Pattern Language

December 26, 2008

A bit from Tree Bressen of Intentional Communities. She is co-hosting an inquiry on pattern language, a fluency if you will, on group process and participatory hosting. Though I haven't been able to join, I like the harvests I am seeing. All part of the artfulness of group process artistry. The insight about French fluency below is particularly helpful for me -- the link to culture, experience, history as needed for understanding more of the art. And yet, I also like that learning a new language involves beginning and knowing that you will make a thousand mistakes. This was my experience in learning Korean 25 years ago. My approach was to accept the 1,000 mistakes and do them as quickly as possible rather than fearing them.

Dear folks,

Here at long last is an update about the "pattern language for group

process." This message is going out to ~50 people who have requested

further contact on the project.

Last week 11 of us met in Eugene for 5 days (neither rain, nor sleet,

nor snow, could keep the event from happening!). The group brought a

diversity of backgrounds in the realm of group process, including

corporations, communes, tech world, religious groups, political

activists, and more. Our conversation ranged widely, exploring topics such as:

* How did we learn how to do what it is that we do? Note that for

most of us the answer was not formal training in group process skills!

* What's the difference between a collection of patterns vs. a

pattern language? One analogy offered in response was that while

someone can learn and use a few words of French, until one learns the

language to fluency there is an interconnectedness and worldview and

culture of that language that one won't have access to.

* How can we create a broad framework without reinforcing patterns of

oppression? For some, the answer is to stay grounded in a spirit of

inquiry rather than advocacy. For others, the key is transparency of

who we are and where we are coming from, and an avoidance of

presumptions to universality.

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