October 17, 2021

How we are at the small scale is how we are at the large scale

topics: growth
Rosie Sherry
In community, we often say to do things that don't scale. To start small. To get the foundations right. To trust that how we are and what we do is what the community becomes, on a larger scale. Our behaviour, our intentions, our alignment, and our goals all influence what the community can become.

Personally, I know this is true, or can be true. (I am open-minded that there are many ways to do community). This to me has been the only way I've ever been able to build community — to create the foundations and trust that it will be replicated in a patterned like structure.

I feel much of this comes to me from my natural instinct, but perhaps I have biases there too. I have been doing lots of building and learning over the years. I'm conscious I assume people just know stuff, when infact they don't.

I like how the book Emergent Strategy explains this, in relation to fractals: How we are at the small scale is how we are at the large scale.

A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop.

How we are at the small scale is how we are at the large scale.

The patterns of the universe repeat at scale. There is a structural echo that suggests two things: one, that there are shapes and patterns fundamental to our universe, and two, that what we practice at a small scale can reverberate to the largest scale.

brown, adrienne maree. Emergent Strategy (p. 42). AK Press. Kindle Edition. 

There's some nice words to take from this too, for me I like the idea of tapping into: patterns (of the universe), echo, feedback loop (hello flywheels!), and reverberate. 

I take mental and written notes of this because I feel it's important, as community builders, to create better ways of explaining how it is we can do things. ☁️

—Rosie Sherry