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  1. Some General Guidelines for Deep (vs. Shallow) Research – Prof Stuart B Hill – 2003

    1. Don’t postpone (I repeat: DON’T POSTPONE!): live and conduct your research fully in the present (learn from the past and, with others, vision and work to bring about improved futures).

    2. First clarify (and continue to clarify) your passion(s) (along with your values and worldviews) to be able to:

    a) access your full potential;

    b) to be most contextually relevant; and

    c) be at your best for imagining, creating, planning and deciding (including choosing methodologies), and acting, i.e., methodologies must serve your passion and ‘higher’ values, and not vice versa (in everything be clear and take charge of ‘what’s in the service of what’).

    3. Resist the distractions of:

    a) deceptive simplicity;

    b) ease (especially of securing funding, uncritical acceptance, retaining positional power, a job etc.);
    c) being stuck in describing, measuring, monitoring, accommodating and seeking only curative ‘solutions’ to problems;

    d) only efficiency and substitution strategies for problem solving (focus on design and redesign, i.e., ‘focus on ‘front-end’ [healthy system creation and maintenance: problem-proofing systems] over ‘back-end’ approaches to problems/issues);

    e) over-emphasis on short-term, direct, high-powered, purchased, expert-dependent, single-discipline, imposed, technology-intensive, ‘solutions’ to problems.

    4. Seek understandings that are consistent with your highest values (e.g., re equity, respect of, and collaboration across, difference/diversity, mutualism and autonomy, meaning and service, sustainability and psychosocial co-evolution and developmental and ‘progressive’ change), and that are emergent from embodied experiences, relational, enabling and life-affirming.

    5. Act from, and only work with (and therefore only validate, collaborate with and support), your and others’ ‘soulful person/essence/core being’ – and not your or their ‘adapted, patterned, distressed, fearful, unaware, disempowered, needy, ego-driven, disembodied, acting-out, withdrawn (etc.) selves’. In this connection, reflect on ways to act anonymously (helped by collaborating, over long timeframes, on projects that emphasise indirect and contextual approaches to change), and do it (i.e., don’t postpone)!

    6. Be open to wild ideas, paradox, lateral thinking, contributions from the margins and borderlands, divergent and neglected areas, ‘other’ and unfamiliar disciplines, ways of knowing and languages, synchronicity, synergy and mutualism, obscure dreams, imaginings and interpretations; and risk working at your and others’ edges (where we are all most alive; and the locus of most meaningful innovations).

    7. Include considerations of the personal (particularly the psychological), the socio-cultural (particularly institutional structures and processes), the ecological (and all of nature, from subatomic to cosmic expressions) and the ‘spiritual’ (the vast mysterious unknown – and resist letting your fears of this area result in imprisoning it in ‘domesticating’ structures and processes (as is common in most religions).

    8. Map (and continue to re-map) and reflect on your processes, your learning and development (especially your evolving missions and agendas), ‘progress’, relationships, ‘gifts’ given and received (especially in relation to our psychosocial evolution as a species, to peace and social justice, to personal, community and ecosystem health/wellbeing and sustainability).

    9. Develop and use your own personally- and contextually-relevant early ‘integrator indicators’, of the appropriateness of states, structures, processes, and ‘progressive’ and regressive/degenerative change.

    10. Learn your way into the future by alternating between knowing/acting and unknowing/learning – don’t dwell for too long in either.

    January, 2003 (revised April, 2005)

    Emeritus Professor Stuart B. Hill, Foundation Chair of Social Ecology, School of Education
    Western Sydney University (Kingswood Campus), Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, AUSTRALIA
    Location: Building K1, Room K-2-19A, WSU-Kingswood Campus, Penrith, NSW
    Tel: 61(0)2-4736-0799; Fax: -0400: Email: s.hill@westernsydney.edu.au; Web: http://www.stuartbhill.com

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