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Society 2.0


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"Society 2.0: designing an action research into the next civilization " is an updated version of the talk I gave at the "2gether08" unconference in London, July 3, 2008. A downloadable version (complete with clickable links), its context and related conversation can be found in the Jump Time Players blog, .

Published in: Technology, Education

Society 2.0

  1. 1. Society 2.0 designing an action research into the next civilization presented at 2 gether 08 : a festival of ideas, popular technologies and progress London, July 2-3, 2008 George Pór george (at) community-intelligence (dot) com CommunityIntelligence Ltd Quotes and diagrams on slide 5, 6, and 8 are from « Lifecycle of Emergence: Using Emergence to Take Social Innovations to Scale» by Margaret Wheatley & Deborah Frieze, 2006 .
  2. 2. What Time Is It in the World? Jump Time! “ In evolutionary theory, Jump Time is known as the time of punctuated equilibrium -- when a species is living at the edge of its tolerance in a state of gestation and ferment and suddenly jumps into a new order of being…” -- Jump Time , by Jean Houston As the poet says, “the old world is dying, and the new is yet to come...” “ The future is already here, only not evenly distributed...” disruptive innovation, cyborgs, citizen media gift economy, peer production (wikinomics), open source, distributed cognition, We-Think , collective wisdom
  3. 3. Emergence “ In philosophy, systems theory and the sciences, emergence refers to the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions... Systems can have qualities not directly traceable to the system's components, but rather to how those components interact.” “ At each level of complexity entirely new properties appear. Psychology is not applied biology, nor is biology applied chemistry. We can now see that the whole becomes not merely more, but very different from the sum of its parts.” Wikipedia The arising of new unexpected structures, patterns or processes jazz groups playing live formation of snowflakes “ cathedral” built by termites, the Internet, caterpillar --> butterfly
  4. 4. Emergence - a “Metasystem Transition” Perspective “ Consider a system S of any kind. Suppose that there is a way to make some number of copies from it, possibly with variations. Suppose that these systems are united into a new system S' which has the systems of the S type as its subsystems, and includes also an additional mechanism which controls the behavior and production of the S-subsystems. Then we call S' a metasystem with respect to S, and the creation of S' a metasystem transition... The major steps in evolution, both biological, and cultural, are nothing else but metasystem transitions of a large scale.” The Metasystem Transition , by V. Turchin and C. Joslyn How many snowflakes does it take to break a branch? Only one, when all the others are already there.
  5. 5. Networks «Coalitions, alliances and networks are forming as the means to create societal change. There are ever more networks and now, networks of networks. These networks are essential for people finding likeminded others, the first stage in the lifecycle of emergence. Networks tend to have fluid membership; people move in and out of them… » Developing shared meaning and purpose Facebook , LinkedIn , Wiser Earth Entrepreneurs for Sustainability Gaia Community , World Forum of Civil Society Networks
  6. 6. Communities of Practice « Networks make it possible for people to find others engaged in similar work. The second stage of emergence is the development of communities of practice (CoPs)… People share a common work and realize there is great benefit to being in relationship. They use this community to share what they know, to support one another, and to intentionally create new knowledge for their field of practice There is an intentional commitment to … share those discoveries with a wider audience. Good ideas move rapidly amongst members. New knowledge and practices are implemented quickly. The speed at which knowledge development and exchange happens is crucial , because local regions and the world need this knowledge and wisdom now. » Developing new practices together CoP in local government (UK) , CoP on partnership (EU) , CoP at IBM , CPsquare , WorldBank
  7. 7. Temporary Autonomous Zones “ The Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ) describes the socio-political tactic of creating temporary spaces that elude formal structures of control… The best way to create a non-hierarchical system of social relationships is to concentrate on the present and on releasing one's own mind from the controlling mechanisms that have been imposed on it.” (Wikipedia) Spreading new practices, seeding new networks and communities Burning Man , barcamps , unconferences , such as: 2gether08 , Reboot , SHINE
  8. 8. Systems of Influence « This stage in emergence can never be predicted. Systems of Influence It is the sudden appearance of a system that has real power and influence. .... The practices developed by courageous communities become the accepted standard. People no longer hesitate about adopting these approaches and methods and they learn them easily. Policy and funding debates now include the perspectives and experiences of these pioneers. Emergence is the fundamental scientific explanation for how local changes can materialize as global systems of influence. As a change theory, it offers methods and practices to accomplish the systems-wide changes that are so needed at this time. » New practices become mainstream Council on Social Action (UK) Corporate Social Responsibility C-40 cities
  9. 9. Designing a Large-Scale Action Research 1. Form a hosting team to discover and practice the art of hosting conscious evolution 2. Use « Theory U » as the methodological foundation for large-scale action research 3. Make the whole visible to itself and its parts through social media, Social Presencing Theatre and Evolutionary Nexus The evolution of an idea Large-scale group communications at TranspacNet (1986) Designing for the Emergence of a Global-scale Collective Intelligence (2001) Jump Time Players (2008- ) Next actions: Source: Theory U by Otto Scharmer
  10. 10. Call to Cartographers of the Emergent Planetary Humanity Connecting the circles on the “Systems of Influence” diagram leads to the one above, where the apparently separate vortices touch, interpenetrate, and discover that they are enfolded parts of the new whole of social practices and organization. How could the new maps help increasing the connectivity in the ecosystem of evolutionary initiatives, which is a condition of the “Emergence of a Global-scale Collective Intelligence.” (Paper is downloadable from here .) Where are the cartographers of the vast ecosystem of emerging change initiatives in all areas of social life? This is a call to form our community of practice. If you feel called, contact George P ór . What could become possible? What could become possible if we had good maps of today's world-changing movements and disciplines, and their inter-relatedness? Maps that show the parts how they are related to the emergent new whole... How would such multidimensional maps look like and be used?