Review: The Practice of Peace

5 Star, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Education (Universities), Environment (Solutions), Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, Information Operations, Information Society, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Peace Through Open Space
November 26, 2009
Harrison Owen
The author gave me a copy of this book as a gift, after inviting me to lunch to discuss my review of Wave Rider (EasyRead Large Edition): Leadership for High Performance In a Self-Organizing World.

This book needs to be re-issued. It is a perfect complement to Tom Atlee’s forthcoming Refelctions on Evolutionary Activism (Tom is the author of The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All–read my review of EA at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog.]

Although I knew the author was the founder of the Open Space Technology (OST) process, and recommend his book Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide, I learn in this book that the other essential reader is his earlier book, The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform.

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.

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Review: Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World

6 Star Top 10%, Complexity & Resilience, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Democracy, Leadership, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Some Warts But If You Buy Only One Book, Try This One….

September 3, 2009

Harrison Owen

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.

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