Early Visions | Community of Allies | Who Are These Allies?

Riff #1:
Who Are These Allies?

From pioneering players to a cast of thousands; from an uphill struggle to irreversible, pervasive, creative collaboration.

Artwork Credit: Jennifer Landau

The nature of this emerging Community of Allies will vary dramatically as it moves through its various stages of development. In this first riff we imagine its evolution as a three-act play. Below are headlines highlighting the players and some of the drama that you can expect as each act unfolds:

Act I: Getting the Ball rolling
  • We're actively seeking and enrolling the 10 Most Wanted Infinite Players — those with the imagination and capacity to take us to the summit and beyond.
  • Advance Scouts are discovering and mapping generative initiatives in several different domains.
  • We've evolved enough value-adding TIG site content to go public.
  • The infinite game meme is being introduced into a number of hospitable venues.
  • The seeds of a Consciously Evolving Bay Area (CEBA) 2020 movement are being planted.
Act II: New Alliances & Initiatives Emerging
  • Some of the CEBA seeds are beginning to germinate.
  • A variety of generative initiatives are being identified and appreciated throughout the greater San Francisco Bay area and beyond.
  • TIG's Wholeness Lenses are growing in number, use and value-adding contribution.
  • Generative Capacity-Building is coming into play as a core developmental competency — both within and across organizations.
  • We've enough players on the playing field to begin to appreciate our unlimited potential as a co-creating collective.
  • There's a growing sense of confidence in the potency and irreversible nature of what's emerging.
  • Pioneers from other regions want to learn and evolve with us.
Act III: An Avalanche of Generative Initiatives
  • Bay Area allies have evolved their many communities to an unprecedented level of co-creative collaboration.
  • Generative initiatives within and among organizations of all kinds are bringing a new kind of aliveness and caring to our region.
  • Interest in the metamorphosis from finite to infinite games is growing in many parts of the world.
  • Regional communities of allies are taking shape in other locales. The Bay Area is seen as an open source laboratory for regional metamorphosis, drawing from and contributing to parallel initiatives throughout our world.
Who might want to join in this play — a profile

Communities are defined by what's shared—what's held in common. It could be a shared geography—a neighborhood or town. Frequently it's a shared commitment, e.g., to learning, to a particular cause, to mutual protection, to an ideology, etc.

We've created a Player Profile that provides a list of characteristics and beliefs that are likely to be shared by those who will be attracted to this community. We invite you to try this profile on for size.

Broadway productions have stars. We have five (5) performing archetypes

There are no starring roles in this unfolding 3-act play. Instead, we have identified "five archetypes" who will show up in different ways, at different times, and as different players. Each of these archetypal roles represents a distinctly different pattern of contribution.
  • Champions — Those who champion/lead generative initiatives — known for their strong entrepreneurial spirit; love of pioneering; risk-taking; innovation; deep commitment to making a lasting difference.
  • Stewards — Those who encourage, authorize and support the champion/initiative and ensure accountability; e.g., a CEO or Board Member. Stewards are known for their wisdom, courage and deep concern for the future and for the larger whole.
  • Context-Shapers — Thought leaders, especially authors, journalists, political figures, etc., who help illuminate and legitimize new possibilities. These are the players who have been preparing the way for this infinite play for decades. See Worldview-Expanding Books for a beginning list of
  • Providers (of Generative Services) — Those whose expertise contributes to the successful design and implementation of generative initiatives.
  • Advance Scouts (for all of the above) — Those who scout out and shine an appreciative light on generative initiatives; those who connect infinite players with each other. See "About Advance Scouts" for more details.
It doesn't take all five archetypes to launch an individual generative initiative. However, infinite games, by definition, represent the ultimate in sustainability. It takes all five archetypal roles to ensure the sustainability, propagation and evolution of initiatives that are truly generative.

One example of a generative initiative that was highly successful, but ultimately not sustainable, was Zilog's Nampa, Idaho microprocessor plant started up in 1980. The design of this technician-based Socio-Tech Systems manufacturing plant was championed by its entire management team. This team went through several developmental phases to equip themselves to design, and then to manage the startup and continued operations. They were supported by different providers at these different stages. Zilog's corporate headquarters leaders were fully supportive of the innovative design. They provided both the resources and the protection needed during Nampa's early years. This plant consistently produced a 30% higher chip yield than the best of competition. However, when Zilog was sold to another corporation, Nampa lost its stewards. Without headquarters' understanding and support Nampa was gradually forced to become more and more traditional. It took a number of years, but they ultimately lost their generative advantage.

What really distinguishes these archetypal roles—and brings the possibility of infinite games within reach—is the quality of the relationships and agreements that can be developed within and among these five role categories. The stellar performance in this unfolding play is reflected in the quality of those purposeful relationships and agreements. The above picture is our way of representing both the roles and the special relationships among those archetypes that will distinguish and animate our emerging community.

10 Most Wanted Infinite Players — Our first casting call

Most of you have seen the movie, "Field of Dreams." First they built the baseball field out in the middle of a cornfield. Then, one magical night, the players began to emerge from the field of tall corn, a team from the past.

We are building TheInfiniteGames.org as a very different kind of playing field. With our 10 Most Wanted "personals," we are sounding a note for players for the future — players who have been practicing in the realm of future possibility, and are now ready to bring the promise of that future into play, today. This "casting call" is our prayer for those pioneering infinite players willing and able to slog through the early uphill stage of this adventure.

These players might be thought of as our "Startup Team" — a requisite variety of committed players who will get the ball rolling toward a future that's much more promising for all of life on our planet.
We are facing a challenge and opportunity of marvelous depth, breadth and scope. And, as Margaret Mead is so often quoted as saying —
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed individuals can change the world.
Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

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