Why Proximity Thinking

Our connected world is proximity oriented. This site offers you proximity-oriented approaches to transform how you create, collaborate and live. Afterwards, you should enjoy more SustaVariety.

Even though we live in a world of connected devices, connected ideas and connected things and beings…

• We often struggle to use our connectedness for collaboration, in many areas, but especially at larger scales, from neighborhoods and organizations to globally.
• We often don’t leverage connectedness as well as we might for creativity (in the arts, design, innovation, science, engineering and everyday problem-solving).
• We can get needlessly stuck in some situations and don’t enjoy enough variety, even though connectedness allows great flexibility.

Frustrating, to say the least. These challenges affect the quality of our lives. Sometimes, such struggles have life and death consequences.

In a connected world, proximity thinking approaches should transform how we create, collaborate and live, enhancing life and helping avoid some painful adjustments. Why? Proximity thinking is built around the idea that being is about relating, which brings us back to connectedness, as connectedness is about relationships.

From this idea that being is about relating (a natural fit for a proximity orientation), and the goals of enhancing creativity, collaboration and life, the ProxThink framework emerged. At the same time, these goals helped create related approaches for sustainable proximities and the associated idea of sustainable variety (SustaVariety), which is variety that continues, refreshes, and renews, and is likely one of the keys to vitality and life.

It turns out that SustaVariety is a useful, compact idea. It simultaneously relates to the processes and results of effective creativity and collaboration (generally and in ProxThink approaches), and to liveliness, vitality, sustainability and proximities. So in short, with ProxThink, we can create and enjoy more SustaVariety.

Do we humans feel vibrantly alive? Are we meeting our challenges as well as we might? Doing so enjoyably? Individually and in groups? Could be better? Watch this short video. You’ll see why things might not be going well, and how proximity thinking can make a difference. I developed it and I hope it helps. You should enjoy more SustaVariety.
—David Loughry

Two options for your next steps:

• Option 1 — Take the online course Let’s Be More Alive — Intro to ProxThink mentioned in the video. You’ll get proximity-oriented approaches for our increasingly proximity-oriented world. There’s no set price, but rather a minimum proxri, which should work better in a connected world. There is also a trials version, with bonuses. At the following link, you’ll also find many more answers to the question Why Proximity Thinking? Plus, you can view four videos from the course. Learn more and sign up at proxthink.thinkific.com.

• Option 2 — Read the rest of this page and explore the suggested links you find interesting.

More about Proximity Thinking
Proximity thinking
 is thinking with this proximity-focused framework, which consists of some basic ideas, patterns, models and tools. Proximity thinking can be used in proximities which may be personal, interpersonal, organizational, market-oriented, local, regional, global, or unique to your situation.

Why proximity?
We don’t have a frequent way of talking about, and relating to, a group of elements related to a situation, whether those elements are people, places, things, ideas, feelings, relationships, groups, times, processes, or whatever else seemed related to the situation. This way of talking and relating needs to encompass general concepts like contexts and environments. Yet it also needs to be flexible enough to handle elements that are related to a situation but not part of the immediate context or environment. And, it needs to handle groups of elements related to situations as diverse as those involving regions, communities, neighborhoods, offices, projects and even parties and conversations. The word proximity, the meaning of which includes nearness in relationship, can help. In proximity thinking, the proximity consists of elements related or potentially related to a situation, in physical, mental and other ways.

You can often benefit from ProxThink without understanding every part of it. Why? Because ProxThink uses fairly basic words in pretty typical ways.

FYI — This is the mobile version.
This site is a mobile version and a backup copy for the proximity thinking framework on the main site at ProxThink.com. For more, please see About. Below are ways to start on mobile and computer/tablet.

Ways to start on mobile:
(Note that if you’re willing to do a little extra zooming and tapping on mobile, also see the next section for many different ways to start on computer/tablet.) The conceptual parts of the proximity thinking framework consist of the Basics, the ProxPatterns, and the Growth Model. Each builds on the last, but you can start with whichever one interests you. They are related, so starting with one will lead, sooner or later, to the others. The ProxPatterns are perhaps the most useful for everyday thinking and relating, so you might want to start with the ProxPatterns.

  • Basics — for describing and discussing situations
  • ProxPatterns — for creativity, innovation and problem-solving
  • Growth Model — for people who share a proximity

Ways to start on a computer or tablet:
If you’re on a computer or tablet (or willing to do a little extra zooming and tapping on mobile), the desktop site version has an entire section called Start, which provides different routes to learning and using ProxThink. The different ways to start are not a list to be completed in order. Instead, you can explore the different ways to start, and explore just those that interest you. Mobile tip: If you double tap on the center column of the desktop pages, it zooms to fill your mobile screen and is very readable on mobile. Again, here’s the Start area on the desktop site.