Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Engaging Community for a Sustainable Future

GPCOG held a forum on how to engage the greater Portland community in creating a more sustainable future. Ori Brafman explained his thesis behind his book "The Starfish and The Spider"- a great take on top down versus laterally constructed organizations. A spider dies when it's head is cut off but a starfish grows another leg and starfish. Craigs List is a starfish organization with no real central head. Certainly many are trying to cash in on Gladwell''s formula for success but this idea was well stated and informative.

CH2M Hill firm members presented a methodology for gathering information and sharing it to arrive at solutions which are not predetermined and pull ideas from all. Essentially there is always an internal tension between the goal oriented process and the creativity required for great solutions. By splitting up and allowing small groups to identify the problems, the ideal outcomes and then look for solutions, the process is decentralized. By allowing participants to throw ideas out and then modify them as they hear other ideas, each person learns and adapts in real time and solutions emerge with collective authors.

Kudos to GPCOG for a terrific morning!

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