Tribes for social transformation

I’ve found an interesting article by Jonathan Rowson (undated as far as I can tell, but probably fairly recent based on several of the references it contains) which I thought might be good to discuss here on Praxorium.

It’s called “Awakening the Twelve Tribes of Transformation”.

The 12 tribes are listed here, very briefly, to sketch the territory, but I suggest that anyone who wants to discuss the article reads the original piece.

1.Attention Finders - controlling and directing our own attention

2. Wounded Activists - different campaigning strategies for burned out activists

3. Cautious Futurists - connecting technology back with our bio-psycho-social-spiritual natures

4. Wise Businesses - social entrepreneurs questioning capitalism and purpose beyond profit

5. Media Ecologists - truth in a fragmented and contagious media ecology

6. Reflexive Investors - flows of capital for change and impact

7. Renegade Scholars - balancing responsible, visionary, useful, rigorous and true scholarship

8. Political Revisionists - main political ideologies are imploding and we need to revive virtue ethics

9. Cultural Democrats - democracy, citizenship, voting, commitment, and functional disagreement

10. Integral Facilitators - unlocking emergent properties of groups

11. Metamodern pioneers - seeking integration of epistemic diversity through dialogue

12. Spiritually Capacious - offers grounding in love and inquiry into meaning

Personally I am more than a little intrigued by the concept of these being ‘tribes’, because my observation is that many of the people I’ve encountered who are interested in one ‘tribe’ (or topic/perspective?) are interested in many to all of the others as well. Certainly that is true of me.

Thoughts, anyone? :slightly_smiling_face:

I agree that most people eager to facilitate change are likely to display an interest in many of these - particularly as it’s becoming readily apparent that in order to address today’s challenges we’re going to have to employ holistic, systems-based thinking, rather than the mechanistic, compartmentalised strategies favoured in the past. That said, I think it’s an interesting breakdown, as activists (using the term in its broadest sense) are likely to display particularly strong inclinations towards several of them.

In this respect I’d liken it to other conceptual models, such as the catagorisation of learning styles (which also tends to define many of our tribal affiliations - as the means by which we most readily process input will usually determine our modes of expression - and thus the circles we move in). Of course, if a person is able-bodied and able-minded then they’re likely to possess at least some latent capacity for each of these - visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary learning styles - but one to three of them will probably dominate.

In both of these instances I’d say there’s value in breaking down these tendencies into categories in order to better understand them; both so that you can work on those areas where you’re weakest when developing skills and ideas (to nurture that capacity for holistic thought) and so that you can focus your energies on those activities that best suit your proclivities when exploiting that development (so that you maximise your creative contribution and don’t spread yourself too thin).

Reading it certainly helps to clarify my own strengths, those areas best left to others and some focuses that have been very important to me in the past but which must now give way to new priorities (which is very helpful, as I am one of those people who often feels the need to be all things to all men!).

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