The Foaminess Principle

Picture a tree: it grows apically, from the tips. Now picture a grassland: it grows in all directions, its members reproducing clonally or sexually as circumstances favor. With the tree, there is a clear distinction between self and other, between the intrinsic milieu and the extrinsic. With the grassland things are foamier, the distinctions between self, other, and milieu fluid.

Volatile environments favor the foamy, whose constituents shift between responding to locally salient risks and those that affect the larger whole.

As a consultant, I help communities and organizations learn to act foamier so they can respond with greater suppleness to an increasingly precarious world.