Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bringing about a global mindshift

Twice now I've participated in hosted/facilitated on-line Conversations about topics related to bringing about a global mindshift. Global Mindshift's mission is to help make the emergence of global community unstoppable. (Check out the site at

One 4-week conversation addressed "The Cycle of Emergence" and how we might apply an evolutionary model of growth to examine how a system evolves to higher levels of consciousness and cooperation and apply it to the continued evolution of the human community. The second 4-week conversation dealt with the "Five Most Important Questions Facing Humanity," from identifying them to beginning to look at how to address them and find solutions. There will be a follow-up conversation about that in March.

There were common issues in each conversation:

1) People use the same terms in different ways and thus misunderstood each other
2) Some people posted a lot while others posted very little or not at all, and so felt they weren't contributing

I had a couple of ideas for how to address these issues, based on my talks with Eric Hoffer and Tim Gill.

One idea is to look at social network analysis (SNA), one of the things businesses are using, along with value network analysis (VNA). Some of these tools can be good for looking at how we create community, creating more value from the whole (the whole is more than the sum of its parts...). It could allow people who don't participate a whole lot in the actual conversations to still contribute something - an opinion, a resource, an intention - to making the whole greater than its parts. We need everyone to participate to the best of their ability if we are intent on moving toward the tipping point ("the event of a previously rare phenomenon becoming rapidly and dramatically more common" per Wikipedia) and making a global mindshift through creating a critical mass - a short cut to cultural transformation.

On this point, looks like a very interesting site! A British science writer, Philip Ball wrote about the history of the concept of critical mass. The usual story told about critical mass is of the "Hundredth Monkey" - this site tells more about the tale's veracity and applicability today. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake has more to say about "morphic fields and morphic resonance, which leads to a vision of a living, developing universe with its own inherent memory" (see

To help us get to what we want, including to the meaning we intend, the Semantic Web or Web 3.0 is a rapidly emerging tool. Semantic web concepts really address the issue of mixed up terminology head-on. Wikipedia defines it as "a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web." semantic web The real geniuses behind semantic web are at It is really a web of data with many interrelations. Using artificial intelligence (AI), we can use the semantic web to infer intention and meaning. In fact, elements of AI are already are being used. For example, google asks "do you mean xyz?" when you do a search with incomplete information or incorrect spelling.

Obviously, there is a lot more going on that I don't know about yet. I just want to help tie things together, to help us move closer toward a world of equity, abundance, peace and joy.

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