The ProSocial Core Processes combine a perspective on and critical and dialogical understanding of both the structures of our world (political, economic, environmental, cultural, spiritual, etc.) and the fluid movement of forces that act to sustain those structures in hegemonic equilibrium.
When employed, the ProSocial Core Processes resist rigid certainties and create space for a creative understanding of our constantly changing world. When shared through a range of dialogical processes, this allows for relationships that typically resist change to be reforged within the context of shared purpose. In this way, the Core Processes weave alliances across many sectors at multiple levels between different social movements. They are a suite of multi-cropping practices of personal growth, skills building, dialogue, and participator action learning that is simultaneously theory and practice.
The Core Processes outlined above are typically facilitated over six phases: building a context for change; developing awareness and communication skills; building a sense of shared vision, identity, and purpose; exploring aspects of prosocial governance; qualifying opportunities for evolutionary change; and, action research and evaluation. These processes are complemented by generalized learning from participatory, pragmatic, and purposeful research. One proviso about these phases is to beware of the tendency to view them as a linear process, moving from one step to the next. They are better understood as recipe ingredients that need to be mixed in proper measure and with respect to the uniqueness of local conditions.
When applied, the Core Processes become a collective means of conducting a social analysis for action. Two dynamics prove important here: the movements of forces within society and the learning logic of action-reflection-action. What is unique about the Core Processes is that they acknowledge that all people have experience that gives them the potential and the right to engage in this kind of analysis, and in so doing, people become actors in changing their world, and not merely ‘acted-upons’.
The power of the ProSocial Process is embodied in the multi-level evolutionary approach of action-reflection-action.
Having conducted some ‘naming’ of ourselves, it is then important to share some information, often stories of one kind or another, to identify key concerns or issues and gain a perspective on shared needs and values.
This creates the need to decide which issues are important enough to warrant a collective critical analysis and response. Once key issues have been identified, a deeper analysis can be applied to qualifying opportunities to start living a preferred and probable future today. Finally, the question of ‘what to do about it’ must be posed and action steps discussed and converged upon.
In this way, the ProSocial Core Processes are typically not followed in a linear fashion. In the beginning, much back-and-forth movement is necessary to ensure a truly participatory process. Essentially, this is learning to ‘name ourselves’. This allows for and encourages a combination of perspective-taking and the negotiation of meaning, an essential ingredient for the success of all processes. Practically speaking, the overall process is a deep enquiry into our personal and cultural identities that is simultaneously shaped by our personal and community histories and the selection of a future that is worth living for now.