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David's Portfolio

  •  HBR "75 Years of Management Ideas & Practice"
    I selected the following large Storymap's as representative examples of my information design work at The Grove where I was a lead designer on the project. Each of them were critical in moving us to another level of confidence and excitement about this big picture way of working. What these photos do not show, of course, is the rich process of facilitated design meetings that we led as a way of generating this material.

My Strategic Visioning Collaborators

  • RachelSmith
    I've included this photo album of some of the people in The Grove's associate network that use our facilitation and Strategic Visioning methods integrally in their work. They are my teachers and I theirs. Collaboration networks are behind most truly innovative, robust methodologies, and our is no exception. Claiming credit as an individual would be like a tree claiming credit for the forest. If you aren't here and know that you should be, send me you picture and a writeup and I'll post it.

Partners for Change Model

  • Sustainabilityplayersmap
    These are two supportive visuals for a Partners for Change model I co-designed with Sissel Waage and Ruth Rominger. It shows how we would bring multiple sustainability researchers and activists together around critical issues and support them to create collaborative efforts in media and tool creation.

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Michelle Paradis

David, I want to acknowledge and thank you for this well thought and articulated piece on SL. Let me ponder on the points that resonated with my own thoughts and feelings and I will come back to post my observations.

In the meantime, here is a question for you. If you could boil down SL in just one sentence, what would that be?

Corwin Carillon aka Nick Noakes

Hi Sunseed!

You one of the people I met early on in SL back in Jun 06 .. although I'm not sure if you will remember. I remember the encounter well. As I looked at the visual facilitation pix on Deimos in the distinctive Grove style and bumped into Sunseed, only to find out I was talking to Dave Sibbet :)

I didn't realise it was Larry and the NMC who had got you in ... they also, through collwague Cyprien Lomas got me into SL and for the last year I have been co-facilitating with Alan Levine, the fortnighly Teachers Buzz Meetings. Would you come to one of our Buzz sessions to share these experiences you've put onto paper? We ususally get around 35 people attending. Hoping you will say yes!

... and hi Michelle and hi Nancy if you get to read this :)


A fascinating article, that makes me want to join Second Life straight away!

The idea of using this as a place to explore meaning and connection would not have occurred to me, but now seems obvious.

Goethe said "The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and though distant, is close to us in spirit - this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden".

I think his words could well be applied to the on-line experience, where those who are distant become close so easily.

Voltaire suggested that 'Tout le monde doit tendre son jardin'. Perhaps it is time for me to cultivate my second life!

Alan Levine

Hi David- Just have downloaded ans skimmed your retrospective, but am super impressed; this is an important work for those eager to learn something more in depth than the silly puff pieces in the media.

We'd love to have to visit NMC Campus sometime soon and perhaps lead a discussion on your thoughts here.

Michelle Paradis

I realize the question I left you with is one I was holding for myself.

The answer that came to me is that SL is like Life itself - it is what WE make of it.

What makes it so wonderful is to see people like you and so many others using SL to make a difference in RL.


The piece left me with mixed impressions. It's very earnest, and it gives a feel of one person's experience with Second Life--obviously someone with a lot of energy who has found an ideal outlet for his creativity, and thoughts, and interests.

At the same time, frankly, the many misspellings and incorrect facts and statistics throughout, as well as a bit of an overbearing tone (and quite a dose of naiveté) detract from the paper's impact.

On balance it was good for me to read as an additional perspective to the many insightful essays on SL that are available. Good luck with your projects.

Christina Merkley

Wow David. One thing lead to another and I clicked on this long article and was sucked right in. Where has the last hour gone?!

My head hurts from trying to track something that is a bit beyond my current scope of understanding and also wishing I had the skills / aptitudes to pursue this a little more.

Alas there is only so much I can do - I'm already jammed on time, energy and resources (oh well, back to what I can do now).

Its amazing that you have done all this plus your regular full RL. Where do you find the time!?

I would love to develop a presentation space for SHIFT-IT Coach ... but sense its probably not quite time yet given the curve of most folks not being able to access and the upload/res issues you write of.

Going to be very exciting when its possible to do easy interactive graphics stuff. Can totally see doing international SHIFT-IT sessions with clients where neither they nor I have to go any further than linking up in SL.

Thanks for being a pioneer and paving the way (again!) - you are working out a lot of kinks by the sound of it that the rest of us will benefit from downstream.

Cheers, Christina

p.s. Sounds like people still create their own realities whether its RL or SL. Law of Attraction applies everywhere consciousness is. Its a buffet - allow and be grateful for diversity but also choosey about what we choose to put on our own plate.

Tom Hood

Hey Sunseed / David,

I love the Grove studios in Second Life and hope you will visit CPA Island soon. Your retrospective inspired me to write a post after hearing some inaccurate media reports on the radio. You can read my repsonse to your questions here:

Great work!

Warmest Regards,

Rocky Maddaloni (sl) / Tom Hood (rl)

Amy Lenzo

I loved your Second Life Retrospective, David. I'm particularly struck by how applying the imaginal realm within Second Life might effect psychological healing (with emotional and - potentially - physical repercussions) and spiritual development.

Apparently experiencing something in one's imagination is neurologically almost identical to having experienced it in reality. If this is true, it has huge implications for consciously working with emotional and psychological issues in Second Life, just for starters.

I've been struck by the degree of intimacy and personal connection that I've seen possible in the SL environment, and the depth I've experienced brings into question the seeming dichotomy between these relationships and those in 'real life'.

Actually I believe the relationships we build in SL are real. Some of them may disappoint us, but of course that's a chance we take in "real life" as well. Many SL friendships (like ours) exist in life outside of SL, but some may not, and I think a study of this whole subject may potentially be very important for understanding the human capacity to relate to even strangers in deeper and more authentic ways than we had previously imagined we could.

This has societal as well as personal implications, and I am very excited by our recent explorations with conversation and dialogue in SL (this is in reference to the recent World Café we co-hosted with Rockridge Institute). To be sure, there are further refinements to be made, but the value of having an environment like SL in which people of all cultures can meet and explore subjects of mutual importance is immeasurable.

I personally think that developing the capacity for real-time visual expression is crucial for the kind of work we want to do in SL, and I hope there are techies out there who feel the same way and are capable of integrating white board technology (or something equivalent) into this environment.

But for me the most interesting part of your retrospective was when you were talking about light...

It's no secret that much of the spiritual world draws directly on the imaginal realms. Tibetan Buddhism, which is by no means the only example, consciously uses symbol and the imagination to evoke and develop the experience of spiritual states in the practitioner.

You may know of the Shumei, a Japanese inter-faith spiritual group who use Jyorei, or 'bathing in light', as the core of their practice, and I have certainly experienced the power of light myself - both in SL and elsewhere.

We're kind of getting beyond the scope of words here (or at least blog posts :-), but I think we've barely begun this exploration - of light and creating sacred space and developing meaningful ritual in an online environment.

I'm definitely looking forward to being part of further conversations as we all continue to expand our notions of what is possible, inworld and in the world.

Amy Lenzo

There isn't the capacity to edit one's comments, unfortunately, or I'd do this directly in my post, above :-), but it occurs to me that I wasn't very clear about what I referred to there as the 'imaginal realm'.

It would have been clearer to say 'active imagination', in the sense that Jung used it - to connote the conscious use of imagination, in his case for psychological purposes.

Just pretend that's what I wrote in the first place. :-)

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