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Gentle Action

The Pari Center for New Learning has adopted the approach of "Gentle Action". In so many cases organizations and individuals respond in somewhat mechanical ways to the world around them as they seek to exert control. The study of the world's natural systems, through the lenses of chaos and complexity theory, shows us that total control is never possible and that there will always be some missing information about a system which renders absolute predictability impossible. Nevertheless the desire for control remains a reflex action within organizations and policies. In some cases attempts at control simply fail, in others they may even lead to a worsening of a situation.

Gentle Action proposes a very different way of looking at the world and one in which an action flows from the whole of a situation rather than being imposed from outside. A discussion, along with some examples, of Gentle Action can be found in the following pages of this website.

Please Note: F. David Peat's new book Gentle Action will be released in the Spring of 2008. At that time an interactive website will be established to allow readers to make their own inputs, provide examples and exchange ideas.

The book itself argues that, while the chaos and complexity theories have provided a scientific lens through which to see the inherent complexity and sensitivity of social, environmental and economic systems, so many of our policies and organizations continue to operate in relativley simplistic ways. As a result out attempts to make interventions, assist, give aid or "solve problems" may end up doing more damage than good. The book therefore proposes an alternative form of "gentle action".

The first part of the book gives a number of examples where well intentioned programs and policies have disrupted communities, local businesses and environments. It also agues that the inherent rigidity of institutions results in them being unable to respond in flexible ways.

The book proposes that by exercising a form of "creative suspension" it is possible for organizations to restructure themselves in more creative and appropriate ways. Out of this can emerge a new form of "gentle action" - an action not imposed from outside but one that emerges out of the inherent dynamics of the society or economy in question. A number of practical examples of gentle action are explored. In addition the book explore the importance of trust in society and as being essential to the health of economies and businesses.

.Gentle Action for a Harmonious World
F. David Peat

Creative Suspension
F. David Peat

Gentle Action in Middlesborough: A Pari Center success story.

Gentle Action(c):Surviving Chaos and Change
F. David Peat

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