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Global Futures Partnership (GFP) is now and will forever be centered on Carol Dumaine, one of two CIA employees still standing that we think the world of–the other is Andy Shepard. There are no doubt a handful of others that merit special regard, but they have been locked in the closet with socks in their mouths so they are unknown to us.
This book does something I was not expecting: it directly relates, in a tight DNA-like spiral, the use of open space technology (process is really a better word) to the practice of peace. This is not a book on Quakerism–the author has made an original contribution that has moved me further down the road toward Evolutionary Activism (focus on connecting all humans to all information, not on arriving as specific answers)-but I better understand the value of such books as Practicing Peace: A Devotional Walk Through the Quaker Tradition as a result of this reading.
ALSO unexpected, I found this book to be a handbook for a “Whole Systems” approach to peace and prosperity. The author writes of “Multi-Factorial Development” attempting to do that, but i have the margin notation that putting a bunch of singular discipline experts (one from each discipline) in a room together does not create in any of them the ability to *do* systems thinking (or sustainable design). See Critical Path and The Philosophy of Sustainable Design.
Some Warts But If You Buy Only One Book, Try This One….
September 3, 2009
The author (developer of the modern Open Space Technology) that revives the Native American open circle) tells us the book will inevitably be a repetition of his past books in different form, but I do not deduct for that because for me this is the first and only book, and may therefore prove his point: you have to keep telling the story in different forms to reach different segments of the public. I put the book down feeling it was an excellent overview, and feeling no need to acquire and read the other books.
I identify with the author when he notes (without complaint) that his insights that are so mainstream today (at least among the avant guarde) caused him to be labeled as totally lacking in credibility. Been there, done that–called a lunatic by CIA in 1992 for pointing out the urgency of getting a grip on open sources of information.
The author, the founder of the “Open Space” protocol that elicits boundless creativity in very short times by NOT seeking to structure, lead, or control, spends a lot of time on the concept of self-organization, concluding at the very end of the book that EVERYTHING is self-organizing, and all systems that seek to command & control are, by and large, part of the problem, not part of the solution.