Federal Information News Syndicate
Communicating the emerging philosophy of the Global Information-Age
Monday July 24, 2006
Photo Image of The Enlightenment Team in World Premiere LoD WebScope Email Dialogue.
Flinders International Asia Pacific Institute, Adelaide, South Australia July 20-21, 2006.
From left to right: Back row: Jim, Rob, Penny, Jon, Mai Vu
Front row: Denise, Kim, Geoff, and Nadira
World Premiere WebScope Email Dialogue:
"Root Cause Map" Points of Failures of Democracy
By Vigdor Schreibman
Isle of Crete, July 21, 2006. World history was made in a synchronous global interactive WebScope Dialogue commencing with lead facilitator Aleco Christakis from Crete, Friday at 2:30 AM on July 21, 2006. We were all together with a group of nine students of "Democracy and The Enlightenment" brought together in an extra mural project from the Flinders International Asia Pacific Institute (ISPI), in Adelaide, South Australia on Friday 9:30 AM on July 21, 2006, with other members of the Knowledge Management Team (KMT) in various locations in the United States, meeting on Thursday 8:00 PM on July 20, 2006: Kenneth K. Bausch, an expert in systems sciences and Marie Kane, an expert in corporate marketing, located at Fayetteville, Georgia, Diane Conway, computer software and Internet conference system operator, located at Paoli, Pennsylvania, and this reporter/observer from FINS in Washington, DC. A Global Boundary-Spanning Dialogue, all together in the world of Cyberspace, at different local times and places.
The method employed in this dialogue folows the Structured Design Process (SDP), described in How People Harness Their Collective Wisdom and Power (Feb 2006), which Christakis wrote with Bausch.
The World Premiere demonstrated a WebScope Email Dialogue methodology advanced by the advocacy of LOVERS OF DEMOCRACY, in an effort to bring about a shift of the global paradigm toward democratic sustainability and away from capitalist decadence, with a strategy to make a better world happen using the SDP invented by Christakis. With the WebScope application of SDP LOVERS OF DEMOCRACY can link in real time a diverse collection of interested scholars, ordinary citizens, government and business persons, and engage the group in the revolutionary SDP developed over the past three decades to resolve complex issue of social, cultural or political policy and evolution.
During the week of WebScope Email Dialogue, between July 14 and July 21, the KMT guided the student participants in their asynchronous response to a triggering question: "What factors will help significantly in rescuing the enlightenment from its failings?" During the first six days, from Friday through Wednesday morning, the students generated a set of 49 factors, using only their computer pc email facilities, and these factors were carefully clarified so that everyone had a good understanding of the meaning of each others ideas. The set of factors generated by email were then classified into 9 clusters, and prioritized subjectively by relative importance. The KMT organized all the information efficiently and periodically returned pertinent KMT Reports to the student-participants, who were the "content-experts" of the group dialogue, so that they could concentrate their attention on producing the content of the dialogue. Then on Thursday morning, the seventh day, the whole group engaged in a synchronous focused and open dialogue via the WebScope for approximately three hours. At this session the student group at Adelaide, South Australia guided by lead acilitator in Crete, with the KMT in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC produced a "Root Cause Map" disclosing the influence tree among the factors of higher relevant importance, which allowed the group to discover the root causes of the failures of "Democracy and The Enlightenment" which could guide future collective remedial action.
The "Root Cause Map" disclosed three factors that must be remedied before a recovery of "Democracy and The Enlightenment" which are under intense investigation could likely be realized. These are the true drivers in the very complex issues addressed by the graduate student group. The first of these root causes (Factor 15), points to the extremes of either optimism or pessimism that guides public administration and political economy. This contrasts with research that shows the large benefits of policy guidance, not by experts but by the common people. See e.g., YANKELOVICH & HARMAN, STARTING WITH THE PEOPLE 18, 13 (1988). The second root cause (Factor 14) discloses the need for improving local governance by using local knowledge. And the third root cause (Factor 7) discloses the need to make room for the exercise of power by minorities. Overcomimg the three root causes are the key to generating mutual respect and a set of factors leading to greater trust, which are essential elements of success of any community or society.
Participating in the extra mural project, under the guidance of Aleco Christakis, lead facilitator and past President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences were: Rev. Geoff Boyce, Chaplain at the interfaith center at Flinders University; Jon Deakin, Ph.D. student member of Australian Research Council team, studying participatory democracy; Rob Donaldson, Chief Executive Officer, City of Holdfast Bay; Penny Moore, Governance Manager; Kim O'Donnell Research Assistant, member of Co-operative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health; Dr. Jim Schiller, Academic specialising in participatory democracy and decentralisation in Indonesia; Nadira Sultana Graduate student studying gender related issues; Dr. Denise de Vires, Member of ARC team studying informatics and engineering; and Mai Vu Ph.D. student studying decentralisation and strategic planning in Vietnam. Other participants who have contributed discursively include: Sudarmo, Ph.D. student, Dr. Paisal Nanudorn Thailand, Norma Romm, South Africa and Zambia, currently doing Aids research, Professor John van Gigch, USA, Dr. Jae Yu, South Korea. The Team Leader was Janet McIntyre (not in the photo), Senior Lecturer at The Flinders Institute of Public Policy and Management (FIPPM)..
I asked Executive Evolution President, Marie Kane, to comment as she watched the synchronous dialogue, concerning her vision of the global significance of this new technology. This is what she said in an email sent to me Saturday, July 22, 2006:
It is incredibly exciting when I consider the potential of the Webscope Email Dialogue process. Now people from all corners of the globe will have a feasible methodology to discover the true drivers in their most complex issues, while simultaneously clarifying their thinking and building cohesion around that issue. When they also do Stage 2, they will create consensus action scenarios focused where they will have the most impact, while simultaneously educating one another about possibilities. I cannot imagine a more practical, feasible, real world approach to tapping collective wisdom in a way that will really make a positive difference in our world!
Future development of the method will be enhanced by a distance learning program planned by LOVERS OF DEMOCRACY so that everyone everywhere can have an affordable way to learn how to lead group dialogue. Check out the Distance Learning SYLLABUS! The global dialogue communications via telephone and Internet conferencing was subject to local weather disturbances and power outages. These interruptions will require careful monitoring in future applications of the method to assure best practices. Overall, the process left little doubt about the potential spectacular benefits that will likely result from the revolutionary Structured Design Process, and WebScope Email Dialogue utilized in this historical test application.
This report was prepared as a public service without fee
by Federal Information News Syndicate (FINS),
Vigdor Schreibman, Editor & Publisher.
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