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Ground Rules Deep Dive #7: Serve the Highest Good of the Community

By Milenko Matanovic

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

A vision is an articulated and shared image of the future that represents our collective wisdom about how the world ought to be. It is a prerequisite for creative democracy. Ideally, when imagining desirable prospects, we would make a list of possible scenarios, evaluate the pros and cons of each, analyze what would need to happen to make them real, and then, together, choose the most promising ideas that will define our actions.

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Image of the Future Episode One: Curiosity > Consumption

The Institute for Everyday Democracy is a place to exchange ideas, join in discussions, and generate a body of thought about how we participate in our democracy. Through our Image of the Future podcast, we host conversations that collectively explore ideas that prepare us for the future. Such a collective exercise is not about what we like or don’t like, nor is it about the “me” or “mine.” It is a much deeper and courageous exploration of what ought to happen.

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Ground Rules Deep Dive #6: Look for solutions with multiple uses

By Milenko Matanovic

Together we are capable of extraordinary achievements. Over the years, Pomegranate Center has proven this by encouraging people to uphold a code of conduct that leads to creativity and collaboration. This code of conduct, what we call “ground rules,” is essential to creating a positive atmosphere that focuses on how things can be improved, free from complaints. In this series of short essays, I will look at different ground rules, evaluate why they are important, and share stories from the field.

When Pomegranate Center runs community meetings, we encourage participants to link their ideas with those of others and develop a plan that meets many goals, or a multiple victories approach. It seems like a no-brainer, but it is surprisingly hard to achieve. The obstacle is that we do not come to these meetings to learn and discover, but to fight for single goals.

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