The Mary Parker Follett Network

Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. - MPF

Hello, Albie Davis from the state of Maine in the United States of America.

 

Two files attached.  One is a list of our members along with their country.  The second is a rough list of how many countries our members come from.  Looks like 211 members (Besty Geist on twice . . . Hi Betsy) from 46 countries. Three of our members have not listed a country.

 

We live in 46 different countries!  What a great resource!  We share an interest in the philosophy of Mary Parker Follett. If she were with us today, she would be MOST interested in what was happening in Egypt. If she were able, she would ask each of you about your ideas, your hopes, your aspirations, your fears.

 

I am eager to hear EVERYONE'S thoughts on this remarkable, evolving event!  

 

Sincerely,

 

Albie Davis

albiedavis@aol.com

 

I'd also like to know what you think of Follett's comment  below: 

It is said that a mighty struggle is before us by-and-by when East meets West, and in that shock will be decided which of these civilizations shall rule the world - - that this is to be the great world-decision.  No, the great world-decision is that each nation needs equally every other, therefore each will not only protect, but foster and increase the other than thereby it may increase its own stature.

                                -  Mary Parker Follett, The New State (1918), page 346

 

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I tend to agree, if networking is not complemented by working. Prior to the Internet, we learned that one-way mass communication tools could be used both for the dissemination of liberating ideas as well as for manipulation of crowds for political and commercial purposes. Enter the Internet, which in theory has allowed for deliberation but which can't really be used for that until the human attitudes and skills needed for it are brought to those media. Which is all the more difficult due to the anonymous and decontextual nature of much Internet-based exchange. So I think social media is certainly a major advance over one-way mass media, and indeed has been be a catalyst for organization, but I don't know if it will ultimately advance the state of creative deliberation amongst diverse parties, or instead serve to reinforce herd organization.

Regarding Egypt in particular, we will see whether revolution in political order, of sorts, leads to an evolution in democratic consciousness.  

Margaret Stout said:

I would be very interested in further discusion (e.g. a new conversation thread) on social networking as a viable approach to building any type of collective action.

 

My sense is that MPF would be disturbed by this, as a Like is nothing more than a ballot box vote in the end. The thing is that it is an information and feedback tool, but it is not a deliberative tool. It also tends to reduce social action to clicking a button--well, I weighed in on that, so I'm done. How do we translate this into real action and real interaction? How can we move from serial exchange and aggregation to integration?

 

Hi Matthew,

 

Congradulations on the new presentation of MPF.

 

For those interested, this internet network has led Emmanuel(Groutel), Albie and myself (François) to book the 8-9 october, 2011 weekend to organize a MPF gathering/conference/ meeting in the Boston. Quincy?

 

Anyone else interested? Matthew?

 

Does anyone know Joan Tonn. Maybe she would like to share with us some of her biographical wisdom on MPF.

 

An excellent opportunity to combine the virtual and the real.

 

François

 

Thank you for taking the initiative to organize that, Francois. I would love to go. I have been perhaps negligent in not broadcasting these types of opportunities via the email option of this network, since some people may not check the website frequently. I will send out a notice about this, and create a separate discussion topic, so that it doesn't get mixed up with the Egypt discussion.

 

- Matthew (Shapiro)

Have you read in this morning's NYTimes: Shy Intellectual Created Playbook Used in a Revolution by Sheryl Stolberg?  She describes Gene Sharp's ideas on revolution used by activists in Egypt.  A fine time to make these activists in Egypt and elsewhere aware of Follett's works for guidance in taking the next steps, especially through creative integration. 

 

Great find, Nancy,

 

Here's the "Shy Intellectual" article link. NY Times

And, a link where people might find free downloads of Gene Sharp's book:  From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation in English and various languages.  Einstein Institute

 

QUESTION:  Several friends have told me a group of Egyptian women were responsible for much of the philosophical and logistical organizing of the revolution, both via internet and boots on the ground.  The feminist, humanist, pragmatist, and community organizer in me wants to know more!

HI Albei

 

Nice being here.  Lets keep discussing the issues raised and answered by Follett..... We can plan an event for this...

 

looking forward

 

wishes

vijay

Vijay,

 

I am eager to hear a Follett issue you find most compelling, and the discussion that follows.  I'm also looking forward to an event so we can enjoy such conversations person to person.  Is there a Follett issue you might raise on this forum?   Could you open a new topic?  

 

Here's a plea from Follett that all voices be heard.  I comes at the end of a paragraph where she discusses the role of the individual in the collective.  She challenges the notion that each citizen is like a drop of water or a grain of sand in the whole. The role of the individual, she says:

 

. . . is like the key of a piano, the value of which is not in its being 1/56 of all the notes, but in its infinite relations to all the other notes.  If that note is lacking, every other note loses its value. (New State, 1918, page 336)

Let's make some music!

 

Albie  


Thanks Matthew!

 

Just with the few people I have been meeting here thus far I think we can organize a pretty good MPF inspired meeting!!! And her thoughts are still so relevent for our time!

 

Let's see who else wishes to join-in and we could then form our "committee" to create our "group idea" of the event.

 

As for the operating costs of the network, I suggest we also try to find a "group" solution to this issue. The patch-work approach can only work so long I believe. Can we set ourselves 1 or 2 months time limit to make a group decision on this? Could the October meeting be a source of financing for such costs?

 

And Albie, thanks for the beautiful quote!!! yes, let's make some music!

 

Here's some more ;-)

 

The creative power of the individual appears not when one ‘wish’ dominates others, but when all ‘wishes’ unite in a working whole. For community is a creative process. It is creative because it is a process of integrating.

 

The most familiar example of integrating as the social process is when two or three people meet to decide on some course of action, and separate with a purpose, a will, which was not possessed by anyone when he came to the meeting but is the result of the interweaving of all. In this true social process there takes place neither absorption nor compromise.

Community is a Process . Reproduced from Philosophical Review, Vol. XXVIII, 1919, 

pp. 576-88

 

“The object of a committee meeting is first of all to create a common idea. I do not go to a committee meeting merely to give my own ideas. If that were all, I might write my fellow-members a letter. But neither do I go to learn other people’s ideas. If that were all, I might ask each to write me a letter. I go to a committee meeting in order that all together we may create a group idea, an idea which will be better than any of our ideas added together. For this group idea will not be produced by the process of addition, but by the interpenetration of us all. This subtle psychic process by which the resulting idea shapes itself is the process we want to study.”



Matthew Shapiro said:

Thank you for taking the initiative to organize that, Francois. I would love to go. I have been perhaps negligent in not broadcasting these types of opportunities via the email option of this network, since some people may not check the website frequently. I will send out a notice about this, and create a separate discussion topic, so that it doesn't get mixed up with the Egypt discussion.

 

- Matthew (Shapiro)

Perfect, Francois,

 

From Follett's musical metaphor right to her thoughts on the psychic and pragmatic process of the meeting of minds!  In the past, I had missed the significance of her line:  "This subtle psychic process by which the resulting idea shapes itself is the process we want to study.”  ThThe subtle is so often the most significant!  The hardest to reveal.  How to study the process without altering it?  Is this another form of Heisenberg's princple of uncertainty?  

 

Albie

 

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