In this pilot study, which served as the initial provocation for  the Summer of Protocols, we aimed to capture the gist of the preliminary conversations that led to the program. We also aimed to establish a minimal common-ground foundation for program researchers, including a rough working definition of protocols, and an initial inventory of salient characteristics and phenomenology deserving of further research. Our goal was not to provide definitive answers, or even identify a comprehensive set of important questions, but only to offer a set of initial provocations. As we expected, over the summer, researchers critiqued, challenged, and expanded upon the ideas in this study. If you’re just getting started, this essay should get you oriented and ready for the deeper dives in the rest of the research.

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