Creative Discussion using Plain Pair Groups

Creative Discussion – a key to insight and change

William Plain
Emeritus Professor, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies

Plain Pair Group Teaching (Plain PGT)
- for universities and schools
Plain Pair Group Discussion (Plain PGD)
- for decision making and staff development
- for informal or community creative discussion

A flash of insight is the spark of cosmic intelligence.
Small group sharing of insight can change the pattern of human intelligence.

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An email to change the world

Only "I" can change the world. Only "I" can change. (All 7 billion of "me").

"They" cannot change, there are too many interests at stake. Even "we" cannot change, we are part of what needs to be changed.

"You and I" can change, but I cannot change you, I can only change myself.

I am the world, and the world is me. I am responsible for myself, and I am responsible for "my world".

Change starts "here" and "now"!


Read this email in 中文, English, हिंदी, espagnol, العربية, portoghese, русский and other languages at Click on the "Select Language" button at the top of the page (visible if your computer's language is not English).

If you did not receive this email, but found it on, copy this page (starting from "An email to change .. down to .. 11 etc) into an email and send it to "your world".


Creativity can change your world: value your insights and share them through Creative Discussion

The key to creativity is “flash of insight”. Add an “insight” of your own at the bottom of this email, then "Forward Email" to friends, colleagues, corporations, politicians ....

Form a small "Insight Group" with 3-4 friends or colleagues, then each member make a separate "Plain Pair Group". In this way, "my" insights can spread out across the community where I live, work or study.

Creative Discussion helps us see the world in a different way. Through Creative Discussion, "I" can make a difference.

Discuss anything of interest, from important topics like Arctic methane and runaway global warming, to purely personal or local concerns.


I’m increasingly alarmed when I do an Internet search for “runaway global warming and Arctic methane” or “abrupt irreversible global climate change”. The scientists working in this specialised field are now saying that the earth could see catastrophic changes within a few decades, and the ‘tipping point’ leading to that state has already occurred. Some Arctic scientists are even pointing to ‘end of civilisation’-type change.

As a species we are omnivorous, devouring everything, including the biosphere. When in organised groups, corporations, political parties, religions or whatever, we are particularly blind to what “we” are really doing. Only as individuals do we have moments of brilliance, where we see what we are actually doing and act accordingly.

These moments of brilliance, of “lighting up”, are called “flash of insight”. Only the individual can access insight, when the brain is totally silent and totally attentive – we see what is, not what we think there is. At the moment of insight, our (individual/collective/species) brain is free of conditioning.

Through insight “I” can better understand the world and my role in it, and act accordingly. Through “Creative Discussion using Plain Pair Groups” I can access the insights of others while my own insights can ‘ripple out’ through the discussion community – like ripples that spread when a stone is dropped in water. While sharing of insight through Creative Discussion can be applied to any topic, our response to global warming is apparently the most urgent.

“You” and “I” need to be awake, informed and attentive to new ideas. We need to participate in our world rather than being unconcerned passengers. On the bridge, not partying below deck as our ship is steered towards dangerous waters by those ready to jump ship, taking all the jewellery with them. Who will be on the last flight to Mars? Not you and me, but those few who sank the ship! Even so, Mars would be a pretty uncomfortable place, compared to a cool green Earth.


What can “I” do? For each person there is a different answer, and that is ever-changing. Being totally ‘awake’, with a silent mind, attentive to each flash of insight, can free us from our conditioned mental structure and help us find the right answer at the right moment.

Insight is the key to creativity that was not taught at school. It is often accompanied by synchronicity, little things that just happen at the right moment. Make a note of your insights (and synchronicity) and share them through Creative Discussion. Form an "Insight Group" and a "Plain Pair Group" among friends, neighbours and colleagues.

Join the Avaaz and GetUp campaign at: ; for more detail check the main website:

Please pass this email on to as many people and organisations as possible.

Click on FORWARD to send the original English version. If the person you send it to does not read English, they will see the Translate button. Also delete any personal message before the title "An email to change the world".

Add an interesting or memorable "flash of insight" to the end of the email.

Every tenth person please include the campaign author in your email distribution as below.

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William Plain


[Version date: 27th August, 2013. Check the version date on the website at If more recent than your email, you may wish to replace the text above with the later website version. Keep the "Here's my insight" below with each sender's 'insight'.]


Here’s my insight, please add yours

[Read insights in other languages by copying into: ]

Person number:

1. I've long tried to find the 'key word' that can 'make a difference'. I tried 'awareness', and then 'attentiveness', even 'silence', but finally realised that it is 'flash of insight' which allows us to step outside of the conditioned brain, outside of 'self'. 'Insight' brings understandings which are precise to this moment and this situation.










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© William Plain  1990-2016 (print) 2005 - 2016 (website)