Some Situations Call for Proximity-Oriented Approaches Like the Shared Situation Guide, Leading to More Sustainability and Variety

Some Situations Call for Proximity-Oriented Approaches

Hello,

Are you, as an individual or in your organization, exploring ways of thinking about and relating to situations that could make more progress on the big and small challenges you face, and humanity faces? Whether you’re exploring or not, what follows will expand your possibilities. First, these four definitions will help with what’s coming up. A situation is whatever you are dealing with or considering. An element is anything you’re considering as separate, including a person, place, thing, idea, feeling, time, group, relationship, etc. A relationship is any kind of association or connection between elements. And, the proximity consists of elements related or potentially related to a situation, in physical, mental and other ways. With the proximity thinking framework I created, you can consider situations and challenges with the four basic terms situation, element, relationship and proximity. Although considering elements, relationships and the proximity may each be important in dealing with situations, sometimes one or two of them may dominate our attention and activities, even when that is less effective. You may see that many of our approaches for dealing with challenges, which are kinds of situations, tend to be more element-oriented and/or relationship-oriented. For example, approaches like markets, politics and hierarchies are typically more element-oriented and/or relationship-oriented, meaning they have a greater focus on elements and/or relationships than proximities. No doubt, certain kinds of situations are most effectively dealt with by element-oriented and/or relationship-oriented approaches. However, some of the big and small challenges we face are shared situations, and may be more context-related or environment-related, or may relate to diverse elements across areas that may not typically be connected, so they are more proximity-oriented. And, sometimes it’s easier and more effective to consider a proximity, such as when relationships between elements are hard to define or in flux much of the time, so element-oriented approaches become difficult. Plus, sometimes it just becomes clear that we need to focus on a proximity. For example, consider shared challenges like climate change, sustainability, shared projects, shared spaces, shared resources (whether big like water or power sources or small like parks or kitchens), or shared events (whether big like a festivals or conventions or small like potlucks, picnics or meetings). These kinds of shared challenges are more proximity-oriented. In these kinds of challenges, it can help to relate more directly to the proximity of the situation. Networked technologies, when combined with some new proximity-oriented processes I’ve developed, let us relate more directly to proximities.

While developing the proximity thinking framework, I created some new proximity-oriented approaches that let us relate more directly to proximities. How? By deploying the four ProxThink growth model processes of RelatePoints, ProxMonitors, Vadi Agreements and ProxRewards (proxri) on a collaborative, networked, mobile platform. The ProxThink growth model was developed to work with networks, and grew partly out of asking myself, if you want to relate to a proximity sort like we relate to a person, what would be needed? A RelatePoint is a primary starting point or place for coordinating relationships in the proximity, and is similar to the ability to meet and/or talk to someone. A Proximity Monitor, or ProxMonitor, provides greater awareness of and information about the proximity, similar to the feedback we get from facial expressions, voice tonality, body language, and of course what someone is saying, when we relate to them. Similar to commonly accepted standards of behavior and ways of interacting with people are Vadi Agreements. The term Vadi (pronounced vah’dee) is short for valuable differences. Vadi Agreements acknowledge that differences are a part of relationships and some differences have value, and provide relationships and agreements which can help valuable differences persist, adapt and change as needed. ProxRewards (proxri) are somewhat similar to the need, when dealing with someone, to provide encouragement, positive feedback, rewards, and so forth, which help one or both of you, and which keep the relationship flowing. So a ProxReward is a reward which relates elements in the proximity, and is often a reward made with the proximity in mind. ProxRewards are also called proxri for short (pronounced prox’ree).

When deploying the four growth model processes discussed above on a collaborative, networked, mobile platform, you have proximity-oriented approaches that are integrated conceptually and technologically. With them, people can relate more directly to the proximity of their shared situation. These approaches can help us make more progress on the big and small challenges humanity faces, but also everyday challenges and shared situations. In the process, these approaches help create more sustainable proximities and sustainable variety. It’s both fascinating and a nice surprise that these approaches can make our lives more sustainable as well as more interesting, healthy and vital with more variety. I think sustainable variety is closely related to what nature does, which is perhaps a clue that these approaches have value and potential.

The proximity-oriented conceptual and technological approaches mentioned above come together in a specific form in the collaborative and mobile Shared Situation Guide. You can use it for shared situations with friends, family, coworkers, neighbors and others. It works on your Android phone or iPhone, your tablet and your computer. I’d like you to try it. It helps your group relate more directly to the proximity and each other, improving shared situations. It turns the proximity into more of a tangible, living thing, making it easier to relate to. It also gives people chances to relate to the proximity and each other in a wider variety of ways. Combined, these things can help groups with a shared situation come alive and thrive, and life becomes more enjoyable. There may be other people in proximities you share who are already using the guide, or if not, you can start collaborations that others can join. Keep in mind that the Shared Situation Guide is a preliminary implementation of proximity-oriented approaches, and more will need to be done to integrate the processes it uses into our systems and lives. Learn more, access and try the Shared Situation Guide, find guide workshops, access guide starter sets, and discover other people who are using it, at sharedsituations.wordpress.com.

If you explore the proximity thinking (ProxThink) framework and the Shared Situation Guide, you’ll learn more about and use the concept of proxri, briefly introduced above. You’ll also see that the framework and Shared Situation Guide are offered via proxri. Proxri in practice are sort of like the give and take of a neighborhood, relationship, friendship or perhaps being a considerate traveler. How do you proxri? Basically, you consider the proximity, including your benefits, your circumstances, the other party’s circumstances, and some wider context, and then proxri as appropriate. A proxri may include money, things, services, ideas, tasks, relationships, actions, and so on, as well as a combination of these. So a proxri to me for the framework and guide might also be a referral, consulting or speaking engagement, teaching gig, grant, or other opportunity. In addition, I’ve created a collaboration deal so that people who collaborate on or improve the framework and guide can get proxri. If you think my work might be, or is, useful, interesting or has potential, please consider a proxri for it. You can find out more about my circumstances via this ProxMonitor. You can learn more about proxri here. You can make financial proxri here or via the proxri links on most any page of proxthink.com. As far as non-financial proxri, you can let me know about them by contacting me via the contact methods mentioned below.

Please contact me with any questions, comments, or for other related reasons, via the contact links on the Shared Situations or ProxThink websites. Also, if you’d like to get involved in growing the shared situations approach on various levels (social, technical, legal, organizational, etc.), please get in touch.

Thank you,
David Loughry
Shared Situations website: sharedsituations.wordpress.com
ProxThink website: proxthink.com

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Video Update About the Shared Situations Website, Workshops and Guide

I hope to do more video updates and discussions, both live and recorded. Here’s the first of what will probably be a series. It introduces the Shared Situations website, as well as a couple workshops and two new versions of the Shared Situations Guide (Sleek plus Sleek & Flipped). It’s an HD video, so you can read all the text if you view it full screen.

Atlanta Event (Online Too) — How to Use the Shared Situation Guide on Your Mobile

Shared Situation Guide

I’m in Atlanta next week, so I thought I’d offer an event there. It’s called “How to Use the Shared Situation Guide on Your Mobile.” It’s on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EST), in downtown Atlanta, GA at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. Here’s all the deets and tickets over on Eventbrite. Also, if you can’t attend in person, you can attend online.

Shared Situation? Try This!

You probably have some shared situations with friends, family, coworkers, neighbors or others. This video shows you how to access and start using the Shared Situation Guide on your desktop or mobile. Your shared situation can be whatever your group is dealing with or considering. A shared situation might be a problem, challenge, opportunity, place, set of circumstances, something you’re managing or working on together, and so on. With smartphones, we have new possibilities. For more, see http://ss.proxthink.com.

Description of Upcoming Workshop on Sustainable Variety

Here’s my current description of an upcoming workshop on sustainable variety. I’m thinking of calling it the Get More Sustainable Variety Workshop. I’ll let you know when things are more finalized and you can sign up!

Why Sign Up —
You may share a situation with some friends, family, co-workers, neighbors or others. Your shared situation is whatever your group is dealing with or considering. With smartphones, we have new possibilities. This hands-on workshop will show you how to combine the Quip mobile app and the sustainable proximities approach, helping you collaborate better to improve shared situations. Doing so can lead to greater sustainable variety, since keeping the proximity alive is boosted by variety. Not only that, this approach gives people chances to relate to the proximity in a wider variety of ways. We’ll use examples most people can adapt to their own lives, and collaborate on some real world situations too. You’ll try things and can ask questions as we go. If you can’t join us in person, you can join us online!

Slowing Climate Change: Faster and Smoother Transitions to Better Situations – Part 3

(r] proxthink.com

Note: See also Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

NOTE TO READER: THIS POST IS NOT POLISHED YET, BUT I THOUGHT IT MIGHT HAVE SOME VALUE EVEN IN THIS UNFINISHED STATE. THANKS, DAVID LOUGHRY.

The ProxThink Growth Model may contribute in situations where governments and markets are helping with climate change, as well as situations in which governments and markets are having challenges dealing with climate change. [Reference scale argument at beginning of Part 1, and how PTGM can help at various scales (sm, med and large). Also how the PTGM can augment governments and markets when needed, replace them when needed, and work in unserved proximities as well.]

The ProxThink Growth Model offers opportunities for people and groups of varying sizes to create their own RelatePoints, ProxMonitors, Difference Agreements and ProxRewards, individually and/or collaboratively. So it isn’t top down or bottom up or middle-driven, but all three.

As a suggestion, we might begin by creating ProxMonitors and RelatePoints. A variety of ProxMonitors could be created to help people monitor relevant climate change data from local, regional and global perspectives. A variety of RelatePoints could be created for people and groups to relate to each other. Via the RelatePoints and aided by data from ProxMonitors, people could create Difference Agreements relevant to various proximities. The Difference Agreements would define the valuable differences people want to preserve, and then agreements could be crafted which help those valuable differences to persist, adapt and change as needed. ProxPatterns could help people create both the Difference Agreements, as well as appropriate ProxRewards as part of the Difference Agreements. As time goes by, people can experiment with and improve the RelatePoints, ProxMonitors, Difference Agreements and ProxRewards they create and use to relate to climate change.

Several further suggestions:
1) It may be very useful to view various proximities as resources. These become resources which we strive to make self-sustaining, to support us over long periods of time. [Examples.]
2) It also may prove useful to not try to keep track of every single contribution each person or group makes. Of course, keep track of some, but don’t get hung up on it. In other words, it may prove useful to a) set some directions or goals, b) provide feedback on how we are doing via ProxMonitors, and then c) encourage many people do things which can help us reach the goal or stay on course, and celebrate the efforts of these many, rather than celebrating the efforts of each. [include kevin kelly “group-steering” video game example, and also reference the group efforts of wartimes]

[provide more links into site for parts of the PTGM]

[links to learn more]

These ideas also have some value related to other resources we can make more sustainable.

The three parts of this series are a kind of strategy-level approach to slowing climate change with faster and smoother transitions, anchored by a set of ideas (ProxThink and the ProxThink Growth Model) which are of value in a wide variety of situations.

[Extra appeal to proxri me, since there is not just one government or company or foundation or group or continent that either could have hired me to do this or should reward me for it, since climate change is something that affects people on earth. Reference my startup debt and my ProxMonitor.]

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