There has been a powerful surge of energy in the group over the last few days, suggesting, perhaps, the imminent emergence of a higher degree of complex organisation and purpose.
The energy and activity—distributed across various threads—appears to be building around a group agenda (roughly) along the following lines:
(1) Defining the problems we are addressing—building a definitive, systemic map of the (interrelated) global problems. Focusing initially on the issues rather than the solutions.
(2) Defining and assembling the sensemaking tools necessary to address the problems.
> An audit of the existing tool set
> A wish-list of what's missing from the existing tool set
> A means to federate and build upon the existing tools
(3) Connecting with the wider community
> Other people who are working on similar tools
> Other people who are working to address the problems in different ways
> The practitioners whose work the tools may assist
> People with the resources to catalyse the development of the tools and potential new institutional forms
(4) Defining a charter / ethos of the group. Identifying and exemplifying the patterns of interactions that we aim to encourage more widely in society.
(5) Other items?
> Defining a mission statement to post as a fixed item at the top of the Ning main page for new visitors / members.
> Should we make the group fully open now or continue to grow via invitation?
> Should we federate other tools around Ning (and, if so, which ones) or should we look to move to an alternate platform (e.g. Drupal or Wordpress mu?)
A tool missing from the Ning feature that might help us to flesh out, refine, and coalesce around the agenda is a Wiki. So as an experiment I have posted the agenda above on a Global Sensemaking wiki
, created using DekiWiki.
Splitting the locus of the discussion in this way may not be a sensible idea—and if this proves to be case we shouldn't hesitate to abandon the idea (or to build on it in a different direction).
Feel free to add comments on the agenda (and/or on the Wiki idea/experience) here as well.
Once we have fleshed out the agenda, we can focus on an action plan for achieving our goals.
[UPDATE 3rd June 2008: Wiki switched to DekiWiki, which looks like a more promising longer term option for the group. I have changed the links above accordingly].