Pipe cleaners, tin foil and new possibilities

Victoria, British Columbia. Participants of the Transmission Global Summit were deeply immersed in their second roundtable discussion, culling together their ideas as to the characteristics of entrepreneurs, corporations and regional clusters within the creative industries that would enable them to thrive. They had been working for about 30 minutes when I began stopping by each group, dropping off a box of assorted odds and ends one may find in the closet of an elementary school art class: cardboard, straws, felt, string, rubber bands, balloons, pipe cleaners, tin foil, etc.

“Continue your conversation,” I instructed, “but as you do, use these materials to build a representational 3D model that exemplifies the distinguishing characteristics, qualities, structures and capabilities you have been identifying in your conversation thus far.”

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Priming for Synthesis

“Synthesis” has been on my mind lately. More precisely, I am hearing it come up across many of the conversations I am having – be they of a cultural, political, organizational, economic, or social nature. It seems the world over is entering a period of synthesis. It is a synthesis bridging Focus with Act. There is a strong and widespread sense of intent. “Now!” is the time, I hear or read over and over again, to transcend, to reassemble the parts into fundamentally new forms.

When headed into synthesis, what are the some of the ideas, processes and tools that can help us design our way through it successfully? How can we recognize when a system is ready for synthesis? How can we facilitate it?

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