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About Dragon Dreaming

Ravi Resck 28 de January de 2023

What is? When it started?

Dragon Dreaming is usually described as a living systems approach to designing projects for the big turn. 

It is a method that started to be built by John Croft and Vivienne Elanta in the 90s in Australia and was implemented as a master's course at the University of Perth to provide a solid basis for project development for students and activists related to social and environmental causes .

The method has evolved a lot over the years and has become popular in more than 20 countries.

John and Vivienne were systemic thinkers who had ideas far beyond their time. With an approach based on the theory of complexity, deep ecology and wisdom of native peoples, Dragon Dreaming offers a highly versatile model that can be applied to develop solutions for any type of problem. 

Dragon Dreaming brings the concept of Gaia projects. A Gaia project must be based on three basic principles:personal growth, strengthening communities and providing a service to the Earth.

What are the problems to which Dragon Dreaming proposes to provide an answer?

Economically, we are seeing how the planet's wealth falls into the hands of a small elite, connected to large financial and corporate companies, with an increasingly reduced middle class and an increasing number of very poor people.

The neoconservative market is not only failing to make progress for most of the population, but through a debt-based economic and financial system, it is also fueling unsustainable growth.

·Politically, we are seeing an increase in anti-fascist and neo-fascist populism, racism and protectionism, with attacks on press freedom through centralized corporate ownership and government restrictions. At the same time, rising spending on war and nuclear proliferation threatens the future of the world.

·Ecologically, our collective environmental footprint per person is now larger than a planet and a half a year, with record greenhouse gas emissions that threaten climate stability and cause extreme weather events and an increase in sea level. The destruction of our habitat means that in this decade we will have lost 67% of the planet's biodiversity in 1970.

·Technologically, artificial intelligence and big data systems threaten job security for the vast majority of professions. The genetic modification of plants together with the use of pesticides threatens the ecological viability of food production systems, at a time of maximum use of fossil fuels and an increase in the world population that will reach between 9 and 11 billion people by the end of the year. 21st century.

·Educationally, student debt has gone out of control in many advanced countries. School systems need to prepare graduates for jobs that do not yet exist and excessive bureaucracy and low teacher status are developing a second-class public education system that seems unable to learn and innovate.

·Culturally, intolerance to differences is undermining multiculturalism, while increasing flows of political, environmental and economic refugees are reaching their peak. We urgently need cultures of tolerance that embrace cultural diversity assourceof creativity and innovation.

Why is Dragon Dreaming the core methodology of this course?

I see Dragon Dreaming as a meta-model that comprises different approaches and methods to design highly engaging and participatory processes.

The approach based on living organisms and focused on processes is highly versatile and can be adapted to dialogue with any area and any method that also seeks to empower individuals, strengthen communities and provide a service to planet Earth.  

In fact, we will use the model of living organisms applied to projects and organizations throughout the course of this course. I believe that John Croft is one of the most transversal people I have ever had the opportunity to meet. He built bridges between incredible approaches and built this model inspired by the work of Gregory Bateson, Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, Peter Senge, Joanna Macy and many others. Dragon Dreaming is the pattern behind the pattern of difference that makes a difference.

However, Dragon Dreaming also has its limitations. The complexity involved in the processes, the foreign terms arising from the aboriginal culture, the decision making by consensus, the focus on short-term projects and other issues made the process a little difficult to be understood by the end user.

This course is 100% inspired by Dragon Dreaming and seeks to celebrate the best in this approach and propose dialogues with other methodologies that can complement what the wisdom of the Dragon brings to the world of collaboration. 

CollabDesign is an exploration of social technologies that are geared towards personal growth, strengthening communities and planetary regeneration.

It is not a method, it is not a philosophy. It is an ecosystem of collaborative processes in favor of socio-environmental regeneration.

Download the Dragon Dreaming ebook to learn more.