Most efforts towards the ideal generate severe controversy and even scandal as the new clashes with existing beliefs and as people fall short of the ideal. This is to be expected in any growing group of people. In the existing paradigms, be it the silencing and hushing up of abuse by Christian priests, the discovery of personal secret sexual relationships by spiritual leaders preaching celibacy, or illegal activity in terms of national laws, this is handled in fear and secrecy, creating division and a sense of betrayal. One of the key issues is how to respond ethically (in a way that supports every individual involved in meeting their human needs and minimizes violation of those needs). This includes the cost of rejection/expulsion for all involved. Most who violate have been violated. If someone is considered a danger to others and is thrown out of community in that state, what is their impact on others they will interact within the larger community?

Goals:

  • To bring all key controversies to the surface so they can be examined, and so all parties can make choices base on accurate knowledge about what is happening.
  • To understand the root dynamics of the issue in terms of the beliefs at play, the values at play, the pain-management strategies at play and the cause of the underlying pain.
  • To provide a way for all involved to meet their human needs to survive, feel secure, have a sense of love and belonging, develop their gifts and contribute them to community and create abundance without fear of violation.
  • To provide data-based case-studies for the larger world and the community about what works and does not work in specific situations, as well as candor about the current ability to resolve or not resolve given conflicts.

Strategy:

  • As much transparency as possible.
  • Look as deeply into the issue and the issues beneath the issues as possible.
  • By holding the intention of world-leadership, aim for more excellence and thoughtfulness than a small issue might otherwise warrant.
  • Practice and learn on small things so that the community has the skills to address larger conflicts, should they emerge.

Protocols:

  • Any violation of ethics/best-practices by someone in a leadership role (a wood-worker teacher who employs practices that result in student injuries, a teacher who creates resentful students who hate the subject, a parent who traumatizes their child or sexually abuses them etc.) will have the concern voiced by anyone who witnesses it via an in-person conversation one on one and the conversation can either be recorded and be considered resolved then or if the leader resists the change this can be posted on the app as an unresolved issue.
  • In the event of an unresolved issue (the parent believes that hitting their child is appropriate in this situation, for example, but others feel this is harmful for the child, as one example), it will be brought up in a circle of concerned parties for resolution.
  • All group resolution circles will be filmed so that the entire community can participate, and so that case-studies of failure/success to resolve conflict can be published in a way that might help others in the same situation within and outside of the community.
    • In group contexts, the issue will first be laid out in terms of the ideal. In the case of child abuse, the parent's ideal might consist of "my child would not violate boundaries that put me/others/themselves at risk, I would know how to get support if they do and would not feel the need to hit my child for lack of any alternative that works." For the child, the ideal might be: "I don't have to disobey my parent in order to play in a way that I think is safe." For the community, the ideal might be "Playing of this nature would not happen around specific children who may copy things they can't yet do safely and we don't want our children being hit."
    • The feelings of anyone with strong feelings affected by the situation will be voiced, as well as the underlying cause of these feelings. These feelings will be heard as in "You feel X because of Y, is that right?" before going to the next person.
    • The ideal of all involved will be assessed by everyone to see if anyone's ideal version of events is incompatible. For example, "I want to ride my bike fast on all the garden paths" might be in conflict with "I don't want to be shocked by having a bicycle rounding a corner coming towards me at high speeds." In this case the ideal might be amended to "I want to be able to race on garden paths but don't need to race on all paths," leading to the ideal of their being bike paths for bikes only.
    • When an ideal that accommodates all preferences is defined in the abstract, the next issue is to look at the reality of the situation:
      • "I have no problem with the ideal, but I do not want to allocate community funds to build a bike trail when we have ten things more important to me on the to-do list." This might lead to the teenager being invited to propose a dirt-bike path with their peers and if accepted, to then build it themselves in their spare time, or earn money to buy materials for it. They might ask for help and find those in the community willing to help.
      • There might be a conflict such as: "We don't have enough land. It would be fine if we had more land," prompting a discussion on how land could be found for such an activity.
      • In general, the person with an unmet need would be expected to invest time/energy in finding a solution with the paradigm that the more people's needs and preferences are met the better, and that there is probably a way to succeed with time, given priority.
      • In some situations, a brainstorming might take place along the lines of: "We can't see a practical way to accommodate X, but let's invent seven or so other choices that the community might accommodate that meet the need for exercise and adrenaline and skill-building in another way.
  • If anyone is in a leadership role and their protocol seems potentially or literally harmful to the public interest, they would step down until such time as a solution could be found or suspend the area of activity in question. For example, a child-care provider who loses their temper and shouts abusively at young children, might be limited to caring for older children or to activities where they don't feel out of control. An accountant caught stealing would be removed from access to public funds until protocols of transparency or the underlying issue were resolved, such as gambling addiction or a sense of financial injustice was addressed. Or they might have lost the confidence of the community for that role permanently and be given the option of playing another role where less harm to the community would result.
  • Abuses of trust (a clear protocol or principle was knowingly violated) would result in an assessment of those harmed, as each person harmed is given a voice to explain the impact on them now and in the future. Each community member agrees that as part of a sustainable community, that they will invest their time/energy/money to restore the balance and heal the destructive impact of their abuse of trust by balancing things out, thus allowing the goodwill to return and also learning that short-cuts cost everyone more in the long-run.
  • As a paradigm, the community takes each violation as a group expression of their competency and protocols. The group determines the culture, who joins the community, who is given roles, who is trusted in what ways, what the training protocols are, what the oversight and mentoring protocols are, and how transparent each of the needs and preferences of members are, and is therefore ultimately responsible for a scenario in which someone states that something was really important to them, they believed it would not be supported and felt their best option was to secretly betray an agreement. This does not happen in isolation of the behavior of the group and is viewed as a chance to learn how to grow the framework of the community in some way. It could be that the community has a policy of "anyone who wants to can speak," but some members stay silent, bringing into the community a belief that no one will respect what they have to say that does not get dealt with because they are never expected to speak and given contrary data in the process. Or it could be that a faction in the community is overly dominant and dismissive of valid needs of a minority that have no honorable way of being met. The group and the behavior of individuals in the group are expected to have some correlation and in this stage of the process, that correlation is looked for. For example, if every discussion takes the community 3 months to sort out and there is a time-sensitive opportunity one member values highly, they might feel compelled to act in secrecy simply because the opportunity has a one-week window of action and they know there will not be any decision for three months. This might result in certain things being given a fast-track with a commitment by the community to respond within 24 hours for things that meet certain criteria and have a low-risk to others.
  • In the app, allow the nuances of each position to be commented on in a nuanced way by all. For example, in the bike example, people could parse out "I support your excitement for new skills and adrenaline and showing your skills in public, but I don't like the bike idea on paths. Would a skateboard and bike-jumping arena that everyone sees as they walk by do the same thing? I would enjoy watching that." Or "I like the whole thing, but not for another two years because my number one concern is finishing the community dining renovation and it keeps getting delayed." This leaves the idea open if a teenager can raise money of their own and recruit a company to build it and not divert funds and labor from the community hall. 1-10 scales can also be used so that what is done aligns not only to the majority vote, but to the passion behind that vote. If something is a 10 "Yes" for 10 people that is one hundred units of passion. If a majority is neutral and a few don't like it a 2 out of 10 that may only be 30 units of passion against the idea and those with the most enthusiasm would prevail, thus avoiding a dynamic of consensus crushing and repressing the passion in the community. The app can track the passion numbers as well as the votes.
  • The app will make it easy for anyone to add/edit/append remarks over time so that not only the decision is public, but it's impact, allowing everyone to learn how successful the protocol and decision was at generating community well-being, and for suggestions to be made to evolve the best-practices and ethics followed in different ways, and allowing people's anger and excitement to be noted and honored over time. This can also reveal longer patterns over-time, such as a community member who always says "yes" to agree with the majority but then resents what they voted for, or a pattern of someone always getting outvoted in 90% of what they bring up, creating awareness that the community may not be as inclusive as it might become and to draw attention to the fact that no one will feel welcome if some people always have their ideas voted in and others have their ideas and values rejected consistently, reflecting a bias that will make the community an unhealthy place for certain minorities who have valid concerns.
  • The app can show the cost of time, money, space, natural resources and feelings of each conflict, decision and resolution, as well as the well-being generated to the entire community by that decision, thus guiding the community by data towards decision that cost less and provide more value, this being seen as a reflection of the community intelligence, both of it's people and it's protocols.

Philosophy:

Most of us agree that if a behavior or policy costs very little and delivers enormous value, it is intelligent to embody. We are also all unique. Where possible, an approach of constructive competition is encouraged. Meaning, if there is a debate about how best to achieve the desirable outcome of minimum effort for maximum value, experiments and friendly competition can be developed. In the largest sense, if a group of community members wants to take the community in a different direction, this should be encouraged, within a framework of data. One group might leave the community if land did not permit space for their experiment and develop their ideas and report their costs and well-being generated, which might or might not result in the adoption of some of their strategies and protocols, or they may decide to replicate the first community with minor modifications. Each community would have it's own uniqueness, within a central paradigm that one cannot tell how effective and intelligent it is without knowing both the costs and impact on all concerned. In this way one community might emphasize physical health more, another making money, another a rich terrain for children and each invest differently to reflect their hierarchy of values, allowing individuals to migrate to the community that most suited their needs, while having a shared value of dramatically increasing human well-being and measuring that via the app.​​

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