Stewarding The Work
Our Philosophy Around Use of Materials and Copyrights
We at the Regenesis Institute see ourselves as part of a lineage that started before us and will continue long after us. Our work builds on the work of many other people, those who influenced us and those with whom we have studied and collaborated. We don’t see ourselves as owners of the technology we inherited and continue to add to evolve. We are its stewards, and we have a responsibility to pass it on in a way that preserves its integrity and does not diminish its power.
Over the course of the TRP Intro Practicum, we will engage you with a number of frameworks that are core to our technology and to the larger lineage we draw from. Some of our materials are open source and have been publicly available for some time. These include frameworks from Systematics, the body of work developed by John Bennett. Others are copyrighted—some developed by Regenesis principals and associates; others that are proprietary and that we have been entrusted to use and disseminate in limited ways.
Below are some of the principles that we use to guide ourselves regarding the of use of TRP materials. TRP is both a course, and an invitation to join us in this lineage, to share in the stewardship of its integrity and, in time, its continuing evolution.
Honoring the Source. Whether a framework or conceptual document is open source or copyrighted, we believe that being conscientious about providing attribution is an act of reciprocal nourishment. It nourishes the thinkers who nourished us, the field that we hope to serve,and those who will develop within that field and go on to sustain its evolution. We also recognize that sometimes ideas become so ingrained that it is hard to see what belongs to us and what doesn’t. The consciousness that comes from trying to differentiate and track ownership is reward in itself.
Copyrights as Invitations to Dialogue. We see dialogue as a process for reciprocally developing deeper understanding. We use copyrights not to prevent use of materials, but instead to invite dialogues with others about how they intend to use them— they are a boundary, not a wall, because choosing to cross a boundary evokes consciousness. We assume that anyone who wishes to share our materials esteems and values them. We believe that we can help ensure the realization, and the perpetuation of this value by helping to determine where our materials are used, how they are presented, and the ways that people engage with them. We find that such conversations deepen the thinking and understanding of all involved, ourselves included. Knowing how our work and the work we steward are used helps us to evolve ourthinking and become more effective sources of generation and regeneration.
Creativity Tempered by Humility. We believe that the most valuable and enduring learning comes from integrating learning into our work as we go.This requires experimenting with different ways of using frameworks and engaging others with them—and it is essential! However, exploring different ways of working with our technology is not the same as changing it. In the absence of deep understanding and long experience, the temptation is to change words or diagrams to make them better fit current understanding or make them easier to use. In the process, this will almost certainly defeat the very purpose we are pursuing.
Learned, Not Taught. As a colleague in this work once wrote, “If we try to teach a framework, we have a tendency to explain our own awakening—or worse, our opinion.” We believe that the dynamic frameworks we use emerge and continue to evolve as we develop ever deeper understanding of living systems and the ways we can make beneficial contributions to them. This process and aim are the sources of our frameworks’ power. When frameworks are taught as academic subjects outside of a value-‐adding process, they become intellectual abstractions that are at best ineffectual, at worst demeaning of the value of structural thinking.
Based on these principles and taking into account that this is an introductory course, we offer the following guidelines for use of its materials:
- We encourage applying the materials presented in both your professional and personal worldsas a basis for designinghow you work and engage in those worlds and in dialogues with other participants. This is the onlyway to develop your thinking and understanding.
- We encourage use of the frameworks and other materials to develop exercises for engaging others in this way of thinking and working. We strongly discourage any premature impulses to present or ‘teach’ the frameworks before experiencing and integrating them into your own thinking and life.
- We encourage conversations with us before you use the frameworks and materials in presentations and/or written materials, and we ask that you always provide appropriate citation of their source.
- We encourage you to engage with us in an ongoing dialogue about our principles and guidelines as you grow in this work.
In our role as stewards, we attach enough importance to the above to ask you to indicate to us that you have read and understand these guidelines. Please do so below.
We look forward to working with you and learning together over the coming months.