Saturday, September 09, 2006

Time for a Bridge


Wow! Another busy week, and again in a very positive way. First (yeah?), there's the whole real life thing: my much-better half was on a much-needed retreat, so little Drew (yeah, that's him in the picture at right from Father's Day) and I were minding the store. And then there's the day job that expects a certain level of attention.

But passion space is where the real action has been. In several ways, I've been bumping up against this particular aspect of reality: there are at least two big communities of people interested in making World Peace a reality. The two communities that have high profiles in my experience are: the spiritual/awareness/consciousness community, and the project/engineering/technology community. Now, when I say it like that it sounds like there is zero overlap, but that's overstating the case. Still, the two communities seem mostly separate. And that's the problem/opportunity. Because I'm convinced that both crowds are vital to a truly successful peace movement. And that's going to require building a bridge.

I've run into this a several ways. Here's the thing: as my profile suggests, my background (and comfort zone) is in the engineering/project space. This context can help explain my wiki bias. I believe that because that's typically the kind of folks (techie/engineering/project) I see in wiki space. And in the related "Engineers without Borders" space. But when I do blog searches for "world peace" or "better world", I am more likely to encounter social networks like Zaadz and Alliance for a New Humanity. These groups are more communicative, better at linking and connecting with a broad audience, and seem to resonate with a broad community.

Now, the techie/engineering/project group is full of great problem solvers, but they don't tend to be quite as good at inspiration and communication. The spiritual community is more inspirational and great at visioning. They may tackle practical problems, but often this sort of topic is not a core subject of discussions. Consequently, the two groups don't interact that much, and it's a shame.

Just this week, I've had some great connections both ways. I've been connecting with Chris Watkins, a serious Wikian and world-changer. In terms of language style and usage, I put Chris in the engineering/project manager/techie group, and if you follow his link you'll get a sense for what I mean by that style and usage. At the same time, I've also connected with Celine (many thanks to Morgan for that). Celine seems to me to be firmly in the mid-space between the two groups. as you can tell from her highly cross-cultural web site, Peace in Practice.

To cap it off, my wife returned from her retreat with a copy of a very interesting magazine: Ode. This seems like a great example of a bridge. That's a risky place to be from a marketing perspective, since members of each group might be more inclined to read publications that are more in their own space. Ode is going to connect with the intersection (okay, the Math minor is coming out now) of these groups, and that intersection is smaller than either group. I'm likely to sign up and work on learning the language of bridging. Expect a post on that. Please help out with a comment if you're ahead of me on the bridging thing!

This post has been a bit rushed, and I don't feel I've captured the tremendous value I've been getting from my connections with Chris and Celine. But stick with us and it will come through. There are several others (like Della and Paul) who are helping this whole thing come together. One pretty interesting thing is how Australia is disproportionately represented, with Morgan, Celine and Chris all hailing from there (for the moment, anyway...Chris is getting itchy feet).

Check in. Join the fun. I'll do my best to keep posting in real time, but there's a lot of activity in email space as well. Drop a note to me at curt_beckmann at yahoo dot com.

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