RDA 5. Radical participation

From Regenerative Knowledge Commons

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Pattern pages are used for working with RKC patterns. Patterns can be added by referencing them from the Pattern tab of Person, Social-Entity, Community of Place, or Community of Practice pages.

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Pattern page for RDA 5. Radical participation pattern
As with most SDGs, SDG 5 plays it safe by only focusing on women, an obvious choice, seeing how they make up half of the world's population.

SDG Shortcomings

This is not to imply, by any means, that there is not massive work to be done in this area.

However, SDG 5 ignores the larger question of the diversity of gender expression. And, entirely misses the plight of marginalized people and communities everywhere.


Marginalized people are people that for whatever reason, are labeled as "too" different, they don't swim in the mainstream, they are "othered," labeled outliers or not normal (unless they achieve celebrity status, in which case their difference is celebrated). Most of us are conditioned to fear change. And, marginalization is a way of covering up or deny that a system needs changing, because it is not working for everyone in it.

Living Systems

In living systems, as in social contexts, neither term "equality" nor "equity," work very well. Every being is completely and entirely a unique expression of the universe. This uniqueness, which is often referred to as essence is what Gregory Bateson so aptly described as "the difference that makes a difference." It recognizes that every being, every person is universally different. Equality advocates for treating every being the same, but they are not. Equity complicates by introducing notions of what is fair or just. Both terms approach externally. In natural ecosystems, we find and equal valuing, in all directions, of each singularity that wants to flower forth from within every individual. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

Each living being is fully empowered by self-organizing quality of living processes, to live authentically, into that singularity of being. Therefore, the term empowerment, is used in a broader sense that refers to creating the conditions for developmental processes to flow naturally.

Most diversity, and all change, creativity and evolution, flows from the margins. Radical participation is a term that attempts capture what is at the root of being a living being. Living beings in ecosystems participate each in their own way, authentically, according to the essence of who they are and in response unique set of conditions and interrelations that form the communities they participate in. The ecosystem's health depends on a multiplicity of differing ways of participating.

Radical participation

Radical participation recognizes that the potential lies within each individuals and it is each person's work to develop that potential. From an individual point of view, it means fully engaging with all aspects of what makes you, you.

The community's role is not to shape that individual, but simply to set the conditions for this to occur organically. From a collective point if view, radical participation can be read as radically-inclusive participation.

From an ecological point of view, this Aim opens the way for Humans to more profoundly learn from and relate to more-than-Human radical participation in the web of Life.

Taken all together, one can begin to see the qualitative difference this type of approach might make, if we were to recognize that there is no unity without diversity, and no point to diversity without unity. And, that each being, Human or otherwise, is an indispensable part and participant of the universal whole.

Pattern generators

This aim could be generative of the following patterns in any Community of Place of any scale.

  • active creation of conditions where all women, girls, LGBTQ+ and marginalized people everywhere, regardless of any apparent superficial difference (ethnicity, birth-place, skin color, social or economic status, beliefs/worldview, etc.), are celebrated for what makes them uniquely different; equally valued and empowered to participate radically in all aspects of political, economic, public life, and have equal access to the commons and social goods, including holding any leadership position [5.1,5; 5.b; 5.c, 5.d]
  • actively create conditions where all forms of violence, including harmful cultural practices, against all women, girls, LGBTQ+ and all marginalized people, in general, is unthinkable [5.2-3]
  • implement mechanisms to value all forms of "non-productive," domestic, essential work [5.4]
  • ensure universal access to sexual/reproductive health care and reproductive rights [5.6]
  • redesign all social systems, so that women, girls, LGBTQ+ and all marginalized people have equal rights to meaningful livelihoods and equal access to and benefit from the commons [5.a]
  • Bridge the immense gap between Human beings and the rest of the living world, via radical participation of all beings.

Note: SDG target linkages in brackets.

Ordering & Usage

Ordering Structures Usage Modes
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Resolution of Forces & Use Cases

Utilization & More


About Utilization Tab...

The Utilization tab shows which Processes--case study, story, journey, curriculum, research study, etc--this Pattern is applied in.

Interventions expressing RDA 5. Radical participation pattern:


About Process Tab...

Process Patterns tab is meant as a staging area for listing/creating Patterns that make part of this Process Pattern.

Patterns associated to RDA 5. Radical participation Process Pattern:


About Narratives Tab...

The Narratives tab allows for various types of narrative about the Pattern, any relevant research, a review about its use, etc.

Narrative elements created from RDA 5. Radical participation:


About Essence Tab...

The Essence tab allows for anyone in RKC to comment on what makes a pattern unique along three different dimensions:
   Aliveness: What energizes this being that really makes it come alive, beyond the functional of everyday existence.
   Offering: The unique value a pattern offers in order to bring a higher-order of viability and vitality to, or evolve a particular system they are working to transform (this is context specific).
   Potential: A tendency in a being that this pattern is continually striving to manifest into existence.
Over time, this feature can offer deeper insights to what each pattern brings to this co-creative space.

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