1st October 1988
Energy Patterns in Conferences
Weaving patterns of information as a context for higher levels of integration
- / -
A tentative exploration of the different patterns
of information which may emerge at any time during the course of a meeting -
and the special problems and opportunities to which they may give rise. Originally
distributed by the Union of International Associations [searchable PDF version
Patterns: 1 | 2 |
3 | 4 | 5 | 6
| 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
| 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
| 15 | 16 | 17 | 18
| 19 | 20 | 64
Meetings are frequently taken to be a success
- significant speakers come and present information, insights or inspiration
- sufficient participants are attracted
- some concrete product emerges, whether in the form of proceedings, declaration,
resolutions for further collective action, etc
- those attending are able to interact to a satisfactory degree, making useful
Since meetings provide the principal arena in which the possibilities
for the future are articulated, and the resources for
change are apportioned, it is fruitful to keep challenging the way in which
meetings are currently conceived.
Is it possible that there may be significantly more fruitful ways to
hold meetings ? What
could a "perfect meeting" be like next year - and 500 years from now ?
One new way to understand meetings, which suggests many possibilities
for their improvements, is in terms of
"patterns of energy". The question is what kinds of
"energy" or information are exchanged in a gathering in order
to give it focus, to move it forward, and to maintain a healthy relationship
among the different positions
represented. And what are the component parts on any such pattern.
This document is one attempt to clarify these issues. It is based of a wide
range of materials (see the references, and notably Patterns
of N-foldness; comparison of integrated multi-set concept schemes as forms of
presentation, 1984). The methodology is described in Beyond
Method; engaging opposition in psycho-social organization (1981) and derives
from earlier work on Representation,
comprehension and communication of sets; the role of number (1978). The
materials have been presented here in a sequence from 1 to 12 in some detail,
followed by 13 to 20 in a much more exploratory approach, followed by an example
of the I Ching 64-fold pattern as explored for networks and meetings.
[The "articulation exercise" described with respect to patterns 1-20
has subsequently been presented to take advantage of hyperlinking in Distinguishing
Levels of Declarations of Principles; that with respect to the 64-fold pattern
in Transformation Metaphors
for sustainable dialogue, vision, conferencing, policy, network, community and
The suggestion, whether implicit or explicit, in many of the sources used,
is that patterns of interaction amongst people (or conference sub-groups) holding
different views can be usefully identified. Some authors favour 3-fold patterns,
others 4-fold, 5-fold, 6-fold, 7-fold, 8-fold, etc. Some authors, notably Kuchinsky
(following Bennett) and Allen, have presented these patterns in a sequence as
in this document -- applying them to the management of organizations.
In this document the relevance of such patterns to conferences is explored.
The document is very much a first draft and suggestions for improvement are
welcomed -- notably with respect to the challenges, questions and relevant metaphors.
It has the merit of drawing attention to other approaches which focus on one
or other pattern.
There is a major difficulty in making effective use of such information.
As will be seen in exploring the 4-fold or
6-fold patterns, a presentation of this kind corresponds to one specific kind
of "energy" in such a pattern. It is
necessarily a very partial presentation. For the patterns to "work",
other complementary energies must also be
activated. This requires different styles of contribution to the work of the
Despite this inherent trap, hopefully this document identifies an opportunity
in conferences to use a set of energy or information patterns, whether interlinking
participant roles, specialized groups or styles of information presentation.
One complementary approach which moves beyond the distinctly sterile "left-brain"
nature of this document, is through the use of metaphors to reinterpret the
patterns in more organic terms. Some references are made to possible metaphors
appropriate for each pattern. Metaphors for understanding conferences in a more
fruitful light are explored in an accompanying document (extracted from the
Encyclopedia of World Problems and
One mechanistic metaphor through which to understand the value of such a
set of patterns as a whole, is that of a
conceptual or energy "gearbox" (1st gear is used for some purposes,
4th gear for others, etc). The important thing
for a meeting is to be able to "shift gear", and not to get confused
about "which gear we are in" at any point in a
discussion. Another metaphor, more organic, is that of a pattern of crop
More speculatively, such patterns may be viewed as exercises in collective
"basket-weaving" or building "bird cages". As In the Sufi
tale, if the container is well-designed, it may prove appropriate to a higher
level of significance.
Pattern 1: Inadequacy of formulation
No single formulation (Including this one}, nor any logically integrated setof
formuIa- tion, adequatelay ancompasses the nature of the development process.
Every position or formulation is therefore suspect. When it is formulated within
a domain of unquestioned consensus, this potential doubt is inactive, thus establishing
a boundary of uncritical discourse which inhibits development.
Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general
for its existing language. Alfred North Whitehead
Naming engenders ten thousand things....Thirty spokes share the wheel's
hub. It is the centre hole that makes it useful...-Therefore profit comes
from what is there; usefulness from what is not there. Lao Tzu
In contrast with what is commonly assumed, adescription, when carefully
inspected, reveals the properties of the observer. We, observers, distinguish
ourselves precisely by distinguishing what we apparently are not, the
world. Francisco Várela
Behind the misty wall of words, the diverse, even contradictory, interpretations,
motivations and utilisations are an indication of fundamentaldivisions
concerning values. In particular, the most basic human rights are more
frequently invoked as a weapon of attack or defence against some party,
rather than recognized as the royal road to a positive relationship between
individuals and groups in an objective form of fraternity. René Maheu,
When men understand only one of aq pair of opposites, or concentrate only on a partial aspect of being, then clear expression also becomes
muddled by mere word play, affirming this one aspect and denying all the
rest....The wise man therefore sees that on both sides of every argument
there Is both right and wrong. Chuang Tzu
Break the pattern which connects the items of learning and you necessarily
destroy all quality....The pattern which connects is a metapattern. It
is a pattern of patterns. Gregory Bateson
Neti Neti ("Not this; not that") Sanskrit aphorism
Examples: A conference as a whole. An organization.
Conference challenge: No unity exists apart from interested attention.
In a conference, any situation to which the gathering directs its attention
is thus transformed into a unity, but some exemplify the systemic attribute
of universality more strongly than others. Wholeness is universal and omnipresent,
but relative; it may be transformed into identity. The combination of confused
immediacy and the expectation of finding an organized structure imbues the
situation with the potential for progress. It is what it is, but it holds
the promise of being more than it appears to be.
The initiator of any enterprise necessarily creates a much smaller world
than the context encompassing it. The basic difficulty remains as acute for
the one called to the path of action as for the one called to the path of
contemplation: to overcome preference. Since overcoming preference is repugnant
to human nature as it is bom, discipline must be invoked and practiced.
Questions: How to distinguish between a simplistic (reductionistic)
concept of undifferentiated, unity or consensus - with all its totalitarian
implications - and a richly diversified concept of unity, in which each distinction
has its role and function?
Possible metaphors: Gaia, circle, ecosystem, solar system, sun, human
being, community. Articulation exercise: Inadequacy of formulations
Cautions: Over-simplifying wholeness - the holographic paradigm
(William Irwin Thompson):
"I hope the public will not do to the metaphor of the hologram what
they did to the model of the lateralization of the brain. Omstein's ideas
were overgeneralized ad nauseam. And this encouraged a good deal of "misplaced
concreteness". In which highly complex psychologic psychic states were
simply looted in physiological processes. Pribram and Bohm are doing good
work, but I hope we will give them the necessary space to do that work and
not jump in with an overgeneralized advertising campaign"
Articulation exercise: No single formulation (including this one), nor
any logically integrated set of formulations, adequately encompasses the nature
of the development process. Every position or formulation is therefore suspect.
When it is formulated within a domain of unquestioned consensus, this potential
doubt is inactive, thus establishing a boundary of uncritical discourse which
Examples: Some dualities which introduce tension into the conference
- Future vs. Past
- Perfection vs. Imperfection
- Activity vs. Passivity
- Good vs. Evil
- Creative vs. Receptive
- Male vs. Female
- Haves vs. Have-nots
- Positive vs. Negative
Conference challenge: A conference defines and organizes space (namely
a conceptual domain or territory) and time (the rhythms in which attention is
devoted to portions of that territory). A conference introduces "curvature"
into the space-time continuum of society - just as participants introduce curvature
into the continuum of the conference for themselves - through the energy and
focus of their individual preoccupations. Any such curvature necessarily distorts
the flow of information in the larger whole.
Questions: Who manipulates such space-time and how? How can one navigate
Possible metaphors: Breathing, walking
Articulation exercise: Opposition/Disagreement
2.1 New initiatives, including this one, are formulated by taking and
establishing a particular position in
opposition to whatever is conceived as potentially denying it. The nature of
the initiative is partly determined by
the way in which the challenge or initial absence of any opposing position is
perceived and the possible nature of
the response. It is the immediacy with which the challenge is perceived that
empowers the initiative.
2.2 The taking of a position as a result of a new initiative engenders or activates
a formulation which is its denial. Every formulation is therefore necessarily
matched by an initiative which is incompatible with it, or opposed to it,
or takes an essentially different direction from it. This opposition is fundamentally
unmediated and as such cannot be observed or described. It can only be comprehended
through identification with one of the opposed positions.
Some triple complementarias (Arthur Young):
Relationship - Act - State
- Impulse (purpose) - Spontaneous act - Being
- Faith - Change (reaction) - Transformation
- Knowledge (form) - Observation - Significance
- Fact - Control - Establishment
Colour-coded thinking (diagram above) (Jerry Rhodes and Sue Thame):
- Green code: Unknown, as-yet-unrealized future, the possibilities that
may or may not materialize; uncommitted to action; divergent lateral,
imaginative, intuitive, unformed, disruptive, pattern-breaking; essentially
- Red code: Known; collection and organization of facts and figures;
communication and being in touch, mutual understanding and exchange of
- Blue code: Judgement; making choices, evaluating, giving opinions;
deciding what is relevant as a basis for action; focusing personal values
and beliefs; action oriented.
Conference challenge: The presence of contradictions, opposing factions
and polarization in a conference, tends to engender some third force or position
which mediates between them. The mediating role may however shift between
any of the three - an eternal triangle of shifting bilateral coalitions and
Questions: What are the questions/challenges faced by those holding
each role? What are the insights characteristic of each position? What are
the blindspots / illusions of each?
Possible metaphors: ??
Articulation exercise: Dialectic synthesis
3.1 A form, through the affirmation of its existence, exerts pressure in
response to its context which acts as an
impulse for the continual transformation of the latter. As antecedent of any
such transformation, it subjects any
outcome to constraints. To the extent that the nature of the pressure on its
context is unrecognized, any action
initiated is distorted or unregulated in its impact on the context.
3.2 A form existing in the present stands in opposition to other
pre-existing forms within the same context. As a
result it is constrained by them to be of the necessary scale and proportion to
oppose the pre-existing forms most
dynamically. Within a given context, however, an opposing form of a particular
type may be engendered which has
been superseded in other co-present contexts. Forms corresponding to different
stages of development may thus
re-emerge and co-exist if the communication between contexts is obstructed in
any way. To the extent that ignorance
concerning this obstruction prevails, contexts become progressively more
restricted, such that the dynamism of the
opposition of the forms engendered within them diminished with a corresponding
increase in the inertia or
resistance associated with the least developed forms.
3.3 Opposition between two forms tends to give rise to a new form which has
properties characteristic of both of them as well as new mediating properties
unique to itself. The new form interrelates or harmonizes the original opposing
forms. It reconciles them at a new level of expression of unity, whether or
not they then disappear. The potential existence of the new form is therefore
partially implicit (although incomplete) in each of the opposing forms prior
to its generation. It thus functions as a stimulus or attractant by providing
a pattern for their interaction and the organization of its outcome. Once
created, the form will in its own turn prove inadequate and be opposed and
superseded by more adequate forms whose nature it partially defines. The attraction
of a particular form may however prevent the energetic development of this
Some paradigms of four-fold discourse include:
Analytic - Dialectic - Axiotic - Mythic (McWhinney)
- Fortnism - Mechanism - Organicism - Contextualism (Pepper)
- Deterministic-Hierarchical-Classificational Individualistic-Random-ldiosyncratic
Interactrve-Mutuality-Context dependency Repatteming-Multiple meanings-Anticipatory
incompleteness (Magoroh Maruyama)
- Intuition - Sensation - Emotion - Thought (C G Jung)
- Air - Earth - Fire - Water (Traditional)
Movement of knowledge and information in culture space (Max Boisot):
Public knowledge: Codified and diffused (accumulating in
books, libraries, archives, etc)
- Proprietary knowledge: Codified but not yet diffused, having
a scarcity value which can be traded for other benefits (money, prestige,
authority, influence). Includes confidential reports, share tips, patentable
technical knowledge, esoteric knowledge.
- Personal knowledge: Unstructured individual perceptions and
insights; formless and fleeting intuitions that evade all attempts to
record and store them; intuitively apprehended, and thus primarily of
value to the possessor. Intangible source of charismatic power.
- Common sense: Knowledge, uncodified yet widely diffused; built
up through socialization and understanding unwritten rules; what everybody
knows without saying; harbours archaic custom and folk wisdom, as well
as intuitive understanding.
Knowledge and information flow through culture space (see diagram above):
Upward towards greater codification; downward towards less codification; rightward
towards more diffusion and leftward towards less diffusion, thus irrigating
culture space with information. New knowledge is created when the actions
of the four vectors resolve themselves into a clockwise flow, where each vector
represents a distinct phase in the build up of new knowledge (scanning, problem
solving, diffusion, absorption).
Four philosophies of management (Charles Handy):
Zeus style: dub culture of the "old boy network"
based on empathy radiating out from a patriarchal figure or inner circle.
Excellent for speed of decision in in high risk enterprises, but relies
heavily on trust, dependent on common background. Power at the centre.
- Appolonian style: Role-structured, hierarchical organization
portrayed in standard organization charts and bureacracies; split into
divisions at the base, linked by a board at the top. Excellent for routine
tasks in which stability and predictability are taken for granted, and
no one is irreplaceable. Power at the top.
- Athenian style: Based on a network of task-oriented units responding
to new one-off problems. Resources are drawn from vrious parts of the
network to focus on a particular problem. Excellent where innovative responses
are required and experiments are encouraged. Power lies in the interstices.
- Dionysian style: Organization perceived as existing to help
the individual achieve his/her idiosyncratic purposes, preserving identity
and freedom. Coordination accepted as an administative necessity but no
ultimate authority is reognized. Excellent where the talent of the individual
is the crucial kill for the group. Power lies with the peer group.
Four-fold logic (adapted from K Mushakoji and T Yamauchi):
It is useful to consider the following four alternative modes as ways for a
conference - or the participants individually - to deal with information:
Affirmation: Taking the form of affirmative action, support,
commitment, initiative, proposition, cooperation, consensus formation,
empowering, and "opening". At best it gives form to new possibilities;
at worst it takes the form of inflexible dogma, resistant to the emergence
of new insights.
- Negation: Taking the form of negative action, sanction, withdrawal
of support, denial, disassociation, delimitation, boundary closure, opposition.
At best it provides the means through which the value of outdated patterns
are questioned; at worst it promoters criticism and dissent for their
- Affirmation and negation: Taking the form of a flexible response,
affirming what needs to be affirmed, questioning what needs to be questioned.
Resolution is sought as a middle way defined by the sensistive use of
both approaches. At best it mediates between incommensurable approaches,
establishing a credible bridge between them; at worst it takes the form
of hypocrisy, double dealing, and expedient fence sitting.
- Non-affirmation and non-negation: An approach which does not
indulge in the processes of affirmation or negation, but remains essentially
detached from them - making some use of them, but not relying on
them. At best this is the most intuitive of approaches, providing new
ways of perceiving existing forms and forming delicate and allusive associations
between incommensurable phenomena; at worst it takes the form of vacillation,
indifference, or indecision - neither confirming nor denying.
Conference challenge: The stability of a conference is ensured by
its ability to shift harmoniously between four counter-acting conditions through
the excess of anyone of them are counter-balanced. Less creatively this may
take the form of a co-existence of four distinct emphases, whether or not
any transition between them is feasible or attempted.
Possible metaphors: Walking by quadrupeds
Articulation exercise: Developmental interaction
4.1 In a set of forms, one form acquires a dominant status at any one time.
As such it establishes the formal pattern of relationships between other forms
by observing and distinguishing their elements, and interpreting their significance.
Any infringement of this monopoly of power is met by a conscious reaction
on the part of those associated with it who strive for position within the
framework it supplies.
4.2 In a set of forms, one or more forms acquire a recessive or sub-dominant
status at any one time. As such they are characterized by both minimal inherent
organization and high inertial resistance to transformation. Any attempt to
change those associated with such forms is met by unconscious reaction.
4.3 In a set containing a dominant and a dominated form, the pattern of relationships
governed by the dominant form proves progressively more inadequate as a framework
for handling the accumulation of new information and experience. Inconsistencies,
contradictions and incompleteness gradually accumulate and become increasingly
apparent as conditions change. The dominant form alone does not contain the
variety to encompass and control the complex conditions to which it is exposed.
The value of the recessive or inferior form becomes correspondingly apparent
by contrast. The unconscious or impulsive actions of those associated with
both forms serve merely to aggravate the condition and to highlight the absence
of a form providing any adequate sense of direction or functional orientation
for the whole.
4.4 In a set containing a dominant and an inferior form, and characterized
by contradictions, adequate control is usually maintained through the momentum
of working processes governed by the dominant form. Any deviation is corrected
by a conscious integrative action on the part of those associated with that
form. As the contradictions cease to be held in restraint in this way. the
source of control is effectively transferred from the dominant form to the
inferior form which thus emerges to take its place. To the extent that this
transfer of control is resisted, the change is likely to be violent rather
Example: Resonance hybrid: an illustration of variable organizational
Some chemical molecules cannot be satisfactorily described by a single
configuration of bonded atoms. The theory of
resonance is concerned with the representation of such molecules by a dynamic
combination of several alternative
structures, rather than by any one of them alone. The molecule is then
conceived as "resonating" among the several
structures and is said to be a "resonance hybrid" of them. The
classic example is the benzene molecule (represented
above) with 6 carbon atoms. This is one of the basic components of many larger
molecules essential to life. Its
cyclic form only became credible when Kekulé showed that it
oscillated between structures A and B. Linus Pauling
later showed that it in fact alternates between all five forms above (and as
such requires less energy than any one
of them alone).
This concept can be used in designing, describing, or operating
organizations, especially fragile coalitions or
volatile meetings. It may provide a key to the "marriage" between
hierarchies and networks. It could also be used
to interrelate alternative definitions (or theories, paradignms, policies,
etc), especially where none of them is
completely satisfactory in isolation. The underlying significance then emerges
through the resonance between the
set of alternatives.
Conference challenge: For the activities of a conference to acquire
wider significance, and to offer the potential for transformation, a fifth
dimension must emerge, effectively giving the gathering a focus of identity
(or centre of gravity) through which it can relate as a whole to the wider
comunity. Such a five-fold configuration permits a conference to accumulate
the potential for future action.
Possible metaphors: Chemical resonance hybrid (benzene molecule)
Articulation exercise: Constraints on existence
For a form to exist and acquire any momentary significance, it must:
5.1 bear a consciously recognized relationship to a context. If this
relationship is ignored the form effectively
merges into the context and cannot be distinguished from it due to the absence
of any recognized boundaries or
5.2 be sufficiently general to be perceived as relevant to other variants of
the phenomenon detached from immediate
perception within the domain of discourse. If it is so general that it is
perceived as relating to too wide a range
of phenomena, then its significance is lost. Or, alternatively, it becomes so
detached from immediate perception
that its significance becomes fragmented into seemingly unrelated facets which
arouse differing degrees of
attachment or rejection.
5.3 be perceived as relating to tangible phenomena of immediate relevance.
relationship is so strong as
to be perceived as merely a reflection of those phenomena or identical with
them, then its significance is lost or
engenders contradictions, confusion and associated conflict.
5.4 be perceived as sufficiently complex to encompass the complexity. If
this is too much greater than that of the
phenomena, its significance is either lost or a faith in the form may be
engendered which is then valued for its
own sake, independently of the phenomena, and possibly as being in some way
superior to them.
5.5 be sufficiently simple to be a comprehensible vehicle for intention. But
if it is perceived as too simple (or trivial) the significance is lost The
unchannelled intention then reinforces inactivity or degenerates into sublimated
forms of action.
(Ron da Rond)
Six forms of intelligence (Howard Gardner):
(a) Linguistic intelligence: Sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, inflections
and meter, a special clarity of awareness of the core operation of language.
Characteristic of poets; universally relevant in order to convince others,
to remember information mnemonically, to explain something clearly, and to
understand language itself.
(b) Musical intelligence: Relating of emotional and motivational
factors to perceptual ones; music is a way of capturing and communicating
feelings and knowledge about feelings. It seems to be used in exploring and
interpreting other forms of intelligence.
(c) Logical/mathematical intelligence: Ability to identify and then
solve significant problems; memory for repetitive patterns and the ability
to compare and operate upon such patterns mentally; and an intuitive feel
for logical relationship amonst classes of conceptual objects.
(d) Spatial intelligence: Accurate perception of the physical world;
ability to transform or modify these perceptions, and the recreating of certain
aspects of visual experience without relevant physical stimuli - these are
all part of spatial ability.
(e) Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: Skill in controlling bodily
movements and in the ability to manipulate objects combine in this intelligence,
which has been valued in many cultures as the harmony between mind and body
- the mind trained to use the body properly and the body to respond to the
mind. It reaches its height in dance, which has supernatural connotations
in some cultures, and in other performing roles. (Low bodily-kinesthetic intelligence
is equated, in India for example, with immaturity.)
(f) Personal intelligence: Centred on the concept of the individual
self and may be considered as:
** Access to one's own feeling life - this is the development of
the internal aspects of a person and the ability to detect and symbolize complex
and highly differentiated sets of feelings.
** Ability to notice and make distinctions among individuals -
to read even the hidden intentions and desires of others and to use this
knowledge to influence their behaviour. Development of these intelligences
leads to self-maturity and to personal knowledge of one's self as a unique
Six thinking 'hats' (Edward de Bono):
- White hat: Neutral and objective; a discipline and a direction; concerned
with facts and figures.
- Red hat: Provides the emotional view (including fear, dislike, suspicion);
together with complex judgements associated with such emotions (hunch, intuition,
sense, aesthetics, taste).
- Black hat: Negative assessment: what is wrong, incorrect, incompatible
with accepted knowledge or experience; identifies risks and dangers.
- Yellow hat: Positive assessment: optimistic, hopeful, visionary,
constructive, positive thinking; probes and explores for value benefit, attempting
to legitimate it and make it effective.
- Green hat: Creativity, lateral thinking, and new ideas; search for
alternatives; provocation; generation of new patterns.
- Blue hat: Cod, concerned with control and the organization of the
thinking process - and the use of other hats; overview and reporting function;
choreographic design and critic of implementation.
Conference challenge: Conference processes need to offer the gathering
the possibility of periodic renewal as it moves towards some emerging goal.
This takes place through the cyclic repetition of a disruptive phase, moving
towards the goal, and a restorative phase, through which the capacity for
such action is regenerated. It is through the experience of such cycles that
the conference is collectively experienced as "coming alive" and
having "a life of its own".
Possible metaphors: ??
Articulation exercise: Coherence through renewal
Sustaining the coherence of a form through its continual renewal
6.1 a focussed reaffirmation of the existence of the elements which ensure its integrity. To the
extent that this reaffirmation
lacking, knowledge of its structure is eroded and the boundaries of the form
become confused or
6.2 redefinition of the form to distinguish it from the superficial features
of encroaching alternative forms with
which it interacts. These may appear more attractive if concentration is
relaxed. To the extent that this
transformative process is lacking, aspects of the alternative definitions may
be partially incorporated, thus
progressively destroying the form as an integrated structure by formation of a
hybrid or an agglomerate.
6.3 repeated effort to understand the essential or general characteristics
of the form which underlie any
particular set of superficial features and thus not bound by them. To the
extent that this understanding is
lacking, the superficial features condemn the form as unnecessarily
constraining, unsatisfactory, with consequent
6.4 periodic detached recognition of its wider significance and how its
development can best be controlled in
relation to this. To the extent that this recognition is lacking,
transformation of the form is blocked because of
the narrow perspective with which it is viewed.
6.5 recognition of the contextual structuring constraints, qualitative
characteristics and challenges which ensure
its stability, and in terms of which it may be transformed. To the extent that
this recognition is lacking, the
stability of the form is undermined by doubts concerning its present relevance.
6.6 adaptation of insights concerning its possible development to a realistic
strategy for its actual development. To the extent that this adaptation is
lacking, any strategies formulated will be impractical and will result in
maldevelopment of the form.
(R. Buckminster Fuller)
Seven axes of symmetry are exhibited in the cuboctahedron (on the left).
It is named the vector equilibrium, and considered a structure of fundamental
significance by Buckminster Fuller because of its transformative properties.
These are illustrated when flexible ioints are used as shown above. It will
then contract symmetrically due to the instability of the 4-fold square faces.
This contraction is identical to that of 12 spheres packed around a 13th,
when the latter is removed. The flexible model will also take up many asymmetric
Conference discontinuities (adapted from Rene Thom):
In any conference governed by potential, in which behaviour is determined
by no more than four basic modes of action, only seven qualitatively different
types of discontinuity are possible. In other words, where experience indicates
that "something has to give", there are only seven fundamentally
different ways for it to do so:
- hyperbolic umbilic catastrophe
- cusp catastrophe
- elliptic umbilic catastrophe
- swallowtail catastrophe
- parabolic umbilic catastrophe
- butterfly catastrophe
Seven axes of methodological bias (W T Jones):
(a) Order vs disorder: Namely the range between a preference for
fluidity, complexity, muddle, disorder, chaos, distrust of conceptual analysis,
etc. and a preference for system, structure, conceptual clarity, classification
of experience, etc. (the "neat package").
(b) Static vs dynamic: Namely the range between a preference for
the changeless, eternal, fundamental patterns (archetypes) etc. and a preference
for movement, for variability, explanation in genetic and process terms, etc.
(c) Continuity vs discreteness: Namely the range between a preference
for inclusiveness, wholeness, unity, fundamental identity, etc and a preference
for discreteness, discontinuities, radical alternatives, plurality, diversity,
(d) Inner vs outer: Namely the range between a preference for being
able to project oneself into the objects of one's experience (to experience
them as one experiences oneself), and a preference for a relatively external,
objective relation to them as an observer of material substance.
(e) Sharp focus vs soft focus: Namely the range between a preference
for clear, direct experience, clarity, distinctness, vividness and a preference
for blurred edges, fuzziness, melding, penumbral threshold experiences which
are felt to be saturated with more meaning than is immediately present and
as revelatory of inner significance.
(f) This-World vs Other-World: Namely the range between a preference
for hard-headed realism, etc. and a preference for discontent with the here-and-now
in favour of the exotic, the supernatural, the idealistic, unreality of the
material world, etc.
(3) Spontaneity vs process: Namely the range between a preference
for chance, freedom, accident, unpredictability, etc and a preference for
explanations in terms of laws and definable processes.
Conference challenge: For a conference to become self-regulating,
rather than dependent on some reductionistic mode of organization, a transformational
super-structure is required. This reconciles its evolution towards self-actualization
(the innovative acquisition of new and unforeseen dimensions or qualities)
and the dissolution of any acquired identity for integration to permit integration
as an organ of the wider social environment. A seven-fold pattern of energies
is required to provide continuity through such gains and losses of significance.
Possible metaphors: ??
Articulation exercise: Modes of change
Under certain conditions the only form of change perceived as effective:
7.1 is through the willful destruction of a prevailing form, whether or not
a new or more adequate form can be
substituted in its stead. This approach is favoured when the existing form is
perceived as essentially static and
an inhibitor of any form of dynamism or growth.
7.2 is through supportive interaction (dialogue) with the various
perspectives formulated within the community
concerned. Through such participative involvement on the part of the change
agent as a sympathetic catalyst, a new
community viewpoint can develop naturally from its existing foundations and be
transformed. This approach is
favoured when existing methods are perceived as implying destructive
discontinuity or the imposition of
inappropriate external formulations which would do violence to the community's
growth and thus effectively retard
7.3 is through the formulation of a new all-encompassing philosophy
(paradigm, theory, or strategy) as the
reference framework in terms of which change can be initiated and undertaken.
This approach is favoured when the
diversity of existing initiatives is perceived as breeding confusion,
dissipating resources, and undermining any
possibility of a new level of collective achievement for the community as a
7.4 is by enabling a more sensitive recognition of the variety of existing
forms and the manner in which, through
their various (and possibly discordant) interactions, they already constitute a
rich and harmonious pattern
saturated with meaning at a deeper level of significance. This approach is
favoured when there is concern that new
forms advocated are insensitive to and detached from the inherent harmony in
those which have already been
organically integrated into the tissue of lived reality.
7.5 is through the formulation of laws and definitions concerning observable
processes on the basis of controlled
investigation of their properties. Through such forms control is obtained over
the processes which can then be used
to restructure the environment according to their possibilities. This approach
is favoured when there is concern
that the processes of change are clothed in superstition, mystification, and are attributed
solely to chance, or
accident, or inexplicable agents acting spontaneously beyond the control of
7.6 emerges by renunciation of forms based upon the spatio-temporal world in
favour of other factors and frames of
reference to which appeal may be made. This approach is favoured when there is
recognition that manipulative
control of particular sub-systems of the external physical environment is only
partially satisfactory (even when it
is complete), and that less tangible dimensions need to be taken into account
Any such forms are frequently at
least partially based on transformations of the inner world of the individual
as it relates to the external world.
7.7 is to design configurations through which the full range of existing forms
in opposition to each other can function creatively as complementaries, compensating
for each others limitations and excesses. This approach is favoured when there
is concern that the various approaches to change are functioning together
so discordantly that some new form of dynamic order is required which provides
a context for their different, and essentially incompatible, orientations.
|Towards a codification of
variable institutional geometry
(with an indication of their positive and negative public images)
+ Creative diversity of actions derived from common policies and objectives
- Inability to co-ordinate actions due to rigid policies and
+ Integrated objectives and policies implemented through an ordered
framework of actions (world order)
-Rigidly dictated pattern of objectives, policies and actions
|+ Co-ordinated policies and actions creatively
based on fundamental differences in object.
- Superficially co-ordinated policies and actions undermined by
fundamental differences in object.
+ Creative use of alternative models to interrelate common objectives
- Disagreement on policies undermining implementation
of shared objectives
||+ Common policies inter-relating
diverse objectives and actions
- Consensus on policy concealing implications of fundamental differences
in objectives and action.
+ Diversity of policies and actions imbued by fundamental agreement
-Inability to co-ordinate policies and actions despite fundamental
agreement on objectives
|+ Decentralized institutional network with
a variety of complementary objectives, policies and actions
-Unco-ordinated, anarchic fragmentation and duplication
|+Cross-fertilization of objectives and policies
resulting in harmonious action
-Minimal co-ordinated action resulting from fundamental differences
in objectives and policies
Buddhist Eight-fold Way as applied to conferences:
Right view of appearances and recognition of the potential for
deception resulting from group self-interested ness
- Right thought, namely the resolution not to cultivate such self-interest
nor to act harmfully against the group's environment
- Right information, namely the avoidance of misinformation, hypocrisy, deliberate
deception or inappropriate declarations
- Right behaviour, including the collective avoidance of the destruction
of life, or the collective exploitation of resources necessary to others
- Right livelihood, relying on generation of the resources for its continued
existence in an honourable manner
- Right effort through collective diligent action towards appropriate ends
- Right mindfulness through the collective cultivation of appropriate and
questioning attitudes to itself and to its relationship to its environment.
Eight team-working roles (R M Belbin):
(a) Company worker Conservative, dutiful, predictable. Positive
qualities: organizing ability, practical common sense, hard-working, self-discipline.
Normal weaknesses: lack of flexibility, unresponsiveness to unproven ideas.
(b) Chairman: Calm, self-confident, controlled. Positive qualities:
capacity for treating and welcoming all contributions without prejudice, strong
sense of objectives. Normal weaknesses: No more than ordinary in terms of
intellect or creative ability.
(c) Shaper Highly strung, outgoing, dynamic. Positive qualities:
Drive and readiness to challenge inertia, ineffectiveness, complacency or
self-deception. Normal weaknesses: Proneness to provocation, irritation and
(d) Plant: Individualistic, serious-minded, unorthodox. Positive
qualities: Genius, imagination, intellect, knowledge. Normal weaknesses: Up
in the clouds, inclined to disregard practical details or protocol.
(e) Resource investigator: Extroverted, enthusiastic, curious, communicative.
Positive qualities: Capacity for contacting people and exploring anything
new; an ability to respond to challenge. Normal weaknesses: Liable to lose
interest once the initial fascination has passed.
(f) Monitor-Evaluator: Sober, unemotional, prudent. Positive qualities:
Judgement, discretion, hard-headed ness. Normal weaknesses: Lack of inspiration
or the ability to motivate others.
(g) Team Worker: Socially orientated, rather mild, sensistive.
Positive qualities: Ability to respond to people and situations and promote
team spirit. Normal weaknesses: Indecisiveness at moments of crisis. (h) Completer-Finisher:
Painstaking, orderly, conscientious, anxious. Positive qualities: Capacity
for follow-through; perfectionism. Normal weaknesses: Tendency to worry about
small things; reluctance to let go.
Conference challenge: Enduring individuality is the source of continuing
Initiative in a conference and provides a unique focus for the conscious inter-subjective
experience of the gathering. This can only be embodied in an eight-fold pattern
Possible metaphors: ??
Articulation exercise: Constraints on change
8.1 In assessing any apparent need for change, care is required to avoid
mistaken formulations of the environmental
condition. These can lead, for example, to an impetuous response or action for
action's sake, from the consequences
of which recovery may be difficult
8.2 In formulating and planning any change initiative, care is required in
selecting the point and manner of
intervention. The constraints rarely offer the desired freedom of action and
may easily be used as a focus for
8.3 In formulating the nature of the change initiative, care is required in
adapting any representation of it to
avoid the temporary benefits of pleasing whoever is identified with the current
condition or failing to acknowledge
the difficulties to be encountered in changing it. These difficulties include
weaknesses in those associated with
the change initiative itself.
8.4 In implementing a change initiative as formulated, care is required that
the initiative is not itself disorted by close association with the adverse
conditions to which it responds or weakened by avoiding unpleasant decisions
which have to be made to maintain the integrity of the response.
8.5 In sustaining a change initiative as formulated, care is required in
ensuring its equilibrium with the
intensification and expansion of activity due to confidence from successful
experience with any adverse conditions
encountered and with the distractions of contentment with positive
8.6 Once a change initiative has achieved its maximum deployment, care is
required in responding to the limitations
on any further development. The original direction of effort may well be
deflected in the pursuit of further
success, especially in response to any accumulation of negative assessments.
8.7 Once the essential task of a change initiative is approaching
completion, care is required in deciding on the
termination of activities as originally intended. It may seem natural to
continue the activities or to
institutionalize them. Positive encouragement to do so may be received from all
concerned. Succumbing to these
pressures creates the risk of entrapment by a pattern of activity which it may
then prove difficult to terminate at
8.8 After a change initiative has been terminated, care is required in evaluating
the activities and the achievements in the light of the original intent in
order to avoid subsequent dependence on them.
(Maria Beesing, et al)
Personality styles in terms of the enneagram (Maria Beesing, et al):
(a) Ones: Avoid anger, dedicated to being perfect; honest, direct and fair.
Alleviate their compulsive aggressiveness by moving toward the pride of Sevens
(niceness). Their trap is perfection from which they are released by the idea
(b) Twos: Avoid recognizing they have needs; pride themsleves on being
helpful; dependency on others; often innocent of the real evils of the world.
Alleviate their compulsive dependency on other's approval by moving toward
the pride of Fours (uniqueness). Their trap is the concept of selfless service
from which they are released by an understanding of grace.
(c) Threes: Avoid failure; identify themselves with their achievements;
focus on efficiency. Alleviate their compulsive aggressiveness by taking on
the pride of Six (loyalty). Their trap is the stress on efficiency from which
they can be released by an understanding of will.
(d) Fours: Avoid ordinariness, in order to maintain their sense of uniqueness;
compassionate; innate sense of symbolic expression. Their trap is the focus
on authenticity from which they are released by identification with some larger
(e) Fives: Avoid emptiness; preoccupied with increasing their store
of knowledge; observers rather than participants; look for pattern in events,
finding life full of meaning. Alleviate their compulsive defensiveness by
taking on the pride of Eights (powerfulness). Their trap is the quest for
knowledge from which they are released by a recognition of the bénéficient
and synergistic function of inexplicable contextual forces.
(f) Sixes: Avoid deviance, seeing life in terms of obedience to regulations
and norms; concerned with making wrong decisions; sense of insecurity, external
threat and the demands of others; genuinely hospitable, loyal; require unambiguous
guidlines. Alleviate their compulsive dependency on conformity by taking on
the pride of Nines (Iam OK). They are trapped by their idea of security and
are released by a recognition of trust in a larger context
(g) Sevens: Avoid pain and difficult situations, whether physical or psychologicl:
optimistic and fun-loving people; reality is making plans; everything should
be "nice". Alleviate their compulsive dependency on pleasure by
taking on the pride of Fives (knowledge). They are trapped by their idealism
and are realeased by an understanding of co-creation in a wider context
(h) Eights: Avoid weakness, glorifying in a sense of strength; focus
on the struggle for what is right; life as a power struggle; aggressive and
remorseless; scorn compromise and gullibility; courageous. Move against their
compulsion by taking on the pride of Twos (helpfulness). They are trapped
by their idea of justice and are released by understanding compassion.
(f) Nines: Avoid conflict feeling uncomfortable where there is lack of
harmony; peace and restraint are all; reality is harmony; indolent and dependent
on external stimuli; available and shock-proof; natural arbiters and mediators.
Alleviate their compulsive passivity by taking on the pride of Threes (successfulness).
They are trapped by their idea of self-abasement and are released by an understanding
of unconditional love.
Nine varieties of ground in battle (Sun Tzu):
"In respect to the employment of troops, ground may be classified as
dispersive, frontier, key, communicating, focal, serious, difficult, encircled,
When a feudal lord fights in his own territory, he is on dispersive ground
- When he makes but a shallow penetration into enemy territory he is in frontier
- Ground equally advantageous for the enemy or him to occupy is communicating
- When a state is enclosed by three other states its territory is focal
- When the army has penetrated deep into hostile teritory. it is in serious
- When the army traverses mountains, forests... it is in difficult ground
- Ground to which access is constricted. is called encircled
- Ground in which the army survives only if it fights with the courage of
desperation is called 'death' ".
Conference challenge: For a conference to respond effectively, learn
from, and work with, real concrete situations, it must be able to deal appropriately
with uncertainty and unpredictable environmental factors -- using them as catalysts
for its own work process. Such ability can only be embodied in a nine-fold pattern
of energies. The consequent harmonization is dynamic and indeterminate.
Possible metaphors: ??
Articulation exercise: Implementation of a transformation process
Implementation of a transformation process subject to real-world hazards:
9.1 Implementation of a transformative process subject to realworld hazards
requires assembly of the necessary operational resources of an adequate quality.
To the extent that assembly is impossible, or their quality is inadequate, the
process will be handicapped and partially controlled by the nature of those
9.2 Implementation of a transformative process subject to realworld hazards
requires precise and energetic clarification of the succeeding stages of the
process. To the extent that this clarification is lacking, action will be confused
and momentum will be insufficient to overcome unforeseen problems.
9.3 Implementation of a transformative process subject to realworld hazards
requires recognition of deviation or conflict between resources assembled and
process planning in the light of independent critical questions concerning the
implementation process. To the extent that this recognition is lacking, or that
the questions are poorly conceived, further implementation (together with any
corrective action) will result in an imbalanced process vulnerable to disruption.
9.4 Implementation of a transformative process subject to real-world hazards
requires attentive preparation of the assembled elements to be processed. To
the extent that this attentiveness is lacking, details of the preparation will
be carelessly omitted or improperly executed thus jeopardizing the success of
9.5 Implementation of a transformative process subject to real-world hazards
necessitates a controlled manipulation of the prepared elements into an emerging
configuration. To the extent that this manipulation is improperly controlled
or that the correspondence between the action taken and the knowledge of the
action actually required is otherwise inadequate, the results will be unsatisfactory.
9.6 Implementation of a transformative process subject to real-world hazards
requires dispassionate evaluation of the form emerging from the process in the
light of the original intention and the current circumstances. To the extent
that this evaluation is inadequate (and no corrective action is taken), the
product may either not correspond to the original intention or be inappropriate
to current possibilities for using it.
9.7 Implementation of a transformative process subject to real-world hazards
requires that the emergent product be appropriately detached from the process
which gabve rise to it. To the extent that this separation is inadequate, or
the relationship between the product and the process is otherwise confused,
the resultant dependency relationship will jeopardize the value of the product.
9.8 Implementation of a transformative process subject to real-world hazards
requires controlled delivery of the product to its originally intended setting
in the face of possible reactions against it. To the extent that there is over-sensitivity
to such reactions, the delivery cannot be completed thus jeopardizing the original
9.9 Implementation of a transformative process subject to real-world hazards
requires an appropriate attitude on completion of the process to ensure that
it is evaluated within its proper context. To the extent that this attitude
is lacking, efforts may then be made to associate either the product or the
process to other contexts and initiatives. This distorts the originally intended
significance of the initiative and runs the risk of confusing any new initiatives.
Ten Commandments as applied to conferences:
(a) The conference should not understand itself as being the ultimate authority
but should recognize that it has a function to perform within a larger whole.
(b) The conference should not represent the world as fixed and unchanging,
for any such representation misleads, engendering misunderstanding that may
last generations, and requiring remedial initiatives that are often painful.
(c) The conference should not claim the ability to understand or act in
the interests of all, for the world is complex and calls for sensitivity and
comprehension beyond that of any one group.
(d) The conference should not work continually but should phase its work
so as to have periods of rest and reflection in which other modes of interaction
(e) The conference should give full recognition to the initiative which
led to the conference and to the cultural setting (or tradition) from which
(f) The conference should not engage in the destruction of any other entity.
(g) The conference should not form partnerships with bodies already fully
committed to collaborating with some other coalition of forces.
(h) The conference should not attempt to obtain resources on which other
bodies depend. (i) The conference should not misrepresent
the actions of some other body.
(j) The conference should not preoccupy itself with the relative advantages
of other bodies, especially their resources or their network of relationships.
Conference challenge: In all conference processes there is creative,
pattern-generating, activity that is not only the source of order but also
the vehicle of disorder. When contained by a ten-fold pattern of energies,
several sets of processes are able to compensate for one another's defects
and produce an overall harmony that reacts on and sustains the individual
Possible metaphors: The Ten Oxherding Pictures
Articulation exercise: Endurance of a form
The endurance of a form is conditioned by its built-in ability to:
10.1 recognize the probable consequences of initiatives it determines and
thus ensure relationships to other
formulations which are supportive of their mutual development. To the extent
that this recognition is lacking,
destructive initiatives emerge with ultimately negative consequences for the
development of the original form.
10.2 recognize the determining causes of developments in its environment and
thus establish supportive
relationships for the development of other forms on the basis of its own
experience. To the extent that this
recognition is lacking, the form develops parasitic or exploitative
relationships with other forms which are
ultimately detrimental to its own development.
10.3 recognize the characteristic inititives and responses engendured by
other forms in order, by exercise of
discrimination, to determine those with which a mutually beneficial association
is possible. To the extend that
this recognition is lacking, the formulation is continually drawn into illusory
or mutually conflicting
relationships with other forms, in an uncontrollable manner which provides no
stable foundation for its own
development and effectively conceals its possibility.
10.4 recognize the developmental potential of other forms in order to adapt
appropriately to such alternative
perspectives for its own further development To the extent that this
recognition is lacking, the potential of such
alternative forms is misrepresented, thus undermining the future adaptability
of the form and the refinement of its
own development goal.
10.5 recognize the different levels or capacities by which other forms may be
characterized in order to relate
appropriately to them to further mutual development To the extent that this
recognition is lacking, any
relationships risk entrapment in apparent contradictions and in inappropriate
responses to forms which stand in
active opposition. In such circumstances the form may simply serve to spread
dissension and blind awareness to
particular expressions of a form.
10.6 recognize the pathways and goals of different modes of development
characteristic of other forms and to adapt
appropriately to an environment with such contrasting possibilities. To the
extent that this recognition is
lacking, other forms are actively condemned, often with considerable prejudice.
The power and development of the
form is then severely handicapped by the distortion and fragmentation of the
actions it determines into rigidly
polarized opposition to other forms.
10.7 recognize, through some process of detachment, those of its features
which need to be gradually abandoned and
those which need to be reinforced. To the extent that this recognition is
lacking, rigid attachment to an
unchanging form deflects any inherent dynamism into superficial matters of
10.8 recall earlier stages in its development and the manner in which
weaknesses were progressively eliminated. To
the extent that this recollection is lacking, the form is unable to sustain any
method for its own transformation
and the necessary confidence is instead displaced into reinforcing attachment
to existing weaknesses.
10.9 recognize the probable future states of forms and the probable
circumstances of their termination. To the
extent that this recognition is lacking, the form tends to become the vehicle
for negative intentions towards the
positive achievements associated switch other forms, rather than channelling
that intention to reinforce its own
10.10 recognize in other forms the weaknesses to which they have developed
an appropriate resistance. To the extent that this recognition is lacking,
the form becomes a vehicle for the development of destructive misperceptions
which hinder any ability either to abandon the weaknesses they have overcome
or to free other forms from such obstacles to their own development.
Example: Musical constraints on equitable development (E McClain)
The Hindu-Greek diatonic scale and its reciprocal: The smallest integers
which can define the rising Hindu-Greek diatonic scale or its failing reciprocal
scale lie within the octave double 1:2 = 30:60. Three tones, A, D, and G in
the notation used here, are common to both scales so that there are only eleven
total "cuts" in the tone-mandala. There are whole tones of both
8:9 and 9:10 and oversized "semitones" of 15:16, hence the divisions
of the mandate are distinctly unequal. The numbers 50 and 36, representing
f and b, are redundant in the mandala. Capital and small letters distinguish
two classes of tones, the first "fixed", the second "movable".
A fundamental problem of music illustrates the difficulty of dividing any
domain both equally and harmoniously as the number of parts increases. Musicians
cannot sub-divide an octabe 1:2 equally by the "pure" ratios of
rational numbers - this only leads to musical chaos arising from the incommensurability
of musical thrids, fifths and octaves. The challenge, identified by Plato,
is not one of giving equally to each, but rather of moderating such criteria
in the interests of the whole - in this case sacrificing (some of) the interests
of some of the participants for those of the conference as a whole.
The eleven tones of the tone-mandala above cannot be exceeded on the basis
of whole numbers without encountering a tonal fraction which must be "sacrificed"
in one way or another. Although subliminal to the ear in a melodic context
(such as the conference as a whole), the sacrifice becomes audible during
s monochord demonstration (namely in a smaller group context). This
sacrifice, in the musical metaphor of Plato, is the fundamental dilemma of
Conference challenge: In a conference, however ideal, unbridled creativity
is profoundly destabilizing and can lead to the fragmentation of the gathering
into discordant groups as their variety and number increase. To check this
process calls for some means of limitation, preferably self-limitation, to
maintain a comprehensible or appropriately harmonious pattern amongst them.
Such self-constraint is understood through an eleven-fold pattern which fcilitates
alternative perspectives on the same information. It provides the condition
for mutual completion of structures of different kinds.
Possible metaphors: Tone scale
Articulation exercise: Empowerment and importance of a form
The empowerment and importance of a form is determined by the degree of:
11.1 the degree of constructive or destructive action with which it is
associated and the manner whereby they are distinguished.
11.2 the degree of enrichening or impoverishing action with which it is
11.3 the degree of protection or exposure with which it is associated.
11.4 the degree of assistance or obstruction with which it is associated.
11.5 the degree of bias or lack of bias with which it is associated.
11.6 the degree of security or danger with which it is associated.
11.7 the degree of confidence or doubt with which it is associated.
11.8 the degree of consolation or dejection with which it is associated.
11.9 the degree of inspiration and reinforcement with which it is associated.
11.10 the quality of remedial advice with which it is associated.
11.11 the power of the subtle qualities with which it is associated.
|Physical quantities correlated with their equivalent English meanings
Example: Phases in a 12-phase learning/action cycle (adapted from
(a) Observation: Act of considering- position determination; reactive
learning based on immediate registration of phenomena; assessment of distance;
(b) Significance: Recognition of momentousness, relevance (as relateds
to "leverage"); recognition of "matters of great moment";
weight of facts; bringing matters into focus.
(c) Commitment Faith in current paradigm or perception of reality;
unexamined or habitual commitment to a process, projection or understanding,
irrespective of inconsistent disturbing factors.
(d) Adaptive change: Reaction; passive adaptation or change of position
in response to changing circumstances.
(e) Momentum: Recognition of the momentum of an issue, resulting
from a change, namely the consequential transformation of awareness or perspective.
(f) Decision or impulse to act or initiate a process determining
(g) Transformative action: Spontaneous initiation of transformative
action; commitment to a new course of action.
(h) Forcefulness engendered, experienced or embodied as a result
of transformative action; constructive (or disruptive) action potential; enhanced
sense of being.
(i) Application: Achievement of a desired result by application
of understanding (and adjustment of implicit beliefs) in response to external
factors; working action on reality.
(j) Control of transformative action.
(k) Discipline: Establishment of a disciplined pattern of response;
consolidated or harmonious control of action potential; holding forces in
(l) Power of acquired knowledge: Know-how; integrated or embodied
experience; capacity (including that of not acting); non-action.
Conference challenge: For a conference to function consciously in
a fully integrated manner, it needs to be able to handle a pattern of twelve
distinct energies through which it is able to manage its own transformation
and relate effectively to its environment. A twelve-phase cycle defines the
complete sequence of learning action conditions through which information
is gathered, adaptive change takes place, transformative change is initiated,
control is exerted, and knowledge is built up.
Possible metaphors: ??
Articulation exercise: Harmoniously transformative controlled relationship
A form in a harmoniously transformative controlled relationship with its
12.1 is characterized by forceful spontaneous intiatives appropriately guided
by an implicit sense of opportunity
and constraint Such action opens up viable new possibilities. If
inappropriately controlled, it may be excessively
violent, misguided, unfruitful or merely self-serving.
12.2 is characterized by a capacity to respond receptively to a comprehensive
range of external Initiatives by
providing appropriate frameworks within which they can be embodied and
consolidated. To the extent this capacity Is
lacking, such receptivity may be over-loaded leading to selective resistance,
non-response or alternatively to
12.3 is characterized by a capacity to interrelate initiatives, creatively
and explicitly, with contexts within
which they can be further developed. To the extent this capacity is lacking,
any such catalytic mediation becomes
diffuse and lacking in continuity. Apparent contradictions are then a source of
confusion rather than being
perceived as aspects of an Intricate pattern of stimulating diversity.
12.4 is characterized by the gradual emergence of higher order organization
in response to initiatives and
constraints. If such emergence is absent or inhibited, the form engenders
actions which are increasingly incapable
of containing the forces to which they respond.
12.5 necessitates a degree of organization which enables it to respond fully,
in an integrated uncompromising
forceful manner, to a full range of external events of which it remains
independent. To the extent that this
capacity is inappropriately developed, such organization is characterized by
domination, self-appreciation, and
misuse of power.
12.6 necessitates intuitive readjustment of implicit assumptions in order to
renew the capacity to respond
appropriately to events in context. To the extent that this capacity is
lacking, any response is inhibited or
focussed on superficial detail.
12.7 is characterized by a capacity for detached evaluation of past
development from a perspective which provides
both an intuitive balance between relevant factors and a sense of integrative
possibilities. To the extent that
this capacity is lacking, evaluation of external factors is negative or
indecisive thus hindering further
12.8 is characterized by the capacity to respond spontaneously to higher
order goals and possibilities even if the
prevailing set of lower order goals and possibilities (with which it is
identified) must be abandoned in order to
do so. To the extent that the capacity for this transformation is lacking, the
lower order goals and possibilities
are distorted and reinforced to the detriment of further development
12.9 is characterized by the spontaneous initiation of higher order processes
which are focused in order to
transform the operation of pre-existing lower order processes by which it is
governed. To the extend that this
capacity is inappropriately developed, any processes initiated are misdirected
to the detriment of further
12.10 is characterized by an explicit pattern of control processes governing
future possibilities, or current needs
and opportunities. To the extent that this capacity is inappropriately
developed, there is a tendency to
over-control which is detrimental to further development.
12.11 is characterized by the capacity to engender appropriate design in the
light of significant new insights
which bring possibilities and constraints into focus in an unforeseen and
fruitful manner, thus facilitating
effective action for their development To the extent that this capacity is
inappropriately developed, it results
in automatic negative reaction to external initiatives and conditions, to the
detriment of their further
12.12 is characterized by a response pattern of reconciliation between all
potential initiatives or conflicts. This
unifying pattern thus acts as a stabilizing influence ensuring continuity,
particularly between higher and
lower-order processes. To the extend that this capacity is inappropriately
developed, the response pattern becomes
confused, reacting inadequately to spurious conditions.
Time binding learning
|Tentative characteristics of phases in 12-phase
(adapted and developed from Arthur
of Meaning, 1978)
Unconscious regisration of information
Auto catalytic response
Victim of discontinuity
Conscious adaptive response Awareness
Comparison with norms or memory of previous experience
Comparison with previous comparisons Awareness of self
Unintended shift of: perspective, position,
Displacement of focus
Intentional shift of: perspective, position, reference
Range of conscious attention span "Distance"
from object of focus
Observation; act of considering; position determination;
reactive learning based on inmediateregistration of phenomena; assessment
of distance; "sizing up"
Adaptive change:reaction; passive adaptation or
changeof position in response to changing circumstances
L/T2 Spontaneous initiation of transformative
action; commitment to a new course of action
Control of transformative action
Recognition of moment ( ousnes ),relevance (as re
ted t leverage),
motters of great moment") (matters into focus
Recognition of the momentum (of an issue) resulting
from a change, namely the consequential
experienced or embodied as as aresult of transformative
enhanced senseof being
pattern of response; consol dated or harmonious control
of action potential;
Subject to shift of
Projection of shift of
Application Follow through Commitment
Faith in current paradigm or perception
projection, or Understanding, irrespective of inconsistent
Decision or impulse to act or initiate
Achievement of a desired
result by application of understanding (and adjustment or implicit
action on reality
Power of acquired Knowledge know how; Integrated
or embodied experience; capacity (including that of not acting);
Mass of evidence
"Matter of fact"
The above table was subsequently (tentatively) adapted and developed further in Cycles
of dissonance and resonance. See also adaptation to Typology
of 12 complementary strategies essential to sustainable development and to Typology of 12
complementary dialogue modes essential to sustainable dialogue.
Articulation exercise: Creative renewal
Renewal is dependent on the emergence of a creative response to:
13.1 any impotence and enfeeblement of action associated with the form
in its current mode.
13.2 any fragmented or inconsistent action associated with the form in
its current mode.
13.3 any fragmented or inconsistent action associated with the form in
its current mode.
13.4 any non-viable products of action associated with the form in its
13.5 any dependence and powerlessness of the form in its current mode.
13.6 any rigidity or crystallization of the form in its current mode.
13.7 any impracticality or shortsightedness of action associated with the
form in its current mode.
13.8 any sense of futility associated with the form in its current mode,
or to any (consequent) self-destructive processes.
13.9 any apathy or pessimism associated with the form in its current mode.
13.10 any unpredictability or uncontrollability associated with the form
in its current mode.
13.11 any action associated with the form becoming narrowly focused as
an end in itself.
13.12 any corruption or dissolution of the form in its current mode.
13.13 the total disappearance of the form in its current mode.
Articulation exercise: Cycle of development processes
The cycle of development processes includes extreme phases characterized
14.1 static, unchanging forms.
14.2 the breakdown of forms into their component elements.
14.3 the coalescence of forms through which a new form is engendered.
14.4 the harmonious interaction of forms which retain their identity.
14.5 a unified, continuous pattern of forms.
14.6 a diversity of separate, discrete forms.
14.7 specific conflictual relationships between forms.
14.8 qualitatively significant undefinable relationships between forms.
14.9 chance-determined forms.
14.10 forms which result as a natural and predictable consequence of those
14.11 forms whose existence in the spatio-temporal world is self-explanatory.
14.12 forms whose existence cannot be adequately explained in terms of
the spatio-temporal frame of reference.
14.13 fluidity, turbulence and chaos.
14.14 ordered systems and well-defined patterns.
Articulation exercise: Construction and development of form
Construction of form and the logical prediction of its future development
15.1 direct or indirect observation of empirical facts, whether events,
processes, or phenomena.
15.2 appropriate procedures of measurement of empirical quantitative can
15.3 appropriate procedures for the design and interpretation of significant
15.4 appropriate procedures of empirical generalization and descriptive
classification to organize empirical data in a preliminary way in preparation
for systematic classification.
15.5 appropriate procedures whereby explanatory results can be represented.
15.6 the use of conceptual elements, whether characteristic abstractions,
terminology or techniques, which constitute the intellectual keys by which
phenomena are made intelligible.
15.7 hypothesis formation, namely postulation through creative insight
of a conceptual model based on assumptions concerning existing experimental
observations or measurements.
15.8 recognition of a problem which appears susceptible to solution by
use, or extension, of available techniques.
15.9 the possible adjustment or replacement of a conceptual model
as a result of new observations or measurements.
15.10 the selection of a particular style of explanatory procedure required
for the application of a given group of concepts.
15.11 use of formal or mathematical elements, whether computational, construction
or analytic procedures.
15.12 use of techniques of formal transformation, whether formalization
(reduction to relations while disregarding the nature of the related) or axiomatization
(tracing of entailments back to accepted axioms).
15.13 validation of a conceptual model by checking its predictions against
observations or measurements using techniques of confirmation, corroboration
15.14 the production of rigorous formal definitions of the validity, probability,
degree of confirmation, and other evidential relations involved in the judgement
of a logical argument.
15.15 the use of a formal propositional system having a definite, essential
logical structure, namely a formal scheme of propositions and axioms bound
together by logical relations.
Articulation exercise: Values and assumptions
Recognition of the values underlying a form highlights any unfounded assumption
16.1 the form is without imperfection.
16.2 the form is an end in itself.
16.3 there is a permanent dimension to the form.
16.4 the form is composed of independent external features.
16.5 the inadequacies of the form have no cause or are their own cause.
16.6 the inadequacies of the form arise from irrelevant causes.
16.7 the inadequacies of the form are only due to one cause, independent
of conditions or secondary circumstances.
16.8 the inadequacies of the form are necessarily permanent
16.9 it is impossible to generate an adequate form.
16.10 the form as achieved is adequate, can be accepted, and that further
effort to generate a more adequate form should cease.
16.11 the most abstract forms constitute the ultimate achievement.
16.12 however perfect the form engendered, its inadequacy will eventually
16.13 there is no method adequate to the current circumstances.
16.14 there is no suitable method, or pattern of methods, whereby acentric
significance can be effectively perceived or reflected in a form.
16.15 supports the practice of methods which yield no useful results.
16.16 there are no effective remedies for the inadequacies of the existing
Articulation exercise: Relationship potential of a form
The relationship potential of a form to other forms, namely the extent to
which it is assimilated into a larger set of differing forms, is directly
17.1 its relative imperfection. Absence of imperfection reduces dependency
arising from formal incompleteness thus removing any basis for interdependency.
However, the nature of the imperfection strongly influences the quality of
interdependence with which the form can be associated.
17.2 the recognition that the form is not an end in itself.
17.3 recognition of the impermanence of the form. The larger the set of
forms within which relationships may exist, the greater the probability that
such relationships will involve patterns of formal development and transformation
in which any invariance will be at a higher level of abstraction than that
of the form as originally recognized.
17.4 recognition that the form is itself the integrated development of
17.5 recognition of the causes of the perceived inadequacies of the form.
Such recognition establishes a relationship between the form and other forms.
However the nature of the perceived cause strongly influences the quality
of interdependence with which the form can be associated.
17.6 recognition that the inadequacies of the form arise from relevant
causes and not from causes irrelevant to the nature of the form.
17.7 recognition that the inadequacies of the form are due to a multiplicity
of causes themselves dependent on conditions and secondary circumstances.
17.8 recognition that the inadequacies of the form and their causes are
necessarily of a temporary nature.
17.9 conviction that it is possible to generate a more adequate form. By
focusing attention on possible adaptation of the form, its evolving relationship
to other forms thus becomes evident.
17.10 continuing effort to generate a more adequate form and refusal as
adequate of what has already been achieved. This ensures that the form is
placed in a context of forms in process of transformation rather than in isolation.
17.11 recognition that elaboration and retention of the most abstract form
does not constitute the ultimate achievement. To the extent that this recognition
is lacking, any such form, despite its sophistication, is a hindrance to the
dynamics of further development.
17.12 conviction that forms can be engendered which will not subsequently
come to be perceived as inadequate. Such forms must necessarily incorporate
and counterbalance the factors which make for the emergence of inadequacy
in an evolving set of forms.
17.13 conviction that there is a method, or pattern of methods, which can
be followed and is adequate to current circumstrances. To the extent that
this conviction is lacking, it is unlikely that significant relationships
between forms will be recognized.
17.14 conviction that a suitable method, or pattern of methods, may emerge
whereby acentric significance can be effectively perceived or reflected in
form. To the extent that this conviction is lacking, methods used will continue
to be centred on particular approaches which fail to take account simultaneously
of insights emerging from those centred on other approaches.
17.15 recognition of the futility of practising methods which yield no
fruitful results. To the extent that this recognition is lacking, the methods
pursued will limit the range and richness of relationships which can be established
17.16 conviction that there are effective remedies for the inadequacies
of the existing form.
17.17 (intuitive) recognition of the permeability and variability of the
boundary of that form.
Articulation exercise: Inadequate transformation attempts
Attempts at the transformation of form tend to be undermined by destructive
energy-dissipating conflict between methodological extremes such as:
18.1 the assembly or mobilization of operational resources in accordance
with a predetermined concept. This tends to engender either subservience or
considerable resistance and alienation of potential support. Such forcing
initiatives may well prevent formation of linkages vital to the future integrity
of the operation and may lead to its early abortion or a considerable limitation
in its scope.
18.2 allowing operational resources to assemble, as and when they may,
according tot he emergent processes of their initial interaction. This tends
to result in considerable confusion, seldom with any creative operational
outcome of other than a superficial nature. Such initiatives then lack coherence,
continuity and any capacity for endurance.
18.3 the imposition of a programme of operations. This immediately splits
the resources mobilized into the empowered and the disempowered. The strength
of the former then tends to be overestimated, whilst their weaknesses are
under estimated, and the full contribution of the disempowered is blocked.
The imposed programme is never called into question. This procedure further
alienates potential support and increases the risk that the operation will
go out of control if circumstances later arise in which the blocked or alienated
resources are essential.
18.4 the dependence on spontaneous, participative self-organization of
operational programmes. This tends to result in uncertainty and conflicting
activities which reinforce lack of coherence, of continuity, and of any capacity
for endurance. Any programmes which emerge are immediately called into question.
18.5 the reassessment of objectives and direction through detailed analysis
following the initiation of the operation, this tends to be a destructive,
unfruitful exercise providing little more than an intellectual framework as
support for programme integration. The exercise then serves to alienate involvement
in the operation, rather than to uncover new reserves of support for it.
18.6 the reassessment of objectives and direction through resensitizing
processes, affirmation, and celebration of solidarity, following the initiation
of the operation. This tends to emphasize the dimensions of consensus (whether
intangible or superficial) at the expense of the dimensions of disagreement
(often specific and fundamental). Operational coherence is then dependent
on the former without any adequate framework to balance the issues raised
by the latter.
18.7 the preparation or partial destructuring of the operation (for subsequent
transformation), according to a rigid procedure unresponsive to contextual
feedback. This tends to result in the accumulation of conditions which disrupt
the procedure. The operation can then only be continued by overriding such
obstacles or by limiting its original scope. Both solutions generate difficulties
necessitating future operations for their elimination.
18.8 the preparation or partial destructuring of the raw materials of the
operation (for subsequent transformation) according to a procedure totally
responsive to contextual feedback. This tends to result in the erosion (and
eventual dissipation) of the procedure whose impetus is then absorbed into
the contextual processes.
18.9 the transformation of the raw materials of the operation by a series
of precisely defined (and reproducible) changes of structure. This tends to
limit such operations to those of essentially mechanical scope and renders
them inapplicable to transformations of perception, attitude or value.
18.10 the transformation of the raw materials of the operation by a set
of intuitive, irreproducible processes. This tends to limit such operations
to those of essentially intangible scope. This renders them inapplicable to
transformations of tangible conditions which should reflect such changes and
give them a measure of permanence.
18.11 evaluating the transformation in terms of the quality of the results
achieved, without taking into consideration the viability of the process as
a means to that end. This facilitates the emergence of processes whose by-products
set the stage for later difficulties.
18.12 evaluating the transformation in terms of the viability of the process,
without taking into consideration the quality of the results achieved (if
any). This facilitates the emergence of processes carried out as an end in
themselves, but which generate little of permanent benefit to the context
in which they take place.
18.13 abrupt separation of the emergent product from the process which
gives rise to it. Such sudden separation endangers the product in its final
phases of dependency on the process.
18.14 continuing dependence of the emergent product on the process which
gives rise to it. This pattern of dependency endangers the ultimate self-sufficiency
of the product.
18.15 delivery of the final product to the originally intended setting
in a manner insensitive to reactions from that setting. This tends to lead
to the early rejection of the product
18.16 delivery of the final product to the originally intended setting
in a manner overly sensitive to reactions from that setting. Unless the normal
resistance to new products is overcome, this tends to prevent the product
from being delivered.
18.17 complete rejection of any subsequent evaluation
of the process or association with it This tends to deprive
subsequent initiatives from any value of the process as a learning experience.
18.18 continuing identification with the process after its completion.
This tends to distort any subsequent initiatives.
Articulation exercise: Qualitative transformation
Qualitative transformation depends on harmonious transfer of focus, alternating
from (and to) :
19.1 the assembly or mobilization of, in accordance with a predetermined
19.2 allowing operational resources to assemble naturally of their own
19.3 the imposition of a programme of operations.
19.4 the dependence on spontaneous, participative self-organization of
19.5 the reassessment of objectives and direction through detailed analysis,
following the initiation of the operation.
19.6 the reassessment of objectives and direction through resensitizing
processes, following the initiation of the operation.
19.7 the preparation or partial restructuring of the elements of the operation,
according to a rigid procedure unresponsive to contextual feedback.
19.8 the preparation or partial restructuring of the elements of the operation,
according to a procedure totally responsive to contextual feedback.
19.9 the transformation of the elements of the operation by a series of
precisely defined changes of structure.
19.10 the transformation of the elements of the operation by a set of intuitive,
19.11 evaluating the transformation in terms of the quality of the results
achieved, without taking into consideration the viability of the process as
a means to that end.
19.12 evaluating the transformation in terms of the process, without taking
into consideration the quality of the results achieved.
19.13 abrupt separation of the emergent product which gives rise to it.
19.14 continuing dependence of the emergent product on the process which
gives rise to it.
19.15 delivery of the final product to the originally intended setting
in a manner insensitive to reactions form that setting.
19.16 delivery of the final product to the originally intended setting
in a manner extremely sensitive to reactions from that setting.
19.17 complete rejection of any subsequent evaluation of the process or
association with it.
19.18 continuing identification with the process after its completion.
19.19 Qualitative transformation depends on harmonious transfer of focus
between extremes whilst maintaining an appropriate periodicity for such transfers
within a self-organizing pattern.
Articulation exercise: Significance of mutually constraining forms
The significance of mutually constraing forms emerges with:
20.1 their avoidance of unnecessary or excessive response to each other.
To the extent that this forebearance is lacking, the significance is obscured
by the turbulent nature of that response.
20.2 affirmation of their affinity. To the extent that this affirmation
is lacking, the significance is obscured by the consequences of previous unbalanced
20.3 their controlled interaction. To the extend that such control is lacking,
the significance is obscured by the uncontrolled nature of their interaction.
20.4 recognition of their sensitively supportive response to each other's
condition. To the extent that this sensitivity is lacking, the significance
is obscured by destructive interactions.
20.5 reconciliation of their respective characteristics. To the extent
that this reconciliation is lacking, the significance is obscured by non-recognition
or non-acceptance of some characteristics.
20.6 acknowledgement of inadequancies. To the extent that such acknowledgement
is lacking, the significance will be obscured by distortion of the relationship
for short-term advantage.
20.7 abandonment of claims to non-existent qualities. To the extent that
such claims are not relinquished, the significance will be obscured by efforts
to achieve short-term advantage.
20.8 the implicit development of principies governing their actions.To
the extent that such implicit principles are lacking, the significance is
obscured by unconstrained actions and their consequences.
20.9 the explicit development of principles governing their actions. To
the extent that such principles are lacking, the significance is obscured
by unconstrained actions and their consequences.
20.10 acknowledgement of obstacles to further development. To the extent
that such acknowledgement is lacking, the significance is obscured and their
20.11 abandonment of efforts to increase the resources associated with
either form. To the extent that this is not achieved, the significance is
obscured by the dépendance created on the resource-seeking activity.
20.12 reservations concerning the resources and characteristics associated
with the forms. To the extent that this reserve is lacking, the significance
is obscured by preoccupation with these attributes.
20.13 enthusiasm for the functions with which they are associated. To the
extend that this enthusiasm is lacking, the significance is obscured by indifference
to those functions.
20.14 perseverance. To the extent that such persistent attention is lacking,
the significance is obscured.
20.15 recognition of the constructive and destructive consequences of their
interaction. To the extent that this recognition is lacking, the significance
20.16 recollection of the multiple aspects of their interaction. To the
extent that such memories are eroded, the significance is obscured.
20.17 alertness to potential confusion. To the extent that such attentiveness
is lacking the significance is obscured.
20.18 intelligent interest in their interaction. To the extent that such
interest is lacking the significance is obscured.
20.19 balanced attention to them. To the extent that there is preoccupation
with one form the significance is obscured.
20.20 ability to focus on their interaction. To the extent that such focus
cannot be maintained, the significance is obscured.
|Map of transformations
between global, "heads-together" networking conditions
The conditions are denoted by hexagrams in traditional circular
order ( each facing its negative image). The 6 transformations shown
intertinking these conditions are those described in the accompanything
text (in which only one line of each hexagram code ismodified see
Figure 5 for multiple line modifications). The hexagram code is read
here with the top line closest to the centre (Anthony Judge)
A comprehensive hyperlinked example for conferences is given in the context of
a more complex exploration, with respêct to dialogue, vision, policy, network,
community and lifestyle set with respect in Transformation
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