Emergent behavior of capitalism

Emergence is a concept which says that complex behavior can come from simple rules that u might now expect… This is true both for capitalist and socialist rule sets. They may sound good but be detrimental, or vice versa.

The idea of exchange based on money can seem harmless, but it has weird systemic things that happen. The Adams Smith invisible hand is an example of emergence. But its not the only thing that emerges. If people are owed money, their debt increases exponentially. This can unbalance the system dramatically. Some people can own 10,000 times more money than someone else. Sometimes without working, just collecting debt. This extra money they have allows them to change the incentive structure of the whole system, since money is what incentivizes the system. So you have a few people controlling the incentive structure of the whole system. And because these people have shadow sides, it plays out on a global level their shadow sides in the global incentive structure. Whole industrial complexes can arise out of incentive structures.

Heres an example of capitalism taking into account emergent effects. Lets call simple capitalism which just has Adam Smith invisible hand emergence. And complex capitalism which takes into account the second order effect of rich people being able to set incentive structures. In simple capitalism the consumer would choose between pharmaceuticals and herbal medicine. Over time the better one would win out. However in complex capitalism, people with more money can find they can make more money with pharmaceuticals since they can be owned and patented as they are synthetic unlike naturally found herbal medicines. This then leads to those rich people/companies setting incentive structures that cause doctors and researchers to skew towards offering pharmaceuticals more. Supply and demand causes prices to skyrocket since demand is great if you might die. Over time a medical industrial complex establishes itself that is self-reinforcing. Its an emergent property of complex capitalism.

Socialist rule sets can also have weird emergent properties. They may sound good at first but lead to unhealthy behavior. And vice versa. They key is to figure out which regulations and policies and aid lead to healthy emergent properties.


(*note: The question of which is better western medicine or alternative holistic medicine is a separate question. The point of this argument is to show that a capitalism system can lead to the one with patentable processes becoming entrenched)





How to prepare for climate change

With possible major climate change happening in the future we can be more prepared by organizing locally into resilience hubs…

This can be done by
1. Connecting locally – invite your neighbors for dinner, have regular potlucks , games nights, connection games, block parties etc

2. Growing food locally – encouraging everyone to grow food in their gardens

3 Sharing resources – map out resources in neighborhood, have gift circles where you share what needs you have like dogwalking or editing ,and help each other, create tool libraries, crop swaps where you share food from each others gardens. The more you share, the easier it is to work together if disaster hits.

4. Storing up emergency supplies


For more info check out
.resilience circles localcircles.org
.Transition streets http://www.transitionus.org/transitionstreets

Listening to each other on Wikipedia

On wikipedia people with different opinions on topics : climate change, economics, political systems, spirituality, homeopathy, vaccines, esp etc come together to write an article together. This is quite extraordinary, writing an article with people you may strongly disagree with. And this can lead to wild edit wars on wikipedia.

Now what if there was a facilitation system that helped guide people on different sides of an article, to learn to listen to each other, empathize with one another, some kind of wisdom council. Using processes like wisdom councils, nonviolent communication, win-win techniques, etc to connect.

Could this process, if done again and again over hundreds of thousands of topics, lead humanity to listen to each other over a wide diversity of topics? Could this process if done well, help increase empathy on earth?

Growing a tribe that re-envisions the way we live together in society.

We can grow tribes that template a new society.


Step 1: Bring together people for a deep inquiry into the patterns that we live in.

(i) Creating a space where we are listening empathically, and also from a higher consciousness field. The group can begin with connection exercises

(ii) Allow stories and insight to come and be shared. People share from a deeper place from within. Questions that can be used as inquiry questions

a. What is community
b. What experiences of community have you had
c. In what ways do existing structures happen us in behaving as we truly would like?
d. What kind of structures in society might help us in creating the way we live?
e. What would be a deep connection to land that we can have?
f. How can we connect more deeply to place?
g. How do you want to relate to each other
h. What kind of space allows you to be authentic with each other
i. How would you like to connect with the earth as a group
j. What kind of commitments would you like to be with each other
k. What values would you like your tribe to have?
l. What kind of sharing of resources is possible
m. How can we move money flow in better ways? How can we pool money for better usage?
n. What are  forms of ownership are possible? What things could we have shared ownership of?
o. What kind of commons can we create? Within a tribe? Within a neighborhood? Within a network of tribes?
n. What would you like tribe to do?
o. Are there functions a tribe can do better societal institutions that were made for that function?
p. How would a tribe to govern itself?
q. How would you like to live together? (eg. co-housing, ecovillage, separate apartments etc)
(iii) This rumination on these questions can happen over several weeks, in community, and also on ones own.
Step 2: Form a regularly meeting circle for your tribe
From the step 1 inquiry there may be people who want to create a tribe together, and explore building new community living projects.
These circles can have any of the three following parts
(i) Connection exercises. These are exercises that connect us deeply . Some examples of such exercises are from different facilitation techniques like Insight Dialogue, The Way of Council, T-group, Circling, Authentic Relating, The Work that Reconnects and Heart Circles.

(ii) Resource sharing. People can share what needs they have eg. dogwalking, editing help etc. And others in the group can offer to help. This is the gift circle process.

(iii) Community Living projects. This is a process that unfolds over time . From the answers to the questions from step 1, and from looking at needs that arise in the resource sharing exercise, the group can look at what kind of projects it wants to create together. Its good to start with small projects and work up to larger projects. And to work with quick prototypes then move to larger functioning systems.  The group can use a variety of facilitation processes to envision what to do , and also to activate – Theory U, Appreciative Inquiry, Dragon Dreaming, Lean Startup.

These can be different resource sharing projects like  pooling your money together for emergency funds account, co-living projects, buying real estate together, foodshares, gardening parties, skillshares.  Shareable.net provides a good list of possible projects.

Step 3: Form working groups

Different teams form around different projects. They can meet outside the regularly circle, as well as have presentation time within the regular circles of step 2.

Step 4: Linking with other tribes and organizations

Various partnerships, commons, resources sharing can be built with other tribes and groups to form a network and ecosystem.

A list of awesome Social Architectures

Usage:Large group dialogue

1.Question is chosen for discussion
2.People go off into small groups at different tables to discuss
3.People can take notes on big pieces of paper in middle of each table
4.Then after discussion people go off into different small groups
5.They will discuss same question or a different question (depending on what the facilitators have decided beforehand)
6.Then everyone comes back together in large group to share and harvest.

Usage: large group dialogue

1.People suggest topics for discussion
2.Group self-organizes to create schedule with multiple sessions running concurrently
3.One is free to move from group to group
4.Notes recorded of session
5.Everyone comes back and shares what happened in each group

Usage: Group visioning and activation
1. Co-initiate : dialogue to identify issue. Usually with many stakeholders.
2. Co-sense : feel into the issue together. What are roots of issue?
3. Co-presensing: Listening to the collective field. Use deeper ways of knowing
4. Co-creating: developing a prototype of solution
5. Co-evolving: continue to test and iterate prototypes

Usage: Group visioning and activation

1.Discover what works well in your group/organizatin
2.Dream and envision what could work well in the future
3.Designing and planning strategies that could work in the future
4.Deploy the strategy

Usage: (i) group process (ii) way of running workshops

1.Everyone tunes into the group field
2.When someone gets an intuitive hit on what facilitation exercise to lead, they can lead the group in that exercise.
3.When exercise ends the group goes back into listening to the group field til someone else gets an intuitive hit

Note: This circle can begin with 1 minute exercises until people get a feel for each other. Then it can move into longer exercises……Facilitator Improv can be about a general topic, or it can be focused on a specific topic, like art or relationships

Usage: Group decision making

1.Facilitator stands at board on which is written the categories : Problem/ Solutions/ Concerns /Data
2.The facilitator continually summarises people comments as the dialogue progresses, and writes them down on the board in the category where it belongs

Usage: Group process

1.Do some connection exercises e.g. eyegazing
2.Go around a circle with a person saying something they are sorry for doing.
3.Others listen empathically, and when each person finishes, they say ‘We forgive you’

Usage: embedded into interpersonal or group dialogue1.Speak observations rather than judgements
2.Identify your feelings
3.Identify your needs
4.Make requests (that can help get your needs met), and not demands

Usage: Council process

1.A talking stick is passed around to those who want to speak
2.People listen from the heart
3.Speak from the heart
4.Speak spontaneously without planning
5.Speak succinctly

Usage: Council

1.Close your eyes and imagine an animal coming to you
2.Feel what life is like to be that animal
3.Everyone creates a mask/costume for their animal
4.In council, each person, as the animal, shares what their life is like. Everyone responds “We hear you ____ (name of being)”
5.Each person then shares what is happening to them, what people are doing to them, and what they want to say to people. Everyone responds ” We hear you __(name of being_)”
6.In next round, each person shares what wisdom and gifts they have to offer. Everyone responds “We thank you ___(name of being)”
7.Then people take off their masks, and share what aspects of the will change about the way they live as people

Usage: Tool embedded into group or dialogic process

1.At certain points in a discussion the empathic dashboard can be called for.
2.People let people know how understood they feel in the discussion by showing a number of fingers from 1-5. 1 means not understood at all. 5 means understood well
Note:This can be done before a vote, and if people are not all showing at least 3 fingers, then more discussion ensues.

Usage: Group process

1.Get into groups of 3 to5
2.One person is speaker who talks about something meaningful to them
3.One person is active listener, who at times can reflect back to the speaker what they heard
4.The others are passive listeners, who listen empathically
5.Rotate roles

Usage: for talks with people from different ideological backgrounds
1. Choose the topic of conversation
2. Be curious and open to learning
3. Show respect and suspend judgment
4. Find common ground and note differences
5. Be authentic and welcome that from others
6. Be purposeful and to the point
7. Own and guide the conversation
8. First round of dialogue begins with ‘What interested you or drew you to this topic’
9. Second round is exploration of core values. ‘ What sense of purpose guides you in life?’ ‘What would your best friend say about you and what makes you tic?’,’What are your hopes for your community?’
10. Third round is dialogue around key topic-related questions
11.  Fourth round is reflection on how dialogue went, what you gained, and if your perception of anyone changed
12. Fifth round is about what noting what was accomplished, and what steps you will make moving forward.
Transformation dialogues
Usage: for talks with people in conflict
1. Relax and become present . Take deep breaths
2. Let go of some attachment to your thoughts and judgments
3. Give yourself empathy
3. Find common ground
4. Share your needs
5. Share your feelings
6. Explain the other person’s point of view
7. Embrace and hold multi-perspectives at same time
8. Give a gift : metaphorical or otherwise to the other
9. Clarify which things are goals, and which are strategies to meet goals
10. Make requests, not demands
Note: These do not have to be done necessarily in order above.

Usage: Group dialogue

1.During conversation no decisions will be made
2.Suspend judgement for the duration of the conversation
3.Be as honest and transparent as possible
4.Work to understand assumptions behind each person’s beliefs
5.Build on each others ideas in conversation
6.Goal is not to win, but to think together

Usage: interpersonal dialogue

1.Pause. Step out of habitual thoughts into presence
2.Relax. Calm body and mind. Receiving whatever thoughts and feelings come
3.Open from internal to include external with a sense of spaciousness
4.Trust emergence
5.Listen deeply
6.Speak the truth



Usage: Creating a team

1.Create a vision
2.Find people with this common vision
3.Articulate each persons strengths.
4.Clarify what archetypes and roles each person wants to play
5.Write a script for the group
6.Enact the script

Note: the above steps do not have to be in linear order


Hot Seat
Usage: Group process

1.People take turns being on the hot seat
2.Everyone asks questions of a person on the hot seat
3.The person on the hot seat, can answer truthfully, not truthfully, or pass
4.Questioners ask interested questions rather than interesting questions. Interested questions keep focus on the person in the hot seat. Interesting questions put attention on questioner
5.After the person on hot seat finishes answer, questioner says ‘Thank you’
6.Facilitator waits for a high note and then says “I’ll take you off the hotseat”

Council of all personality parts

Usage: Council, Group dialogue

1.Everyone does work to explore their different personality subparts – warrior, critic, protector, activator, healer, child, big heart etc… You can use different modalities like Big Mind process to explore this.
2.During council with everyone, each individual says which of their personality subparts is speaking. And then allow that part to speak
3.Give opportunity for different subparts from each person to speak

Natural Selection
Usage: Large group dialogue

1.Problem or question in need of solution is created
2.People gather in smaller groups
3.In each group everyone presents a solution
4.Group chooses best solution and elaborates on it
5.Everyone rotates into different groups.
6.Each presents best solution from their previous group
7.Group chooses best solution and elaborates on it
8.Come back into large group with the solutions that have been naturally selected

Lecture peer summary
Usage: To use in lectures and talks
1. At points in a lecture or at the end, two people or a small group can turn to each other summarizing and discussing what was just said.
Charette Procedure
Dialogue mappingWorldwork
Wisdom Council
Commons Cafe
Restorative Circles
Forum (ZEEG)
Theatre of the oppressed
Technology of Participation
Dialogue mapping
Beauty engine
Heart Circle
Dragon Dreaming

Gift Circle

Usage: Group process

1.In a circle share what you are grateful for (optional step)
2.There is a round where each person shares their needs (eg. need dogwalking, or help editing)
3.Others respond if they would like to help with that need as a gift economic service
4.There is another round where each person shares what services/stuff they can offer as a gift.

Sovereign Accountable Commons (SAC)

Usage: For community

1. You become part of the SAC commons when you accept the agreements of the SAC, which could be about being collaborative, sharing certain things, etc

2. Once part of the SAC you have access to the goods and services in the commons eg. access to a community space, certain free services others in the SAC give to its members etc

Shop of the Open Heart
Free School
Really really free market
Free farm stand
Generosity party
Deeper Need circle
Commons-based peer production
Tool library
Seed swap
Crop Mob
Clothes swap
Repair cafe
Local currency
Protocol Coop
Usage: structure of an organization
1. Create a platform which allows people to offer services of a certain type to each other.
2. When people choose to do transactions, they have a choice of how they do it : with money, barter, complementary currency, sliding scale, gift etc. So eg. if you have a ride sharing organization, drivers and riders and choose which economic arrangement structure they will do with each other.


Usage: To create a tribe
1.Start with a Champion/Founder, the ONE who gets it started
2.Identify others choosing this physical place, open to the adventure and possible commitment.
3.Carefully invite one person or one couple at a time.
4.Training in values, structure and skills. This is the glue that bonds the tribe.
5.Ceremony and initiation, with formal commitments.
6. The committments are
i)To Place; we choose to stay put, to not move
ii)To Each Other; seasoned friends growing together
iii)To Gender Safety; clear boundaries and transparency
iv)To Personal Integrity: we’re accountable and tell the truth
v)To Long-Term Intention; we imagine a lifetime together
vi)To Celebrate relationship with Divine Presence; spirit
vii)To Cultural Co-Creation: action toward sustainability
7.Develop a decision making process
8.Founders are derolled and tribe runs itself.
Agile project management

Empathic Dashboard

Here’s an idea to help with in achieving resonance in group conversations, and with making group decisions.

Each person in the group can signal with how many fingers ( 1 to 5) they hold out how ‘heard’ or ‘understood’ they feel in the conversation. This can be done at certain times in a group conversation to check in.

This Empathic Dashboard method can be done before making a group vote. The group can set the criteria that you need everyone to be showing at least 4 fingers before you vote.

For instance this past weekend we had a group conversation with five people. Once in a while someone would make a hand signal ( in our case it was a fist) to do the Empathic Dashboard to see how heard we all felt . When someone gave two fingers or less it was a chance to check in why they hadn’t been feeling understood in the conversation.

Participatory Commons

Here’s the idea for a Participatory Commons. Everyone contributes hours of their time, or some other service/property into a commons pool. Then you have access to services/property of the commons.

So eg. people with services to offer like massage, editing, mechanic help, cleaning can set aside office hours, or a number of hours each week when their services are free for those participating in the Participatory Commons. You can also offer space for workshops or for crashing at as part of your contribution to the commons. And if people in the commons agree, you can also spend your time on activism causes or community building activities. In addition those who are sick or disabled may be granted access to the commons without having to give as much, or any.

So what we have is a commons where many services/stuff are available to those who contribute.

(* This kind of commons is not strictly a pure gift economy, as you do have to give to it, but the giving does not have to be closely tracked, and there can be a lot of variance in the amount given. The giving is more a sign of goodwill and intention, as in I want to part of the collective)