What Is Open Space Technology?

Open Space Technology is one way to enable all kinds of people, in any kind of organization, to create inspired meetings and events. Over the last 30+ years, it has also become clear that opening space, as an intentional leadership practice, can create inspired organizations, where ordinary people work together to create extraordinary results with regularity.

Strengthening Collaboration Through Encouraging Dissent

The first time I heard that groups thrive on dissent, I didn’t like the idea. It came up in conversations with Tom Atlee of the Co-Intelligence Institute, back in the mid-1990s. Tom was clear, based on his experience in activist movements and especially on a cross-country peace march, that dissent is essential for groups to function intelligently. So much so that if a group had too little dissent, he advocated for actively cultivating it to keep the group fresh and creative.

John Cleese: “So, Anyway…” | Talks at Google

John Cleese stopped by the Google NYC office to further discuss So, Anyway… a book chronicling the early life of his career.

So, Anyway… is a must read for comedy fans worldwide. For the first time, John Cleese tells the story of how a tall, shy youth went on to become a self-confessed comedy legend. En route, Cleese describes his nerve-racking first public performance and his first encounter with his writing partner for over two decades, Graham Chapman. And so on to his dizzying ascent via scriptwriting for Peter Sellers, David Frost, Marty Feldman and others to the heights of Monty Python.

What is TRIZ

Imagine the biggest study of human creativity ever conducted. Picture the systematic study of over two million of the world’s most successful patents, and the construction of a problem solving method which then combines those solutions into a whole that strips away all boundaries between different industries. Now imagine that it exists. What you’re seeing is TRIZ. The reason you may not have heard of it before, is that it was initially devised and developed in the former Soviet Union, and practically no-one outside the Eastern Bloc had heard of it before the fall of the Berlin Wall. In this paper, we examine what that Soviet research achieved and how that platform has now been transformed into a comprehensive Systematic Innovation methodology, suitable for all types of innovation and innovation management issues. In the paper we show how today’s version of the method is helping users to systematically and reliably create breakthrough solutions to problems of all descriptions.

Problem Forming, Problem Finding, and Problem Solving in Design

This meeting [1], representing a convergence of students of design from a range of wholly dissimilar disciplines, is an event of major significance. It is significant that the meeting is being held at all that all of you recognize your common concerns. It is significant that we are gaining deep insights into the design process itself. If it is pretentious to talk about the “science of design,” at least we know now that there are truths about design that can be formulated and communicated, general truths that seem to apply to design as each of us knows it, in his or her particular professional domain.

But perhaps it is not really pretentious to speak of the science of design. There are principles that are widely applicable, and increasingly, we are finding ways of implementing these principles on electronic computers, and thereby securing the powerful assistance of those computers in the process of design. Let’s compromise on “the art and science of design.”

In recent years, the awareness of our communalities, whatever the specific field in which we work, has been hastened by the applications of computers to design: expert systems, computer aided design, artificial intelligence. Because their programs are open to inspection, computers allow us to look at the design process. The program is a tangible, concrete object. And in order to construct programs to design or assist design, we have to try to understand the process. That process is basically the same, whether it is carried out by people or computers, or, as is increasingly the case, by both in collaboration.

Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics

Selections from Science and Sanity represents Alfred Korzybski’s authorized abridgement of his magnum opus, Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics. This second edition, published in response to the recent Korzybski revival, adds new introductory material and a revised index, providing an accessible introduction to Korzybski’s arguments concerning the need for a non-Aristotelian approach to knowledge, thought, perception, and language, to coincide with our non-Newtonian physics and non-Euclidean geometries, to Korzybski’s practical philosophy, applied psychology, pragmatics of human communication, and educational program. Selections from Science and Sanity serves as an excellent introduction to general semantics as a system intended to aid the individual’s adjustment to reality, enhance intellectual and creative activities, and alleviate the many social ills that have plagued humanity throughout our history.

Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

This course gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. We’ll learn about the how the brain uses two very different learning modes and how it encapsulates (“chunks”) information. We’ll also cover illusions of learning, memory techniques, dealing with procrastination, and best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping you master tough subjects.

Using these approaches, no matter what your skill levels in topics you would like to master, you can change your thinking and change your life. If you’re already an expert, this peep under the mental hood will give you ideas for: turbocharging successful learning, including counter-intuitive test-taking tips and insights that will help you make the best use of your time on homework and problem sets. If you’re struggling, you’ll see a structured treasure trove of practical techniques that walk you through what you need to do to get on track. If you’ve ever wanted to become better at anything, this course will help serve as your guide.

This course can be taken independent of, concurrent with, or prior to, its companion course, Mindshift. (Learning How to Learn is more learning focused, and Mindshift is more career focused.)

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

Rich Dad Poor Dad, the #1 Personal Finance book of all time, tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads—his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad—and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.

The Compassion Course

From Thom:

The NYCNVC Compassion Course is the result of my last 28 years as a writer and trainer, and the past 15 years, studying, living and teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC). It’s my way of making the skills of compassionate living available to anyone, regardless of time and money constraints.

The 2016 Compassion Course (currently in progress) has more than 5,000 participants from over 100 countries. For six years running, this course has proven to be “life-changing”, “fun” and “transformational” (check out the quotes below).

How It Works

Through weekly email messages, the course imparts concepts, stories and practices that empower us to be more compassionate. We learn clear practices that help us and those around us, have more understanding and well-being in our lives (see sample weeks below). The weekly messages explain and demonstrate ways of thinking, speaking and acting that allow us to get through conflict without hurting or hating.

As a global community, we share resources including links and exercises, message forums, conferences and enjoy a sense of connection and expanded learning while preserving personal space and time. The weekly email messages will include access to multiple message boards, access to archived messages, conference recordings, documents, video content, special exercise pages and more.

Why It Works

In the same way that we humans have developed other technologies, the technology of compassion has developed too. This course provides clear, specific ideas and practices to help us experience more compassion, understanding, harmony and fun. That said, it is challenging and calls on our perseverance, practice, focus and dedication.

Through practical steps, the course provides the “how to” of creating more connection, understanding and compassion in our daily lives… a way to create a world we will be happy to leave our children’s children. It is my honor and dream to share this with you for the sixth year. I hope you will join me.

*warm grateful smile*

Thom