Why agnetic doesn’t rely on giving examples

[The reader will see differences in this ‘first run series’ (one of five), than the articles that follow. We have chosen to maintain them because the content is still relevant, despite some links degrading and the level of acumen contained within…]

It’s linked to how we get people to stop talking past each other. In food∞Ag life cycles, accompaniment, not rushing to judgment, is primary.

Agnetic specializes in growing food∞Ag life cycles out of commodity food chokepoint supply chains. The Agnetic Style[1] brings together nature-based, commercial, and digital logic into a unified set of vocabulary and design (thinking, doing, and backchecking).

Not offering examples up front isn’t the only thing Agnetic does in reverse order.

What we may, or may not, have done previously is locked up in nondisclosure agreements, which is OK. In our design viewpoint, when people seek examples they tend to order content before context[2] and context before community. We have found that putting content before community tends to narrow-cast what is possible for communities and generally diminishes growth potential.

As an alternative, we focus first on community. To get things rolling we offer to lead, sometimes for a fee, sometimes free of charge, a One Book ∞ One Community project. The idea is to grow a new vocabulary shared by interdisciplinary teams so the community can achieve together what individual efforts have yet to achieve.


The point is not necessarily doing what is in the book.  The point is to compare and contrast what is in the book to what is present in a community’s historical and present-day context.  It’s through the act of comparing that gives action to a life cycle that naturally toggles between pruning back what is not working and holding space for what does work.


We find a One Book ∞ One Community project to be the single most effective way to stop talking past one another and move into designing (thinking, doing and backchecking) our way toward food systems relevant to local communities.

Presently, we are offering a communitywide reading of General Stanley McChrystal’s book, The Team of Teams.  Why?


Some of those who benefited most from chokepoint control over food and agriculture, some of food and agriculture’s biggest firms, have already begun making their own Internet of Everything-styled investments.  Based on this and more, top-down generals don’t know what’s coming their way. We recommend doing what General McChrystal had to do: dig in to become an emergent, bottom-up gardener, sooner rather than later.


[1] style |stīl| noun 1 a manner of doing something: different styles of management; New Oxford American Dictionary 3rd edition © 2010 by Oxford University Press, Inc.

[2] context |ˈkäntekst|, noun, the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed; New Oxford American Dictionary 3rd edition © 2010 by Oxford University Press, Inc.