[OSList] Summer research project idea: 'self organisation'

Kári Gunnarsson via OSList oslist at lists.openspacetech.org
Thu Nov 27 07:55:10 PST 2014

Hi John

As an academic researcher I say ... yes, this needs to become, ... I like
to see theorizing and testing, and more papers in academic journals for me
to site.

If we take the hypothesis from Owen that there is always self-organization
at work, now in what conditions is this self-organization not functioning

I would argue that we can find cultural elements that are toxic to
self-organization, site lining it, driving it away from open discourse.

When is such toxic environment the only solution, even if it dose not work
seems to be to get ride of the people dealing behind the curtains and
enforcing a strict and over-bloated management scheme to squeezes the
profit out of the people.

An example from ecology.

Like lets say I grow round up resistant GMO feed grass, and I plant out the
GMO seeds and put the chemical fertilizers and the roundup to kill of
anything else. I have created a toxic environment but there is this one
homogenous thing that can survive it.

Now lets say my brother is not as addicted to proprietary DNA crops and has
chosen to select many plant to grow in harmony where they feed off each
other and reads all these aquaculture journals. He saves a ton in crop
interventions and is more resilient to weather changes and pest attacks,
loosing only 5% or perhaps 10% in a bad incident, while my toxic homogenous
growing is devastated while I am ruined.

ok... fun example.

If we can identify the cultural elements that makes the space hostile, that
is not-safe or simply closed, then we can offer the middle managers a tool
to measure there cultural aspect of there organizational health,
innovation, learning and efficiency. Then we can propose an intervention
(in the form of an open space), on how to move the organization from
unhealthy culture to a healthy one where we marginalize the violence of
silencing and where we keep the space save for us humans to grow and
prosper. As this is needed for all leading organizational cultures.


so for the questions...

To find what one needs to know to do self-organization, I would argue that
one needs to understand how to make the space safe and how to invite
participation for a bodily real theme. This is a sponsors job, but he
sometimes needs a teacher to help him know the difference. Basically the
precondition and the how to stuff we preach as open spacers every day.

To find out what one needs to know in order to be an expert in
self-organization, I would argue that one needs to understand many of the
different ways one can throw a spanner in the works and be able to identify
when it is the cultural norm of the management and/or owners to do so, and
also for what reasons this is done. This is interesting for me as I would
love to grow in understanding on when things are wrong in the culture but
tolerated for the cases I work with. It could bring out new themes to open
space on, and to energize people to open it everywhere where the
preconditions are present. I think a little research will help us do just

/ Kári

On 27 November 2014 at 01:25, John Baxter via OSList <
oslist at lists.openspacetech.org> wrote:

> Hello facilitators of self organisation
> Let's take a moment to consider self organisation, as 'field' or
> 'practice'.
> I am scoping a summer project at the moment (in the southern hemisphere!).
> I have been reading and learning all I can about self org.  There is less
> than I expected at the heart of self org practice, but much more than I
> realised in intersecting fields (e.g. in governance, democracy, community
> organising, management, change, systems...).  There are also unanswered Qs
> about what 'self org' *is* (indeed, if it is anything at all).
> It might be worthwhile formalising this, through a focused research
> project, and sharing the results in a report or the like.
> Possible focus questions that come to mind for me are
> - what does someone need to know to say "I do self organisation"?
> - what would someone need to know to be an 'expert' in self org?
> Would appreciate your perspective, as a practitioner-facilitator-fellow
> wave rider:
> What (if anything) do you think deserves to be done?
> Who should be involved in doing it?
> ​Thank you for contributing to the quest!
> *John Baxter*
> *Cocreation Consultant & ​Co​Create Adelaide Facilitator*
> jsbaxter.com.au <http://www.jsbaxter.com.au/> | CoCreateADL.com
> 0405 447 829
> ​ | ​
> @jsbaxter_ <http://twitter.com/jsbaxter_>
> *Thank you to everyone who came, helped or spread the good word about City
> Grill​​!*
> *Summary and links: cocreateadl.com/localgov/grill-summary/
> <http://cocreateadl.com/localgov/grill-summary/>*
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Kári Gunnarsson markþjálfi
kari.gunnarsson at simnet.is
(+354) 864 5189
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