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glossary of terms

DISCERNMENT: To perceive or recognize as being different or distinct; to perceive with eyes or intellect; to detect and distinquish as an individual and/or collective mental capacity

EAT LOCALLY: The local food movement seeks to build locally based, self-reliant food systems characterized by organic and sustainable food production, processing, distribution and consumption within a “bioregion” or “foodshed.” Local food systems are an alternative to the global corporate models where producers and consumers are separated through a chain of processors, manufacturers, shippers and retailers. Some people who prefer to eat locally grown and produced food call themselves “locavores”.

EMERGENCE: Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. In an emergent structure, when small, local actions begin to connect and exchange learning, a new level of influence or order suddenly appears. Three things are guaranteed with emergent phenomena: Their power and influence will exceed any sum of the separate efforts; they will exhibit skills and capacities that were not present in the local efforts; and their appearance always surprises us.

GATHERING: To come together or assemble as a group; to draw about or bring things closer to each other; the act of one who summons or convenes people together; to harvest, pick and enfold.

GEO-POLITICAL PLACE: A physical place characterized by man-made boundaries, such as a town, country or continent. Feelings of connection to these places have been the source of human identity and belonging and also of conflict and competition through time. HUB: A global community of people from every profession, background and culture working at new frontiers to tackle the world’s most pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges. We set out to create places that borrow from the best of a member’s club, an innovation agency, a serviced office and a think-tank to create a very different kind of innovation environment. Places with all the tools and trimmings needed to grow and develop new ventures. Places to access experience, knowledge, finance and markets. And above all, places for experience and encounter, full of diverse people doing amazing things. We call these places Hubs. In many ways we’re just getting started. And we’d like you to be part of it.”

LEARNING JOURNEY: A learning journey is a trip, which could be internal as well as external; an immersive experience in a new learning context that is designed to help participants expand their perspective, stir the imagination and learn about the system they are trying to understand. Learning journeys are characterized by experiential learning, open inquiry, multiple learning approaches, co-creation and being in community.

LIVED EXPERIENCE OF PLACE: How a person experiences a setting is considered to be of value in understanding constructs of the place itself, the person, and the relationship between the person and the place. We gain access this information by eliciting the person’s story of the experience and carefully listening for underlying meanings and patterns that may emerge. Certain human science research methodologies rely heavily on the belief in the intrinsic value of lived experience (See Phenomenology).

METAPHORIC PLACE: People often refer to place in a symbolic, or metaphorical, way. An example is “a place in my heart”. The use of the word “place” in this way is different from tangible, physical places that serve as settings in which groups gather.

NETWORK: A network is an interconnected system of things or people. A social network is a structure that facilitates interaction between a group of individuals or organizations that are related by a shared interest, values, vision, ideas, practices, trade and more. People participate in networks in order to access resources, influence, power, knowledge and relationships.

ORGANIC: derived from that which is alive and of nature; resembling a living organism in organization and development; having properties associated with living organisms.

PHENOMENOLOGY: Phenomenology is the systematic attempt to uncover the meaning of lived experience. It is based on the belief that objective understanding is mediated by subjective experience of the phenomenon and that human experience is an inherent structural property of the experience itself. The word phenomenon comes from the Greek phaenesthai, which means to flare up, to show itself, to appear.

PRACTICES: Practices are characterized by a shared repertoire of resources: practitioners work with the same tools, express themselves in a common language, and often hold similar beliefs and value systems in pursuit of shared goals and interests. Examples include zero waste practitioners, locavores, spiritual practitioners, solar panel manufacturers, preschool teachers, and so on.

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