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Designing a Melbourne Assembly of the Commons

Over the past several years a number of calls have been made to develop better coordination and advocacy for promoting and building a commons economy and cities as commons.

A few years ago David Ronfeldt put out a proposal to create “Chambers of Commons” which would be commons based business coalitions / networks similar to Chambers of Commerce, but with a commons ethos.

In lockstep Michel Bauwens then made the proposal to create “Assemblies of the Commons” which would be citizen based models for promoting, advocating and coordinating for commons at a regional level.

More recently, Assemblies of the Commons have emerged in France, as chronicled by Maia Dereva. She details what they are, why they operate and how they function.

All three of these are discussed in the recent publication The City as Commons: a Policy Reader. (see: pages 71, 144, 150).

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The Futures Action Model game – connecting it

On the 13th of July, Gareth Priday, Bridgette Engeler Newbury and I got a chance to finally test the Futures Action Model game that Gareth had designed back in feb 2016.

We beat the drums and invited as many people as we could through the FuturesLab meetup.com group and word of mouth. While I only anticipated about a dozen people, in all we had 22 people and a full house!

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Futures Action Model Interactive Game

In Feb 2016 Gareth Priday and Jose Ramos were working on a project together and thought, wouldn’t it be great to have a live interactive game for the Futures Action Model (FAM) that we could use in their facilitation work? So they took and long walk and each of them came up with a version of a game people could play in about 1 hour.

They haven’t yet used the game with any group and thus thought, wouldn’t it be cool to test the game to see how it works?

So this gathering is a live test of an interactive game prototype, never done before, first time etc etc.

We have these Fam Game Slides, but they won’t really make sense until you know about FAM more generally. (or come and play the game).

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Futurescaper for the Pax Pacifica

A few months ago I was contacted by Giorgos Georgopoulos from the Futurescaper team about the Pax Pacifica research proposal.

Futurescaper is a crowd based peer to peer foresight platform, a significant social and technical innovation and advance in the futures studies field. In its own words:

Futurescaper builds upon decades of research about how people see the the world (through metaphor, mental models, frames, and cognitive biases) and about how decisions are made (through trade-offs, group bargaining, and communities of influence). We start with stakeholders’ awareness and perspectives, then use advanced visualisation techniques to represents them as collective mental models. This reveals a picture of the complex cause and effect behind difficult issues, helping you converge on the most important areas of uncertainty and influence.

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Beyond the machine: Making ecological organisations real

The Idea (What if it was easy?)

While organisations in the 19th century were principally designed around a patriarchal family model those in the 20th century (in the spirit of Max Weber and Frederick Winslow Taylor) were essentially mechanistic in design. Their ethos has been and is to ensure that a ‘idealised normality’ of simple, orderly, efficiency and certainty is both present and privileged. Consequently almost all ‘received wisdom’ in terms of organisation dynamics and institutional response in the past fifty years has followed that mantra.

Regrettably as the trailblazing entities of the emerging Collaborative Society emerge as an alternative force, in their internal arrangements they too often mimic the mechanistic arrangements of the very entities they are seeking to supplant. Over time these same internal mechanistic capacities erode the alternative ethos upon which these collaborative and networked entities rely.

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Vision Mapping Using Causal Layered Analysis

Vision Mapping is the conjunction of foresight and visioning techniques with online geo-spatial mapping technologies (such as Open Street Maps). This event is an experimental workshop where we are going to use the cultural exploration and reframing method Causal Layered Analysis, developed by Prof. Sohail Inayatullah, leveraging an open and editable visual artefact, map of Footscray or Melbourne (depending on composition of participants), to analyse and explore the cultural ands narrative dynamics of place, and develop ideas for urban resilience and urban commoning. Continue reading

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Vision Mapping – Design Update

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been given the opportunity by my good friend Darren Sharp (Social Surplus) to develop and apply the vision mapping method as part of the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne 2026 process.
Over the last couple of years Darren ran various map jams for the city of Yarra and Melbourne and I initiated the Maribyrnong Maker Map. During that time I began to conceptualise the possibility of linking geo-spatial mapping with visioning methodology – which I blogged on earlier.

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