a lab book

Page 1

a people experiment.

a collaboration from around the world. dedicated to you.

we and it


If people are doing/being things that don’t matter to them, there’s little sustainability/thrivability/… What you do and who you are needs to matter to you. Perhaps what matters most is figuring out what matters most. People need time and space to do/be that. We’re experimenting with the intersection of city and school. Seeking to scale each individual by crowdsourcing their curiosities for gatherings/connections that matter to them. To ground that inevitable chaos we’re crafting a match(dot)com type app/chip, to listen to curiosity. 1/intro

Perhaps what has not yet been experimented with:

1/ a city-wide experiment, to provide an ecosystem of

eclectic people/resources;


2/ an as-the-day experiment, rather than adding something to

the day (after hours/school/work).


extreme brief:






for Neither the great political and financial power structures of the world, nor the specialization-blinded professionals, nor the population in general realize that‌it is now highly feasible to take care of everybody on earth at a “higher standard of living than any have ever knownâ€?. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary and henceforth unrationalizable as mandated by survival. War is obsolete. - Buckminster Fuller

areas of focus...

1\ grit as sustainability (an authentic energy)

3\ city (community) as school (an eclectic ecosystem) • in the city • as the day

2\ synchronicity as revival (a vital/temporary dance)

Perhaps what we’ve been doing (with school/work/life) has been more about temporary efficiency than sustainability. Perhaps that’s why we seem to perpetuate a band-aid mindset, with an insatiated/ongoing need for motivation. The center of the problem is that none of them knew the center of the problem. - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Imagine we dig deeper, to a natural energy. An energy that restores/revives itself, in 7 billion ways, every day.


1\ grit as sustainability (an authentic energy)

3\ city (community) as school (an eclectic ecosystem) • in the city • as the day

2\ synchronicity as revival (a vital/temporary dance)

1\ grit as sustainability (an authentic energy)

Perhaps sustainability is more about space/permission/grit.. look closer.


1\ grit as sustainability (an authentic energy) an abandon/intrinsic-drive/madness-even to satiate curiosity, to follow/chase down rabbit holes of whimsy/mind-wandering/needs an ongoing ness of renewing/regenerating/listening/trusting

To be what she already is‌.We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers. - Tom Shadyac


What we see in successful people is this sort of generous persistence, when we are faced with the initial no, or the third no, or the fifth thing that doesn’t work, people with grit figure out a different way to move forward—not an obnoxious way to move forward but a way to move forward that demonstrates commitment and tenacity. One of the reasons that lottery winners end up having such miserable lives after they win the lottery is that coming into a whole bunch of money doesn’t give you grit. The money goes away pretty fast because you don’t know what to do when it doesn’t work out the way you hope it will work out. Grit is a choice. It’s an attitude. It’s not something you’re born with, nor is it something that is given to you. That really excites me because it means that, unlike the Revolution of 1910 or 1880, where it mattered who your father was, it doesn’t matter who you know. It doesn’t matter where you were born if you at least were in a semi-privileged environment. What matters is that you choose to put yourself into this world as a creator, an actor, an artist, a leader. That’s just a choice. - Seth Godin


Imagine we scale each individual by facilitating connections per choice/passion/curiosity. Perhaps the path to that vision boils down to whether we continue to oblige compulsion, or not.



Perhaps sustainability comes from addressing two needs all of us have..


Noticing that...

Perhaps because... Leaving us with the ..

So ..where to get the grit/cure.. to stay true to self.. ? to keep choosing/doing/being things that matter.. everyday.. and still experience deep attachment/interconnectedness with others.. ?



Self-sustaining grit is what happens when you unleash/facilitate whimsy/curiosity.


Perhaps we recapture of a child, in the city, in the country, in the wild. Perhaps we invite wilderness back into our spaces, our people. Perhaps we create spaces of permission, where people have

nothing to prove. Spaces where we have no because we believe/realize,

there is never nothing going on.



Perhaps a platform for each of us to awaken/sustain our


To embrace uncertainty, vulnerability in context.


Perhaps it makes more sense, is more humane, and more alive/sustaining when we rely on the nonmap within each one of us. When we listen to the rhythm. Everyday.


Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly. - Richard Bach


.. the most wonderful thing I do in my entire life may happen in the next 10 seconds. - James Bach



Perhaps we’re missing true grit/ /genius/ /… because we’ve gotten too comfortable at holding others accountable for our success. Perhaps we follow the rules/policy/masses because if it doesn’t work for us, we have someone else to blame. Most often, letting others decide our days is not going to work for us. And blaming others isn’t that fulfilling. /responsibility of finding/doing/being the thing we can’t not do – is not only the best gift we can give ourselves, but also the world. Here’s to being bold enough to take that responsibility/joy.


They won’t get ulcers, become depressed, or hurt themselves or others because they are so stressed from being forced through a system that doesn’t see them.




How are the people around you doing?

tech connects

700 million


..doing/being the thing they can’t not do/be.

. to infinity. perpetual beta.

embrace chaos. alive people. 40/sustainability

. to infinity. perpetual beta.

embrace chaos. alive people. 41/sustainability

breathtaking. by design.

breathtaking. by design.


Many people are re-imagining public education in incredibly cool ways. The only problem is that those ways aren’t accessible to everyone right now. Perhaps a (temporary/fabricated) synchronicity can help to hasten equity. (everyone getting a go everyday) And so, a mechanism to help us get a good start at modeling another way, in sync, would have to be simple enough so that 7 billion people could use/access it now. One that would require no prep, no training, very little policy. [If need be we could channel/initiate this mechanism via a redefinition of public education. ie: upcycling ed resources. Repurposing time/money/people we currently spend on proving things, on classroom management... ]

If we get the dance right, especially initially, we could turn this on a dime.


1\ grit as sustainability (an authentic energy)

3\ city (community) as school (an eclectic ecosystem) • in the city • as the day

2\ synchronicity as revival (a vital/temporary dance)

Perhaps revival is more about being quiet enough to hear the beat/rhythm of a synchronicity for 100% of humanity.


3\ synchronicity as revival (a vital/temporary dance)

2\ synchronicity as revival (a vital/temporary dance) the dance: enough people enough resources/spaces and enough technology




Perhaps we try/create/model a solution, rather than focusing on the problems/past/victimization/rights.. Perhaps we keep missing us, because we keep giving up one/two/three degrees too soon. Imagine we’re that close. Perhaps tech is here to reduce the time between intention & action, between finding the thing you can’t not do & finding your people. That offers synchronicity on a whole new level. enough people – so everyone can be w/their people enough spaces/resources – to facilitate changing curiosities enough tech – to ground the chaos (perhaps this is why we can now live out the dreams of Illich, Holt, Gatto, Jacobs, …)


Perhaps we try a new/old idea of time and space. Imagine mental/physical spaces that are 100% free form. Many of us believe that to be too ridiculous. But what if we have that all wrong. What if we’re not getting to an equitable world, because we’re not completely unleashing/letting go. Obsession with management/control/prestige most often trumps authenticity. Perhaps we experiment in a space with all kinds of people/resources. Perhaps we believe – that in that space – there is never nothing going on – so that no one has anything to prove. Imagine that happening as the day, not as an add-on to current busy-ness.


solitude. local. global. community. people. face to face. eye to eye. heart to heart. love. 55/synchronicity

I want you to consider the frightening possibility that we are spending far too much money on schooling, not too little. I want you to consider that we have too many people employed in interfering with the way children grow up – and that all this money and all these people, all the time we take out of children’s lives and away from their homes/families/neighborhoods/private-explorations gets in the way of education. - John Taylor Gatto

Perhaps we can prototype this social fiction (equity) into reality in a more timely manner. Perhaps if people could see another way modeled, they’d go: we like that, we can do that. Perhaps 20 mill no-strings-attached is a worthwhile bet on synchronicity. ie: Setting enough people free from thinking about money for 6-12 months. Just to see.

8 mill – ish: for


buying and/or renting spaces (ie: communityowned spaces) for the crowdsourced gatherings that matter, also equipment/ resources needed in those spaces, & for traveling to and from those spaces



7 mill – ish: for


people that need income can be supported to play, especially tapping into sabbaticals for teachers in the district, and waivers/scholarships into unis/business for students – so they won’t worry about the potential of being punished later for playing, or for taking a year (on) off – to come back & play our/their dream/vision, also parents/community members, wanting to play


5 mill – ish: for


while none of the ideas are new, combining them might be. creating a chip (edison ish), that would *listen for curiosities w/o judgment, make connections, and leave a trail (commonplace bookish). garnering resources (wifi, devices,..) to make this equitable/malleable for anyone.

*tech can listen w/o judgment, take in unlimited data, organize it, make connections/matches for us, leave a trail, ‌ so that we can spend our time being/becoming rather than proving


A term that resonates with this ability/desire/potential to be both completely yourself, and completely immersed in community.. tapping into our interconnectedness..



Imagine…yourself meeting up for 30 min each day with a group of maybe 7 people. You could have a set place [in redesigned school buildings, public libraries, coffee houses, parks ...] or change it up each time, up to you. You just would need to come together. No agenda for the time spent, just sharing space, with a goal of eventually getting to know each other. Imagine everyone – being known by someone.


Imagine …we believed it was legal to think for ourselves. Perhaps we awaken indispensable people, change the world for good, with the simple act of 7 billion people talking to themselves everyday for 3 min. This self-talk encourages eudaimonia (you to be you) and it becomes data – to help you find your people.

Imagine everyone – being themselves.



Tech reducing the time between intention & action, helping you ..

Because people are in the city, funding for school starts to flow through the city (community spaces.) matters.


An app that would encourage/create/support: 1/People talking to themselves daily, asking themselves if they are doing what matters. 2/People connecting to people in their city/community, a strategic serendipity. 3/People’s mesh network, their footprint or trail. 65/synchronicity

Imagine edison/glass/siri/everest, et al, via a necklace (or wherever/however you want to wear it), accessible to everyone, under the guise/default/commons of public education.


might dictate your day

to manage time


might free up your day

to facilitate whimsy

perhaps we verb more.

verb noun

like.. china

8 yr old



70 yr old

Oh. You meant a plate..

No big deal. Another match up happening tomorrow. Think:


Oh. You meant a country..

guitar amp

15 yr old 70/synchronicity

GED volume amp

52yr old

Whoa. That’s how it works?


Could you have your band test it out?

Cool jets. A connection is made in real life. App records it as a trail/node.

Julia, age 12, uses a donated/recycled laptop and the donated wifi from the wifi bank, to voice record the following before she goes to bed:


I noticed a lot of my friends’ parents have cancer. They keep talking about early detection. I asked my mom and she said if you find out early on, the cancer can usually be cured, but that not enough people find out early. I also watched a video of a 17-year-old that wrote a recipe to cure cancer and is now working at Stanford. I’m dreaming about finding ways to improve early detection. I want to connect to people who are experts at this and see what I can learn from them.


Vicki, age 25, uses her iphone and texts while waiting at the doctor’s office:

I just found out my mom has cancer. They told her they didn’t find it soon enough and that it’s spreading too fast. I’ve got to research myself, find out some other answers for her.


Tom, age 7, uses his mom’s ipad and his family’s wifi access, to record the following:

My mom has been doing this healing stuff my whole life. I’ve never believed in it before. But she started doing it with me, because I have/had asthma, and now I don’t have it anymore. I’m really interested in seeing if it can help people with cancer.


The app connects them.

A mesh network created for each of these (ie: the brain) could have one small node representing their intense curiosity and that’s it. Or, it could be the start of an offshoot node, as they advance into the study of health and medicine. Either way, this cancer node could be detected by the app in a couple weeks by someone else talking to themselves about the same things and then they all receive notification of another potential connection.

Many incredible people, have been seeking many incredible solutions, to bettering: education health budget poverty environment et al

for many years.

What if we already have the solution(s), we just don’t have them in sync. [people, space/resources, tech]

What if we bet on..


perhaps this is our answer to health issues, environmental issues, privacy issues, property issues, money issues, war issues, .. this luxury-ness of 7 billion people being usefully preoccupied. every day.




Perhaps we haven’t yet experimented in this ecosystem (entire city – entire day), because we fear chaos/laziness. Perhaps that fear has been legit. Perhaps it hasn’t been possible to let people follow their whimsy, en masse. Perhaps new technology can help us facilitate everyone’s whimsy/curiosity/aliveness at once, in sync, so that we can get to a more natural state of being. Perhaps we re\wire and fade-out techs/systems that are no longer of benefit. redefineschool.com/rewire-ds-ni-ic/


1\ grit as sustainability (an authentic energy)

3\ city (community) as school (an eclectic ecosystem) • in the city • as the day

2\ synchronicity as revival (a vital/temporary dance)

Perhaps we get at the root, by focusing on where we already: • spend our money • send our youth • perpetuate our mindset and perhaps even: • create our problems. Perhaps we boldly question all of that and experiment in a space not yet tried.. an eclectic ecosystem. (rather than a 3rd grade classroom, or a high school, or a discipline such as school math, or a sector such as health, poverty, politics.. )


3\ city (community) as school (an eclectic ecosystem) What if the entire city becomes like a public (concerning all the people) open university campus.


Perhaps school as we know it isn’t … Once we understand that learning can and should occur outside the classroom, it will become commonplace to see students engaged in learning activities throughout the community. - Stephen Downes

Perhaps it’s been …


If we let go of regulation/inspection/control and focus on two conversations the world could change for good, today. If everyone starts talking to themselves, we will end up with 7 billion authentic people taking charge of their day, 7 billion art-ists. We’ll have cities/communities where everyone is known by someone, with time and space for gatherings that matter. Perhaps then we will see how breathtaking all people are. How hungry people are, for hard work/play that matters. Perhaps we find ourselves swimming in more solutions, than problems. Today, this is doable. Tech can ground initial chaos of a city set free by shortening the lag time between people finding their art/passion and finding their people.



Perhaps everybody is a genius. It’s just that most of the aren’t facilitated in school/work today.

I don’t believe in lazy. You just need to find what you’re hungry for. - James Bach




Imagine the city as an apprenticeship haven (the Met on steroids), where the entire city is the floorplan. The high school buildings become resource centers and meet up spaces. There is a city-wide art hall and engineering hall, forensics hall. The town acts more like a university campus.. where people are walking and biking to and from buildings through the course of a day, as the day. Feeding off each other. Feeding off life. The museum, the library, the restaurant, the dr’s office, the vet’s office, the coffee shop, the robotics company, auto-repair shop, permaculture farm, engineering firm, real estate office, dance/recording/art studio, … these become the classrooms. Public ed funding can now go toward community owned/shared spaces/resources, ie: maker space, community gardens, … We’re imagining crowded/stressed school buildings start emptying out as people realize options available to pursue interests in the city. As buildings empty, perhaps we restructure existing buildings to facilitate this useful notion of space – not defined by previous stated age groups – buildings could be combinations of – or whatever. highschool bldgs: youmedia center - ish middle school bldgs: maker space - ish elementary bldgs: brightworks - ish higher ed: barefoot/swaraj uni - ish



We need a move toward a more practical, sustainable learning model that is less based on market-driven accreditation and more on the inevitable give and take that happens among people who engage in similar activities and share similar forms of literacy and worldviews. …. Community as curriculum. Community as measure. How are the people around you doing. - Dave Cormier

imagine a community such as mine, Loveland, CO. You, a university, or a CEO of a company, come to me today, asking if Peter is a good fit, if he’s worth consideration at your establishment. I say, most likely not. I explain to you, that currently, Loveland has 400+ charitable organizations, so one would think we wouldn’t be dealing with homelessness, our county wouldn’t be 6th in the nation in suicide rate, etc. I say, I wonder what the heck has Peter been doing, letting that happen in his community imagine you come to me a year from now. Loveland no longer has 400+ charitable organizations, but rather, one kitchen table. People have connected. They engage in ongoing conversations, conversations that matter. People have started to take care of their own situations. Because people now question how they spend their days, health has improved. People are realizing that they matter to each other, the suicide rate has gone down…. And now, now I say to you, … yes, Peter. Peter is perfect. Whether or not he helped to change our community for good, he has been living in it. He’s associated and with people that are free and are practicing their art. Peter is gold. Peter is indispensable.



3\ city (community) as school (an eclectic ecosystem) • in the city The city, as an ecosystem of eclectic people and resources.



[having to do with #/kinds of people.. inclusiveness/eclecticness] If you look at it all the spots in the city, there are places that are pretty much in good view but no one pays much attention to it because it’s just like a city left over. ..the only stuff you care about, the thing you worry about, is how you are going to welcome and give a hand to the people. - StÊphane Malka

Imagine all the money (trillions), time (7 hrs a day for 12+ yrs), and people (90%?), spent on public education, being funneled instead into enlivening local communities. Perhaps we have all we need, we just need to be more resourceful. Seeking to improve learning for a classroom of 3rd graders, for an entire school, or even for a business, is a boost for sure. But perhaps those very structures (mental and physical) are at the heart of the problem. Perhaps authentic learning/connecting/being thrives in more organic/chaordic spaces. Perhaps the sharing of resources (people, spaces, things) city-wide is where we might get at a cross-generational, eclectic community of people, a village.


Today, people are learning online, on boats, in buses, in classrooms, in schools of all sorts, in other countries, at home, in the city, ‌ this is great. What we are suggesting is that we no longer pigeon-hole learners to any of these spaces. You want to learn on a boat. Great. But let’s not say now, that you are a boat learner only. Maybe tomorrow another space will behoove you. Change is good. .


What Iwan found in left over, poor, forgotten spaces: What’s fascinating is what happens when architects and planners leave. There’s no such thing as normal.. people are able to adapt to any situation. In most places.. government is completely absent.. so they use what they have (found materials) in amazing ways. Imagine… what these ingenious communities could create themselves and how highly particular their solutions would be if given basic infrastructures they could tap into. - Iwan Baan

imagine a city (cities) set free from govt regulations… in order to take over/redesign/upcycle their cities.. as the day. 98/ecosystem

A space where there are many people

doing things they love to do

painting, reading, tinkering with chemistry, building electrical circuits, cooking, gardening, experimenting, ‌

Others are encouraged to come along side them and learn from them or work on their own projects and be able to ask questions of someone who knows.


sharing/becoming stories/dreams (social fiction)


Can we heal like


at the personal level? the community level? the public level?


Only label is curiosity.. changing 24/7 if you like.

What we have…

What we need…

1. people who want their days to

1. people (perhaps you) who believe they own the mattering of their days [most don’t believe it’s legal/possible to think for themselves]

2. tech that can aggregate/organize large amounts of data, listen w/o judgment, et al

2. a means (perhaps tech) to connect people in a more timely/serendipitous manner [ie: to ground chaos, hasten connections, and leave a trail, as everyone starts thinking for themselves]

3. space - where we are now

3. an ecosystem (perhaps a city) full of eclectic spaces/people/ resources [and very few rules - a huge sandbox]

4. time – now

4. time (perhaps the day), not tacked on to the already busy day, this can’t be after hours [well it can, but not if we’re seeking #1]

3\ city (community) as school (an eclectic ecosystem) • in the city • as the day It is legal to think for yourself, plan your day(s), follow your whimsy, …everything as experiment.



[having to do with no-strings/agenda-attached.. intrinsic/perpetual beta ness. following your whimsy isn’t an after hours luxury, it is the day]


we don’t need more meetings/prep/training/regulation/strategic-plans‌ only one thing stands in our way to a better world finding the bravery/wisdom to let go.


we can try talk about regulate spend money on shaping other people’s curiosities. but that won’t last. there’s no teeth/heart in that. it won’t wake people up.



choice matters. curiosity matters. neither found (alive) under compulsion/coercion/control.




Perhaps 100% is best for all humanity. Perhaps it’s our means to a thriving sustainability. If I’m owned by someone, to whatever degree, I can’t give everything. The act of proving of oneself, strips us. And that partial-ness lessens us, it lessens our community. Perhaps most of our fears of the chaos/laziness/? we assume inevitable with 100% freedom/inclusiveness, is based on spaces/research/situations where 100% was never given/taken, never truly experimented with. [the science of people in/from schools ness] There is never nothing going on. Imagine if we started listening to/honoring/experimenting with that mindset/truth/respect/breathtaking wonder.

This takes all of us (in the city) letting go of all our time (as the day) – which is perhaps our biggest roadblock… ie: to let go of control and trust. This is the another way we need to model. To show that the dance won’t dance until we fully realize/believe..



more on needing you‌ to be you.

a be you book.


more on needing us‌ to be us.

a be us book.


We’ve seen/heard too much to not. We can’t not give this a go. Too doable. Too urgent.

Perhaps a city changed will be enough for people to say, i/we can do that. For people to realize it is legal/safe/good for people to think for themselves.

7 billion people taking charge of their day. Finding/doing/being the thing they can’t not do. Creating community. Creating us.

a bit of backstory, if you’re so inclined: redefineschool.com/story-board/

perhaps our only credentials worth mentioning:

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.