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Monday, 14 July 2008 21:06


Section IV - Mapping the Territory
Chapter 4 - Bringing Life to the Maps



And, under the trees, I saw Brown Bar-ba-loots
frisking about in their Bar-ba-loot suits
as they played in the shade and ate Truffula Fruits

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss



What can be done to bring the ‘Archetypes for Sustainability' to life?

When I did my Appreciative Inquiry certification work in 2003, I was quite struck by how animated the AI process was - particularly in the Design phase. Participants generally worked in groups to develop skits, musical pieces, songs, and artwork to express how they wanted their particular community to be, and to be discerned by others. Their creativity was full of joy and humor - the enthusiasm and love for each other and their work was infectious. Since I often go into my head and try to think my way through everything, I was in awe of my creative colleagues and the folks that we saw on videos showing how the AI process was used in real work situations. I came away with a deep appreciation for those who can design for inclusion of their audience, stimulate emergent thinking, and prompt enrollment through the creation of an energizing experience.

OO_IV-4_2009-02-20This writing is in some ways a plea for help, a request that people who discern the potential in the figure below, ‘Relationships & Flows Among Quadrants,' play with it and bring it to life. My greatest pleasure would be to see school children learning about and acting out the infinite game of sustainability so that they would better know how they wish to play the game of life while positively influencing those around them.

Three questions that might be incorporated in an animation of the construct are:

  • What facilitates shifting from one quadrant to another?
  • How stable is each quadrant?
  • What are the guiding principles necessary to make each quadrant sustainable?

'Relationships & Flows Among Quadrants' is a first stab at stating what change in life situations might influence a person or collective to shift from one quadrant to another. For instance, some 'Indigenous' peoples might shift to a 'Business Perspective' when influenced by ‘Western Cultural Pressures,' and some people from the ‘Social Perspective' might shift to ‘Warring' when faced with ‘Severe Scarcity.'

Relationships & Flows Among Quadrants


Bringing to Life Diagram

[Click to View Picture]

One of the most important questions that we begin to answer as we see the construct come to life is, "What is to be learned from each perspective, and how is it best integrated?"

There are also other perspectives that help bring life to the construct, such as:

  • If we are part of an organization or institution like education or government, we may want to integrate the perspectives of all the archetypes;
  • If we imagine a third dimension to the two dimensional construct, we can discern flows and consequences over time, or introduce a variable like the Earth's capacity to cope with overuse; and
  • If we integrate this construct into other facets of our life, it is possible that new relationships will be discerned with our family, friends, work, religious and spiritual practices, our community and beyond.



Think about a time when you were markedly influenced by a piece of creative work - where art or animation or perhaps an incredible storyteller brought something to life and it changed your outlook and behavior.

What was the creative piece?
What was the learning for you?
How does that learning influence your current thinking and behavior?


Rev. 2009-02-20 MOM


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Prev: Section IV: Chapter 3 – Validating the Map
Next: Section IV: Chapter 5 – Archetypal Reflections

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Last Updated on Thursday, 04 June 2009 19:25

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