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Ecosynomics: The Agreements Guiding Human Interacions (free online course)

Ecosynomics (13 sessions)

This course develops your awareness of and capacity to shift the fundamental agreements that most influence your daily experience and outcomes.  This course is a companion to the book Ecosynomics: The Science of Abundance.  Parts of this course are conceptual and parts are quite technical.  Through this course, you will learn how to (1) describe the abundance, harmony, and vibrancy experienced in any group, (2) identify specific, fundamental agreements that need to shift to improve your experience and outcomes, and (3) engage others in the process of making that shift.

For each session, you can download the chapter in the book (PDF) and related links (URL). A free audiobook reading of the book Ecosynomics: The Science of Abundance is available at (URL).

NOTE: To open the files, CLICK ON the BLACK TEXT to the right of the file name (e.g., click on the MP3).


Session #1 – Your Experience

  • Chapter Front Material and Overview PDF
  • Chapter 1 - Seeing Scarcity & Abundance in Our Relationships PDF
  • Assessing Yourself - Now that you have read and heard about experiences of low to high vibrancy in the five relationships, you can assess your own groups, your own relationships, as many as you want!  As you answer the questions in the free, on-line, 12-minute "harmonic vibrancy" survey, you will get to see where your agreements in any given set of relationships lie on the continuum, in all five relationships. The survey will give you immediate feedback. You will also be contributing to our research on groups, from awful to great -- we want to hear it all. [Your results will be confidential. Nobody will ever know how you described that relationship.]  Take the Harmonic Vibrancy Survey.
  • Further Readings
    • Sitting in the Harmonic URL
    • People Are Self-interested AND Other-interested, Group-interested, Nature-interested, Spirit-interested — All Five at the Same Time URL
    • Is Scarcity Real or Perceived? -- Recommended Reading URL
    • Ask Jim! URL

Session #2 – Your Experience, Part II

  • Chapter 2 - Perceptions, Assumptions and Harmonic Vibrancy PDF
  • Further Readings
    • Experiencing Abundance in a Moment of Possibility — Two Recent Books URL
    • Abundance in Relationship ≠ Excess URL
    • Levels of Perceived Reality — Advice from 3 Sages URL
    • Transforming Light to Verb to Noun — Three Quotes URL

Session #3 – Agreements

  • Chapter 3 - Agreements - Choosing Your Experience PDF
  • Further Readings
    • The Agreements URL
    • Seeing Agreements - What does wisdom suggest? URL
    • You Unconsciously Broadcast Your Agreements - a recommended read URL 

Session #4 – The Agreements Underlying the Major Economic Systems

  • Chapter 4 - Economics and the Paradox of Scarcity PDF
  • Further Reading
    • Seth Godin - Scarcity and Abundance in the Digital Age URL

Session #5 – Resolving the Paradox of Scarcity

  • Chapter 5 - Resolving the Paradox of Scarcity PDF
  • Further Readings
    • Value - Five quotes URL
    • History of thinking about resources, organization and value URL
    • Recession = Healthy relationships with collapsed resources or Collapsed relationships with healthy resources? URL
    • A funny observation: Possibility derived from now-here or Possibility integrated to get here-now? URL
    • Measuring well-being - How do we know if we are better off? URL

Session #6 – The Agreements Map

  • Chapter 6 - The Agreements Map PDF
  • Further Readings
    • You Consciously Broadcast Your Agreements - A Recommended Read URL
    • The Costs of Scarcity and the Benefits of Abundance URL

Session #7 – What People are Experiencing; What People are Doing

  • Chapter 7 - What People are Experiencing; What People are Doing PDF
  • Further Readings
    • Network routines for Harmonic Vibrancy - a guest post URL
    • More on Global Action Networks URL
    • An example of guidelines for town meetings URL
    • About complementary currencies URL
    • About communities using complementary currencies: a movie about money URL
    • About cooperatives URL

Session #8 – What You Can Do, The Harmonic Vibrancy Move Process

  • Chapter 8 - What You Can Do, The Harmonic Vibrancy Move Process PDF
  • Further Readings
    • The Vibrancy Frontier URL
    • Is My Company Vibrant? URL
    • You Unconsciously Broadcast Your Agreements URL
    • Scott Spann's paper on "Some Things Are Impossible -- Until They're Not URL

Session #9 – Individual Move

  • Chapter 9 - Individual Move PDF
  • Further Readings
    • Appreciative inquiry, to explore what others think and experience URL
    • Free resources at the Center for Appreciative Inquiry URL

Session #10 – Moving a Leadership Team

  • Chapter 10 - Moving a Leadership Team PDF
  • Further Readings
    • Susanne Cook-Greuter's "action logics" assessment we used URL
    • Susanne Cook-Greuter's descriptions of the "action logics" URL
    • Torbert on the "four parts of speech" (framing, advocating, illustrating, inquiring) URL
    • Tools for reflecting on your own biography URL
    • Ellen Langer's approach to mindfulness URL
    • Tutorial on how to build a "Behavior Over Time Graph" URL

Session #11 – Moving a Whole Company

  • Chapter 11 - Moving a Whole Company PDF
  • Further Readings
    • The O Process URL
    • Character strengths survey used at THORLO to assess "relational strengths" URL
    • Blog on Erich Jantsch on complex adaptive systems URL
    • Measure of "psychological ownership" in a business URL
    • Leadership as conversation URL 

Session #12 – Making a Move with Diverse Stakeholders

  • Chapter 12 - Making a Move with Diverse Stakeholders PDF
  • Further Readings
    • Vermont's Energy Action Network project URL
    • Vermont's Comprehensive Energy Plan URL
    • Scott Spann's description of the stakeholder engagement process URL
    • ISC publications on the Guatemala project URL

Session #13 – Coming Around the Spiral and Looking Ahead

  • Chapter 13 - Coming Around the Spiral and Looking Ahead PDF
  • Further Readings
    • Research at The Institute for Strategic Clarity URL
    • The Agreements Health Check Survey URL


Jim is president of the Institute for Strategic Clarity, affiliated with Boston College, Harvard, ITESM EGADE Business School, and Univ Politecnica de Madrid, co-author of Ecosynomics (2014), Managing from Clarity (2001), and many chapters and articles. He blogs regularly at He has a BS in Petroleum Engineering (UTulsa), an MIM (Thunderbird), an MBA (ESADE), and a PhD in Decision Sciences (UTAustin).  You can follow his blog.

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