Greetings to all of you.
I am the author of the Reader's Guide to PLATFORM FOR CHANGE, based
on Allenna Leonard's recommendation to Stafford shortly before
Wiley's published the second edition.
I have been receiving this thread almost since its inception. This
is my first response.
I think that we have two challenges, and most of the discussion up
until now has focused on one of them: how to improve the applications
of the Viable System Model so that we can sell it to the world that
needs it so desperately. The other challenge is to build on the
ideas as an organization ourselves using Internet technology (email
and web site) to grow our communication so that we can create the
world Stafford's tools have offered us.
The ideas are symbiotic, recursive, and I believe reflexive. We
should focus some energy not so much on how to tweak applications of
VSM as how to build more effective information flow amongst ourselves
(fans of Stafford's many ideas and tools).
Mon, 27 Nov 2006, Angela Espinosa/Alfredo Moscardini/ Paul Stokes wrote:
>We are pleased to announce the forthcoming Metaphorum Conference, to be held
>in St. Gallen Business School on March 9th, 10th 2007
>Unfortunately - again due to limitations on time and resources - we cannot
>employ the Syntegration protocol as we would have liked. Nonetheless, we
>will endeavour to provide an open space for all to present and discuss in a
>We have not forgotten either our commitment to call for elections to
>Metaphorum's board and will inviting opinions from all members before
>(those not attending) and during the event (those attending), who are
>interested in making decisions at that level.
>We are looking forward to receiving your expressions of interests - and
ideas for papers - as soon as possible.
I will not be able to attend the Metaphorum in March, but I encourage
you to think about writing a paper and creating a discussion about
how to better communicate amongst ourselves, as one of the primary
issues to be addressed at the Metaphorum.
I don't think it is good enough for Angela, Alfredo and Paul to
invent some governing structure, or that we hold elections; as much
as they are important, they are not enough in and of themselves. I
think we need to evolve a new method of reflexive decision structure
that allows us to be able to participate electronically in ongoing
decision taking. I am suggesting that we figure out a way to have
an ongoing syntegration electronically. As Stafford loved to say,
the whole point of the syntegration was to transcend Heisenberg, to
get to the point where the discussants could be honest about their
process. This is a serious problem within decision structure,
especially for organizations that intend to grow, evolve and have
This is my seed of an idea, which is really only a slight enhancement
of what we are already doing:
set an annual conference, and see it as a wave, and then create
within the web site a component that is a real accountability of that
wave of information/decision, create a construct for the individual
wave, with the intention that the next annual wave will actually
build on the information and communication created by the creation of
the next wave during the ensuing year.
The visualization is that the Metaphorum is a convergence of
energy/people/papers in one physical location for a limited time,
with a burst at the end to the universe, to be captured on the web
site (as well as possible) and refined for a year in our individual
alchemy crucible-like minds through emails and some kind of ongoing
blog on the web site.
I would like to have us essentially do an ongoing syntegration in
annual stages. St. Gallen can provide a report to the web site that
can be the grounding for the rest of us to converse about until the
next Metaphorum. I wouldn't want it to dominate the discussion, and
would hope that parts of the Metaphorum would continue to explore and
enhance applications of VSM, adding to the discussion about how to
bring VSM to a larger section of the world's consciousness. I just
know that in the ecological analysis of the organism, a healthy
organism devotes 90% of its energy to its internal organization, and
it seems to me that we have been expecting our leaders to do the hard
work of the administrative details to keep everything going, and it
would be healthy for us all to be able to help make this a viable
system for progressively improved discussion and internal decision.
Sort of simultaneous System 1 and System 3-4-5, as I understand the
model, but then, I have never claimed that I understand VSM. It is
Stafford's larger vision that captures my imagination. PLATFORM FOR
CHANGE is the work he was doing because Chile provided him with the
opportunity to show it's success. We have a lot to give to the
world, and I hope we can figure out ways to be effective, both
internally as a network/organism/organization and outwardly to the
greater environment of social consciousness.
For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to: www.platformforchange.org