ProxThink makes possible more sustainable proximities.
It feels to me like we’re still in the horseless carriage stage of using the Internet. Before we really learned how to design cars, they were just motorized carriages without the horses. We hadn’t yet discovered the unique properties of cars and new opportunities they presented. In a similar way, we’re not yet taking advantage of some opportunities the Internet presents.
With the connections and proximity awareness the web can provide, we have the potential to relate to some proximities more fully and directly than before the web existed. The proximity is a useful concept since the meaning of proximity includes nearness in relationship, allowing consideration of any elements related to a situation (more about proximity here). Taking the proximity as a point of departure, I have created: 1) a new thinking structure, called the ProxThink Basics; 2) new patterns and tools for creativity and innovation that leverage the thinking structure, known as the ProxPatterns and ProxThink Hints; and 3) the sustainable new ProxThink growth model, which is built with the structure and patterns just mentioned. The combination of the Internet and related technologies with the ProxThink growth model creates: 4) a fundamentally different way for us to relate to proximities. This approach can help us more sustainably coordinate, collaborate and manage resources in a wide variety of situations ranging from the serious to the fun, and in the short and long term.
Why does this approach have potential? The ProxThink growth model shares the emergent nature, and synergistic and sustainable qualities, of the ProxPatterns upon which it is built. The growth model has a proximity focus, and includes processes for connecting with people (RelatePoints), proximity awareness (ProxMonitors), sustainable agreements (Vadi Agreements) and rewards which relate elements in the proximity (proxri). All four of these processes work well with the web, and boost coordination, resource management and collaboration. The growth model, especially when used in combination with the Internet, has the potential to be sustainable, flexible, healthy, fun and efficient. On the ProxThink website, the Sustainable Proximities page provides more details, and links to early-stage examples and implementations of the approach. One of the initiatives considers in more detail how ProxThink ideas and the growth model relate to markets and financial turmoil. The others include implementations of the growth model for websites and blogs (see Proxri Deal and Proxri-Based Membership); a proposal for downloadable digital content content such as music, movies, video, art, books and software that can solve some legal, financial and logistical problems; and a climate change project called proxEarth, which includes things you can do right now if you have a website, blog, or use social software sites. Not every proximity may be appropriate for this approach. But for those which are, it may be a win/win strategy for people involved, allowing a fuller range of voluntary engagement, while meeting needs at the same time.
I want to start implementing the growth model and web combination in some situations and proximities. I hope you or your organization will be interested in being a user, partner, funder, contributor or collaborator. Contact me here.
I also encourage others to adopt and adapt the growth model and web approach. The growth model and web combination benefits from network effects, so the more people who know about it and use it, the more sustainable proximities can become, and the more sustainable proximities we can create.
For more, please see the Sustainable Proximities page. There you will find sections on sustainability, applicability, leveraging technology, a discussion of what this approach might be like (sort of like the give and take of a neighborhood, relationship, friendship or perhaps being a considerate traveler) and other topics.