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08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O1
Fourteenth International Conference on Knowledge,
Cult...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O2
Evolution of Society (1)
• Evolution of human society ...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O3
Growth of Knowledge in Geology
1945-2000
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O4
Evolution of Society (2)
• In closed systems, more div...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O5
Social Consciousness &
Organizations (1)
• The primary...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O6
Social Consciousness &
Organizations (2)
• New organiz...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O7
Technology Alters Both Social
Consciousness & Organiza...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O8
Boulding Triangle
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O9
Internet & Who We Are
• Digital Natives have more conn...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O10
Blind Men & the Elephant
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O11
Internet & What We Do
• Economies of scale & knowledg...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O12
Internet & How We Coordinate
Ourselves
• Citizens don...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O13
Out of Date Assumptions
1. Government is the ultimate...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O14
Re-imagining Government
• Misalignment between Intern...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O15
Government Options
• Partner: Governments and citizen...
08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O16
Thank you
Christopher Wilson
Senior Research Fellow,
...
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Re-imagining Government

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Presentation examines how the Internet culture is creating alternatives to government or forcing it to change.

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Re-imagining Government

  1. 1. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O1 Fourteenth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organizations Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 4-5 August 2014 Re-imagining Government: The Internet Will Make Governments Unrecognizable By Christopher Wilson, Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa Monday August 3rd , 2014
  2. 2. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O2 Evolution of Society (1) • Evolution of human society has occurred on the basis of ever more complex systems of collaboration (Wright, 2001) • This trend has 2 components: – increasing diversity of human thought; – the increasing complexity of systems of social cooperation that mitigate the conflicts that arise when diversity increases. • The increasing diversity of thought stems from: – Juxtaposing people with different backgrounds, histories, cultures and perspectives >> innovation & the global village; – More innovation >> increasing specialization among members of society that has raised social welfare; – But more specialization leads to even more diversity in thought and action, i.e. human diversity is growing – E.g. prior to early 1980s, less than 50 fields of academic study, today Wikipedia lists 1475 fields -- a 3000 % increase.
  3. 3. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O3 Growth of Knowledge in Geology 1945-2000
  4. 4. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O4 Evolution of Society (2) • In closed systems, more diversity increases entropy or the state of disorder. • To counteract the disorder, systems must become ‘open’. • In human systems this means bringing in new perspectives, knowledge, resources, capacities from outside leading to more social diversity & increasingly complex mechanisms of social cooperation to offset the effects of potential conflict (Law of Requisite Variety) • The increasing complexity of social cooperation has evolved not only from attempts to neutralize disorder (the stick); but also more importantly as a means to enhance social creativity and collective welfare (the carrot).
  5. 5. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O5 Social Consciousness & Organizations (1) • The primary mechanism of social cooperation is, loosely speaking, organizations. Organizations represent the structures by which individuals agree to work together. • Organizations evolve in complexity as human consciousness evolves (Fredric Laloux, 2014) – “every time humanity has shifted to a new stage, it has invented a new way to collaborate, a new organizational model.” • 7 organization shifts mediated by changes in social consciousness – – Basic reactive, animistic-ritualistic, impulsive (ego-centric), conformist (ethno-centric), achievement (rational), pluralistic (shared values) and evolutionary (self-actualizing) • Each new shift in the prevailing assumptions, worldviews and paradigms embodied in human consciousness, calls forth new organizational paradigm through which human cooperation is manifested. – “Every time that we, as a species, have changed the way we think about the world, we have come up with more powerful types of organizations.”
  6. 6. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O6 Social Consciousness & Organizations (2) • New organizational paradigms do not entirely replace previous ones – “never before in human history have we had people operating from so many different [organizational] paradigms all living alongside each other.” - Laloux • The presence of the different organizational forms & their different animating states of consciousness add further to social complexity and the challenge of governance. • Our structures of government were designed when the notion of meritocracies was just beginning to gain a foothold and shared-value and evolutionary type organizations had not even been contemplated
  7. 7. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O7 Technology Alters Both Social Consciousness & Organizations • New technology alters our sense of who we are, what we do, how we do it & how we cooperate – Tools >> separation of man & nature (ego-centric) – Writing >> codification & sharing of abstract thought – Printing press >> popularization of ideas; mass education; dismantling of rigid, hierarchical societies (conformist) – Steam engine & electricity >> machines; global industrial political economy; global institutions (achievement & pluralistic) – Internet >> access to answers, anywhere, anytime; global peer-to-peer connectivity; mass collaboration (evolutionary)
  8. 8. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O8 Boulding Triangle
  9. 9. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O9 Internet & Who We Are • Digital Natives have more connections, more knowledge, experience more sharing of knowledge, more innovation & expect more transparency • Answers are not important. Finding the ‘right’ questions are more critical – a social task • Diversity is the beginning of complex solutions not something to be feared • Collaborating & working with others is natural • DN’s more confident in their own voice; more empowered; more participative & more willing to jump in to sincerely make a difference • DN’s less deferential to authority, less trustful of both leaders and government & less confident that government can solve problems • Desire to realize a grand purpose, one that can unfold both their own & humanity’s potential
  10. 10. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O10 Blind Men & the Elephant
  11. 11. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O11 Internet & What We Do • Economies of scale & knowledge w/o giving up the human benefits of small orgs like freedom, creativity, motivation, & flexibility • Elimination of top-down hierarchy – Ineffective, distrusted, holacracies – Not positional power that commands respect but the power to help others achieve their goals – Coordination is not imposed but emerges in a climate of openness, generosity and shared purpose • Collaborative economy – "the competitive paradigm cannot be fully appropriate" - Summers & deLong – “the open-source culture of the web has taught us how to share, and made sharing a default of social interaction” – Badger • Internet not a technology but a psychology experiment – ‘work’ is less & less about building things & more about understanding how people react to things. Routine work to robots – Fail Fast: Fail Often
  12. 12. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O12 Internet & How We Coordinate Ourselves • Citizens don’t trust leaders or governments • They doubt gov’ts are willing or able to develop the plans & create the partnerships to solve complex issues • Concern that democratic foundations of gov’t being eroded • They see bureaucracy as unable to integrate Internet culture • IT is not the solution: the amount of data & complexity growing faster than new technologies • “do-it-yourself” form of democracy preferred over the old passive & paternalistic system of parties, reps & elections. • If everything is disintermediated & decentralised, then “let’s crowdsource government” & “put citizens in charge” • Urgent need to create an open, trusted platforms for citizens to connect & cooperate, eg. OpenParliament.ca; Loomio.org; RandomHacksOfKindness; DemocracyOS
  13. 13. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O13 Out of Date Assumptions 1. Government is the ultimate authority for divining social needs & setting social rules 2. Government knows best - it has special insight into the ‘public interest’ 3. Government has all the resources needed to solve social problems 4. Government has all the coercive power needed to affect solutions 5. Government has ethical & moral purposes that transcend those of its citizens 6. Government affects collective tradeoffs by bringing reps of various interests to one place to engage in elite accommodation 7. Government is the only actor trusted enough to deliver public goods and services -- like education, healthcare, public infrastructure, steering the economy and provision of social supports 8. Only Government can keep you safe 9. Government is obligated to reinforce traditions of leadership and followership 10. Government changes slowly which is to the betterment of all.
  14. 14. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O14 Re-imagining Government • Misalignment between Internet based society and traditional public sector institutions threatens the legitimacy of gov’t – Just because it was done in the past is no rationale for how it should be done in future, eg. the secession of Silicon Valley • Alternatives to gov’t for social coordination are growing, eg. Brazil’s orçamento participativo, or Ushahidi-Haiti • The public sphere is changing -- education, healthcare, transportation, economic development & social services – either they no longer need gov’t support, or have become so complex that gov’t intervention is ineffective • New Public Interest needs: connectors; trusted brokers; facilitators of collaboration; conflict resolvers; creators of a platform for citizen cooperation; impact assessors; partners in governance – Demand is for ‘G’ government to move to small ‘g’ governance
  15. 15. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O15 Government Options • Partner: Governments and citizens can jointly re-imagine how they want to be together and how they can best work together as partners to create a future that everyone wants; • Irrelevant: Citizens can move forward independently with social coordination provided by a growing Internet of Things, for all intents and purposes seceding from the world of government altogether; or • Threat: Government can stage a coup to try and reassert its control over a population that is neither ignorant, incapable, homogeneous, isolated or deferent.
  16. 16. 08/02/14 Christopher Wilson, Centre on Governance, University of O16 Thank you Christopher Wilson Senior Research Fellow, Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa wilson@telfer.uottawa.ca Tel: 613-355-6505

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