The Mary Parker Follett Network

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

This website at Ning.com is dedicated to the exchange of information about, and ideas inspired by, Mary Parker Follett (1898-1933) - a remarkable person and a pioneer in the areas of social science, leadership, business management, and conflict resolution. You are welcome to use all of the site's features respectfully.

FYI, "Discussion Forums" are best for posting questions and fostering exchanges of ideas. "Blogs" are more personalized and linear, better for longer postings of thoughts but not necessarily much interaction. You can create "Groups" that are attached to this site, such as localized Follett interest groups or groups dedicated to exploring a particular topic.

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I appreciate that you have established this social utility. It's format is way more interesting to me than say Twitter or Facebook (applause, here) I hope that the insertion of faux celebrity posturing, is in its essence contrary to MPF's perspective. The politics of even the wannabe celebrity is a form of hierarchic corporatism not of an authentic community as a process, IMO. We are plagued here by celebrity form of "liberal" facsim here, and it is near over-whelming. People do not have an alternative experience, and the nominal progressives seem prone to repeating certain words such as "community," even though the social structures resemble the feudal forms, even still. Kierkegaard described this phenomena as "publics.' If this turns into a parlor chat about MPF, without some application of her values, it will quickly become a problem.

As another slice of reality pie, there has been a recent fascination with Non-Violent Communication as branded by Marshal Rosenberg. While I am an advocate, though with certain qualifcations, often people seem to obsessed with vocabulary over the total application. And then I have seen the methodology and semantic used to turn a process into a variety of ad hominen attacks. Then more generally as a methodology it has generally failed to address structural violence and, to use MPF's term, "suppression" for the sake of the conformity version of anti-community. Thank-you
In reply to your idea about parlor chat being a problem, my reply would be - "a problem for whom?" Any number of discussions can take place here. Some might pay regard to an application of Follett's values (or, I would suggest, our values as Follett may have supplemented or clarified or enhanced or...) as their crucial need. Others might enjoy a less instrumental, spiritual empathy that others would label "parlor chat." All would be welcome, for life makes room for all forms of dialogue.

In reply to your second paragraph, I was trained in Non-Violent Communication a la Rosenberg as part of staff development for a charter school we created here in Boise. In turn, I made effort to train my students in the process as well. Naturally it takes a great deal of practice and commitment. But I think that if properly understood, Non-Violent Communication is not about suppression, but about the full articulation of one's needs and the feelings one is experiencing in a manner that does not implicitly judge others, and to request specific actions that meet one's needs. So NVC is intended to be a more effective form of communication and an antidote to suppression.

By the way, if anyone reading this would like a quick intro to the simple principles behind the NVC advocated by Rosenberg et al (alternately named "Compassionate Communication"), then start a new discussion topic and name it Non-Violent Communication and I'll be glad to add to it!
Hi Matthew and Tadit.

I too have a problem with "celebrity", but so long as we remember it is as a pragmatic means to valuable ends, that we recognize the value of MPF's ideas embodied in her person. Ideas evolve in the interaction between individual and community, and her ideas were no different - and of course that understanding was part of her agenda. I'm cool with this being a network "in her name", so long as we don't lose that.

As far as this particular network / forum implementation is concerned - well done. It is functional AND attractive. For me any and all chat is "good" so long as the community itself has recognizable common values. People should not expect to expound well reasoned theses in forum posts for example. My only request - given just how many electronic communities we have to interact with - is that we have some feed subscription / e-mail notification (or both) of updates to forums and news / home pages. (You probably have it and i just haven't discovered it yet. Early days.)

In terms of "moderation" I share Tadit's experience of the way these forums can degenerate with"methodology and semantic used to turn a process into a variety of ad hominen attacks" - flame-wars are only ever a click away when we are not interacting face to face. For me the moderation rule should be anything goes provided it is respectful of individuals. I could provide some equivalent rules from another forum - but the key is in how they are applied. Ad hominem is a no-no, but it can be very subtle in the rhetoric (of methodology and semantic, as Tadit put it.)

Finally - I have my own blog - can I submit a (filtered) feed to this community blog ?o
BTW Matthew - I see you have the e-mail subscriptions and ping-o-matic integration well covered. I can figure out what I should / can do.

I'm actually working on another project that I call "Joining Up The Dots" to simply link together multiple "communities" without creating one overwhelming community which would crush meaningful interaction. Each community has their own "flavour" - needs to develop their own culture in order to function - yet they have common touch-points and interests, where cross-communication can allow each to make progress. (Ning looks like a good vehicle.) I have four or five particular communities I am trying to join up this way. Thanks for the inspiration.
G'day to all

THANKS for establishing this site!!

Lately I have been reading/studying Lacanian theories and and and an avid reader of the principles of Chaos/Complexity/Creativity which now inspires me to re-visit Mary's valuable tome. The more one reads the more one realises the truth of Mary's wisdom.

You may like to visit zulenet.com and visits Vlad's home.
Vlad is the fellow who 'invented' fuzzy logic but look below/beyond the front page.

Best wishes to all
John
Hi John / Jack ? Interesting to see Fuzzy Logic and Lacan crop up here in connection with MPF.

Can't comment on who "invented" fuzzy logic, but I founbd Bart Kosko useful some years ago, and just recently have been intrigued by Lacan since picking up on Zizek.

What's the relationship with "zulenet" ?

Regards
Ian

Jack Sheeran said:
G'day to all

THANKS for establishing this site!!

Lately I have been reading/studying Lacanian theories and and and an avid reader of the principles of Chaos/Complexity/Creativity which now inspires me to re-visit Mary's valuable tome. The more one reads the more one realises the truth of Mary's wisdom.

You may like to visit zulenet.com and visits Vlad's home.
Vlad is the fellow who 'invented' fuzzy logic but look below/beyond the front page.

Best wishes to all
John
Well, Matthew, today I was looking through Tom Atlee's book called "The Tao of Democracy", finding several quotations from MPF. Atlee references a source for quotations under a onepine.demon.co.uk reference that I could not access. So just googling MPF I came up with your site, apparently quite new. I couldn't avoid joining.
My retirement continues to involve me in international development stuff, primarily in Bangladesh, but my wife just yesterday returned from Islamabad, continuing to work on education primarily in Muslim countries. More directly, however, I am following the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD) and Obama's Open Government Directive with a particular interest in a national program of citizens' councils or newer forms of town meetings. MPF is important to all of this.
So good to see that you are continuing your interest and generating new ways of extending the MPF influence in our work for a better society.
Hi Ted, good to see someone from NCDD here... I joined a while ago, but have not had the opportunity to visit the site since... am just not reviewing the various conversations on the forum...

Matthew, thanks again for creating this!

all best wishes,

Rosa

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