David Sibbet | Sustainability
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SunWheel - Visualizing SustainabilityMerc Martinelli—CEO of a new startup, Verdafero, focusing on green business.—sent me a link to an incredible website that has collected 138 illustrations of sustainability concepts. See Computing for Sustainability’s Visualizing Sustainability, a full panorama from simple to complex, mapping onto every conceivable base map. Here is a sample; visit the website for lots more.

I’ve contended for a long time that a sustainability mindset requires systems thinking, and that systems thinking requires visual thinking—even if the display is just between your ears. You can’t understand relationships if you don’t have some display structure to illustrate the elements that are in relationship. This collection is a great testimonial to that assumption.

 

Colin Ware provided the keynote at this year’s VizThink conference in San Jose and a follow-up workshop on “How Do Patterns Structure Visual Thinking.” He’s a researcher from the University of New Hampshire and quite academic, but in his talk I found validation for a growing consensus that intention is the key player in perception.

He began with an inquiry into the primary uses of visual language. I took a lot of notes, which you can read here if you click to magnify. But then he went to the findings from his research.

ColinWareJournalPage - Intention Guides Visual Perception

 

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PacificPerspecive - Regrounding in Earth Wisdom“How has all your traveling affected you?” Vanda asked in our coaching meeting this Monday afternoon. She was aware of how extensively I’ve been moving around this year, just back from Asia, in Europe much of the Fall, and now heading to the East coast.

The question stopped me a bit. It must be affecting me, I thought, but do I know how? I’ve come to trust the first things that arise when asked a question, and to simply let the answer come rather than trying to force it or “craft” it. Immediately I thought about how aware I’ve become of the dense, evolving network of globalized organizations and processes that carry me here and there—how interconnected Singapore and Hong Kong and San Francisco and Copenhagen and yes even Moscow have become for me.

As these urban ganglia are communicating and trading and aware of each other, increasingly The Grove is helping people communicate across boundaries using visual language and universal facilitation practices.

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It’s New Year’s and I’m filled with hopeful stories I heard at a Compassionet gathering I attended this week. About 12 of us gathered with Srinivas Sukumar at Rudite Emir’s house in Mountain View. Sukumar was a client of mine at HP in the 1990’s—head of strategic planning for the labs, and is now the Community Program Manager for the CAL IT2 Institute at UC San Diego, having “retired” a few years ago. I went to India with him in 1998 to do strategic visioning for a Chinmaya Mission school in Coimbatore and we have been close colleagues ever since. Compassionet is a circle of his friends that all share an interest in spiritual matters combined with work in service of the community.

We meet a couple of times a year when Sukumar is back in the Bay Area from San Diego, and we’re beginning to deepen the threads that connect us. I’d like to share some of the things that inspired me when we recently crossed paths.

Compassionette - Seeds of Hope

 

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