About the Prosocial Institute
The training arm of Prosocial.World.
ABOUT THE PROSOCIAL PROCESS
Prosocial is a method for improving human welfare through creating more effective, harmonious, equitable and cooperative groups. Prosocial has been applied in situations as diverse as helping a school to enhance collaboration among teachers and students, a community to reduce the spread of Ebola and a network of environmental groups seeking to cooperate more effectively to achieve their common aims. Prosocial works best for groups, and networks of groups, that are interested in human welfare, not just economic outcomes.
Prosocial.World is becoming a 501c3 not-for-profit entity incorporated in the US. It will be responsible for continuing research and development of Prosocial, as well as coordinating the network of internationally renowned facilitators, coaches, trainers and researchers.
ABOUT THE PROSOCIAL INSTITUTE
The Prosocial Institute is the training arm of the global Prosocial.World initiative. We train people around the world to be Prosocial facilitators, and in Australia we provide high quality facilitation and evaluation services to organisations and civil society groups who want to improve their cooperation and effectiveness.
WHAT IS THE PROSOCIAL PROCESS?
As we articulate in our book "Prosocial", the Prosocial process is built on three big ideas:
- The evolution of complex adaptive systems,
- The science of behavior change , and
- The social science of cooperation
Prosocial is built on a worldview that our social worlds are complex adaptive systems that are continuously evolving. Evolutionary theory gives us a lens to help make better sense of this complexity. What are the elements of the system, how do they interact at different levels of organisation, and what are the forces pushing towards selfishness or effective collective action?
Within this multi-level view of social evolution, it quickly becomes clear we need tools and frameworks to help both individuals and systems become more effective. Our method draws upon the sciences of behavior change to help individuals become more aware of themselves and others. We assist in overcoming fears, adding more flexibly to their life and helping them to effectively pursue their goals and values.
In short, we teach them to be resilient even in the face of the inevitable challenges of building high performing teams. Last, we draw upon the work of political scientist and Nobel prize winner Elinor Ostrom, who articulated 8 Core Design Principles for effective cooperation in groups with a shared purpose.
AS FRAMED WITHIN PROSOCIAL, THESE CORE DESIGN PRINCIPLES ARE:
- Creating a strong sense of shared identity and purpose
- Building a win-win culture where benefits are matched to contributions and shared equitably
- Ensuring everybody who needs to be included in decision making is included
- Creating transparency, where everybody can see what others in the group are doing
- Responding in a compassionate but firm and effective way to rectify breaches of agreed behaviors
- Ensuring fast and fair resolution of differences in values and perspectives
- As much as possible, supporting self-management
- Applying principles 1-7 not just within a group, but also between it and other groups in its ecosystem.
Each of these principles separately works well to improve group effectiveness, but they are truly transformative when combined in the Prosocial process with a framework for seeing evolution in action and the practical psychological tools for implementing the Core Design Principles flexibly and efficiently.
Becoming a Prosocial facilitator will transform your facilitation practice. Imagine having a general framework for diagnosing and understanding all groups and networks for groups. Prosocial gives you that framework. During the training you will learn how to see when the design principles have been implemented well and when they need to improve. And you will learn a very practical tool for clarifying what needs to be done at the individual and group level to move forward and better implement the principles.
PUBLISHED IN THE WORLD’S LEADING MANAGEMENT AND PSYCHOLOGY JOURNALS
PAUL ATKINS (PHD) - DIRECTOR OF THE PROSOCIAL INSTITUTE
Paul co-developed the Prosocial process which draws upon the psychology of behavior change as well as political, economic and evolutionary science to improve cooperation within and between groups.
Paul’s work has been published in the world’s leading management and psychology journals. His latest book “Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Productive, Equitable, and Collaborative Groups” has been described as "groundbreaking”, and "chock full of clear steps" (Jane Dutton, author of Awakening Compassion at Work). It is " essential reading for anyone who works with people in group settings, and who is committed to helping these groups to be their best.” says Susan David (author of Emotional Agility).
Prosocial Facilitator Training
As the lead trainer for the Prosocial process, Paul and has taught over 350 facilitators in more than 18 countries how to make a bigger difference and build a business helping the groups they really care about.
Paul works with facilitators and leaders to help refine their communication and connection skills so that they can have maximum influence in bringing about their objectives.