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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  February 1996, Week 2

COMMUNET February 1996, Week 2

Subject:

Skill Cell Theory and Methodology

From:

[log in to unmask] (Philip Lauro)

Date:

Fri, 9 Feb 1996 10:16:53 -0500 (EST)

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (103 lines)

Hello Again,
        I've been sending out copies of the abstract Skill Cell Theory and
Methodology in RTF.  A few people really seem to be having problems reading
this format.  If you include the Word processor format of your choice in
your request, I will format the attachment that way (if I can).  I can
format in all major document types.
        Also, I have had a few requests for a simple summary of the concepts
in the abstract.  So I'll give it a shot.
________________________________________________________________________________

Skill Cell Theory and Methodology (SCTM)
        
        SCTM is an organizational and communications paradigm used to help
create healthy communities by taking advantage of commonality within
communities and pratically stimulating grass-rotts' initiatives and
collaborations.  It maps physical reality to virtual reality and defines a
concise set of communications environments and increasing complex set of
organizational structures described by project context and defined by skill
cells' (base building blocks of the Community Organism) interactions.  
        The virtual and physical environments can not be separated
practically in SCTM because telecommunications is needed to coordinate and
pratically organize parallel efforts physically while reducing redundancies
across the community spectrum.  
        SCTM is grass-roots driven and implicity identifys community
shortcomings and thus creates an implied invitation to outside organizations
(i.e. external skill cells) to help in specific project context in "Organs
of Solution", forming a unique project communications environment in the
process.  
        Organs of Solution represent bridges of commonality across
communities and stimulate regional entities called Diamond Cells.  Diamond
Cells directly affect the public policy decision making process (they can be
very large).
        These practical definitions and organizational structure provide a
lens into communities which can be as focused or broad as desired.  It
allows evaluation at all levels (we are in the process of creating unique
evaluation protols and visualization techniques).
        The virtual information network combines with physical information
networks and creates new ones.  The virtual information network is
interactive and inclusive.  The netwrok organizational structure forms a
supporting environment for individuals to present ideas and have them
refined if accepted by others working in the context of the same or similiar
issues.
        The creation of a dynamic information WEB mirroring physical
reality, allows us to begin observing the impact of decisions and activities
in one sector on collateral structures and activities within the community
organism as a whole.
        One of the basic tenants of SCTM is 'individual activity is primary'
and 'individuals will be active if they are doing what they want and like'.
We ask two basic questions; what skills would you like to apply which can
help your community and if available through your community, what would you
like to learn?
        These two questions represent 'the beginning'.  The answers define
community skill cells and a set of peer to peer workshops.  Familiarity (get
to know your nieghbors) results.  We follow this by a Healthy Cities
Visioning excercise to define community-wide goals.  We form Organs of
Solution (skill cell collaborations) to meet these goals and in the process
identify external skill cells (organizations which can assist the community
in goal achievment) in specific context.  They now join through implicit
invitation anbd begin the process of helping the community become
self-sufficient.  
________________________________________________________________________________

This, of course, is a very brief introduction to SCTM. The goal is to be
totally inclusive, so its complexity resides in user-friendly interfaces at
the community level, and delivery of information in many multi-level
formats.  It all starts with a practical definition of the whole Community
Organism (mapping) and builds from there.  It recognizes all traditional
communications pathways and enhances them.  It creates new ones by
organizing and identifying new information pathways (physically and
virtually) by using the power of the computer.  SCTM provides an
informational lens of what is and what can be in the community.

        SCTM is new and exciting.  We implemented in my community of
Sheraden to prove the concept.  In less than two years we: virtually
eliminated crime, the gangs are gone, created and publish a community
newsletter that reaches 2500+ households, formed relationships with the
schools, cleaned the town (park, streets, ect.) in a collborative effort
with the city of Pittsburgh, held the largest Healthy Cities Visioning ever
recorded (as confirmed by Treavor Hancock), and many other things.
        
        The bottom line: housing prices increased, residents are out on the
streets again, a youth center now exists, and at least 20 more
collaborations exist in Sheraden and veryone basically agrees the
environment is much better than two years ago.  The implementation
continues, the movement grows stronger each day.  The residents have taken
over.  They are self-empowered and, for the first time, policy makers don't
blow us off because we are organized (but decentralized).  

        Our telecommunications focus is not on access, rather its what will
be accessed and how can it be used to help communities.  Our major barrier
is telecommunications ignorance on the part of decision makers and, we
believe, a fear that what we have created will actually spread and bring
society closer to true democracy and self-sufficiency.  No one has rejected
the ideas, indeed, we will get funding, however the arguements we here have
to do with. what happens if people use it...our response, isn't that the
idea, to find out what people think.

        I hope this helps.  Again I remind everyone, give me a call if you
want the abstract, it is clearer and the implementation plan even more so.

Phil         

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