My talk here was scheduled some time ago, and was going to be about my new book. I have posted that set of slides at http://tinyurl.com/GSW-OSE . I abandoned those slides when Dr. Umpleby, our host, brought the Provost’s strategic planning process to my attention. First I answered all the questions for all the working groups. I have posted those answers at http://tinyurl.com/GSE-OSW . Then I prepared this brief, which blends what I know with what the Provost needs to know. From where I sit, the Provost’s call comes down to three words: Real Estate, Relevance, and Rankings. If the Provost and the larger body of GW stakeholders will pay attention to this briefing, I am quite certain that GW can become the hub of a Smart Nation, the hub of the World Brain and Global Game, and the first to offer a PhD in Comprehensive Architecture.
I am aware GW promised DC it would not expand – I call on Congress and the Executive to reject that diminution of George Washington’s University, this Special District should be developed for the benefit of all concerned, and the Republic as a whole. Since 1988 I have been the foremost international proponent for the Open Source Agency that has been twice approved in principle by the Office of Management and Budget. All GW has to do is get the Secretary of State to ask for it—at the same time I believe that the Saudis and the JFK Center can come together to raise $600 million for the Potomac Plaza and two new buildings. If GW cannot seize this opportunity, these is nothing more to say – in my judgment this is the ONE THING GW can do to shine for the next hundred years – it makes everything else both possible and promising.
This is the academic side of my proposed solution. Given that the South-Central Campus has space for at least six new buildings, one of them housing the Open Source Agency and the other a Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making Centre (M4IS2), I can think of no greater initiative than to create the world’s first School of Future-Oriented Hybrid Governance, offering the world’s first PhD in Comprehensive Architecture—I designed this PhD and would like to be the first to earn it. The rest of these pieces fall into place along the axis from GW to the OSA to the Department of State to the US Institute of Peace. The Open Source Agency and the revival of the Potomac Plaze, privately funded in return for naming rights, change everything. This is an open path for GW, and I hope the Board of Trustees recognizes that this is a path is the calling of George Washington, and the destiny of George Washington University.
This is the strategic analytic model in four dimensions. The first two consist of the ten high level threats to humanity and the twelve core policy areas. Everything is connected; all research and all teaching would benefit from recasting itself so as to be relevant in these terms. The third dimension is that of the eight demographic powers that are defining the future irrespective of what we do. GW can and should be the first to fully embrace all eight. Finally you have the eight tribes. It is foolish to think any university can be competent without embracing the other seven tribes, constantly, not just on occasion.
Summarizing the Provost’s charges to the four working groups by their titles, what I believe we have is a mind-set challenge. My new book is my capstone work, and I believe that it provides both the philosophical and the intellectual framework for helping GW plan its reconstitution for the future. The essential elements are the commitment to Open Everything; respect for the Eight Tribes; adoption of a Strategic Analytic Model that makes all research relevant to both the ten high level threats to humanity and the twelve core policies; and a deeper commitment to actually being the National University than has been shown before.
In response to the many questions on globalization, I offer solutions that have not been considered before, or if considered, rejected. It is time for GW to move to an entirely new higher level of relevance and ranking, and I know how to make that happen. It demands that GW do the homework; create the long over-due Horizons College; create the World Brain Institute and Global Game and prototype Center for Public Intelligence; and that it leverage the three most powerful neighbors anyone could possible have, the Department of State, the Saudi Embassy, and the JFK Center for the Performing Arts.
In addressing these questions, I find it necessary to point out that policy is too often ignorant, ideological, and out of touch with both strategy and cost. If GW wants to make a difference, it must become the go to source for intelligence with integrity, not something one easily can obtain anywhere else. It must teach the students how to discern truth, how to leverage all eight tribes for shared information and multicultural sense-making. Nothing we now use in the way of information technology is scalable, and much of it is very counter-productive. Big Data is multinational and multimedium. Only open source software and hardware will scale. Open Everything is the key, GW can be the first university in the USA to take that seriously.
We also know that stove-pipes are a means of protecting turf. What the Provost clearly sees is that these stovepipes are severely detrimental to GW’s relevance and rankings. We are graduating people who have learned how to memorize, take tests, and study old knowledge in isolation. I am quite certain that GW must centralize both hiring, and grant applications., the latter with a view to enabling disparate funding sources to nurture integrative multidisciplinary pioneering. I am equally certain that if the Saudi Embassy is the catalyst for the real estate initiatives I have been championing for some time, that GW will be able to design a new expanded national university that will one day be in the Top Ten of the USA, and perhaps—if the OSA and MDSC evolve as I hope—in the world.
I must confess that I initially dismissed this fourth working group. I was very wrong to do so. In the course of integrating my thoughts for this briefing that is responsive to the Provost, I have come to realize that this working group is, if anything, more important than the others. What do you teach a student to do when their government is lying to them every day? When corporations on public charters are lying to them every day? When the so-called mainstream media is lying to them every day? When a goodly number of the sources they have access to are English-language renditions with zero respect for the pain and suffering that has only appeared in other languages? Our Founding Fathers identified the informed engaged citizen as the heart of a democracy. I see huge value in making this working group the baselines for the other three working groups. This is the essence of “why” GW exists.
This is the future. You have to want it. Thank you for hearing me out.
Gwu osa leadership-briefing (2012)
GW’s Future One Outsider’s OpinionREAL ESTATE RELEVANCE RANKINGS Robert David STEELE University Seminar Thursday 15 March 2012
GAME PLAN 2012-2015 2 1SecState asks for OpenSource Agency on SouthCentral CampusSaudis and JFK Center raisefunds for two newbuildings and Potomac 1Plaza ($600M estimate)+ 2GW as hub for design teamincluding all stakeholders Two new buildings on the Plaza, four new buildings on the South-Central Campus.
Horizons College & Consortium for Multidisciplinary Research PhD in Comprehensive Architecture School of Future- Oriented Hybrid Governance
GW PROVOST: 4 Robert DavidSets of Questions Steele: 4 Sets of Answers• Globalization• Governance & • Open EverythingPolicy • Eight Tribes,• Innovation with Integrate EverythingInterdisciplinary • Strategic AnalyticCollaboration Model Harmonizes• Citizenship & Global / Local SharingLeadership • BE the National
Globalization• Capitalizing on research all over the world – Recognize the total fragmentation of knowledge – Do the homework – Elsevier citation analytics• Preparing students for a global society – Heritage College: ethics, analytics, religious studies – Horizons College: 8 tribes, whole systems solutions• Disseminating GW research all over the world – Create World Brain Institute, Global Game – Create prototype Center for Public Intelligence• Restructuring GW as an institution? – Secretary of State to demand Open Source Agency – GW, JFK, Saudis raise funds for Potomac Plaza
Governance & Policy• Translating policy relevance into research – Policy is out of touch with any model or true costs – BE the national university with the model & facts• Building a policy-relevant educational experience – Teach the students how to create public intelligence – Teach the students how everything is connected• Advancing new models of hybrid governance – BE the hub for eight tribes, World Brain, Global Game – Create the open source everything tools & network• Strengthening GW’s position on policy deliberation – BE the lead university for the Open Source Agency – BE the lead university for the Multinational Decision- Support Centre
Interdisciplinary Innovation• Sponsored interdisciplinary collaboration – Do the homework – pay for Elsevier citation analytics – Adopt the model—work on ten high level threats• Preparing students for an interdisciplinary world – Deeply impress on students the model, true costs – Use online options to connect all courses• Promoting an interdisciplinary culture – Centralizing hiring at university level, end school silos – Centralize grant applications, harmonize applications• Enabling interdisciplinary collaboration at GW – Clean-sheet evaluation of all existing buildings and how used – Leverage the Potomac Plaza building as the prestige location for University Professors who lead TEAMS
Citizenship & Leadership• Expanding research on citizenship & leadership – The truth at any cost lowers all other costs – Integrate sciences, religions, & philosophies• Fostering citizenship & leadership skills – Learn to question authority by discerning the truth – Future-proof the university – walk the walk• How can GW be a better citizen of DC and USA? – Future-proof the District of Columbia – Be the National University and hub for Smart Nation• What institutional changes are needed? – Learn how to do Open Space conferences and do many – Commit to Open Everything, adopt these ideas as a whole