Expedition: Design and Implementation of Prosocial Environments

Posted Thursday, May 23, 2024 by Sri. Tagged EXPEDITION

I've always had trouble fitting my personality traits into existing systems, so I have invented one called Predominantly Prosocially Motivated Profile (PPMP).

What is PPMP?

Inspired by profiles like PDAPersistent Demand for Autonomy (also known as Pathological Demand Avoidance) is an informal (at the time of this writing) clinical behavioral profile for the autism spectrum., I define PPMP as my need to directly see how what I do creates tangible benefits for others. Without this, I am highly unmotivated to do anything at all. Even my techinical interests and skills are rooted in increasing my ability to create elevated experiences for other people.

My ideal environment is where there are skilled people are engaged for the same reasons: to make the world a bit better in some way through applied insight, design, and engineering chops. It's a contribution model of growing the pie for everyone.

On a personal level, the examples I've experienced this are creative teams that cultivate a safe environment for trying new things, with deep investment in skill sharing and advancement. This is accompanied by a genuine joy in recognizing the achievements of others, pooling our individual contributions toward creating something cooler-better-excellent together. I've experienced this in small gamedev and design startups, and with friend groups that were founded in creative activity.

Why Study PPMP?

I believe there is also a connection with my autistic and AudHD traits that have affected how I have failed to relate to people in the past. As an adult, I have wanting to engineer environments where this is less likely to happen. This may explain why I love themes like "Friendship is Magic" and stories of strangers gathering together for a fellowship / building adventure.

Call to Action

As a preliminary step, I'd like to have one-on-one chats with others who:

I do recognize that you don't need to have this made-up PPMP profile to contribute to creating such an environment. There is a lot of relevant experience to be drawn from cooperatives, sociocracy, collectives, community management, benefit corporations, non-profits, and so on. However, I am specifically looking for people who believe they have traits that are similar to mine because we have an unusual form of motivation, and I'm curious what other patterns we share.

  1. Feel that the PPMP profile resonates with their own experience. See sidebar for justification.
  2. Have insights, skills, and other experience that could apply to creating a written resource that they can then apply to their own special interest communities. It would be like an adaptable field guide that is owned by all contributors.

This is an exploratory phase, with no expectations or commitments. All I want to do is talk and share some ideas for 30 minutes or so. If there is any mutual interest, we can figure that out afterwards. Of course, ideas that are shared are both ours to evolve as we like; the point of the study group is to figure out who is interested, and what a field guide would look like.

In other words, you think this is a cool idea worth talking about, because you're genuinely interested in it on a personal level and see applications that would benefit your own groups.

Contact me on Mastadon or Bluesky. Thanks for your time!