Congratulations everyone! Great job! It’s the holidays and we have a civilization to be proud of. Before I review how great things are, let me say I think we can do even better. I think so because I have a new approach to share with you, which uses what we have in different ways. It’s my holiday gift to you. But first, let’s sum up how far we’ve come.
We don’t know what to do about widespread unemployment, and the social, mental and health costs that go with it. Ditto for avoidable wars. We can’t get together on climate change. Health care is a mess. Millions die from treatable or fixable problems. Income disparities threaten the social fabric. Banks get generous, flexible bailouts and are still ungenerous and inflexible with customers. We do a poor job of finding, testing and implementing new approaches.
You get the picture. Yes there are good, even great things about life. But we know there are a lot of problems which seem more solvable than they turn out to be. And that’s a key point. I think it’s less anyone’s fault in particular. It’s more the system we live within.
During the economic meltdown last year, and the events that led up to it, we realized we were not looking at what they called “systemic risk.” We missed the big picture. In a similar way, we’re not taking a large enough view of a lot of our challenges.
Taking the big picture view, and integrating it with the practical, is sort of my specialty. For over 30 years, I’ve been preparing for, and then developing, a framework which does that. It started with a few rules of thumb about life, a focus on proximity, and the known philosophical insight that being is about relating. After that, it kind of took on a life of it’s own.
Eventually, it grew into a large framework, including a new thinking structure, creativity patterns, models and tools. I call it ProxThink, short for proximity thinking. Perhaps the crown jewel is a sustainable proximities approach. The approach integrates all the other aspects of the framework with technology, networks, and emerging social practices such as networked communication and collaboration.
I implemented the sustainable proximities approach in several other projects I’m working on, in order to work out the kinks. After this conceptual work and implementation, I recently came up with a short “how-to” guide. The guide introduces both the concepts and how to set them up for a proximity you care about.
I’m including this guide in a linked blog post. It’s called “How to Create a Sustainable Proximity.” You are free to use this approach, and I hope you will. If we create many sustainable proximities, they will start to overlap. If you find this useful or interesting, there is a link at the end for ways to get more involved. Also, please share it.
So, pick up your gift at How to Create a Sustainable Proximity.