The work of John Steinbeck, the first social ecologist, is the inspiration behind the Discovery Process.™
The key to implementing successful change is to understand the social and cultural structure within a community of place. The "inside point of view" becomes clear by entering everyday routines, making observations, and engaging in conversation with community members. This is called "The Discovery Process." Since 1967 our company has worked with communities, corporations, and governments to implement "The Discovery Process."
Evo's Coffeehouse, Ashland, Oregon
At the heart of every community are gathering places where people naturally congregate to talk about current events. These places provide a structure for local network systems to thrive.
The objective of the Discovery Process is to get a real-time understanding of what is happening.
Creating Citizen Ownership
By entering a community through this network process we come to understand the core issues that are of concern to the people. Issues affect proposed projects, management decisions, and policy formation. By identifying these issues we can take appropriate actions early in the process that optimizes resource efficiency. This creates an environment amenable to preventing and resolving conflicts in a culturally sensitive manner.
Fostering Mutual Benefit
Issues that have been identified in their emerging stage can be integrated with management concerns to create "cultural alignment" in which mutual benefit for all parties is possible. Without this grounding in the informal system of community, projects can get bogged down or ambushed, often at the last minute, or held hostage by extreme interests. Even if the project is approved, the results are often disastrous to the local culture of the community. We take these factors into account early in the process and create an environment amenable to preventing and resolving conflicts in a culturally sensitive way.
The Discovery Process - Where do we go from here?
|Human Geographic Mapping||Issue Management|