Proximity-Focused ProxThink Framework Offers New Ways to Think, Relate, Create, Innovate, and Sustainably Grow

Short Summary

If we want to tackle tough challenges, such as globalization, economic turmoil and climate change, we may need new ways of thinking and relating. As a bonus, other things may get a boost, such as design, culture and fun. ProxThink is a framework for the proximity of situations, offering individuals and groups new ways to think, relate, create, innovate, and sustainably grow. People can explore, learn about and use it at http://proxthink.com.

Full Announcement

If we want to tackle tough challenges, such as globalization, economic turmoil and climate change, we may need new ways of thinking and relating. Thanks to scientists and philosophers, we know that things are connected and related, and that being is about relating. However, to make the most of these insights, we could use a general, widely shared, practical framework, which might suggest different ways of seeing the world and interacting with it. “I’ve tried to develop something with that potential,” says David Loughry, creator of ProxThink. The developments include a foundation, terms, patterns, models and tools that, with a focus on the proximity of situations, form a framework. The meaning of “proximity” includes nearness in relationship, so you can think of the proximity as elements related, or potentially related, to your situation. The framework is general and simple enough for conversation, yet also presents diverse possibilities, offering individuals and groups new ways to think, relate, create, innovate, and sustainably grow. People can explore, learn about and use it at the ProxThink website.

The perhaps surprising upshot is that this framework helps us relate to and within contexts, networks and environments, which can be considered from a proximity point of view. This is timely since social and technological networks, as well as global social, political, economic and environmental challenges, shift some of the emphasis to the proximity of situations. Further, ProxThink can relate to many different proximities, and in the process boost fun, the arts and culture; support science, engineering and design; promote sustainability; acknowledge and work with complexity; as well as be useful in situations ranging from everyday life and personal relationships to business and markets. Loughry says, “I call this framework ProxThink, short for proximity thinking and the different ways of relating that can result from proximity thinking. In the process of creating it, I’ve developed a number of proposed standards I hope others will adopt and adapt. These include standards for thinking structures, creativity patterns, downloadable content, climate change efforts and a growth model for people who share a proximity. I’m also curious how people will use the patterns and tools designed for creativity and innovation. As a designer, businessperson, inventor, writer and artist myself, they have helped me. In fact, some of the patterns co-evolved with my creative activities. On a larger scale, the ProxThink sustainable proximities approach is an effort to create, for some proximities, new options more suited to our highly networked world.”

Although the full framework cannot be explained here, a brief overview follows. ProxThink, with a focus on proximities, consists of the following three elements: 1) a new structure for thinking and relating, paired with 2) a creativity and innovation system. These were then used as building blocks for 3) a new kind of growth model for people who share a proximity. The new structure for thinking and relating consists of two foundational elements, four terms and two tools. The creativity and innovation system consists of 16 related proximity patterns and tools which leverage them. The growth model consists of four related processes, was created to work with networks, and includes new kinds of rewards called “proxri.” The growth model may provide a kind of evolutionary path for business models. The growth model can be combined with some existing technologies, networks, and participatory aspects of the Internet to create a new sustainable proximities approach, which can enable proximity-focused cooperation and collaboration while fostering greater sustainability. Loughry has begun to apply the growth model and the sustainable proximities approach to several areas, including climate change, downloadable content, web business models, intellectual property, and enhancements to markets. He believes ProxThink may be especially useful for challenges in which standard approaches are not working, for things that have never been done before, and for when people are stuck. People can explore, learn about and use it at the ProxThink website, where memberships start at $4.95 per year (yes, per year) with a 30 day free trial. There are also some free ProxThink resources, including videos. In addition, Loughry is available for webcam support as well as for seminars, speaking, consulting or collaboration on a short- or long-term basis. He is based in Los Angeles. For more, visit http://proxthink.com.

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