and focused in society on the assumption that individuals are equal in their attention capacity. Of special interest are the nature of the attention "traps", "sinks", and "reflectors", their avoidance, and their deliberate or inadvertent use for social and behavioral control. This approach is used to model society as a pattern of attention absorbants. Work also focuses on the corresponding "sources" of attention and how these may be comprehended. 

142. Attention span initiative 

  Explores the significance of attention span in determining the credibility of complex concepts and the viability of complex organization. Of special interest is the question of collective, as opposed to individual, attention span. 

143. Viewpoint initiative 

  Explores the nature of viewpoints and ways in which the relationships between many different viewpoints may be portrayed and comprehended. Of special interest is the nature of the communication space in which the differences between viewpoints are indicated by the distance between locations in that space. 

144. Triangulation initiative 

  Given the fundamental importance of the process of triangulation in ordering physical space, this programme explores the possibility of a qualitative analogue for the ordering of qualitative experience. 

145. Zero initiative 

  Given the fundamental significance of the discovery of zero in the manipulation of quantities, this programme explores the possibility of a qualitative analogue to zero. This is conceived as having a special role as an end-of-cycle marker and for any transition to a new level of qualitative expression. 

146. Concept set analysis initiative 

  Explores the formation of concept sets in academic, administrative, legal, and technical documents. The intention is to clarify to what extent such set formation is determined by psychological constraints, including problems of comprehensibility and communicability. Of special interest is the possible significance for theory formation and representation of complex reality, given the preferences for sets with a limited number of elements. 

147. Set complementaries initiative 

  Identifies for chosen terms the complementary terms with which it can be usefully associated. In a 1-set and a 2-set these may include synonyms and antonyms respectively, but the programme is primarily interested in discovering sets with a large number of complementaries. Of special interest is the extent to which the presence of any one such complementary in practice engenders the presence of others, whether or not the relation between them is perceived. Work also focuses on the problem of perceiving such complementaries in practice and the consequences for social processes of failing to do so. 

148. Difference sets initiative 

  Explores how maximally different in quality things can be in cases when there are only N elements in the set of experience. Work focuses on sets of 2, 3, 4 and more elements. Of special interest is the shift in qualitative differences with the changing number of elements and the significance of the results for comprehending single element sets. 

149. Temporal sets initiative 

  Explores ways in which any given period of time can be conceived as part of different temporal sets. Thus in addition to forming a unique set of 1 element, it is also part of a set of 2 elements, 3 elements, and so on. Each of the additional elements implies the occurrences (in the past or future) of periods in which opposing qualities are developed. Of special interest is the way in which the experience of the moment is essentially defined by these enfolding temporal sets. 

150. Qualitative "big bang" initiative 

  Explores the value of assuming that the emergence of qualitative experiences follows a pattern somewhat analogous to the big bang theory of cosmology. Of special interest are the "first 3 minutes" of any such creation and the processes associated with the proto-categories before experience is stabilized. The concept of an "expanding" universe of experience is also explored. 

Initiatives 151-218

151. Time compression initiative 

  Explores the possibility that the pattern of sequential development of processes over time may be usefully conceived as compressed into each present moment. The whole process of individual and collective experience is thus conceived as initiated, evolving and completed at each instant, however partial the ability to contain the awareness of it. Of special interest is the possibility that time past should be understood in terms of reciprocal time rather than a linear projection into the past. 

152. Classification initiative 

  Explores unconventional approaches to classification and to problems in which classification is a key factor. The premise is that conceptual and administrative order, and processes arising from it, are strongly determined by compromises in classification made to facilitate information handling, representation or comprehension. Current programme emphases are on: category boundary shifting and the artificiality of categories; the manner in which the absent context characteristic of an out-of-context phenomena (e.g. a wild animal in a zoo) falsifies objective comprehension of that phenomena particularly as part of stagesor cycles in that context; consequences of choice of set size in elaboration of any list of policies, priorities, problems, significant factors, etc.; and development of techniques for switching between alternative classification schemes. 

153. Space-time container initiative 

  Explores different concepts of the organization of space-time as possible containers for qualitative experience. Of special interest are transformations between such different forms of organization and their relation to the development of qualitative experience. 

154. Classification of classifications initiative 

  Using a wide variety of classification schemes as a point of departure, the initiative explores ways of classifying them in order to highlight the alternative ways of organizing matter, energy and processes of all kinds. Each possibility is seen as a "window on reality" of a particular form. Of special interest are new approaches to organizing reality suggested by the dimensions of the meta-classification schemes investigated. 

155. Non-linear agenda initiative 

  Explores the possibility of expressing meeting agendas and organization programmes in a non-linear form which emphasizes the interaction between the agenda items rather than an administrative order of priority. Of special interest is the possibility of presenting an agenda as a 3-dimensional configuration of mutually counter-balancing elements bearing a much closer relationship to the operational realities of the energies to be managed. 

156. Interdisciplinary classification initiative 

  Explores approaches to classification of interdisciplinary topics, given that conventional breakdown by subject do violence to the essential emphasis of the topics. Of special interest are forms of classification which highlight degrees of interdisciplinarity and synthesis and patterns of relationship between the topics included. 

157. Boundary shifting initiative 

  Explores the means and implications of shifting conventional boundaries between categories. Such boundaries may be usefully redefined under some circumstances leading to new insight through the change in perceptual framework. The nature of such boundaries may also be changed in terms of permeability, frequency, discontinuity, and the like. Of special interest is the significance for understanding problems and processes. 

158. Notation scheme initiative 

  Notation schemes bypass the limitations of verbal expression in attempting to order experience in a more compact manner (e.g. musical notation, mathematics, dance notation, molecular structures, etc.). The programme explores notation as classification, in relation to number, as pattern, and in terms of its right-hemisphere implications. Of special interest is the possibility of expressing new concepts through notations. Work also focuses on the advantages of ideograms over conventional notations, multi-level significance of some notations, and the significance of forming the notation (as in calligraphy). 

159. Resistance initiative 

  Explores ways of using resistance to change in a creative manner. The programme is not so much interested in overcoming resistance as determining more clearly the role that it must necessarily play and how this may be played more beneficially. 

160. Thinking stereotypes initiative 

  Identifies characteristic thinking styles of different cultures, especially in terms of the implications for interaction between them, for the kind of phenomena to which they are sensitive, and for the kinds of structure they engender or reinforce. 

161. Change agent initiative 

  Explores the characteristics of change agents and how they come to adopt that attitude and role. Of special interest is the evolution in the attitude of change agents after considerable experience and the consequent changes in their strategies and style of communication. 

162. Critical pathways initiative 

  Using experience with critical path analysis and similar tools, explores ways of providing improved strategic guidance in the open-ended situations typical of psycho-social crises. Of special interest are ways of using the approach which do not require over-determination of the end condition or complete information on the starting conditions. Work also focuses on the ways in which such pathways can be usefully mapped. 

163. Personal policy initiative 

  Explores the manner in which an individual can develop personal policies to organize an approach to life. Of special interest is the manner in which an individual can adopt policies with respect to his or her own actions that bear a strong resemblance to classic policies (e.g. liberal, socialist, communist, fascist, etc.). In this way an individual using an "imperialist" policy, may "colonize" his own future and be obliged, in another role, to suffer for a period from the exploitation resulting from his own decision. Similarly, any decision in one role, requires that the individual functions as a "worker" in another role to execute that decision. This can give rise to a whole pattern of "worker/management" relations within the individual. 

164. Personal strategy initiative 

  Explores the application of strategic thinking and attitudes by an individual in response to his own psycho-social crises and opportunities. Of special interest is the manner in which an individual effectively adopts a succession of roles corresponding to strategic requirements (e.g. general, artillery commanders, infantry, espionage, etc.) Also of interest is the adaptation of eastern martial arts in response to an individual's psycho-social "enemy" conceived as operating through a network of encircling problems (cf. "life-style judo"). 

165. Blueprints initiative 

  Formulates "blueprints" for action in the expected post-crisis period taking into account the insights emerging from other programme initiatives. Of special interest is the design of blueprints which do not take the form of detailed plans requiring imposition from above. To this end many of the blueprints merely function as triggers, pointers or catalysts for a self-initiated planning and organizing process. Also of interest are the ways of "delivering" these blueprints to the points where they are likely to be needed and used. Ways are therefore sought to encode the information in cultural and other "carriers" which are already reaching many of the locations. 

166. Strategy initiative 

  Explores the application of strategic thinking and attitudes in responses to psycho-social crises and opportunities. Concerns include: definition of objectives, marshalling resources, intelligence gathering, strategic possibilities, indirect strategies, pre-emptive strategies. Considerable effort is made to adapt military, business and game strategy to the struggle against networks of psycho-social problems. Use is also made of eastern concepts of strategy. Insights are sought from the philosophy and practice of eastern martial arts, including the concept of non-action and non-resistance. There is special interest in the significance of the insights to be derived from generalizing strategic thinking to three dimensions as required by space warfare. 

167. Uselessness initiative 

  Takes as its point of departure a statement by Chuang Tzu: "Every man knows how useful it is to be useful. No one seems to know how useful it is to be useless." Explores the value of uselessnessand the implications for the organization of society and knowledge. 

168. Experience initiative 

  Explores the nature of "experience" in terms of its value for society and in contrast to skills and knowledge. Of special interest is the dimension along which experience may be said to increase and how it is best acquired. 

169. Elders initiative 

  Explores the ways in which society can derive benefit from the wisdom of the elderly. It is assumed that modern society is effectively wasting a major portion of its investment in educating people by rejecting them once their technological experience becomes out-of-date. Work focuses on how access may be obtained to their subtle non-technological experience which is less subject to obsolescence. Of special interest are traditional tribal approaches to this matter. 

170. Heroic commitment initiative 

  Explores the importance of heroism in society and the nature of heroic commitment to some mission or cause worthy of personal sacrifice. Of special interest are the consequences for a society which offers few genuine opportunities for socially significant heroism. 

171. Non-unitary personality initiative 

  Assumes, as a point of departure, that much may be learnt by considering that an "individual" is a rarity in that most people are highly divided role complexes. Explores the social implications of any such shift away from the traditional concept of accessible individuality. Of special interest are models of an "individual" as an unintegrated set of feudal baronies or an ecosystem of interacting species. Work focuses on "access" to individuality within analogous frameworks and how it then impacts on its environment. 

172. Human image initiative 

  Explores the variety of images that human beings have of themselves. Of special interest is the way such self-images have evolved over time and diverged into contrasting images. Work focuses on how such evolution may continue and the nature of possible integrative relationships between contrasting images. 

173. Whole mind catalogue initiative 

  Compilation of entries on a wide range of topics in the spirit of the Whole Earth Catalog. The emphasis is basically different in that the aim is to touch on all the facets and processes of a "whole mind" on the assumption that this is a necessary complement to any "whole earth" perspective. The project is as much an exercise in aesthetics as one of factual information, since a balance between them is considered as an essentialfoundation for "wholeness". Of special interest is the role of conflictual relationships in giving birth to comprehension of that wholeness. 

174. Encyclopaedia initiative 

  Compilation of entries for an encyclopaedia which is designed to reflect developmental possibilities into the future. A number of major standard encyclopaedias are taken as the point of departure. Each entry on conventional topics is adapted to reflect its status as a pattern of thought applicable in other unexpected contexts. Entries are designed not to define a topic but to project or "launch" the reader into a new mode of thinking and to release new ways for processing information. Parts of the work are done in conjunction with the metaphor initiatives. 

175. Back-to-basics initiative 

  Explores, using a deliberately naive perspective, the possibility that as much can be learnt by assuming that the future will consider that very little was known at this time, as by assuming that a great deal is already known. Work focuses on speculations about such simple phenomena as walking, building an arch, gardening, making love, fighting, eating, etc. Of special interest are notions of time and motion. 

176. Response-to-new initiative 

  Explores how people respond to new concepts which offer them more powerful means of integrating their experience. Of special interest are the ways in which such innovations fail to be perceived as innovative. 

177. Orders of temperament initiative 

  Explores the forms of organization engendered or favoured by different styles of personality. The focus is as much on social organization as the organization of concepts or information. 

178. Wisdom initiative 

  Explores the nature of "wisdom" as perceived in a person or experienced by a person. Of special interest is the dimension along which wisdom may be said to increase and how it is best acquired or lost. There is special concern for collective wisdom and the structures and processes through which it can manifest. Attention is given to the role of traditional "folk wisdom" and the status of the corresponding roles in modern society. Wisdom is contrasted with knowledge, information, experience, and maturity. 

179. Maturity initiative 

  Explores the nature of "maturity" in its non-physiological sense, whether as perceived in a person or experienced by a person. Of special interest is the dimension along which maturity may be said to increase and how it is best acquired or lost. Also ofinterest is its relationship to learning, tolerance, and attention span. There is special concern for the kinds of structures and processes which might be feasible with mature people, especially in terms of their perceived needs. 

180. Presence initiative 

  Explores the nature of "presence" as perceived in a person or experienced by a person. Of special interest is the dimension along which presence may be said to increase and how it is acquired or lost. Also of interest is its role in modern society. 

181. Dignity initiative 

  Explores the nature of human dignity as perceived in others or experienced by a person. Of special interest is the dimension along which dignity may be said to increase and how it is acquired or lost. The distinction is also explored between pomposity and that form of dignity which accepts ridicule rather than being vulnerable to it. 

182. Inter-species rapprochement initiative 

  Explores the possibilities for communication or rapprochement between species in terms of the implications for richer ecosystems (as opposed to "training" species solely to be of service to humans). Of special interest is the nature of the psychic "rapport" which can be achieved under certain conditions. The attitudes cultivated are considered vital to the improvement of man's relationship to the environment and to the establishment of ground rules for possible communication with extra-terrestrials. 

183. Value change initiative 

  Explores the nature of shifts in values, the emergence of new values, and the recovery of old values. Of special interest is the nature of conflict between "incoming" and "outgoing" values. Also of interest are the "generators" of new values and the "regenerators" of old values, whether in the form of organizations, rituals, concepts, or symbols. 

184. Values-of-the-future initiative 

  Explores the values which might be held in the future. Of special interest is the implication for social organization and the problems of transition. 

185. Inter-personal relationships initiative 

  Clarifies the variety of inter-personal relationships, whether in terms of kind or degree. Of special interest are the psycho-social consequences of an impoverished awareness of the range of relationships. Work also focuses on how such relationships can be woven into richer patterns of community organization. 

186. Youth initiative 

  Explores the impact of youthful enthusiasm and fresh insight on the structure of adult society. Of special interest is the flow of youthful energy and how it is deflected, dampened or absorbed. Ways are sought to improve the experience of youth and to improve the value of youthful impacts on psycho-social organization. 

187. Childhood initiative 

  Explores the role of children and childhood in countering a simplistic rigidification of psycho-social organization. Of special interest is the value of the de-stabilizing nature of the adult response to innocence and ignorance as a form of continual renewal. Means are sought to apply such insights to the re-valuation of ignorance in adult society in general. 

188. Attitude initiative 

  Concerned with unresearched aspects of attitude change, especially amongst those involved in social change. Recent emphasis has been on lessons to be learnt from historical example of resistance to new attitudes and paradigms, the challenge of improving the quality of the attitude to the natural elements and non-human species, and the problem of transferring mind-sets from developing to industrialized countries, between disciplines, and between personality types. 

189. Sexual conception initiative 

  Explores possibilities of integrating the alienated extremes of human nature represented by sexual congress and intellectual conception. Each extreme gives rise to a pattern of psycho-social processes. Their interaction appears to provoke unresolvable conflicts which aggravate the social condition. Of special interest is the possibility of using the process and movements of sexual congress as a model for alternation between conceptual penetration of reality and determination of experience by the bounding circumstances. It is expected that the process of experience would in this way be more fundamentally grounded, transcending the limitations of the two extremes in a potentially fertile manner and opening the way to further development. 

190. Collective creativity initiative 

  Explores the problems of collective creativity. Of special interest are the reasons so few great works have been created by groups, whether in the case of fiction, music, art, architecture, or technological discovery. 

191. Collaboration research initiative 

  Collects and analyzes information on collaborative or cooperative action, whether contemporary or historical, large-scale or between several individuals. Cases include international programmes, interdisciplinary projects or committees, preparation of an article or book by several authors, community action programmes, etc. The intent is to clarify what factorsenable the participants to discover and fit into a collaborative configuration, how this may fail, the many levels of token collaboration which can be presented to disguise the absence of effective collaboration, and conditions under which collaboration is itself dysfunctional. 

192. Keystone initiative 

  Explores the ways in which psycho-social structures may depend on key elements having a role analogous to that of a keystone in the construction of arches. Of special interest are the varieties of keystone. the problems of scaffolding prior to its insertion, and the structures in which it is not required. 

193. Disciplined values initiative 

  Explores the nature of the discipline or constraint which must be associated with each value in order that it should have an appropriate impact in the psycho-social system. The assumption is that undisciplined values do not provide an adequate basis for harmonious development. 

194. Status recognition initiative 

  Concerned with the development of new ways of providing recognition of individual and group status in order to reinforce rather then obstruct the process of social change. 

195. Role significance initiative 

  Explores the nature and significance of a wide variety of roles such as: beggar, singer, mother, traitor, eccentric, banner bearer, explorer, jester, hermit and dilettante. Of special interest is the "energy" each role feeds into its environment or absorbs from it. Also of interest is the process of role switching and how this may be facilitated. 

196. Human development diseases initiative 

  Explores ways of clarifying the nature of developmental problem conditions for an individual by using physical diseases as a metaphor. A complete range of physical diseases can then be used to trigger questions as to whether identifiable psycho-social equivalents may usefully be said to exist. The metaphor also permits a fresh response to such conditions in terms of therapeutic and preventive measures, including general problems of "hygiene". 

197. Human development pathways initiative 

  Explores techniques for mapping the pathways along which different people can develop. The pathways of many different kinds of people are brought together within one mapping framework. Of special interest is the topography of the map, namely which portions are perceivable from which other portions. Also of interest are decision points, alternate pathways, the identification of goal and direction on the map, dangerous points, and the significance of relative difficulty. 

198. Human development substitutes initiative 

  Explores a wide range of human activities which can usefully be considered as substitutes for a narrower concept of human development. These include the fashion trade, cosmetics, sport, accumulation of capital, acquisition of status symbols and exposure to risk. They are studied both as a degradation of human development and as enriching or enhancing it. Of special interest are the ways in which they can be perceived as "carriers" for the conventional human development process. 

199. Developee perspective initiative 

  Explores the ways in which an individual "to be developed" perceives what is provided to him, or done to his context, by a "developer". Of special interest is the individual's understanding of what he must lose in order to gain whatever are perceived as the benefits of development. 

200. Human frailties initiative 

  Explores the nature of human frailty and the special weaknesses associated with "being human". Of special interest are the peculiar strengths connected with some of these weaknesses and the consequent implications for psycho-social organization. 

201. Attitude data bank initiative 

  Compiles descriptions of attitudes and states of consciousness. Much of the material is obtained from published documents, whether fiction, survey results, religious or psychoanalytical literature. It includes philosophical and ideological attitudes as well as material from anthropological literature. In addition to compiling entries work focuses on problems of grouping them usefully and providing significant pathways through the material. 

202. Attitude mapping initiative 

  Develops techniques to permit individuals to elaborate maps of the various attitudes that they tend to fall into during daily life, especially those which are more complex and difficult to describe. The intent is to facilitate recognition of each attitude, as well as transition into it and from it. Emphasis is less on avoiding the insalubrious portions of the map and more on developing the ability to improve and benefit from each attitude. The approach is clarified by metaphors (e.g. land drainage, agriculture, reforestation, gardening) which point to the special problems and opportunities of each state. The work is linked to that on the attitude data bank. 

203. Alternation initiative 

  Explores the extent to which people need to alternate between different conditions, whether physical, social or psychological. The focus is less on the conditions and more on the patterns of alternation which appear to be needed, namely the "patterns that connect". Of special interest are the consequences of preventing the deployment of these patterns or limiting them to a monotonous version - a form of psycho-social monoculture "blocks" to creativity are one possible consequence. Work focuses on detecting patterns of alternation which are vital to health -alternative "vitamins". 

204. Multilingual education initiative 

  Explores ways of learning sets of languages such that progress in the understanding of one reinforces progress in the understanding of others. Of special interest are mixes of languages which together offer highly contrasted perspectives on psycho-social reality and thus encourage the user to shift between several frameworks in determining an appropriate response to any situation. 

205. Etymological curiosities initiative 

  Explores the significance of etymological curiosities which highlight surprisingly creative but unrecognized, relationships between structures and processes. 

206. Synthesis language initiative 

  Explores ways of enriching and ordering a suitable language for the discussion of synthesis, integration and interdisciplinarity. Work is oriented toward describing both the wholeness of ecosystems and experiences of wholeness in altered states of consciousness. Of special interest are the implications for discussion of integration of social groups, whether small or large. 

207. Term design initiative 

  Designs new terms as a result of ongoing investigations of communication needs in other programme initiatives. The emphasis is primarily on detecting the need for new terms whose absence complicates discussion unnecessarily. Of special interest is the problem of avoiding the alienating sterility of ugly neologisms and the advantages of using common words in a metaphorical sense or borrowing from other languages. Work also focuses on non-terminological innovations in relation to the use of verbs and qualifiers. 

208. Language design initiative 

  Explores possibilities for designing new languages and notation systems which would prove more appropriate vehicles for discussion of the psycho-social questions raised in other programme initiatives. 

209. Programme language initiative 

  Investigates the origins of the small set of terms whereby the majority of collective activity is ordered: programme, project, organization, meeting, conference, budget, strategy, policy, planning, etc. The research is concerned with the possibilitythat these emerge from a particularly limited mind-set and may preclude recognition of valuable alternative means of perceiving the "organization" of collective activity, such as with inherent process, quality or interdependence connotations. 

210. Lateral thinking initiative 

  Explores ways of thinking beyond or between conventional frameworks in order to obtain more creative insights into problem situations. Of special interest are the catalysts required to break out of habitual thinking patterns and the kinds of insights to which they give rise. 

211. Three R's initiative 

  Explores ways of redefining the traditional educational problem of reading, writing and arithmetic. These are considered too narrow in focus and have been broadened to registering, responding and reordering. The first covers the perception of ordered patterns. the second covers a harmonious response involving pattern creation, and the third is concerned with pattern transformation. Work focuses on the design of the appropriate educational materials and techniques. 

212. Educational sets initiatives 

  Explores ways of organizing complementary curriculum elements, partly inspired by the traditional system of the trivium and quadrivium, but especially in the light of advances in subject classification. Considerably emphasis is placed on clarifying their complementarity however many elements are grouped into a set and whatever the number of sets. Investigations are currently focusing on nested sets with over 150 elements. 

213. Perspective enhancement initiative 

  Explores radical techniques for broadening considerably, or completely changing, the perspective through which the psycho-social context is currently viewed. Of special interest are questions derived from the metaphor initiative. These take the form of asking for the nature of the possible reality within which the current psycho-social context might be likened to, for example, a desert, a swamp, a jungle, etc. 

214. Psychological holidays initiative 

  Investigates the design of environments which provide people with a "psychological holiday" as opposed to reinforcing habitual behaviour patterns. Of special interest are those features, including challenges, which enhance healing and developmental processes, thus recapturing part of the original significance of "holiday". 

215. Learning environments initiative 

  Investigates the design of environments in which learning processes are facilitated. Of special interest are features which assist in the comprehension of complex patterns ofinformation. 

216. Sacred places initiative 

  Explores the significance of sacred places and "magical environments" in terms of the transformative power attributed to them. Of special concern are the processes whereby such places are created, maintained and desecrated. Work focuses on the significance of such places, especially in increasingly artificial societies whose monuments lack the transformative power traditionally accorded to a village shrine. The importance of such environments in the facilitation of meditation is also considered. 

217. Interaction environments initiative 

  Investigates the design of environments in which interaction between people and groups is facilitated. Of special interest are the contributions of non-verbal catalysts to this process, including music, perfumes and colours. Work focuses on those features which assist people to shift into a more creative mode of interaction and those which prevent the interaction from coming effectively to fruition. 

218. Focal environments initiative 

  Investigates the design of environments in which attention, and particularly collective attention, can be effectively focused. Of special interest is the significance of such environments for providing overviews of a problem situation and opportunities for progress in response to it. 

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