Tools

Like any work in this world, the impact or our actions can be increased by using tools.

Builders can construct a house to a higher standard, in less time and with less energy using plans, frames, cement mixers and shovels than they could with just their bare hands and an idea.

So too can we generate healthy social dynamics, resilient organisations and sustainable communities with conceptual frameworks, social technologies, analytical tools and step-by-step methods that have been tried and tested.

Many of the tools presented here can be thought of as perspectives, sets of perspectives, or frameworks.

Frameworks, generally, are useful for making assumptions explicit, making distinctions between one concept or another, and facilitating collaborative, effective actions across disciplines, scales and cultures.

They help to organise information, diagnose challenges, make sense of what is going on, anticipate and manage impacts, give a clear picture of the context, predict dynamics/factors in an unfamiliar situation, identify gaps in knowledge, and develop an integrated solution that accounts for the major dynamics at play.

Here are some we use when and where appropriate, with some hyperlinked to more information on each:

Integral Quadrants (lenses)

Backcasting

The Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (rigorous, scientific principles for building consensus and share action on steps towards sustainability)

Fundamental Human Needs

Systems Thinking

Action Inquiry

Visual Business Model Design

Leadership Development Framework

We think we can have the biggest impact through our in the moment awareness of the reality of right now. The right awareness ensures we choose the appropriate tools and use them in a way that is supportive of the positive and healthy intent of those we work with. So, when it all goes wrong, we won’t blame our tools.

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