Card Sessions: Three Questions

In a network: situational awareness, will turned flow, reach beyond grasp and roles evolving with conversational intelligence.

John Kellden
4 min readJul 20, 2021


Where can a person look to find more inspiring ways of spending each day and each year?

What ambitions remain unexplored, beyond happiness, prosperity, faith, love, technology or therapy?

What role could there be for individuals with independent minds, or who feel isolated or different, or misfits?

(these three questions sourced from Theodore Zeldin, other card sessions can invite participants around other questions)

Card: Conversation

“A meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts, they transform them … Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards, and it involves being willing to emerge a slightly different person.”
— Theodore Zeldin

Card: Understanding

What if understanding is our
ability to hold space for the
possibility of knowledge, as
it emerges, unfolds, directs
and discloses its relevance
to unexplored aspects of
things known?

The generative review of understanding is essential character and evolutionary purpose.

Card Sessions
Cards considered in light of questions.
Helping you reflect, reframe and rethink.

Card Sessions: Flow

  • gather around a generative question
  • participate in ways conducive to divergence
  • participate in ways conducive to emergence
  • participate in ways conducive to convergence
  • conclude

Online Card Sessions: Five Guidelines

1. Extend
Extend a select part of your social sense of self, online. Notice the systems intelligence context.

2. Add
Add considered, considerate, convivial comments in ways conducive to small group genius, emerging, unfolding and evolving.

3. Wend
Intelligence turned ability. How we turn our individual, small group genius, social social media and social collective intelligence into ability, in order to wisely word, wend, wield, web and world, what we have intelligently apprehended.

4. Cooperate
From everyone according to ability. Through every thing according to
graph traversal (creative problem-solving, language and code).
To everyone according to need. Connecting and weaving ability with need,
in a context of psycho-spiritual modalities, in service to seven generations.

5. Move
Make moves. Learn, participate, understand, cultivate, evolve, create knowledge and co-create value. Trust movement.

Generative Closure
Card sessions can end when there’s:

  • understanding situational awareness
  • small group genius
  • insight
  • alignment around center question(s)
  • agreement on next steps
  • increased clarity about preferable outcomes

Card Sessions: Annotation
In a network, annotations conducive to and evolving with circles of concern, influence, confluence, consilience and considered, considerate and convivial conversations that mind, cultivate and matter. The whole point with annotation is evolving a slightly more human and nature scalability and scaling.

Card Sessions: Contextual Intelligence
Contextual intelligence can be seen, understood and applied as a good enough beginning heuristic for questions, holding space for conversation and annotation.

Card Sessions: Heuristics
A comprehensive set of heuristics are beyond the scope of this post. Each and every group needs to negotiate its own meaning-making, creation of knowledge and co-creation of value. This is the Way. For reasons of requisite variety. Requisite variety, because otherwise we will lack in resilience.

However, as a generative closure and departure point for further sessions:

Adventures of Ideas

“The title of this book. Adventures of Ideas, bears two meanings, both applicable to the subject-matter. One meaning is the effect of certain ideas in promoting the slow drift of mankind towards civilization. This is the Adventure of Ideas in the history of mankind. The other meaning is the author’s adventure in framing a speculative scheme of ideas which shall be explanatory of the historical adventure.
The book is in fact a study of the concept of civilization, and an endeavour
to understand how it is that civilized beings arise. One point, emphasized throughout, is the importance of Adventure for the promotion and
preservation of civilization.”
— Alfred North Whitehead

Card Sessions: Preferable Outcomes
One good enough stopping rule for all Card Sessions, is arriving at equitable societies. The only core challenge preventing us from getting there:

behavior > understanding understanding > agency

However, avoid the mistake of believing behavior and/or agency are stopping rules. Tribes are the erroneous assumption that behavior is the stopping rule. Markets are the erroneous assumption that agency is the stopping rule

Understanding understanding, multi-order cybernetics, is the stopping rule. Or, writ more concisely:

Metalogue is the stopping rule.

Why metalogue?
Because process and reality. Map and territory. Village and luminous ground. The glare that obscures and the gentle glow that illumines.

In a practical sense though with regards to applying metalogue in ways conducive to information in a context of relational meaning-making, this would mean that most of what games humans play, would need to be leveled up, from game to game^n, until metalogue, and then anchored down again, addressing what levels and concerns form part of human societies.

Participatory Inquiry
If we zoom out to planet-wide (one trillion trees, one million villages, one thousand eco-cities and seven generations) plenitude in its somewhat uneven distribution, it is perfectly possible to notice that that is what is already going on, with participation the only necessary principle for self-organization.

human greatness = coordination conducive to requisite variety

Is participation sufficient? Good question! No. Could there be a large finite set, that would correspond to something both necessary and sufficient?

Social machines, designed to help augment our seeing ourselves through?

Who knows? I intend to find out a bit more. Care to join?



John Kellden

Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities and collaborative narratives