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!  




Albie Davis


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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Hello MPF Network members,  


I've converted MPF members and country lists to Word documents, which may work better for most people.  

Albie Davis (



Hello Albie,


Here is François Héon from Montreal.


Thanks for your MPF quote.  I went to look it up in The New State and also rediscovered the next paragraph... enjoy also:


"Perhaps one of the most useful lessons to be learned from the group process is a new definition of patriotism. Patriotism must not be herd-instinct. Patriotism must be the individual's rational, self-conscious building of his country every moment. Loyalty means always to create your group, not to wave a flag over it! We need a patriotism which is not "following the lead" but involved in a process in which all take part. In the place of sentimental patriotism we want a common purpose, a purpose evolved by the common life, to be used for the common life. "TNS p. 346.


Let's hope the Egyptians evolve in their capacity to co-create their future.


Emmanuel (Groutel) and I have proposed to organize an MPF gathering next fall in the Boston region. October 8-9, 2011. Interested?





Thanks, Francois,


For the continuation of MPF's thoughts about the need of each nation for all other nations.  Her redefinition and expansion of the concept of "patriotism" does seem to capture the exciting and challenging times ahead for the Egyptian people, and, of course the whole interconnected world which awaits the lessons in democracy to be learned.


Thanks also for the news of the conference.  I've been on a six month MPF network sabatical, so missed the news of the October conference.  I've put it on my calendar.  Await further information.  


Warmly, Albie Davis (

Thanks for the great question Albie. I am struck by how events in Egypt are rippling through the global e-sphere and how especially they resonate here in the US. The recent issue of the Progressive has a piece by Bill Moyers called The Rule of the Rich and is a 'local' chronicle of the imbalance, abuse, and ignorance that Americans are heir to. In this struggle we are all together. I think Follett was so wise in recognizing that it is in the tangle of perspectives that new sense emerges and that from in political terms we want to discourage the monoculture that elites breed. Revolution is great but we have to also keep on talking and know that it is in this process that sense is made and actual life lived.


Thank you for your request for opinions. This could be a new beginning of a civil society - 3 points:

a) Demographics: Egypt being a very young society with a medium level of education could become a manufacturing hub for the aging Europe

b) Society at the micro-level: With a high level of corruption and heavy monopolies in all sectors the economic changes will require that investments pour in from the West and/or China to begin growth.

c) Neighbors: The Israelis must have mixed feelings as the sentiment towards Israel is negative and the Hamas of Gaza could be rearmed. 



Peter G. Harboe, Denmark

Three countries involved in the discussion.  43 more to go!


So far . . . Canada (François Héon from Montreal), United States (Albie Davis from Maine & Chris Francovick from Washington) and Denmark (Peter Gl Harboe) have joined the discussion on Egypt.


I'm fascinated by the insights.  But rather than respond to each view, I'd love to hear from more folks, to create the "tangle of perspectives," that Chris Francovick mentions.  Or some reaction to Peter Harboe's observation that because Egypt has a large proportion of educated youth, it could become a manufacturing hub for the aging Europe.  Talk about "circular response," everyone would have to change, Europe & the Middle East, and the rest of the world.


In 1918 in the New State, Follett predicts, "We may, perhaps, look forward to Europe going through something of the same process which we have gone through in the United States.  The colonies joined in a federal government.  The union was something entirely apart from themselves."  (page 349.)  She was writing her book while WWI was still in progress, but nevertheless said, "If the Allies win, Germany should not be punished by keeping her out of a European league; she must be shown how to take her place within it." (p. 353.)


And, I love François Héon's wish, "Let's hope the Egyptians evolve in their capacity to co-create their future."

Albie Davis (Maine, USA) 


Countries represented in the MPF Network.  (If I left your country off the list, my apologies.  Let me know.)

- Albania, Republika e Koseves

- Australia

- Austria

- Belgium

- Brazil

- Bulgaria

- Canada

- China, mainland

- Colombia

- Costa Rica

- Denmark

- Ethopia

- Finland

- France

- Germany

- Greece

- Hong Kong

- India

- Indonesia

- Ireland

- Italy

- Korea, Democratic Peoples Republic

- Korea, Republic of

- Malaysia

- Moldova, Republic of

- Netherlands

- New Zealand

- Nigeria

- Pakistan

- Phillipines

- Poland

- Portugal

- Serbia

- Singapore

- Spain

- Taiwan

- Tanzania

- Thailand

- Turkey

- Uganda

- United Kingdom

- United States

- Venezuela

- Zimbabwe






I am equally, if not more interested in Global North meeting Global South in a unifying process. If we do not attain some ontological synthesis across these breaches, I cannot imagine humanity's sustainability.

Hi Margaret,


Your "Global North meeting Global South" desire arrives just as my most recent National Geographic arrives with a map of the world (all maps are political, of course) supposedly sorting by color codes into four categories based upon income level as well as population density.

Blue:  high

Purple: upper middle

Earth red: lower middle

Yellow orange: low

Using the equator as a North/South divider doesn't work quite right.  Maybe the Tropic of Capricorn and above would shed light on our sense of "the North."


 Blue or high income zones North of TOC?  USA, Canada, most of the European Union, Switzerland Norway, Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Republic of Korea, 


Blue or high income south of Tropic of Capricorn?  Australia, New Zeland, one small country in Africa.


Purple or upper middle?  Almost all of Mexico, much of Central America and almost all of South America. Most of the former Soviet Union, South Africa and Southern tip of Africa


Yellow orange or low?  Definitely the middle of Africa mostly in the yellow zone or low income. Also, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Haiti.


Apologies for errors and omissions on my part.  The map is small and my geographic knowledge weak, and I must go to a meeting, but this could be a VERY interesting way to view an ever evolving world!


Adios, got to go, Albie


I just heard an amazing message from Hillary Clinton basically saying that for a government to turn off the Internet has become tantamount to a human rights violation. She also commented on how turning off the Internet isolated the society from other societies. indicating an essential need of nations for other nations. Perhaps we should change the Internet to Internation.

Social networks will continue to grow and gain strength. Facebook is genius in the idea of the "Like" option, one good idea can go viral with enough people clicking on "like" And the idea evolves with each new response that gets a high " like" vote.


So how can we cyber-bystanders become involved. I haven't tried yet but it might be easy to become a friend of some of the Mideast Facebook groups.  Can we add our "Like " votes to some good ideas?




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?

The "Like" is akin to having an audience in front of you with people nodding and smiling in agreement as you develop the ideas you are speaking.   It is not a vote.


Certainly using only that tool has very limited utility.  We must take action.  But I am willing to bet that as this revolution evolved there were a lot of likes and a lot of ideas that finally brought the people into the Square.


Interestingly enough I think that all of this dialogue and deliberation is safely stored in Facebook. It will provide a very rich data set for the academics to study.


One thing I am confident about is that; I doubt there was much deliberation about the limitations of the technology. There was only enthusiasm for the potential and indeed we see that Egypt will never be the same because many people joined a social network and used it effectively.


An interesting and relevant article by MPF network member, John Helie, founder of ConflictNet and as well as winner of the 2005 Mary Parker Follett award of the Association for Conflict Resolution. 

Peace and the Internet (November 2002) by John Helie


ACR Mary Parker Follett Award

The Mary Parker Follett Award is presented to an individual who has shown a passion and willingness to take risks; in tackling a contemporary problem or opportunity in the field of dispute resolution; has used innovative and experimental techniques; and draws upon the talents and ideas of all persons involved. 


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