Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

Andy Streich
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Andy Streich's Groups

Andy Streich's Discussions

GSmEditor -- software from Global Sensemaking
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Started this discussion. Last reply by Andy Streich Aug 14, 2008.

Hooked on Growth, Sensemaking for Everyone
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Started this discussion. Last reply by Dave Gardner Aug 5, 2008.

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Profile Information

About me:
My full name is Andy Streich (sounds like "strike" in American English).

In the 1990's I was co-creator and senior manager of something called Java Card technology at Sun Microsytems: Java running on a very tiny, low-power chip in a smartcard or other security/financial device. The marketing line now is "1.2 billion [yes, 'billion' with a 'b'] Java Card units have been deployed in sectors as diverse as telecommunications, corporate ID and financial services."

Experience relevant to GlobalSensemaking, in no particular order:

Participated in three international standards bodies and briefly chaired one. Sensemaking tools would have been a godsend, of course if and only if there'd have been a way to get buy-in for their use.

Trained extensively in the Satir system, an outgrowth of the work of family therapist pioneer Virginia Satir applied to personal and organizational growth. Mentors were Jerry Weinberg and Jean McLendon both of whom were students of Satir. Somewhat similar to Theory U and many other popular methodologies. (I should note there is a somewhat cultish aspect to both these people and the their offered training experiences to the extent that some people treat them as nearly infalible gurus. I didn't see it that way at the time but now think there's something to that point of view.)

Was a technical leader and engineering manager in two Fortune 50 companies and several small start-ups, one of which produced what became Java Card technology. So I know something about start-up failure as well as success and about politics, reorganizations, and quality campaigns in large companies.

Pursued meditation practice in the Theravada Buddhist way (meaning very simple, just following the breath or attending in a non-judgmental way to what's happening in the body, thoughts, or feelings) and have gone on several extended silent retreats. Mentor was Gil Fronsdal, a student of Jack Kornfield among others.

Created the blog Trinifar in February 2007 as a way of learning more about population growth, carrying capacity, climate change, ecological economics, peak oil, and related issues.

Participated in, lived through, and survived the dotcom boom and bust in Silicon Valley. Quite an experience for a guy that grew up in a modest, middle class family in rural Pennsylvania.

Dropped out of the PhD program at the U of Michigan with an MS in computer science. Specialized in natural language understanding. Left because I was 30 years old at the time (got started late relative to age cohorts) and was just tired of being poor.

Have published a few short stories under a pen name and now find them so embarrassing that I'll never reveal what that name is.

Have been in a committed relationship for 30 years. No children.

Various kinds of sensemaking:

* Can play the piano and all the brass instruments poorly. Creating music as part of a group is a seminal sensemaking experience.
* Taught skiing for several years.
* Enjoy baking bread.
* Very interested in how groups of people come together and spawn teams that get productive work done.

Am currently seeking a role in a nonprofit dedicated to addressing some meaningful part of the global conundrum of too many people living too high off the hog along with an economic system that works against the best interests of most of the people on this planet.

Politically best described as a radical egalitarian or libertarian socialist.

My email address can be found on this page and feel free to use it.
Web site:

Comment Wall (10 comments)

At 22:19 on August 5, 2008, Dave Gardner said…
Andy, thank you SO much for the intro!
At 0:17 on August 6, 2008, George E. Mobus said…

I just created two new groups, Population and Human Nature. I've invited Dave Gardner to take a leadership role in forming the population one and generating some discussion. I envision that both the human nature group and the population group will both delve into growth issues and their impact on all the other issues.

Care to join????
At 15:03 on August 10, 2008, Lévy Pierre said…
Dear Andy,
Read your "about me". Very interesting ! I'm a meditator also. To answer your question about , there is a button on the left "read this page in english". You can also click on the "dictionary" button, there is an english version. But this site is not at all about pedagogy or explanation. It is almost impossible to understand even in english ! It is just to share some documents with my small reserch team. In addition, the dictionary is not in tune with the new version of the syntax. I'm currently writing a book (the semantic space) that will explain everything. There will be tools too... Thank you for your patience...
At 22:46 on August 11, 2008, John D'hondt said…
Hi Andy,
Perhaps there is not that much reason to be actually envious of our self sufficiency farm. First of all this came about because I became aware some 30 years ago that our world was about to chamge in dramatic ways. In those days the "6th extinction", "global warming" and "peak oil" were all unknown but just based on fundamental ecological laws it was even then clear that something was about to give.
I tried to do my bit by joining the Greens in Flanders, Belgium and by active research (I am a biologist) until the conclusion forced itself upon me that I could have more impact by acquiring as much land as possible in Ireland (80 acres) and at least treat this in an ecological sensible way.
We have had quite a few successes and a lot of hard work to survive in a world hard in the clutches of bureaucrats and big brother. It is today forbidden to leave any birds on the farm outside or to keep more than one species of poultry, to handmilk a cow and drink that milk or to have a compost heap outside during November- December. I could go on for a few pages but lets just say we do not follow all the rules because they are bad for the world and the environment.
Other than that, to be completely self sufficient one needs a group of 25 people or more and we have just 5 here with from time to time a few short time WWOOFER's. Not enough to become complacent.
Anybody who would like to try it out can come and have a look completely free. Long term commitments are potentially possible.

Sorry that I am not that good with pictures and such. I have a good digital camera somewhere but have not used it for some years through lack of time.
At 16:21 on August 20, 2008, Lévy Pierre said…
You're welcome to participate !
At 22:20 on August 20, 2008, Tim Zebo said…
Thanks for your note!
About "seeking a role in a nonprofit", you may want to consider joining linkedin ( It will give you access to a huge range of professional people who may know of openings. Also, FYI, here's an interesting job posting I know about from witness:

I'm new to Global Sensemaking, but I'm really impressed with what I've seen so far. I took a quick look at your blog and love what you're doing there. Good luck in your job search, and thanks again.
At 19:33 on August 25, 2008, Adam said…
Thanks Andy,

I'm putting that work on hold because of offerings by Microsoft and Google that would accomplish much the same thing. That said, the last year of work has led to some interesting connections, and I'm looking forward to see where they'll lead over these coming months.

It looks like you've had a ton of experience. I'm looking forward to discussing possibilities with you. :)

At 22:18 on November 12, 2008, Ben Tremblay said…
Hello Andy - Did you find a bio? I seem to have produced any number here in the Ning cloud ... increasingly I just point to my google profile (not a lot of folk know there is such a thing!).
At 2:54 on November 13, 2008, Ben Tremblay said…
Ah-harr! So my shotgun approach worked! ;-)
Dear old homepage ... it's been a catch-all for years now. Everytime it starts to look slightly craftsman-like I overburden it with something or other.
At 20:45 on June 9, 2009, Lynne Johnson said…
Just joined the network and I'm familiarizing myself with who and what's out there. Your caricature reminded me of a green cartoonist friend, so I decided to say hello.

I too am looking for my part in improving life on the planet, and recently began a job search that generally takes me to the non-profit sector where much of my work has already been to-date, a lot of it with marginalized people and/or with power imbalances, including that odd idea some folks have that humans are separate from and have power over "nature". Like you I once left a PhD program -- when I was spirited away by a faculty member to design a national training program in community development skills.

Unlike many of the other members I've clicked on so far, I'm not a geek/tech specialist, but a where-the-rubber-hits-the-road (and those not in power got hit and those in the driver's seat ran) generalist (please forgive the gas-guzzling metaphor). I'm a practitioner who has worked where it is all seriously is not making sense, and people and the planet are obviously getting hurt.

So much of what we need to attend to concerning our common conundrum is not obvious, though. I guess you could say I've thrown my hat in, or hope to throw my vocational hat in where we can start making sense of these local and global impacts that are less obvious but no less crucial. Oh my. That was a mouthful.

Until we chat again, good luck as you seek and hope that you find.

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