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Event, 8/13: "Sensemaking: Cooperative Frameworks post-COVID19 & Cross-Silo Cooperation"

Date: Thursday, August 13, 2020, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM California time (PDT).

This nominal-cost online event is part of the Foresight Institute’s weekly online salons. Foresight is a nonprofit research and public policy org focused on “technologies of fundamental importance to the human future, focusing on molecular machine nanotechnology, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.” I’ve been part of their extended community for 25+ years, it’s a good org. Their site:

This week’s event seems well-aligned with OGM’s interests. A donation (of any amount) is required. Here’s the Eventbrite signup:

Here’s the blurb (also on the page above):


“How can we improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?”

About this Event

We are delighted to host Nora Bateson and Phoebe Tickell this Thursday for a discussion focused on cooperative frameworks for advancing cooperation across disciplines in a post covid-19 world.

Nora Bateson is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute, based in Sweden. Her work asks the question “How we can improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?”. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems.

The IBI integrates the sciences, arts and professional knowledge to create a qualitative inquiry of the integration of life. As President, Nora directs research projects at the IBI that require multiple contexts of research and interdependent processes. Asking, “How can we create a context in which to study the contexts?”, an impressive team of international thinkers, scientists and artists have been brought together by the IBI to generate an innovative form of inquiry, which Nora coined “Transcontextual Research”.

Phoebe Tickell is a scientist, educator and serial systems entrepreneur. She has co-founded a series of organisations that steward systems change via innovation, weaving together networks and learning programmes across the sectors of education, food and farming, sustainability, and technology. She has a first class degree in Biological Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, and she brings this training in understanding biological networks and systems thinking into all of her work.

She brings her training in systems and networks into the areas of sustainability, re-thinking business and work, and personal development. She is part of the design and delivery team of a cutting-edge Master’s programme at Schumacher College, UK, which trains and prepares students for a complex world with a basis in systems thinking, network science, complexity, and earth systems science, and the Youth Initiative Programme, Sweden. She is a Member of the social change freelancer network Enspiral which both supports and is supported by her work.

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I’m joining this now…

I’m glad you posted! I didn’t have it on the calendar, so I would have missed it! :slight_smile:

Thanks for your summary posts in the chat, I could not follow nearly as well as you did! I was trying to capture notes too.

I am not sure i left with clear ideas about the title - Sensemaking Cooperative Frameworks post-Covid", but certainly a lot of new ideas for me.

Likewise! :slight_smile:

I had never seen Dave Snowden speak, interesting stuff…

Yeah, I was pretty blown away. :slight_smile:

Dave Snowden was pretty clear that in his mind we have already exceeded critical tipping points, and should be in damage control mode. Except no one seems to think in terms of damage control yet, so it may be more severe than one could imagine. He mentioned at least the way I understood him that we would have to expect a great loss of life in the coming years.

Did anyone else pick that up?

Yes, and it was quite impactful to hear it from someone so thoughtful.

When one of the attendees chimed in that “we can avoid it, though!,” I thought back to the beginning of the call when Dave and Phoebe were saying that we pretty much have the technology now to fix it, but that we don’t have the collective wherewithal to proceed with fixing it, which was sort of the whole point of the discussion.

One of the other things I was fascinated by was the part about interacting patterns of micro-narratives, and how that is really the background against which things move, not some singular macro narrative.

That really caught my attention too. I almost posted in the chat, but it seemed the facilitator tried to steer away from that topic.

I was happy to be on the call, but felt that it didn’t live up to it’s bill regarding Cooperative Frameworks post-COVID. I also felt sometimes it was too theoretical or intentionally referencing outside theories, but maybe that is just me having to get up to speed!

true, and the interacting patterns of micro-narratives have to be grounded / rooted in a common higher level narrative that connects to a common purpose. Thinking of Donella Meadows and her paper on Leverage Points; so one would think that narrative has to built top down, in order to facilitate change bottom up???

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I don’t think fully “top down”… (of course what top and bottom mean is pretty subjective). I think a small intense community (like OGM) can create stories (tropes, memes) and push out to their next couple of circles, but then has to be picked up by a viral stream.

In that scenario the community has a bit of a “top down” nature in being coordinated; and the viral stream has the “bottom up”, being widely picked up and amplified.

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what I meant by ‘top’ was alignment around issues that create a frame, boundaries to work within. For example climate change is setting boundaries of what can be / should be done. A common set of assumptions that guides responses on different levels of administrative and operational actions.

By bottom up I mean the technical expertise to create goods and services, infrastructure, tools and processes that work to implement broadly defined solutions.

Does that make more sense?

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Yes, I think continuing to explore how stories (narratives) can be created and propagated would be interesting. Often memes are considered negative, but I think there need to be more positive memes. The Bitcoin community is developing some to spread the word. Sometimes complex topics need to be boiled down.

One from Bitcoin I like is: Stay humble. Stack sats.

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The video from the call is up:

I created a good transcript of it:

This is just a baseline transcript. I intend to add linked references, but it’s taken me long enough to pull just this version together that I wanted to post it, and then add on later.

I am keen to have any corrections. I tried hard to make everything as perfect as I could, but I’m sure there are more things I can fix, and I would be only too happy to do so.