Democracy is in the business of continually creating a new narrative … oral, textual, and graphic … that can move through and transform communities. While some voices within the Club of Rome have railed against the shortfalls of distorted democracy (and we can see their points), there are few alternative governance approaches which we feel can carry our faith through the changing cycles of national leadership. Continue reading
The Chairman of the board of a municipality of 10.000 people in Cyprus, Mr. Spyros Elenodorou, has agreed to construct in his new municipality building a DEMOSOPHIA Observatorium, which has been a dream of Drs. Christakis and Warfield for over 30 years. DEMOSOPHIA means “Wisdom of the People” and reinforces the idea that citizens will now have a place where they can visit and gather a view of the ideas that are taking shape in their community. AGORAS (Community) Observatorium
The Observatorium is a physical (or virtual) place, whose building interior contains a variety of rooms, and facilitates rapid familiarization with their contents by the persons who navigate it. The visual and virtual displays in the Observatorium are tailored to help navigate the complexity in understanding situations, societal evidence and policies, both broadly and in depth. The facility is meant to expose to participants the nature of a large organization, its problems, vision, and an ongoing status of collective efforts to resolve shared concerns.
Comparison with the planetarium for shared viewing of the complex field of stars in the universe, by presenting meaningful presentations is self-evident.
The first step in resolving issues related to large, complex systems is to provide a well- designed situation room, equipped to enable groups to work together effectively. The second step is to carry out whatever prolonged design work is required, using processes proven to be effective, yielding visual displays of the system patterns that hold understanding of the logic underlying the system. The third step is to embed the results of the second step in the corporate observatorium, where insight into the large, complex system comes both at overview and detailed levels, according to the efforts put forth to comprehend what is seen in the sequenced displays.
John Warfield had promoted a similar proposal throughout his career, based on the Triad of policy design espoused by Harold Laswell. The Social Planetarium, Lasswell’s concept, was one of 3 systemic practices advocated for policy design and co-development:
- Decision seminars
- Social Planetarium