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Node A

Tetworld Node A
Tetrahedral Peace and Development Game--by Curt MacNamara
Guidelines,Rules :Global Purpose and Integrity

Node A of the Tetworld game summarizes the purpose, guidelines, and structures of Tetworld

Tetworld Philosophy

The purpose of Tetworld is to generate solutions to humanity's problems using the approach of Buckminster Fuller. Bucky Fuller envisioned a world game where the players used their own skills and knowledge in conjunction with universal geometry to create new approaches.

Beginning

To play the game we need a set of things:

  • Game players
  • A problem/opportunity and it's boundary
  • A structure for the play
  • Ways to design solutions
  • Criteria for judging solutions
  • Discussion process
  • Data about the real world
  • Techniques to implement solutions

The philosophy of Tetworld is derived from Buckminster Fuller. To paraphrase, Bucky believed that the goal of the individual was to work towards the success of all humanity. To accomplish this work we need to minimize our own ego and work for all. Our goal is not to accomplish our individual visions, but to work together for the success of all.

Tetworld is an evolving process and is open to new ideas. It is most helpful if new ideas can be grounded in an understanding of the current system and focus on how it can be improved.

Players

It is recommended that Tetworld is played with teams. After all, it is the combined intelligence of humanity that will be required to solve the many problems we have. It has been said that there are very few single brain problems left!

There are two ways to have teams in the game. If there is a single team then it should visit each node in turn, with each team member "representing" one of the other nodes in order to bring the perspective of that node into the current discussion. If there are several teams each one can work on a node in parallel with the others.

The minimum team would be a discussion coordinator and a recorder. It is the task of the coordinator to follow the process of Tetworld and move the discussion along by setting timelines and suggesting solutions when differences of opinion arise. Although consensus is the desired state, it is practical to state both sides of an issue when differences of opinion aren't surmountable. Note that the work of Edward deBono may prove useful in these cases, especially his concept of po (an idea which is beyond yes-and-no/black-and-white, or other categorical thinking)

Problems and boundaries

To play the game, the players need to select a situation. Don't be concerned if the one selected by the team isn't your favorite -- all problems are interconnected and you can start a new round of the game once this one is done. If this is the first time you are playing the game, choosing a small focused problem is recommended. That will allow you to move through the structure more easily and gain experience that can be applied to larger problems. You can also choose a large problem, but look at in a smaller context or boundary. For example, feeding the world is a very large problem. Feeding the hungry in your own community is more focused. If you can invent technology to feed the hungry in your neighborhood then it may be possible to grow similar techniques in other places.

A boundary is an edge between two things. In the case of our problem, a boundary may be spatial (feeding the hungry in our community). It may be time-based (feeding the hungry in our community this year). It may be monetary (feeding those below the poverty line). So the boundary is a way to more clearly define the problem and also to see how the problem is connected to other things. Defining the boundary should (at a minimum) define the place.

    Structure of the game

To play Tetworld we first need some knowledge of its structure. Players should visit all four nodes, then return here. Check in with the Node A list to see what game(s) may be in process. Decide whether to join an existing game or start a new one. If you are starting a new game, decide on how players will interact over the course of this game (some suggestions are below). Finally, decide on a problem and a part of the world. Post your proposal and let the game begin! Note that solutions from previous games are posted at Node D.

    Organization and Process

Tetworld has four nodes, each one the corner of a tetrahedron. The tetrahedron is the simplest three dimensional object, and therefore can represent the simplest possible system. Each node has a different aspect of a problem solution. Node A shows the structures, how to get around, recommendations on play. Node B has data, the stuff of the real world. Node C has strategies and approaches to problem solving to inspire creativity. Node D is the input and output from the game to the real world.

    Movement

To play the game players need to visit or work on the problem from the perspective of each node. A single player may do this in a sequential fashion (A-B-C-D). A team of players may work this way also. If there are many players there can be a team for each node. Individual team players at a given node should take on the perspective of the other nodes to enrich the discussion. Once the team at each node completes their work it can be shared in a common discussion list and a joint solution found.

It is recommended that each team decide on a timeline or pulse. If the team is highly motivated and has few other commitments, a time frame of "as fast as possible" may be appropriate. However, if some team members have other commitments it is recommended that a pulse be assigned.

    • For example, give yourself a week's worth of discussion to decide on the problem and its boundaries, with smaller goals on a daily basis.
    • Then a second week to investigate data sources at Node B and elsewhere.
    • This would be followed by a third week of design at Node C.
    • Finally, a summary can be posted to the Node D list HREF="http://members.tripod.com/~Tetworld/noded.html">Node D, and a dialogue initiated with stakeholders if they have not been involved in the game process.
    • Following this the complete game summary will be posted at Node D.
    • Take a break and play again!

Design of the future

We start design with a vision of the future -- a world that is a better place for all. We are keenly aware that many have tried this process, and that results are not always what were intended. How can we move beyond this? From Bucky's perspective, the world is structured synergetically. This means that the minimum set of connections define stable systems. If we want to change the world we need to understand the world. One way to do this is to map the world using Bucky's geometric approach. For one way to do this, look at geometric systems design. For other approaches look at Node D.

Criteria for judging solutions

As we generate alternatives we need some way to decide which way to go. In some cases we can use multiple approaches, in others we need to put our energy together behind one idea. To decide which way to go we need a list of criteria. It is up to the team to define the criteria, but Tetworld represents the approach of Bucky Fuller. To Bucky, criteria included : high efficiency (uses minimal resources); reform the environment (make artifacts that transform life); don't resort to politics (give people better tools to change the world). This was based on his study of history and the things that transformed society.

Discussion process

It is recommended that the team members learn to discuss options in a positive manner. We know this can be difficult in this world of e-mail, where our communications are lacking the subtleties that face-to-face discussion allows. If there is one rule to remember it would be : echo back what the other has said, and summarize the points of agreement and synergy first. Then move on to areas where the proposal can grow further, and connect that back to what has already been discussed.

Data Sources

To ensure that solutions are plausible, a world game needs large amounts of data about the real world. In Bucky's original conception the game was computerized, and the data could be displayed on a large scale geodesic map or sphere. Tetworld takes advantage of the decentralized nature of the internet, and has links to many data sources at Node B.

Each node has an e-mail list. To join the Tetworld Node A e-mail list :

topica
 Join NodeA! 
       

Next find out what the "state of your state" is :

You are now set up to play the game! Your first task is to write up a summary and post it to the Node A list. It should contain:

  • Definition of team(s)
  • Description of problem or opportunity and it's boundary
  • Definition of timeline or pulse
  • Summary of resources found

As time goes on there may be changes in these items. Ensure that one team member is designated the recorder and posts the revised items on a regular basis.


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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.