An Expanding Context

Until recently, Boyd’s ideas and devotees lived mainly in the military. This conference is designed to expand the Boydian universe to the rest of society. For the challenges that Boyd and his successors fought in the military now extend to all of human society.

It seems that, just as Boyd sought to restore the human in the military, our complex world demands that we restore the human everywhere. For it is becoming more and more clear that our top down and centralized machine like model can no longer cope with the challenges that we face.

It is Chet and my hope that Boyd’s thinking and the story of his character may help all of us who struggle today to find a better way. It is also our hope that we may find fellowship, solace and courage from each other too. For the pathway of reform is a lonely and dangerous path.

Approach – Allowing all to have a say

Most of the attendees of Boyd 2008 – have done a lot to understand and act upon a more natural design for their area of interest. Nearly all attendees know enough to be a keynote speaker. So we have designed an approach to the conference that will enable all to speak, to be heard and to participate.

Please go to this link for a list of who is coming and see what they bring – I will be updating this list too as I learn more about you.

To ensure that we get the most out of 2 days, we are going to have a hybrid conference design. There will be a scaffolding of traditional talks. There will be times set aside for attendees to choose what they want to discuss in a formal sense. There will be informal time for spontaneous conversation.

The formal scaffolding will focus on offering “maps” or “Views” (the OO in OODA) that can help us locate we are we are right now and where directionally we can go. It will also focus on “Practices” and “Action” (Stories) that help us make progress.

The Open Space times will allow us an opportunity to self-organize and so to go deeper or broader. In the Open Space time slots we will ask those who want to talk about a topic to make an offer to the rest and set aside time and space for that conversation to take place. This article will offer some guidance on the principles of Open Space.

The Informal will enable us to make the personal connection so essential to gain the support we need from our peers.

Web access will be available. We will also be videoing the formal proceedings and will make the formal part of the conference available the next week.

Friday December 5 – Pre-Conference – Attendees arrive on PEI.

Dinner and Get together at Rob’s Place – I will be having an Open House at my house from 5.00pm – 9pm – There will be a bar and a meal that keeps such as Chili Con Carne. Here is a map and directions to our house. Our phone is 902 566 9012 – my cell is 902 940 0652

Saturday December 6 – Day 1

Location The New Residence at UPEIMap Here of UPEI Campus

8.30am for 9.00am – A Continental Breakfast will be served at the site

9.00 – 10.30Introduction – All the attendees will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and say a bit about what they do and what they hope for. Boyd is clear that war or conflict is won or lost in the minds and the hearts of human beings. My hope is that we will gain a sense of the power that is in the room with us.

10.30 – 11.00 – Mindsets and Character: Col Chet Richards will offer some thoughts on on how Boyd’s thinking about the importance of mindests and character can help us understand how to cope with conflict. For we live indeed at a time of titanic conflict where the Newtonian, centralized and machine world view is being challenged by complexity of a new a world view of interconnection, decentralization and network. Many who know the new and seek to make it real face powerful opposition – much of what we discuss will be not only about the ideas of the new but also how to overcome this opposition.

11.00 – 11.15 Break

11.15 – 12.15 – John Robb – Keynote – Local Resiliency John will show us the vulnerability and risks of the State itself in the complex world we now inhabit. He will make the case that a local, distributed and connected alternative can bring back control and resilience in all key areas of human life – energy, food, security, health and education

12.15 – 12.45 – Open Space Begins – Invitations for Conversations on Topics of Interest to Attendees

Lunch will be served at this time and can be taken in your groups – (Lunch will be Thai)

12.45 – 1.30 Open Space Session I – Concurrent sessions

1.30 – 2.15 Open Space Session II –  Concurrent sessions

2.15 – 2.45 Break

2.45 – 3.30  – Working successfully across the mindsets. Can the networked world work with the top down world? Stuart Baker, who has been a key adviser in the founding of the PEI Bio Alliance that includes Government, Private Business, Research Scientists and University administrators (who should not be able to work with each other but do in this case) will offer his advice as to how you can “see” or have a “view” or cope with the OO in OODA so that you can make the connections.

3.30 – 4.15 – The Interconnected, Distributed and Networked Organization in ActionRory Francis – ED The PEI Bio Alliance and Co Chair of the Commission on the Future of Agriculture on PEI will talk about how to set up and run a Chaordic organization – The PEI Bio Alliance is one of these and now has more than 5 years of results. By using these principles, PEI has been able to build a research organization way larger and more effective than would normally be possible for a small jurisdiction

4.15 – 4.30 Break

4.30 – 5.15 – The Interconnected, Distributed and Networked Organization in Action – Amy Shaw VP KETC St Louis will talk about how a public TV station in St Louis is changing the role of public media by becoming the convener for how the City of St Louis helps itself cope with the Mortgage Crisis – taking back the financial and social power of the city.  KETC now has the results of the initial work available and proof of concept. This idea of public TV and Radio stations becoming conveners in their cities has taken hold and 25 more will be involved in the next stage of this exploration – this is a great example of using the value of Trust to activate a local community.

6.30 – 10pm Dinner at Sirenella one of Rob’s favourite Italian restaurants. Map and more information here.

Sunday December 7 – Day 2

8.30 – 9.00am Continental Breakfast

9am – 10am – The Price of not having an The Interconnected, Distributed and Networked Organization in Action – The US Military today. Col Chet Richards will outline an paradox that faces America today – that never has the US spent so much and got so little on its defence. Why is this happening – what is the extent of the problem and what has to happen? What are the risks to America and the world if this challenge is not met?

10.00 – 10.45 Resolving or Winning in Conflct – The lessons of Sun TzuJames Gimian and Barry Boyce. The Art of War is the timeless wisdom text for any person seeking to deal well with the inevitable part of all human life – that there is conflict. Jim and Barry are part of an extraordinary group, the Denma Translation Group that has been deepening our understanding of the lesson of SunTzu. They will help us see how this text can assist us in all the conflict that we face – not the least in resolving the shift between two mindsets that are opposites.

10.45 – 11.00 Break

11.00 – 2.00pm Open Space and Lunch 9 Lunch will be (Beef Stroganoff) 3 concurrent sessions

2pm – 4pm Looking to the Future – Harvesting the Conference – Rob Paterson will facilitate an open session where we can speak to the group about our hopes for the future and where we can seek help from each other in pursuing this.

4pm Formal Farewell – We go our own ways


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