Tom Atlee: Whole System Conversations – Voice of the Whole

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Tom Atlee

Whole System Conversations – and the Voice of the Whole

WHO PARTICIPATES IN “WHOLE SYSTEM” CONVERSATIONS? – PARTISANS, STAKEHOLDERS, DOMAINS, AND CITIZENS

by Tom Atlee

Consciously convened conversations have many functions. Many seek simply to get people talking with each other. Others try to bring together what they call “the whole system” to address that system’s collective issues or dreams. Who is involved in these “whole system” conversations?

A “whole system”, in this case, involves all the parties who play – or could play – roles in some social unit or situation. The social unit could be a family or relationship, a group or organization, a community or a whole society. A situation might be, on the one hand, an issue, a problem, or a conflict – or, on the other hand, an inquiry, an opportunity, a shift, or simply a periodic reflection about what’s happening. We can convene conversations around any of these things.

So how do we decide who the parties or players are? How do we “cut the pie” of the whole system? And, if we’re ambitious, how do we elicit a “voice of the whole”?

I see four different approaches to defining who “a whole system” includes. Each approach has its own rationale and appropriate usages. They are not mutually exclusive, but are usually used more or less separately. Perhaps being aware of them and building synergies between them would enhance the power and wisdom of our conversations. These approaches include:

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Phi Beta Iota:  Tom Atlee is in our view the living founding father of Epoch B–there have been others before him, and there are other now, but for us, he is the spiritual center of gravity for doing the right thing now, here, in America.  Please support his work on behalf of all of us.

Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute, POB 493, Eugene, OR 97440
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Sep 27

Reference: Secrecy Report 2011 (OpentheGovernment.org)

See the report (PDF)

 

Steering Committee Members

  • Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists
  • Gary D. Bass, Bauman Foundation
  • Tom Blanton, National Security Archive
  • Lynne Bradley, American Library Association
  • Danielle Brian, Project on Government Oversight*
  • Kenneth Bunting, National Freedom of Information Coalition
  • Lucy Dalglish, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
  • Kevin Goldberg, American Society on News Editors
  • Robert Leger, Society of Professional Journalists
  • Conrad Martin, Fund for Constitutional Government**
  • Sean Moulton, OMB Watch
  • Michael D. Ostrolenk, Liberty Coalition
  • Reece Rushing, Center for American Progress
  • David Sobel, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Anne Weismann, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
  • John Wonderlich, Sunlight Foundation

* chair
** ex-officio member

Thanks to those posting to the National Security Archive Twitter feed!

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Sep 8

Seth Godin: Back to (the wrong) school — inspires a plan to retrain 44% of the US workforce in one year

Seth Godin

Back to (the wrong) school

A hundred and fifty years ago, adults were incensed about child labor. Low-wage kids were taking jobs away from hard-working adults.

Sure, there was some moral outrage at seven-year olds losing fingers and being abused at work, but the economic rationale was paramount. Factory owners insisted that losing child workers would be catastrophic to their industries and fought hard to keep the kids at work–they said they couldn’t afford to hire adults. It wasn’t until 1918 that nationwide compulsory education was in place.

Part of the rationale to sell this major transformation to industrialists was that educated kids would actually become more compliant and productive workers. Our current system of teaching kids to sit in straight rows and obey instructions isn’t a coincidence–it was an investment in our economic future. The plan: trade short-term child labor wages for longer-term productivity by giving kids a head start in doing what they’re told.

Large-scale education was never about teaching kids or creating scholars. It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system.

Of course, it worked. Several generations of productive, fully employed workers followed. But now?

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Sep 5

Steven Aftergood: Open Source Intelligence Act III

Steven Aftergood

Phi Beta Iota:  Act I was 1988-1993.  Act II was 1993-2011.  Act III began with the publication of NO MORE SECRETS with a Foreword by Senator Gary Hart (D-CO).

Below the line in full (or click on links to originals):

OPEN UP OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE

THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE

 

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Aug 25

Steven Howard Johnson: Reflections on OSINT

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Steven Howard Johnson

Phi Beta Iota:  Mr. Johnson is the author of Integrity at Scale, free online, whose many ideas are being integrated into the vision for a Smart Nation Act and the hub of the Smart Nation, an Open Source Agency and global Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2) network of networks.  He is a party to the on-going push to establish the Open Source Agency and create a more competent and ethical America.

– – – – – – -BEGIN REFLECTIONS- – – – – – –

As I look at the Open Source idea, I find myself experiencing a fair amount of dissonance between a methodological vision of open source intelligence, at one level, and at a very different level, an aspirational vision that sees it as a way of disinfecting a misguided and corrupt set of bureaucracies.

One mission is potentially endorsable by the powers-that-be.  The second mission is not.  Ask people to endorse both and it isn’t likely that either will move forward. If corruption prevention is to be the mission, the open source agency will have to find a home outside of government.  If transparency of intelligence is the mission, then perhaps it can find a home inside government.

My second source of dissonance has to do with design and scale.  Open source intelligence is potentially as vast as all the server farms Google will ever own.  How does a relatively modest site, squeezed in between State and Watergate, ever acquire the heft to handle the challenge?  The scope of the mission and the scope of the agency seem out of sync with the scope of the real estate footprint.

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Aug 24

Reference: Smart Nation Act (Simplified) 2011

Click on Image to Enlarge

Original Online (.doc 1 page)

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Aug 17

Tom Atlee: Citizen Deliberations – Chart and Options

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Tom Atlee

Dear Friends

I am quite excited about the progress that has been made in various citizen political participation proposals. All of these clearly have tremendous potential and the articulations of their rationales are becoming quite compelling.

With such innovative deliberative democracy proposals, I want them to be thought through well beforehand, engaging a variety of authorities and perspectives in a search of answers that can embrace that diversity with greater wisdom than otherwise. I am especially interested in finding out people’s concerns and what solutions appear when we seriously seek to understand and address those concerns (this being a basic principle of creative consensus processes and of collective wisdom in general). I consider this vital if we seek to inject sane, powerful initiatives into the kind of toxic political environment that exists today. There is just too much at stake to fail simply because we didn’t explore our design issues sufficiently ahead of time.

With that intention in mind, I have the following twelve thoughts and inquiries to offer. I would love to be part of a serious inquiry into questions like these, both in person and online.

Coheartedly,
Tom

Observations

Comparison Chart

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Aug 16