New Press Release

(r] proxthink.com

[Note: This is another version of the new short form press release I’m working on. – David]

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.

… End of Announcement ……………

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

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Elegance of the ProxThink Basics

(r] proxthink.com

Like a physicist who guesses the value of a solution by the elegance of the equation, I suspect the ProxThink Basics have potential since they revolve around the simple three part structure of elements, relationships and proximities.

The Basics include an underlying concept (being is about relating), four terms (situation, element, relationship and proximity), a core idea (which uses and integrates the four terms), and two conceptual tools (ProxSet and ProxPattern). Combine the Basics with the emergent and synergistic properties of the sixteen individual ProxPatterns, and you’ve got something with even more potential. The Basics and ProxPatterns seem to have value in a wide range of situations and proximities.

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

Proximity Focus Bears Fruit

(r] proxthink.com

NOTE TO READERS:

A few paragraphs down is our first press release. It’s also a great introduction to ProxThink.

In this press release, I introduce a proximity point of view as well as some new proximity-related practices for thinking, creativity, sustainability and growth. The release starts with the proximity and creativity, and ends with new perspectives and more sustainable approaches related to climate change, financial turmoil, websites, blogs and downloadable digital content such as music, movies, video, art, books and software.

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.
David

——————

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Proximity Focus Bears Fruit:
Proximity Focus Sparks New Ideas, Tools, Models and Standards which can Boost Thinking, Creativity, Growth and Sustainability, and which Relate to a Wide Variety of Challenges and Situations

Los Angeles, CA, November 10, 2008, 2:40 PM – “Whether you want to meet a challenge or have fun, or both, the proximity usually matters. From climate change to financial turmoil to business to conversations to parties, relating to the proximity usually makes a difference. It can boost creativity, enhance growth, and improve sustainability. Situations like climate change and financial turmoil may be telling us we need to relate better to proximities. Then add networks to the mix. Communication networks and the Internet are increasing our connections and relationships such that relating better to proximities may be less optional, since so many people and other elements may be part of our proximity via these networks. Yet networks present many opportunities too,” says ProxThink creator David Loughry. “The proximity is a useful way to think about connections, relationships, challenges and situations, since the meaning of proximity includes nearness in relationship. So the proximity may include people and other elements related to a situation in physical, mental, emotional, temporal, intuitive, technological, historical, social and many other ways. I’ve created an integrated set of ideas, tools, models and standards for relating to the proximity of situations. It’s called ProxThink, short for proximity thinking. ProxThink can boost thinking, creativity, growth and sustainability. It lets you start quickly and advance as you go. ProxThink can be used by individuals, friends, teams, neighborhoods, communities, businesses, organizations, governments, regions and people generally, since many proximities overlap. It relates to a wide variety of challenges and situations. You can use ProxThink online, as well as use the ideas and concepts wherever you are. The site allows free sign-up as part of your proxri-based membership, which is based on a new sustainable growth model for proximities that works especially well with the Internet.”

ProxThink relates to many different challenges, proximities and situations. In addition to relating to climate change, financial turmoil, business, conversations and parties, here are a few other examples: innovation, problem-solving, strategy, science, design, the arts, social relationships, collaboration, conflict resolution, resource management, growing community, writing, downloadable content (music, movies, video, art, books, software, etc.), intellectual property, business models, the evolutions of markets, and growth models for websites, web applications and blogs.

Loughry created ProxThink using his diverse background in the arts, science, design, philosophy, creativity and business. ProxThink began as an effort to capture something of what creativity and life are about, to help him relate to a wide range of situations. This led to an integrated group of sixteen patterns (ProxPatterns) for creatively and sustainably relating to situations, including ways to consider how the patterns relate to each other. In creating the patterns, he developed a structure (ProxThink Basics) for thinking about, describing, and relating to the proximity of situations, which includes a foundation, terms and tools. He then used the patterns and structure to create a growth model for putting them on the Internet in a sustainable way. The site includes concepts and definitions, explanations, tips, questions, examples, tools, background, and a start area with a variety of different ways to begin. ProxThink in general has aspects of a model or system, and while the word “framework” is a decent description, it is better considered as an integrated set of ideas, tools, models and standards.

Of particular interest is the interactive ProxThink Hints. This tool combines ProxPatterns with your answer to the question “What are you considering?” to create hint questions. These hint questions can generate ideas, possibilities, options, consideration and action. There are main hints using the sixteen ProxPatterns, sixteen followup hints expansions with further discussion and questions, a VIU Hint tool (which focuses on the interplay and synergy between the Relate a Variety, Honor Integrity and Allow Uncertainty ProxPatterns), a ProxThink Core Idea hint, pairs tools (which allow you to consider thirteen kinds of relationships between pairs of ProxPatterns), a three random hints generator (one from each ProxPattern group), ways to consider how your hints synergistically relate to each other, and links to related ProxPatterns, definitions, explanations, examples and further questions. The site also allows you to save ideas the Hints stimulate, and track your familiarity with the Basics and the ProxPatterns.

The growth model Loughry developed to sustainably put ProxThink online was used to develop a proxri-based membership approach for the site, featuring a Proxri Deal. How do you proxri? “Proxri,” pronounced prox’ree, is short for “ProxReward,” a reward of your choice, money or otherwise, which relates elements in the proximity. In usage, “proxri” can be both singular and plural. Allowing free sign-up for the site, the essence of the Proxri Deal is this: “As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.” The use of proxri allows many kinds of rewards, from money to thanks, referrals, links, resources, products, services, advice, suggestions, support, relationships, connections, collaboration, opportunities and so on. Proxri let you relate to the proximity, which includes your perspective as well as the perspective of the proximity more generally, including elements of the Proxri Deal such as Our Relationship, Your Rewards, and the ProxMonitor. Proxri suggestions are included if you want them or you don’t have time to explore the proximity of the Proxri Deal. Also supporting diversity, you have the ability to turn advertising on the site off and on with membership levels two and three. The Proxri Deal doesn’t require you to do anything, but you are asked to relate to the proximity. The growth model approach, and the proxri-based membership developed with it, is similar to the give and take of a neighborhood, relationship, friendship or perhaps being a considerate traveler — you want the neighborhood, relationship, friendship or location you’re visiting to survive, thrive, and take care of you as you take care of it. This may sound idealistic, but given the connected nature of the web, it can be highly practical, efficient, flexible and even fun.

How does ProxThink support sustainability? Loughry believes the meaning of sustainability supports the possibility that diversity and complexity can persist, adapt and change as needed. He says, in this sense, you might also think of sustainable as meaning lively. ProxPatterns, and ProxThink Hints built with them, stimulate creativity, innovation and liveliness partly by how they work together and play off each other. Further, much like the way emergence works, individual ProxPatterns are patterns for relatively simple interactions, yet when combined can generate complex behavior and order from a more general viewpoint. This enhances sustainability by supporting diversity and complexity. The four processes of the ProxThink growth model build on the sustainable qualities of the ProxPatterns, and the processes are proposed standards. The growth model has processes for connecting with people (RelatePoints), proximity awareness (ProxMonitors), sustainable agreements (Vadi Agreements) and rewards which relate elements in the proximity (proxri). By focusing on proximities, the growth model is an integrated way to more sustainably coordinate, collaborate and manage resources for proximities, and supports engaging and lively transitions to the approach. Regarding a strength of proxri, he notes that as we worry about avoiding monocultures and ensuring biodiversity for greater sustainability, we should probably also encourage many kinds of rewards related to proximities, such as proxri.

“The Internet and related technologies, combined with the ProxThink growth model, present new opportunities to relate more directly to proximities, especially when we need to coordinate, manage resources and collaborate,” says Loughry. “Sustainability, diversity, and liveliness seem to be enhanced when elements, relationships and proximities can each relate to each other. 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 ProxThink growth model provides processes for using the web to do so. This can help us coordinate, manage resources and collaborate more effectively, and presents other opportunities as well. Resources can range from materials and environments to efforts and information, and the approach can also solve some intellectual property and copyright problems the Internet helped create. This presents opportunities for people, from websites and blogs to projects for larger proximities. It may also create opportunities for some proximities to become sustainable resources or system services, much like ecosystem services such as air and water. I invite people to adopt and adapt the ProxThink growth model. I’m also looking for partners to further develop logistical, legal and technological systems and standards which support easy use and adoption of the growth model on the web.”

Almost any situation involving some combination of coordination, collaboration and resource management is a likely candidate for using a combination of the ProxThink growth model and the Internet, Loughry believes. This range covers many situations, from the serious to the enjoyable. After he used the growth model to create proxri-based membership for the ProxThink site, he began to explore other such opportunities. First he added Proxri Deals to both his art website and personal blog, and then he developed a downloadable content proposal, started a climate change project, and considered how the growth model relates to our financial turmoil. The proposal for downloadable digital content (music, movies, video, art, books, software, etc.) includes a Proxri Deal and standards for creators as well as fans and users of downloadable content, and can be found at artdown.com (http://artdown.com). The climate change project, called Proxearth, lays out a proposal for using the ProxThink growth model to address what are perhaps some of our greatest areas of need regarding climate change, which may be coordination and collaboration at local, regional and global scales. The project can be found at Proxearth.com (http://proxearth.com), and includes things you can do right now if you have a website, blog, or use social software sites. Regarding our financial turmoil, Loughry thinks that financial markets benefit from the strengths of diversity in some ways but not in others, which may increase turmoil and decrease sustainability. This relates to aspects of financial decisions, financial relationships, and the proximities of financial markets. It turns out the challenges and possible solutions for financial markets also relate to other kinds of markets. He thinks that for proximities in which it is appropriate, the growth model and web combination may be more stable over time than markets, and also more dynamic, since diversity, complexity, sustainability and liveliness are enhanced and encouraged by the growth model. A longer discussion of financial turmoil and markets can be found on the ProxThink River blog (http://proxthink.com/blog/2008/10/31/financial-turmoil/).

Loughry says it would be great if people proxri for his 30-plus years of evolving ProxThink, and to support further efforts. He has over $70,000 of startup debt due to ProxThink development, which you can see on the site ProxMonitor. He says: “I’ve had this urgency to get ProxThink ready to show and try in various situations. I believe it can play roles in situations in which creatively and sustainably relating to the proximity is critical, and there are many such situations. Further, I’m working on some of our common challenges, such as climate change and basic ways we coordinate, collaborate and manage resources. These efforts could help you, your kids and grandkids if you have them, and other people as well. It would be great if you could help out with my expenses or debt, or with some other kind of proxri, as well as tell others about ProxThink. There is much more I plan to do, and I’m also looking for people who want to get involved, whether related to ProxThink, or to artdown or Proxearth. We’ve got to find better ways of working and playing together. I believe I have found some. I’m putting them into action and hope you’ll join me.” On the ProxThink Dear Visitor page, he seeks support and lists needed actions, people and money. He is available to assist with the site and ideas, to introduce ProxThink, to consult and to collaborate. To use ProxThink and for more information, visit ProxThink.com (http://proxthink.com).

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

We’ve Been Busy

(r] proxthink.com

I haven’t posted in a while, but not for lack of content. I have a huge list of blog post topics. But I’ve been busy with numerous site upgrades. Here are the top ten, in no particular order:

  1. A huge upgrade to the ProxThink Hints areas for members, including expansion pages for each hint, a new VIU Hint feature, Pairs tools and other improvements.
  2. A new password system that allows logging in and out.
  3. Ways to save information on the site, for example to track your learning or save ideas.
  4. Banner space allowing ads which you can turn on or off.
  5. Reworked the Start areas for clarity and usability.
  6. Added random images from artdown.com for visual variety.
  7. Added “Share” buttons to pages for bookmarking, social networking and emailing links.
  8. Wrote or updated several pages in the public join areas to better explain what ProxThink is about and how it can be used. These include the Potential Benefits, Sustainability and ProxThink Innovations pages, and a long list on the homepage called Ways to Use ProxThink.
  9. Wrote a Dear Visitor page outlining actions people can take to get involved with the growth of ProxThink.
  10. Created a Suggested Minimum Proxri page, which explains and lists some suggested minimum annual proxri ranges, for the times when people may not have the time, energy or interest to explore the Proximity of our Proxri Deal, as they decide how they want to proxri.

To experience the changes, join ProxThink.com.

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

ProxThink Hints Sampler

(r] proxthink.com

You can now try ProxThink Hints directly from the main home page at proxthink.com. We’ve made it so each time you enter some text and click ProxThink Hint, you get a different random hint. This is a sampler before you join.

ProxThink Hints can trigger ideas and action. Use them to consider possibilities and try things. A single hint may be valuable alone. However, a single hint has limits. Your hints are even more valuable in relationship with each other. Why? ProxThink Hints are created with ProxPatterns, a group of related patterns. They often work together and play off each other. So join here to access the full suite of ProxThink Hints.

Proxri Deal: As you find our relationship rewarding, proxri with the proximity in mind.

New Hints Prompt

For the ProxThink Hints input form, I just changed the question “What element are you considering?” to the simpler “What are you considering?” It’s more direct and less confusing. Whatever you type in the form is an element (or several), but you don’t need to know that to start getting useful ideas and possibilities from your hints. Hope this helps. (r] proxthink.com