How You Might Use Proximity Thinking

The main Let's Be More Alive — Intro to ProxThink course page presents some very general reasons to take the course. However, you might prefer more examples of how you might use proximity thinking, which you'll find here

Below are lists of ways that you, and perhaps people you know, might use proximity thinking. Many more ways are possible. Lists 1 - 3 below move from more general to more specific.

Viewing Tips: Links within the short descriptions below lead mostly to the ProxThink website, which is better viewed on a computer or tablet. If you're on mobile, some mobile browsers let you double-tap to quickly fit the text to the screen. 

When you're finished here, continue with the Here's Your Onramp section on the main Let's Be More Alive — Intro to ProxThink course page. You can also use the links to the Main Course Page following each short description below.

List 1 - Jump-Down Links

Wide Variety of Situations
Keep Loosely in Mind
Try ProxThink Hints
Innovation, Problem-Solving, Creativity
Conceptual Tools
Unusual Situations

List 2 - Jump-Down Links

Strategy and Implementation
Business and Growth Models
The Arts
Design and Planning
Web Growth Models
Create Sustainable Resources
Collaboration
Managing Change
Conflict Resolution
Interpersonal and Social Relationships
Life Balance and Variety
Social Flexibility
Managing Shared Resources
Growing Community

List 3 - Jump-Down Links

Downloadable Content, Media, Software
Intellectual Property Law
Global Warming and Climate Change
Open Source Evolution
Web Applications Via the Cloud
Suggestion Systems
Writing


List 1

Wide Variety of Situations

What kinds of situations can ProxThink serve? Many kinds of situations, from relating to simple objects and daily concerns, to social situations, to business situations, to community situations, to creative situations in the arts and design, to theoretical situations, to physical situations in engineering and science.

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Keep Loosely in Mind

One way to use ProxThink ideas, concepts and tools is to keep them loosely in mind and use them as appropriate as you deal with situations.

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Try ProxThink Hints

ProxThink Hints are custom questions generated using words you enter. ProxThink Hints can trigger ideas, possibilities and options for relating to your situations. More information here or try ProxThink Hints here.

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Innovation, Problem-Solving, Creativity

ProxThink serves innovation, problem-solving and creativity. ProxThink can help sustain the generation of quality ideas, as well as generate ideas which help make situations and proximities more sustainable. The ProxPatterns are an integrated group of related patterns for relating to situations, and are especially helpful for creativity, innovation and problem-solving. Our Start area includes suggested Action Steps for idea generation, evaluation and implementation. Idea generation and evaluation are supported by ProxThink Hints and ProxPatterns. Idea implementation is aided by ProxGrowth and the Growth Model. See also How does it help? and ProxThink Innovations.

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Conceptual Tools

The ProxThink Basics are a structure or framework for thinking with scope broad enough to consider, discuss and relate to a variety of disciplines, domains and situations. The ProxThink Basics are the foundation on which the rest of ProxThink, including the ProxPatterns and the Growth Model, is built. The Basics are very general conceptual ideas, terms and tools. For more, see Structure for Thinking in ProxThink Innovations.

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Unusual Situations

ProxThink is designed to serve creative and innovative thinking and action in both familiar situations and unusual situations. ProxThink captures and leverages common features and aspects of diverse situations. The Basics help us describe and discuss situations with common terms applicable to a wide variety of situations. ProxPatterns suggest some very general relationships and patterns common to a wide variety of situations. When using ProxThink in unusual situations, you can begin with some valuable general ideas, tools and good guesses about at least some relationships and patterns.

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List 2

Strategy and Implementation

The Start area of the ProxThink site includes suggested Action Steps for idea generation, evaluation and implementation. ProxThink can be used for the wide range of thought and actions required when moving from strategic thinking to implementation. ProxThink also complements other ideas and systems you may use.

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Business and Growth Models

The ProxThink Growth Model is perhaps a basis for new business models and/or growth models. It can be can tested, tried, adapted and adopted. It can be implemented gradually and in limited proximities or implemented more broadly. The Growth Model can be used online (see the nearby Web Growth, Downloadables, Open Source and Web Applications descriptions), as well as offline. Businesses, communities, regions, organizations, groups, non-profits, governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others may benefit. It may be an evolution for some market systems as well as open source practices, support some proximities which markets don't or can't serve, and serve various situations which involve growth. Many proximities and situations in which the Growth Model is used could become more sustainable.

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The Arts

The ProxPatterns, especially when used as a group, provide generative concepts for art-making, in areas such as music, film, art, dance, screenwriting, comedy, theatre, literature, poetry and so on. ProxPatterns can generate and sustain situations which have some of the complexity and rewarding qualities of life, which is often crucial in the arts.

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Design and Planning

The ProxPatterns, Basics, and Hints present concepts, patterns, tools and possibilities for designers (graphics, architecture, fashion, industrial, advertising, etc.), planners (urban, landscape, county, etc.) and others. In particular, the ProxPatterns offer additional basic design principles and techniques, and when used in combination with the Growth Model, can promote sustainability.

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Web Growth Models

The ProxThink Growth Model may be particularly helpful on the Internet for websites, blogs and web-based applications, as well as with downloadable content. As such, the Growth Model may be an alternative or complement to current subscription, advertising and other models. The four Growth Model processes (RelatePoints, ProxMonitors, Vadi Agreements and ProxRewards/Proxri) were designed to be web standards.

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Create Sustainable Resources

In ProxThink terms, a sustainable resource is a proximity, relationship or element which can support or relate to many different situations, and can persist, adapt and change as needed. The sustainable features of the ProxThink Innovations, especially the Growth Model, combined with ways you can use ProxThink for Design and Planning, Strategy and Implementation, Conflict Resolution, and Managing Change, creates frameworks and processes to create sustainable resources. Add to these the network technologies enabling communication (such as mobile phones, satellites, GPS and the Internet), sensing technologies (such as for heat, light, vision, motion, chemicals, etc.), and database technologies, and the possibilities for sustainable resources and proximities expand. The Growth Model and these technologies might assist us in shifting from a focus on revenues and costs for companies, governments and individuals to a focus on proximities, ProxMonitors, proxri and relationships for some resources, proximities and situations. See Sustainable Proximities for an expanded discussion. Also see our Climate Change Project for examples of some of these points.

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Collaboration

The ProxThink Growth Model, ProxPatterns, and in particular the Collaboration Deal, may provide some new concepts, agreements and processes for more sustainable collaboration. The Shared Situation Guide and shared situations project provide some prototypes for using the Growth Model for collaboration via desktop and mobile.

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Managing Change

ProxPatterns and the Growth Model may assist in managing change. The concept behind the Growth Model is to apply ProxPatterns to collaboration and managing resources, both of which relate to change. Also, better conflict resolution relates to managing change. ProxPatterns can generate and sustain situations which have some of the complexity, rewards and sustainable qualities of life, and life involves change.

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Conflict Resolution

The ProxPatterns and the ProxThink Growth Model may present possibilities for conflict resolution. In particular, the Limits ProxPatterns may provide better understandings of possibilities and positions, and the Combo ProxPatterns options for possible solutions and resolutions.

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Interpersonal and Social Relationships

In both interpersonal and social situations, the ProxPatterns can aid in relating to people. Much like individuals in a group of people, ProxPatterns are valuable on their own as well as in relationship with each other. If one ProxPattern doesn't relate to a situation, another one probably does. Further, they often work together and play off each other. So ProxPatterns can assist with individual interactions and groups of interactions.

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Life Balance and Variety

The ProxPatterns, especially when used as a synergistic or combined group, can serve considerations and actions which promote variety and balance in life.

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Social Flexibility

When living in ProxPatterns-related ways, we may become more aware of valuable differences and relationships in social situations. Some situations might transition to a greater emphasis on people's preferences, and honoring those preferences to create valuable differences.

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Managing Shared Resources

The ProxThink Growth Model and the ability to create sustainable resources provide options for managing shared resources. These are resources which people in groups, communities, regions, and the world share access to, use, and perhaps depend on in different ways. These resources can range from shared space, parks and buildings to larger infrastructure and environments.

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Growing Community

Given the capabilities shown here in List 2, ProxThink may aid in helping to grow communities along a number of dimensions. These dimensions include, but are not limited to, personal, interpersonal, social, cultural, organizational, structural, and environmental. Further, such growing communities may boost their sustainability.

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List 3

Downloadable Content, Media, Software

The ProxThink Growth Model, and in particular the Intellectual Property Deal and Collaboration Deal, may provide some solutions to the logistical, legal and financial challenges of downloadable content, media, music, movies, arts, books, video, software, etc. The Internet can enable not only different distribution methods, but different ways for people to relate to each other regarding downloadables, via the four processes of the Growth Model. In the process, sustainability is enhanced as well. To see a downloads proposal for many kinds of downloadable creations, and a site prototype we created for downloadable arts, visit artsdown.org.

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Intellectual Property Law

The ProxThink Growth Model, and in particular the Intellectual Property Deal and Collaboration Deal, may provide potential evolutionary paths for some of the challenges facing intellectual property law in a networked world, and provide greater sustainability in the process.

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Global Warming and Climate Change

(Note: The following is a brief introduction. You can also see the full Climate Change Project.) Regarding global warming and climate change, perhaps some of our greatest areas of need, which may be coordination and collaboration at local, regional and global scales, are those which the ProxThink Growth Model addresses. The shift in emphasis of focusing more on proximities serves efforts to deal with climate change. On a global basis, people can implement this approach using the four processes of the Growth Model: We can monitor proximities using ProxMonitors, connect and relate with RelatePoints, develop strategies and agreements as Vadi Agreements, and encourage and use ProxRewards (proxri). With databases, the Internet, sensors and other technologies, and with Vadi Agreements that coordinate some of the collaboration, the Growth Model processes seem quite workable. Even better, they could be fun and self-reinforcing. See the full climate change project here.

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Open Source Evolution

The ProxThink Growth Model, and in particular the Intellectual Property Deal and Collaboration Deal, may provide some evolutionary paths for the development and distribution of open source software. The Growth Model addresses many of the logistical, legal and financial challenges of open source practices, and promotes sustainability.

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Web Applications Via the Cloud

The growing practice of accessing software and applications via the cloud may benefit from using the Growth Model. See Web Growth Models above.

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Suggestion Systems

Suggestion systems for improving organizations and communities may be served by implementing the Growth Model in some proximities.

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Writing

Given the capabilities to support creativity in a variety of situations, combined with capabilities to aid strategy and implementation and collaboration, ProxThink may be of assistance to various kinds of writers. The assistance might range from sustainably generating quality ideas and content, to coordinating and collaborating with other related people, to managing careers and projects.

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Source and Notes about Mobile: The short descriptions on this page are adapted from this page on the ProxThink site. Links within the descriptions lead mostly to the ProxThink website. The main ProxThink site where these links lead is not mobile-optimized, so it's better viewed on a computer or tablet. But if you're on mobile, some mobile browsers let you double-tap to quickly fit the text to the screen. There is a mobile-optimized version of the ProxThink site you can explore here, but the page the short descriptions above are adapted from is not yet on the mobile site.