Generative principles: One Person at a Time [PDF]

Reflections on the Final Session Changing the World, One Person At a Time

John O’Brien


There are two ways to think about the positive examples we have been offered. We can focus on the differences between the setting that produced the example and our setting. This way of thinking lets us identify ways that we will have to adapt the offering in order to implement it successfully. Or, we can focus on the practices that generate the positive results we have heard about. This way of thinking lets us test the offering to see if it creates similar benefits in our situation.

Culture can be understood as the practices that inhabitants take as givens that define “the way we do things around.” Consciously trying new patterns of attention and action –practices that improve the chances that we will live good lives together– can feel strange when it departs from what we take for granted, but it can be a powerful way to develop new competencies.