Glossary for Transformative Language and Concepts

ACCESS POINT: That opening of any system or situation which allows an opportunity to introduce a new idea, method or connection.

AND/BOTH THINKING: The capacity to see direct, indirect or oblique connections in everything without having to identify the one best answer.

BIOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES: Establishing initial conditions, designing parallel processes, interdependence and systemic thinking, Includes:

1. connecting disparate ideas and processes,
2. emergence of ideas and outcomes from “futures generative dialogue, 3. feedback based on what occurs, self-organization
4. adapting to changing conditions.

CAPACITIES FOR TRANSFORMATION: New abilities, skills and knowledge that support individual, organizational and community transformation that redefines the in-kind nature and scope of each entity.

COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION: Community Transformation is the concept of preparing local communities for a constantly changing, interdependent and increasingly complex society by challenging traditional assumptions of how we educate/learn, how we do economic development, how we lead, how we govern, even how we think.

COMPLEX ADAPTIVE SYSTEMS: The design and interaction of living systems that change and adapt according to the change in environment.

CREATIVE MOLECULAR ECONOMY: A new type of economy that is emerging from the last stages of an Industrial Economy based on manufacturing to an Organic Economy based on creativity, biological principles that will be self-organizing and genetic engineering methods that will produce products. Advanced, cloud computing will be a key technology to support this new type of economy.

DIRECT CONSENSUS DEMOCRACY: A parallel approach to local decision-making that is based on citizen control and ownership of each of three stages:

1) identify key issues;
2) define key factors to understand most important issue identified;
3) develop alternative strategies for citizens to choose.

ELECTRONIC INFRASTRUCTURE: The interconnection of computers, sensors and wireless technology that forms a comprehensive network for digital sharing of data, information and knowledge.

FUTURES CONTEXT: A framework of ideas, trends and weak signals that emphasize a total shift of environment and thinking into new paradigms that are emerging.

FUTURE FORWARD COLLEGE: Colleges that develop “transformational learning” processes around futures thinking and action. This is done utilizing “parallel processes” to seed forty-seven key ideas in the existing classroom structure at the same time that totally new ways of learning are designed within futures institutes and/or strategic futures centers.

FUTURES GENERATIVE DIALOGUE: The ability to collaborate and develop innovations through dialogue within a futures context.

INTERDEPENDENCE: The capacity of multiple factors, people and organizations to interact and help each other succeed.

MASTER CAPACITY BUILDER – The type of leader who understands the need to help citizens in local communities learn to think within a futures context and is able to build “capacities for transformation” in each other, one’s organization and in local areas. A traditional leader focuses on the short term. A Master Capacity Builder focuses on the longer-term.

MOLECULAR: The smallest unit that is the basis for organizing a Creative Molecular Economy or community transformation process, whether individuals, or small groups and networks.

MUTUAL COLLABORATIVE COACHING: The process of a network or team of facilitating, transformational leaders who learn from each other as they collaborate to design and develop “comprehensive community transformation.”

ORGANIC: What things we make and how we make them will be tied to understanding and reading life and to programming life for specific purposes. Processes are considered to be organic if initial conditions are set, and emergence occurs as a result of the interaction of people, ideas or networks without predetermined outcomes expected.

PARALLEL PROCESSES: The new method of using complementary processes to focus on different needs of any changing and complex adaptive system. One example is to use strategic planning for short term community development needs at the same time that adaptive planning is used to develop and nurture new capacities for the future.

TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP: A new type of leadership that emphasizes new ways of thinking and relationship-building in order to develop capacities for transformation for the longer run in parallel to short-term oriented traditional, outcomes based leadership. Both are needed.

SELF-ORGANIZING: The capacity to develop in flexible, emergent ways without actions and outcomes being predetermined.

TRANSFORMATIONAL LEARNING: The new concept of learning that integrates the need to expand knowledge, to include trends and weak signals ) ask appropriate questions within a futures context and connect diverse and disparate ideas for the purpose of continuous innovation.

TRANSFORMATIONAL THINKING: There are three capacities of “transformational thinking:”

1) ability to think at different levels, for different reasons, at different times,
2) ability to connect disparate ideas, and
3) ability to identify emerging weak signals and new knowledge as a part of a creative process.

UPLEARNING: The ability to think and understand at a more complex level.

WEAK SIGNALS: Emerging new ideas, inventions, innovations and discoveries that are not trends, but have the potential to make an impact on society.

WEBS AND NETWORKS: The building blocks of a community transformation as a result of moving faster, in interconnected ways to a higher level of complexity.

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