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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  December 2006

UCD-STAFFORDBEER December 2006

Subject:

Application of Stafford's ideas

From:

Jon Li <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 4 Dec 2006 08:19:39 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (99 lines)

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
>democratic context.
>
>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 
power.

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

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