I am coordinating development of a pattern language representing protocols for research collaborations between academic researchers and community groups. A colleague recommended WAGN to me as a suitable tool for this.


 Hi Tom,


I re-read your story and am even more curious the second time.  Pattern language, collaboration protocols, academia meets community... what a sweet spot.  We got started in Oregon (Christopher Alexander's backyard), but I've since moved to Colorado with my (academia nut) wife.


Wagn could potentially serve as a tool both for developing the pattern language and for enacting the protocols...


The big picture for this is a framework we have been setting up to promote mutually beneficial relationships between the international Transition movement (local initiatives for building resilience to peak oil, climate change and economic contraction through community action - www.transitionnetwork.org), and academic researchers (www.transitionresearchnetwork.org). The UK Arts and Humanities Research Council has funded a team of us to do a pilot study that includes developing a draft set of collaboration protocols.


I originally came across Alexander's pattern language through permaculture, and it's also been very influential on the development of Transition itself - see http://transitionculture.org/2010/06/03/transition-network-conference-2010-booklet-now-available/. Getting deep into pattern languages has left me impressed at the range of applications and the power of the approach; I'm also very into holistic models and analyses and find Alexander's philosophy provides a different and compelling take on that.


I'm just starting to find my way around WAGN and interested to see how it works out as an interface. We'll hopefully be looking at delivery formats sometime in the new year so be good to discuss it then, and to hear any thoughts from you and your wife in the meantime.

  --Tom Henfrey.....2012-12-09 14:18:32 +0000

Hi Tom,


I've been aware of the Transition Network for a long time but have never really gotten my feet wet. I'll try to do so in the next month or so that I can be a better resource for you guys and potentially help move our local transition efforts forward (I see my town, Fort Collins, has a "muller" initiative).


Our explicit vision for Wagn is to support "economies of cells: individuals and communities collaborating as deeply and effectively as departments in a large organization". Less explicit is that we feel like the informational infrastructure of a sustainable economy will look very different from what we have; it will facilitate data sharing, currency creation, horizontal integration, etc. Hard to say exactly what role Wagn will play, of course, but we do feel like we're leading in exploring many key ideas and practices.

  --Ethan McCutchen.....2012-12-09 18:52:05 +0000

This is something that Transition Network's web team is also giving a lot of thought - there's an outline of the basic concept at http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/ed-mitchell/2011-12/explaining-transition-web-constellation (it was Ed who told me about WAGN).

I'm on the fringes of some interesting discussions involving people responsible for information and communication structures within other grassroots environmental networks - largely around the best ways to share resources and pool information of common interest without undermining the autonomy and distinctiveness of individual groups - and happy to bring you in to these if you would like.

  --Tom Henfrey.....2012-12-18 12:11:24 +0000

I'd be very interested!

  --Ethan McCutchen.....2012-12-19 20:01:47 +0000