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

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.

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.

No Fill Marks? … New video intro to previous post about my French press.

In a previous post, I talked about my French press coffee maker which has no fill level marks to help me add water to the same place every time. This short video introduces that post, and shows you my current French press. It is for people who own French press coffee makers AS WELL AS designers and anyone interested in innovation and creativity. It also shows the mind map you can explore while learning some proximity thinking at the same time!

Hacking IKEA — Repurposing an IKEA Ice Tray

IKEA has ice trays for making ice in unusual shapes. The photos below show one of the ice trays that makes long thin ice cubes. But in this case, they should be called not “cubes” but ice sticks I guess. Anyway, when I saw them, I thought they were cool objects, and since I wasn’t sure what they were at first, I started wondering what they might be. This is one side, which you would fill with water to make ice sticks.

IKEA Ice Tray (side A) for Proximity Thinking Example

This is the other side. It’s the bottom in relation to the water-filling side, but in some of the ways I’ve used these objects, I’ve come to think of the side shown below as the top! I may add more photos/video later to show some of the ways I’ve repurposed these ice trays, but I describe them in the mind map farther down this page.

IKEA Ice Tray (side B) for Proximity Thinking Example

The mind map below explores this situation. It describes some ways to repurpose these ice trays, and shows how some proximity thinking was used. Click the image below to open it full-size. Once open, you can zoom it even larger.

Repurposing an IKEA Ice TrayNOTE — THE REST OF THIS PAGE IS BASICALLY JUST FOR SEARCH ENGINES.
Since search engines can’t index the text in an image, I’m including the text from the graphic below. However, I’d recommend only looking at the graphic, as it will make a lot more sense. Also, WordPress is adding some blank lines in the outline below, and I can’t fix it. So please imagine there are no blank lines!

• A proximity thinking example, including a few basic definitions. To learn more, visit proxthink.com.
• Situation – A “situation” is whatever you are dealing with or considering.
• Element – Loosely, an “element” can be anything. Any person, place, thing, idea, feeling, time, group, relationship, situation, proximity, etc.
• Proximity – The “proximity” consists of elements related or potentially related to a situation, in physical, mental and other ways.

  • SITUATION
    Repurposing an IKEA Ice Tray

    Elements in the proximity
    of this situation.

    • It’s a cool, modern,
      sleek object.

      • Both sides are usable
        and look good.
    • Cheap ($0.99),
      durable and
      rinse-to-clean.
    • It doesn’t really
      look like an ice tray!
    • It has gooves and slots.
    • What uses do the shapes of
      the ice tray suggest?

      • Business cards stand.
      • Postcard stand.
      • Place for pens or things that
        might roll off the table.
    • What things in your life
      might go with this object?

      • Becomes place for
        keys, wallet,
        chapstick, coins, etc.
      • Becomes a stand for your mobile phone
        at night. (Can flip ice tray either way.)
    • What other objects can it
      be combined with?

      • Combine with stainless utensil holder ($3-$6 at
        IKEA) to make a little table with storage inside.
      • Combine ice tray with metal fence pole
        tops or other items to make a sculpture!
      • Use ice tray as base for upside down pencil
        holder, which then becomes a stand for my clock.
    • How can you repurpose
      IKEA ice trays?

      • And what proximity
        thinking did you do?
    • How was proximity
      thinking used here?

      • ProxPatterns
        • ProxAwareness
          • Becoming aware of the different characteristics of the ice tray,
            and elements in your life it might go with or combine with.
        • Relate a Variety
          • Being open to unusual combinations, and a wide of variety of different combinations.
        • Allow Uncertainty
          • Just trying things and seeing what happens, then adjusting or adapting as needed.
        • Honor Integrity
          • Honoring the shapes and characteristics of the ice tray. Respecting what they can do and cannot do.
        • Introduce Related
          • Introducing other objects into the proximity which are related in some way.

• Questions? Contact us via proxthink.com.
• Created by David Loughry.
• As you find this rewarding, please proxri with the proximity in mind via proxthink.com.

Good Reasons to Watch the Let’s ProxThink Demo Video

The new Let’s ProxThink Demo video (below) not only gives you an idea of what Let’s ProxThink sessions might be like, but there are other good reasons to watch it. Here’s a short list. Below that is the same list with more details:

  1. Gain New Approaches for Personal, Local and Even Global Situations
  2. Understand Proximity Thinking More Quickly
  3. Have Your Own Let’s ProxThink Sessions
  4. Create Sustainable Proximities with People You Know
  5. Consider a Let’s ProxThink Session with Us
  6. Make Sessions with Us Shorter, More Valuable and More Effective
  7. Get Up to Speed on the ProxThink Website More Quickly
  8. Help Others and Yourself by Commenting on the Video
  9. Become a Beta Tester of Let’s ProxThink Sessions
  10. Be One of the First to Learn and Use Proximity Thinking

Here’s more about each point on the list above:

  1. Gain New Approaches for Personal, Local and Even Global Situations: This video will give you some conceptual tools and technology tools to think differently about and work on personal, local and even global situations, problems and challenges. It could change the way you think and collaborate.
  2. Understand Proximity Thinking More Quickly: This is the most concise and most accessible introduction to proximity thinking that I’ve created so far. Save yourself some time, even if you don’t attend a session. The insights of 30+ years are compressed into 42 minutes. It would take you far longer to read through the key parts of the website.
  3. Have Your Own Let’s ProxThink Sessions: Watch this and you’ll know enough to begin having your own Let’s ProxThink sessions with people you know or work with!
  4. Create Sustainable Proximities with People You Know: Learn new ways for a group of people who share a proximity to coordinate and collaborate. The video shows you how to use some apps and your smartphone, along with the ProxThink growth model, to create sustainable proximities, which also boosts sustainable variety.
  5. Consider a Let’s ProxThink Session with Us: You’ll get an idea of what Let’s ProxThink sessions with us might be like, so you can decide about joining an open session, scheduling one for yourself or your group, or being notified of upcoming public sessions via Hangouts On Air.
  6. Make Sessions with Us Shorter, More Valuable and More Effective: If you watch this before Let’s ProxThink sessions with us, you will get more out of them, and we may even be able to skip some parts of the session and get right into discussing your situations.
  7. Get Up to Speed on the ProxThink Website More Quickly: The video gives a brief tour of the ProxThink website. Feel more comfortable on the site more quickly.
  8. Help Others and Yourself by Commenting on the Video: Comment on the video or content, either here on this blog or by contacting us. You can help other people with your comments and insights, you’ll learn more from the video in the process of commenting, and you’ll help make ProxThink better and future Let’s ProxThink sessions better. For this, you could also possibly get proxri as part of our Collaboration Deal.
  9. Become a Beta Tester of Let’s ProxThink Sessions: Use this video to consider becoming a beta tester for Let’s ProxThink sessions. You’ll be under no obligation to proxri anything for the session, and you can provide as little or as much feedback about the session as you like. You could also possibly get proxri as part of our Collaboration Deal. For more information and to schedule a session, please contact us.
  10. Be One of the First to Learn and Use Proximity Thinking: You’ll be one of the first people to learn and use proximity thinking, possibly conveying advantages that can shape and change your life and your proximities.


Viewing Notes:
• It’s best to watch this in full screen mode, to see the smallest text.
• Also, you can jump to different sections with the links just below the video.

STARTING AT DIFFERENT SECTIONS: The full version, played from the beginning, is above. You can start at different sections below. (You can also start at different sections on YouTube, from the About description of the video. Click the YouTube logo in the lower right of video above to watch on YouTube, then expand the About description of the video using Show More.)

START AT: Welcome & Overview, Collaboration Deal
Includes: Welcome and Overview, Similar to Non-Public Sessions, Collaboration Deal and Terms of Use.

START AT: Before We Start … Context, Creativity and Capturing
Includes: ProxThink in Context, Capturing Ideas on Your Smartphone and Computer.

START AT: Beginning of Presentation
Includes: What is ProxThink, Why Proximity, Main Parts of Framework.

START ATBasics – Four Terms, with Examples
Includes: Four Terms, Situation, Examples of Situations, Element, Relationship, Proximity, Examples, Proximities Overlap, Our Biggest Challenges, Car Broke Down Example.

START ATBasics – Foundation, Terms & Tools, with Examples
Includes: The Basics Overview, Foundation, Core Idea, Car Broke Down Example with Core Idea.

START ATProxPatterns Intro & Combo ProxPatterns, with Examples
Includes: Introduction, 16 ProxPatterns (PPs), Combo PPs, Honor Integrity PP, Examples, Car Broke Down Example with Honor Integrity, Relate a Variety PP, Examples, Car Broke Down Example with Relate a Variety.

START ATLimits ProxPatterns, with Examples
Includes: Limits PPs, Value of Some PP, Examples, Car Broke Down Example with Value of Some.

START ATPure ProxPatterns, with Examples
Includes: Pure PPs, Introduce Related PP, Examples, Car Broke Down Example with Introduce Related, ProxPatterns are a Team.

START ATGrowth Model Intro & RelatePoints, with Examples
Includes: Growth Model Introduction, Four Processes, RelatePoints, Shared Kitchen Example with RelatePoints. 

START ATProxMonitors & Vadi Agreements, with Examples
Includes: ProxMonitors, Vadi Agreements, Shared Kitchen Example with ProxMonitors and Vadi Agreements. 

START ATProxri (ProxRewards), with Examples
Includes: Proxri, How Do You Proxri?, Shared Kitchen Example with Proxri. 

START ATTechnology Tools to Boost the Growth Model, with Examples
Includes: Tools to Boost Growth Model with Quip App Examples.

START ATQuick Review
Includes: Reviewing the Framework, Why Proximity, Proximities Overlap, Our Biggest Challenges, Q&A. 

START ATBefore We Go – Proxri, Connecting, Start Your Own
Includes: Introduction, Proxri for This Session, Connecting with Us, Watching This Later, Future Sessions, Consider Teaching Someone, Create Sustainable Variety, Thanks + Subscribe + Services.

What next? Please go to lets.proxthink.com to join an open session, or schedule one for yourself or your group. You can also follow us to be notified of future public sessions via Hangouts On Air.