re-4/ The Transformation Project


Richard Moore

Bcc: FYI
rkm website

Janet Hicks King wrote:
Hi Richard,
Thank you for everything you are putting into this project.
As I mentioned in my (July 4th) email, I am still troubled by the reliance on only people with specialised knowledge in the all-important first phase (two full days) of vision development. It seems to me that it would be a much more effective & dynamic group if it included both ‘specialists’ and randomly-selected ‘ordinary’ people, so that the “all-important conversation” can be present from the beginning and not just at the reporting/feedback stage…
Any thoughts?

Hi Janet,

I absolutely share your underlying concern, that ‘ordinary’ people not be somehow sidelined from the vision-development process. Let me expand a bit on the dynamics of a vision-development weekend.

The council members are selected so as to represent the full spectrum of viewpoints on the problem being investigated. This means there will be lots of controversy and disagreement. In the process of their conversation, they will be exposing their assumptions and reasoning, thus generating an overview of ‘what is known’ regarding the problem. 

All of this will come out at the public meeting, as the council members report on the conversation, and as the dialog-map of the conversation is presented. The folks at the meeting will be getting a concise update on ‘what is known’ about the problem – more comprehensive, and more objective, than any they’d be likely to find elsewhere. This provides an excellent background briefing for the public conversation, and it gives the people the information they need to critically review the solution the council comes up with.

With the help of DF, we can expect the council’s solution to be a creative synthesis, an important breakthrough perhaps, as regards how to deal with the problem. Such a solution will be a very valuable contribution to the overall envisioning process, and it is likely to be of general interest, extending beyond the community in which the council is being held. (One wonders why such synthesis-seeking processes are not already being employed, given all the money invested every year in conferences.)

The folks at the meeting are being brought into the conversation at a high level of preparation. They’re getting a concise overview of ‘what is known’, and they’re getting a presentation of ‘the best the experts can come up with’. I think this maximally empowers them to have a productive conversation about the problem under consideration. 

What would be the effect on this scenario if we include random people in the council itself? It might broaden the scope of the conversation, if by chance someone turns out to be well-informed, or happens to be particularly creative. But those aren’t things to count on. It would surely slow down the conversation, in order to bring the random ones up to speed on elementary concepts. And whatever contributions the random ones might have to offer, they can offer at the public meeting.

That’s my assessment at the moment. What are your thought? In actual practice, I’d imagine we’d experiment with different council make-ups, and see what kind of results we get. We’ll need to keep always the principle in mind: ‘the map is not the territory’. 



Nora Bennis wrote:
Dear Richard,
When I used the term ‘unit group’, I meant councils/project groups – (units made up of a group of individuals). I still think ‘random selection’ is too risky, even for the individual councils. Juries are not really randomly selected. There is a jurors list initially. From that list a number of individuals are called for jury service. Many of those called are not chosen – they are rejected as unsuitable for one reason or another. I do believe there is need for clear criteria for selection to be set down at the very outset and I don’t believe it needs to be very complex.
I would consider it an honour to be part of the project, and I thank you for the invite. But you would need to know more about me before you accept me, because you might change your mind. So here is something of who I am:
I am a person of deep faith in a loving Creator God. I am pro-Family and unconditionally pro-life from conception to natural death – which means I am passionately opposed to abortion and euthanasia and I have publicly stated my opposition to these and to all practices that attempt to thwart the Natural Law. The Natural Law, as I see it, is the perfect blueprint for right living – just like the caterpillar and the butterfly. The caterpillar is hard-wired naturally to die to enable the butterfly – a new creation out of the old – to be born. As a creationist, I believe that all of us are hard-wired from the beginning to be what God had planned us to be, but we too often ignore the rules – the Natural Law – and thwart God’s great plan for us and for society. So that’s my bottom line – no thwarting of the Natural Law.
Your Transformation Project is to me very much in tune with the Natural Law, and it needs to be carefully nurtured and protected, at least in its infancy. For that reason I could not support random selection.
Richard, I’m not saying you are wrong and I am right in this. Random selection might be the better way. But it isn’t for me.
I hope we can keep in touch. I’ve learned so much from your writings and I have used your Dynamic Facilitation idea among ourselves with super results.
God bless,

Hi Nora,

I’m a bit of a creationist myself. I don’t believe the universe and life are random outcomes of  blind mechanical accidents. Science itself can no longer support a purely mechanical model of the universe, despite the desperate attempts to do so by Dawkins and his ilk. As Arthur Eddington put it, “The universe is of the nature of a thought or sensation in a universal Mind… To put the conclusion crudely – the stuff of the world is mind-stuff”. (Eddington is famous for his work regarding the Theory of Relativity.)

I don’t see any evidence, however, that there is any fixed plan involved, with every outcome pre-determined. I see rather an emergent, evolving, self-organizing process, much like the Transformation Project itself. The natural law I see operating is, ‘become what you are capable of becoming’. There is room for unanticipated innovation.

I’m not sure what risk you see in selecting people randomly for councils. By excluding people on some systematic basis, you would be systematically excluding their concerns and their point of view. Why would you want to do this? Would you exclude them from the public meeting as well? What kind of criteria do you have in mind, as regards who would be included and excluded?



James McCumiskey wrote:
Maybe i am too focussed on outcomes but there are a few pillars I see
1) Debt-free, interest free currency issued to benefit everyone
2) Absolute respect for the individual as per the US constitution, and if the individual decides not to vaccinate children that no government could prosecute them, as long as individual doesn’t harm others the collective shouldn’t over-ride the individual
3) Respect for human life. no more wars – no more lawful killings etc
4) Taxation to be on LVT grounds a la Henry George
5) Limited government as per US constitution but really limited
Anyway just some ideas of mine

Hi James,

Are you worried that no one will think of the ideas you’ve mentioned, if they aren’t pre-included in the project plan? Would you like to see these particular ideas given priority status, and conflicting ideas be excluded? I doubt if you’d answer yes to those questions, and if the answers are no, then I don’t see any reason to make such lists in advance. Why constrain the conversation?

In actual practice, we’ll pick a first problem area, and in today’s circumstances I imagine that is likely to be ‘money systems and finance’. We’ll learn a lot from that first weekend event, about how our approach is working, and about where the conversation leads. I imagine that those outcomes will point a certain direction, that there will be an obvious follow-up conversation that is needed. In any case, I think the selection of vision-development topics will be an emergent process.