Three Quick Tips
On the rest of this page you'll find much more about this course and explore more reasons to sign up. But first, here are three quick tips to speed up your explorations:
QUICK START — To quickly start using and benefiting from proximity thinking (without spending any money), watch the videos above, read Trials, with Bonuses (Quizzes and Downloads) below and sign up. Then grab your downloads to hang where you'll see them, watch the trials videos, explore and use the ProxThink website, take quizzes, do some course activities, join our Facebook group, and continue your adventures in proximity thinking and a few related sustainable variety (SustaVariety) projects! All without spending any money (although you are encouraged to proxri for your benefits)!
If you prefer more personalized, social and interactive learning, see Four-Week Groups and One-on-One Coaching below. Check out the SPECIAL OFFER for one-on-one coaching and support at that link too!
If the very general reasons to take this course in the first section below the Quick Links aren't your style or you want more specific examples, then explore How You Might Use Proximity Thinking.
Here are links to quickly jump to sections on this page:
From Problems and Challenges to Solutions and Opportunities
Do we humans feel vibrantly alive? Are we humans meeting our challenges as well as we might? Doing so enjoyably? Individually and in groups? I suspect most answers to these questions fall in the "could be better" or "could be a lot better" categories! I think two major reasons for this are one, our mental frameworks don't relate well to proximities, and two, our mental frameworks don't relate well to our networked, connected world. These needlessly limit us in working together, creating, innovating, solving problems and living vibrantly. But how can we change? That's what you'll learn in this course, since the proximity thinking framework was created for these problems and challenges. Proximity thinking, or ProxThink for short, is a proximity-focused framework for creativity, innovation, problem-solving, sustainability and living. (See the videos above for a bit more of an introduction.) Proximity thinking is ways of thinking and relating that fit our connected and networked lives. It can create more sustainable variety and vitality, effective thinking, and engaged collaboration, helping us be more alive. For some more specific uses of proximity thinking, see How You Might Use Proximity Thinking. I created proximity thinking, and I'll be your guide in this course. You'll find more of my story in the Your Instructor section farther down this page. But first, you'll find more about the course below. I hope proximity thinking helps you and think it can. It might be fun. And again, our connected world is moving in a proximity-oriented direction and sooner or later we, and you, may be forced to adapt with some painful adjustments, or if we don't act, endure more and more dysfunctional and unenjoyable situations. Why not get ahead of the curve and also reap the enjoyable and life-enhancing benefits of proximity thinking? I invite you to explore it, try it, use it, and benefit from it.
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Here's Your Onramp
You could read pages and pages of the website at proxthink.com, but this course is a much faster way to start! Plus, knowing about proximity thinking will help you get more out of other groups and projects at loughry.com that boost sustainable variety, vitality, and being more alive. You'll find details about the course in the What You'll Do section below, as well as the Course Curriculum at the end of this page. There is no set course price. Instead, you can reward with proxri (pronounced prox'ree), an approach designed for our connected world. For the full course, there is a minimum proxri, but it doesn't mean you have "paid" for the course since there is no set price. (Basically, proxri are rewards made with the proximity in mind. Proxri are part of the proximity thinking framework, and you'll learn about them in this course. A proxri may include money, things, services, ideas, tasks, relationships, actions, and so on, as well as a combination of these. Find out more in the section below called There is No Set Course Price.) You can access some parts of the course on a trial basis, as described in the section below called Trials, with Bonuses (Quizzes and Downloads). For 90 days of access to the full course, the current minimum proxri is $3 plus your choice of other optional non-financial or financial proxri now and/or later. Non-financial proxri are limited only by your imagination. As far as suggestions for non-financial proxri, in addition to telling people about this course (in person and/or online), here are a few other non-financial ways you might proxri your instructor: writing a review of the course or giving feedback, subscribing on YouTube, liking on Facebook, referrals, networking, collaborations, trying some of the groups and projects mentioned at loughry.com, and taking advantage of some of our other services (events, collaboration/coaching, idea sessions, speaking, consulting). A few more suggestions for non-financial proxri are here. Also, this minimum proxri is somewhat of an experiment, while I get more feedback, reviews, and testimonials, and also see if people proxri more after taking the course, based on their benefits and how much they want to encourage the spread of these ideas. In addition to the minimum proxri, there is a suggested proxri. The suggested proxri is the minimum money proxri of $3 now plus an additional $5 to $295 or more later and/or other non-financial proxri of your choice, which you can explore and initiate here. Another additional proxri option is to become a monthly patron on Patreon, and get access to the various online group sessions mentioned below as well as get other benefits, which you can learn about and initiate here. If you're ready to continue your adventures in being more alive with proximity thinking, jump to the signup buttons.
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Trials, with Bonuses (Quizzes and Downloads)
Quickly start using and benefiting from proximity thinking by signing up for the Trials + Bonuses option. If you're motivated, you might not even need to take the full course (see the next section below for more). You'll be able to access trials of some key course videos, quizzes, activities and sections, join our Facebook group, as well as get bonuses (more on those below), by creating a course account with the option to proxri at any time. Use a Trials + Bonuses button on this page to sign up. There is no minimum proxri for the trials. (For more on proxri, see the section below called There is No Set Course Price.) The trials will give you an overview of proximity thinking and the ProxThink website, as well as an idea of what the full course is like. You can find out which parts of the course are available as trials by looking at the Course Curriculum near the end of this page, and then checking to see which parts are marked with a capital "T" in a blue square. AS BONUSES, ProxThink downloads and ALL of the course quizzes (see next section) are accessible if you sign up for the trials. So you'll have the complete set of quizzes. See the next section for how that can help you. If you're ready to continue your adventures in being more alive with proximity thinking, jump to the signup buttons and choose Trials + Bonuses.
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All the Quizzes (Trials Bonus)
If you sign up for the trials (see above), you'll also get ALL of the course quizzes as a bonus. So you'll have the complete set of quizzes. You can learn a lot from the quizzes, since when you check your answers there are explanations. If you first watch the trial videos and then also study the ProxThink website and the largely self-explanatory Shared Situation Guide, after taking the quizzes, you might find you don't need to take the full course, but you do want to proxri me somehow for the trials, site, guide and quizzes. However, the minimum proxri for the full course is quite reasonable, you can learn even more by taking it, and you'll get going faster. You can upgrade to the full course at any time. If you're ready to continue your adventures in being more alive with proximity thinking, jump to the signup buttons.
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Essence of Proximity Thinking
The ProxThink framework consists of three integrated parts, described below. See the short videos above for a bit more of an introduction.
- The Basics help us describe and discuss situations.
- The ProxPatterns are especially helpful for creativity, innovation and problem-solving.
- The Growth Model boosts collaboration and encourages growth for people who share a proximity, helping shared situations come alive. It's available as the Shared Situation Guide on the Quip mobile and desktop collaboration platform. See the next section for more on the growth model.
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Avoiding Some Painful Adjustments, with the ProxThink Growth Model
We're moving in a proximity-oriented direction, but many of our systems and modes of thought are not proximity-oriented, which may lead to some painful adjustments or enduring more dysfunctional and unenjoyable situations. In this section, let's expand on that, see the results, and explore solutions: How are we moving in a proximity-oriented direction? One, our greater connectedness via networks, two, our greater awareness of the connectedness of things in most situations, and three, the greater number of challenges we face that are shared situations and often contextual and/or environmental, mean we're moving in a proximity-oriented direction. Some examples of proximity-oriented shared situations that could benefit from more connected, proximity-oriented approaches include sustainability, income inequality, global conflicts, surveillance and climate change, as well as regional, local, neighborhood, business and organization-level challenges like shared projects, shared spaces, and shared resources. However, many of our systems and modes of thought are still very element-oriented and relationship-oriented, making collaboration and growth more difficult than they need to be in a connected world. With the big challenges we're facing, we need better collaboration. Especially for shared situations, where collaboration is so important. I think our connected, networked world has massive amounts of potential we’re not leveraging because we’re using outdated concepts to relate to it, and not using proximity-oriented approaches for collaboration. So for some situations, especially shared situations, unless we change our approaches, we can get forced into some painful adjustments or undesirable options at the last minute, or if we don't act, endure more and more dysfunctional and unenjoyable situations. The ProxThink growth model offers an approach created for our current more proximity-oriented reality, and can transform how we collaborate. We can still use element-oriented and relationship-oriented approaches where and when they are appropriate. But we’ll have connected-world, proximity-oriented approaches for more proximity-oriented situations, and thus a better set of tools and a better portfolio of options, rather than relying too much on a few less connected-world approaches that are more and more out of step with our times. The growth model has been applied in the sustainable proximities approach and the Shared Situation Guide, and provides a model for many other applications and implementations. Beginning to use this new approach to connected collaboration will involve some learning and experimentation, but I think it’s worth the effort. Why? It could be more effective for some shared situations, and also more enjoyable and even more fun. Then if we want we can still do some things in older, less effective and less enjoyable ways, but at least we would know it’s not required. But if there are better ways, why would we? Why would we? For a longer discussion, see: For Shared Challenges and Shared Situations, We Need Networked, Proximity-Oriented Approaches. However, to get a better sense of which situations, and which approaches to situations, are more element-oriented, more relationship-oriented, and more proximity-oriented, you'll need more familiarity with the proximity thinking framework. And the fastest way to get that is to take this course! After the course, at the very least, I think you'll start to see how a proximity can be more of a living thing when we add connected collaboration and use some of the processes of the ProxThink growth model. And if you do, that's enough to start experimenting and working with others in different ways. That alone could start to make a difference in how we navigate the future and meet our big challenges. If you're ready to continue your adventures in being more alive with proximity thinking, jump to the signup buttons.
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Four Stages of Your Transformation + What You'll Do in This Course
In this four-stage, self-paced online course you can take whenever works best, you’ll get proximity-oriented approaches for creating, collaborating and living in our connected and increasingly proximity-oriented world. You'll progress through four stages, with each stage building on the previous stage. By Stage 4, you should be transformed by experiences with proximity thinking ideas and processes, as you understand how the framework can help us be more alive and how it can lead to more sustainable variety. You should also be starting to implement it as appropriate in your life and in some shared situations with a collaborative mobile app. You likely won't be an expert, but should be a strong intermediate. Even if you only make it through Stage 1 or 2 or 3, after each stage, you'll already have new approaches that should benefit you in a wide variety of situations. The four stages are detailed in the Course Curriculum at the end of this page, but below is an overview of what you'll gain from each stage. After that, you'll find more about what you'll do in the course.
Stage 1 — ProxThink Basics
After this stage, you should be able to think about and relate to situations in more general, structured and useful ways, using the foundation, the core idea, and four basic terms. Even if you stop here, you'll benefit.
Stage 2 — ProxPatterns (PPs)
After this stage, you'll have some valuable new concepts, patterns, processes and tools for creativity, innovation and problem-solving that should work in a wide variety of situations. Even if you stop here, you'll benefit.
Stage 3 — Growth Model
After this stage, you should be able to think about and relate to shared situations in ways that are more appropriate for our connected world. More specifically, you'll have four valuable processes for helping the proximity of a shared situation come alive, while at the same time letting people in the shared situation collaborate more effectively. So your shared situations should function better and be more enjoyable at the same time. And you'll have practiced using the growth model processes in a collaborative mobile app, helping the proximity of your shared situation become more of a living thing. Even if you stop here, you'll benefit.
Stage 4 — Being More Alive
By this stage, you should be able to use what you've covered so far to be more alive, individually and with others. You should be able to think more clearly by applying the structures of the Basics, be more creative and innovative with the ProxPatterns, and collaborate more enjoyably and effectively in shared situations using the Growth Model processes. Not only that, you should be beginning to switch between and blend the three parts of the ProxThink framework as needed and as appropriate. In addition, you should continue to get better at using the framework with other people, including your friends and family, your groups, organizations and communities, your region, and even globally. By this stage, you should be creating and enjoying more sustainable variety, one of the keys to being more alive. This stage is less of a destination, and more of an ongoing journey. As some say, the reward in life is the journey. You should have gained some new ways to make it a great journey!
Here's more about what you'll do in the course:
- In the Beginnings section, after some quick orientations to the course player and info about how to comment, ask questions and discuss, you'll start with an intro video (you may have already seen it here at the top of this page). The intro video includes a story about the beginnings of proximity thinking, gives you an overview of the framework, and is followed by a two-question quiz. Also, there are downloads you can print and hang for quick reference.
Stages 1, 2 and 3 introduce the three main parts of proximity thinking (Basics, ProxPatterns, Growth Model) as mentioned above in Essence of Proximity Thinking, through a number of short videos, and include an orientation to the website. Along the way you'll take a number of short quizzes and do activities that reinforce what you're learning and put it to use. Also included are options for anyone taking the course to ask questions and post comments, which may be replied to by the instructor and/or other students (you might get proxri for your efforts). Questions and comments can be posted in both the course and in the ProxThinkers Facebook group. In the activities for the section about the ProxThink growth model, you'll have the option to begin using the Shared Situation Guide in a collaborative mobile app, which will be easier since you're taking this course.
- In Stage 4 — Being More Alive, you'll find more about how what you've learned so far is integrated, should help us be more alive, and should lead to sustainable variety (SustaVariety). Then you'll be invited to explore opportunities and adventures related to getting involved in some groups and projects which leverage and extend what you've learned. For more on the groups and projects, see Next Step Groups farther down this page, as well as loughry.com.
Again, you'll find more details about the four stages in the Course Curriculum at the end of this page. If you're ready to continue your adventures in being more alive with proximity thinking now, jump to the signup buttons.
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Four-Week Groups and One-on-One Coaching
As mentioned above in What You'll Do, this self-paced course has built-in Q&A and commenting, as well as the Facebook group where ProxThinkers can collaborate, connect, celebrate and support each other. However, if you prefer an even more personalized, social and interactive learning experience, several options are available. One is available now (with a special offer), and two are in development.
One-on-One Coaching - (see SPECIAL OFFER below) - Get one-on-one coaching and support with your instructor and guide David Loughry. This can include time for questions, discussions about the course and how you can use it in your life, job and business, as well as collaboration on some of your situations. Since not many have taken this course yet, here's a SPECIAL OFFER: To help you succeed and help David find out where you may be having issues with this course, proximity thinking, and/or the Shared Situation Guide, you'll get up to 90 minutes a month of one-on-one coaching and support if you're at least a patron at the Booster Rockets for Content level (which is $27 per month, as a minimum proxri for one-on-one coaching and support, and you'll get many other patron benefits as well). Get just one month if you want, or change to a lower patron level and still have access to the ProxThink User Group. We'll connect one-on-one via phone calls and/or online meetings with simultaneous screen sharing and a voice call. You'll get one-on-one coaching and support for a low minimum proxri. Plus, you'll benefit future students by helping this content (the course, the guide, etc.) get better with your questions, feedback and comments (you might even get proxri at some point for this). This won't be available indefinitely, or the required patron level may change, so sign up for the full course here , as well as become at least a Booster Rockets for Content patron here on Patreon (link also has more about your many other patron benefits). For questions, more information and/or scheduling, see the end of the Instructor section below for contact options and how to get in touch.
Public Four-Week Groups - (in development, be a beta-tester!) - Each month, people can join a group taking this online course together. There will be four weekly goals and four weekly online sessions with the instructor. (If you live in Los Angeles, there may be in-person sessions.) This course is in development. To be notified when it becomes available, sign up on this page for the self-paced course or the trials (just your name and email is needed). If you'd like to be part of the beta-testing for this course, see the end of the Instructor section below for contact options and how to get in touch. If you have a custom group, see the next bullet.
Custom Four-Week Groups - (coming soon) - For your team, organization, neighborhood, group of friends, etc., this option lets a custom group pursue the four weekly goals and experience the four weekly sessions with the instructor together. It provides a customized group experience, and can focus on examples and situations related to your specific group. For more information, see the end of the Instructor section below for contact options and how to get in touch.
If you need other, more customized learning experiences or have a large organization, please reach out. See the end of the Instructor section below for contact options and how to get in touch.
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Next Step Groups
While taking this course, you'll become a member of the ProxThinkers Facebook group for collaborations, connections, celebrations and support. Plus, as mentioned above, you'll also find out about various online group sessions you can join, which leverage your new knowledge and experience with proximity thinking. These include the Intro to ProxThink User Group, the Artsdown Pioneers, the Shared Situation Guide Experimenters, and the Sustainable Variety Network, as well as Create and Collaborate sessions. For more about these online group sessions and to join one or more of them, as well as get other benefits and help spread and create sustainable variety for yourself and others, visit patreon.com/loughry.
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There is No Set Course Price
In this course, you'll learn about ProxRewards, also called proxri (pronounced prox'ree). Basically, proxri are rewards made with the proximity in mind. It's an approach more suited to our connected world. Proxri, along with three other ProxThink processes you'll learn about in this course, make a proximity more like a neighborhood. The course Trials have an optional proxri. As a minimum proxri for the full course, you're asked for a minimum amount of money plus other non-financial or financial proxri of your choice. The minimum money proxri could change based on the current state of the course content or other factors. However, you should not think of the amount you pay when you sign up as the price of the course, since it's the minimum money proxri. You will not be billed more later, and if the minimum money proxri gets adjusted, you won't pay the difference if it goes up, or get the difference back if it goes down. Rather, you'll have opportunities to proxri more later as you think appropriate. And, your minimum proxri gives you access to the course for as long as you want, with no expiration date.
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