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Originally Published April 6, 2008

Lucky me! I recently had the good fortune to work with Matt Taylor and Lisa Piazza (MGTaylor Corporation). The way that they designed reminded me to add a little GRASS to my life. Unfortunately, this homonym is laden with heavy meaning that will likely force us to drop its use, at least officially, before we are labeled potentially dangerous and have our phones tapped!

For definition sake in this blog I use the term GRASS to mean: global, responsible, accountable sustainable stewardship. It was coined during an event called L5, as part of a parallel process design challenge to distill the characteristics of members in an emerging value web, or community. The characteristics, and the catchy name, have loosely guided the Value Web Association since its inception, and loosely guided my design tenants. I see, though, that it would be easier to be GRASS, and apply it, if we have an agreed-upon definition and a few simple rules.

I saw the relevance of GRASS as I watched Matt and Lisa gracefully weave it into a 2-day DesignSession. Not only did they introduce it in the scan, where the planet’s needs were squarely the priority vantage point, but also throughout the two days as THE essential vantage point to keep in mind while addressing short-term practical realities. Returning to this high-level vantage point from time to time during the days allowed the near-term solutions and insights to be guided by a global awareness. It was powerful and it made a big difference in context.

As a Value Web member I know the importance of designing in a GRASS way. It’s time for all Value Web members to define and make explicit our path to GRASS in the future. Having lived and designed together for the past few years, guided by GRASS, I am sure that we’ll discover and delight in all the ways of operationalizing this shared-vision.

For now, I’ve formalized my own rule #1: “remind, refresh, and evoke the benefits of sustainably-designed solutions that exist in abundance and are consistent with our values, mission and vision statements.” What other rules might guide here?

JE

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