We are exploring different ways of developing a "mental jam session," a dynamic exchange of perspectives among members of this learning community on Complexity and Community Sustainability, with the anticipation / hope that doing so might cultivate relationships, reflective function, awareness of diversity, and the exchange / incubation / flow of ideas for the co-generation of knowledge and continual learning.

Communiplexity Position Statements:
Provided below are links to the "communiplexity position statements" of members of the Complexity and Community Sustainability Initiative. A “communiplexity position statement” is a personally, academically and / or professionally-informed perspective on communities as complex adaptive systems, integrating knowledge generated over the course of participation in the Communiplexity Initative with understanding developed through scholarship in one’s “discipline of origin” and lived experience.

Feel free to add your Communiplexity Position Statement to those posted below, which are in varying states of evolution / completion:

Heather Curry
Allison Pinto
Jessica Voss
Eric R. Weaver

Also, feel free to post comments regarding these position statements by clicking on the "discussion" tab at the top of the page that has been created for each person's statement. In this way, the beat might turn into a groove might turn into a jam...

Preparing for the Production of Swirly Goodness:
In preparation for the development of a presentation on "A Swirly Goodness Approach to Community Sustainability" at the Adelphi Conference on Social Entrepreneurship and Complexity, co-presenters Allison Pinto, Heather Curry and Tim Dutton decided to try out a "comprehensive exams" approach to writing, borrowing from Heather's recent experience sitting for comps in the department of Women's Studies. Most often in dyads, but sometimes alone, Allison, Heather and Tim wrote for pre-determined periods of time about their perspective on the development of the Communiplexity Initiative to date, and then read and reflected on one another's writing. This has become a "swirly" approach to collaboration in and of itself, which is now being posted on the wiki for the broader learning community to read and reflect upon as well.

To access these writing samples, click here.
Feel free to comment on any of these postings, or to contribute your own posts.

Group Writing through the Brownbag Seminar:
To explore the potential benefits of group writing for the sake of knowledge co-generation in the Communiplexity Initiative, the first 30 minutes or so of the April 16 Brownbag Seminar session was devoted to a group writing exercise. For 15 minutes, each of the 9 individuals who were present wrote a free-hand response to the following (paraphrased): "Let's say a colleague of yours, who you think would be a great addition to this Communiplexity Learning Community, contacted you and said they'd recently heard about the Communiplexity Initiative and they are thinking that they might like to get involved, but want to hear from you about what makes it not-just-another Initiative. What is a story that you could tell them about what you've noticed emerging or evolving in these efforts so far to convince them that they really want to get involved?"

After writing for 15 minutes, each participant then wrote down who among those present they perceived as having a perspective on the Communiplexity Initiative most different than their own, and who among those present they perceived as having a perspective most similar to their own. Then participants passed their writing along to the person whom they perceived as having the most different perspective - and if this person had already received something to read, they selected the person with the next most seemingly different perspective from among those who had not yet received a written statement to read.

Participants then read the statement and provided some brief comments on the thoughts the statement prompted for them. They then passed the statement along to whomever they perceived as having a perspective most different than the ideas expressed in the statement they had just read. In this way, each person then read a second statement and commented on it as well.

This exercise provided an opportunity both to express thoughts in writing, and to exchange ideas through reading and commenting on one another's writing. It may be worthwhile for us to continue reflecting (and writing about our reflections) on the relevance of such an exercise or process in developing the Communiplexity Initiative as a Complex Adaptive System. It also might be worthwhile for us to consider Scott Page's work on cognitive diversity -- in terms of perspectives, interpretations, heuristics and predictive models -- relative to the co-generation of knowledge regarding communiplexity.

Those who participated in this exercise agreed to type up their initial writing sample, along with the two rounds of feedback received, and post these initial writings, "uncut and unrefined," on this wiki. Let's post them on this page -- just click on the "discussion" tab above. Others are welcome and encouraged to read and add comments, and to post your own 15 minute response to the prompt that generated these postings.