Harnessing Social Processes for the Common Good

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal 15 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
John RAVEN, Eye on Society, United Kingdom
The paper deals with ways of tackling the serious ecological, economic, and social problems facing our society. Findings suggest that these problems are not economic but arise from the way society is run.

The solution proposes is a learning and management system which is decentralised, dynamic, and characterised by innovation and evaluation. It will not appeal to those preoccupied with centralised planning, control, orderliness, and narrowly defined efficiency.

The first of three requirements for any radical transformation in society is the creation of a climate of innovation going along with better arrangements for monitoring innovative experiments.

Second, the evolution of much better arrangements is required for initiating the collection of information, bringing it together, sifting it for good ideas, initiating action, monitoring the results, learning from the monitoring process, and restarting the cycle. This is primarily a responsibility for public servants.

Third, new ways of thinking about management, bureaucracy, democracy, and citizenship are required. Recognition is necessary that management has to focus on releasing the energy, creativity, and initiative of others.

Such innovation requires new forms of participative democracy grounded in networkbased supervision of the public service. It cannot not be implemented by central decree. The invisible hand of the marketplace will be replaced by visible monitoring and learning arrangements aimed at understanding systems processes. This will allow the consideration, assessment, and control of multiple determinants of events and identification of a wide range of desired and desirable outcomes.

The main aim of this paper is to help to operationalise a concept of “the information society”. An issue not discussed in the paper, but to which input is expected from the audience, is methodology. What is the appropriate methodology to understand and analyze the systems processes? Systemograms? Computer simulation? If so, which kind of simulation?