Review: Designing a World that Works For All – Solutions & Strategies for Meeting the World’s Needs – 2005-2013 Labs

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Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Medard Gabel

5.0 out of 5 stars Co-Creator with Buckminster Fuller of the Analog World Game, The Gold Standard for Serious Games 4.0, September 4, 2014

Medard Gabel, co-creator with Buckminster Fuller of the analog World Game, and architect of the digital EarthGame(TM), is “root” for anyone who wishes to do holistic design, true cost economics, serious games, and open source information-sharing and sense-making. He is too little known, very modest, and does not get the deep attention that he merits.

I have participated in his design seminars, and am always thrilled at how well they work. Everyone starts out working on “their” problem, generally an issue in isolation, and around the middle of the week-long seminar, all the different teams experience the “aha” moment when they realize that they cannot succeed in isolation, that all the challenges need to be addresses by everyone working together.

For me Medard Gabel is the “gold standard” and none of the serious games, however well-intentioned they might be, can be helpful beyond their narrow niche for lack of the holistic understanding and the information-sharing and sense-making architecture that Medard provides for — mostly human, not technical at all. As Russell Ackoff likes to say, what is good for one part of the system might be very bad for all the other parts — Comprehensive architecture and prime design — all threats, all policies, all demographics — are essential to our moving past the toxic industrial era of reductionsim and separation that we have fostered these past two hundred years.

I rate this book, because it is a collection of the best of the best from past books, some of which I reviewed at the time, at six stars instead of five.

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Sep 4

Review: Designing a World that Works For All: Solutions & Strategies for Meeting the World’s Needs

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Amazon Page

Medard Gabel

5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary Sequel, Second Book in Series,October 30, 2012

This is the second book in the series, the first was Designing a World That Works for All: How the Youth of the World are Creating Real-World Solutions for the UN Millenium Development Goals and Beyond. They are different books, not the same book. This book brings in new perspectives and new initiatives from the design labs that occurred after the first book was published.

I have known Medard Gabel for close to a decade, and while disclosing that he is one of the contributors to the non-profit Earth Intelligence Network that I funded when I had money, I consider him, as the co-creator with Buckminster Fuller of the analog World Game, and as the designer of both the digital Earth Dashboard for the UN and the digital EarthGame for all of us, to be in a class of his own. He is unique.

Medard Gabel is modest–the blurbs do not do justice to him or his work or the incredibly talented and imaginative individuals (not just youth, but mid-career professionals) that he attracts to this calling.

I have participated in two of his design labs and recommend them to one an all. Everyone enters with their own issue area (urban planning, energy, whatever) and halfway through they experience the “aha” moment (epiphany for Republicans)–everything is connected and NOTHING can be planned, programmed, budgeted, or executed without integrating everything.

As Russell Ackoff likes to say, what is good for one part of the system might be very bad for all the other parts. Comprehensive architecture and prime design–all threats, all policies, all demographics–are the future.

Other high-level books that I recommend with this one are:

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Oct 30

Reference: World Game Document One

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Click on Image to Enlarge

167 Page PDF

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Apr 17

Reference: A World That Works for All

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A World That Works for All

Building on last week’s REVIEW: Buckminster Fuller’s 1928 Ideas & Integrities this week I want to honor one new book and reinforce that book with mention and links to several others, all of which make the same point in different ways: we have the power to design a world that works for all.

2010-12-06-coverdesigningworld.jpg

Designing a World That Works for All: How the Youth of the World are Creating Real-World Solutions for the UN Millenium Development Goals and Beyond (Volume 1) by Medard Gabel and his many international students is in my view revolutionary — a milestone in human applied thought. Having attended two of his design sessions with some of the students he has mentored in this long-running endeavor, it has been my privilege to share in the “aha” experience when half-way through the session all of the smaller teams working on disparate things like agriculture, energy, transportation, water, etcetera suddenly realize that everything is connected and nothing can be designed properly unless it is understood in relation to everything else.

Medard was the co-creator with Buckminster Fuller of the analog World Game, and has recently drawn up the preliminary cost and process estimates for creating the digital EarthGame in which we all play ourselves at every level, with transparent access to “true cost” and all other relevant information.

2010-12-06-SteeleFigure26CostofWarversusCostofPeaceProsperity.jpg

Separately, in support of a forthcoming book, Medard has documented the reality that we can create a prosperous world at peace for one third the price of what the USA alone spends on elective wars and a global armed secretive presence (over 750 military bases world-wide, all at taxpayer expense). The rigorously researched graphic of relative costs is his, used with permission, all rights reserved to him. Together we all seek to create a Big Bat 21 for the public that funds a World Brain and Global Game such that every public everywhere has better information and more aggregate insight than any government or corporation or international organization.

2010-12-06-SteeleFigure21IntelligenceMaturityScale.jpg

Medard, who founded and manages BigPictureSmallWorld, has influenced me greatly, as have many others, but few in such sustained depth. Kirkpatrick Sale and his book Human Scale, Paul Goodman and his 1960’s bookCommunitas, are among the critical voices that led me to publish Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace (edited by Mark Tovey with 55 contributors), and to write and publish Intelligence for Earth: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability; as with all my books, the latter two are free online. It was with all these minds in mind that I recently created a new graphic to depict how ignorant and ill-suited to our needs are the secret intelligence communities of the world (the US is spending $75 billion a year for what one general says is “at best” 4% of what we need while another says it is all completely “irrelevant” to our forces engaged in combat as well as stabilization & reconstruction).

I agree with Gregory Unruh, who has written that transparency is the Internet’s killer app, and also with Jeff Jarvis, who writes of the shift in power from secrecy to transparency. Still, I credit Alvin and Heidi Toffler with the earliest and most developed recognition (in PowerShift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century) that information is a substitute for violence, wealth, time, space, and labor.

2010-12-06-SteeleFigure24EpochBBottomUpPublicLeadership.jpg

However, having access to information is not enough. There needs to be a change in mindset and a change of the game such as Gandhi accomplished in India and Tom Atlee has suggested for us in both Tao of Democracy and the more recent Reflections on Evolutionary Activism. As Russell Ackoff urged in his paper “Transforming the Systems Movement,” we have to stop doing the wrong things righter and focus instead on doing the right things. In my view, the two-party tyranny and its shadow substitutes No Labels and Americans Elect as well as IndependentVoting.org, are all efforts to mislead the public into thinking that we can stick with the status quo electoral system that has been thoroughly corrupted, we just need to elect the “right” kind of people. Not so.

Below I list tiny handful of especially insightful books on changing the game, and my two lists of lists that sort all my recent reading in easy to access categories. Designing A World That Works For All boils down to clarity (not the theater we get now from politics and the media); diversity (all of us — every single one of us, as informed participants in our self-governance); integrity (not something visible in any organization with shadowy financial backers and hidden agendas); and finally, a commitment to sustainability (playing for the long term, for our children and their children).

Put simply, and now that the Internet and GroupOn and Twitter and other emergent capabilities make this possible, the time has come to end Rule by Secrecy and top-down decision-making that is not in the public interest. We now have the power–both technologically and financially–to create a Big Bat 21 for We the People (imagine 100 million citizens paying an average of $10 each) to fund a public intelligence network, a public policy network, and a public budget oversight network, all three working at all levels from municipality to county to state to nation to world. Joe Trippi and Zephyr Teachout proved that We the People can–in the aggregate–outspend Wall Street….but we have to want to!

In my view, and I wrote about this as Obama’s Choice, we have in the next 30-90 days a transformational opportunity in America. We can demand Electoral Reform (1 Page, 9 Points) of every single one of our Senators and Representatives, and of our President, and we can demand a roll call vote on this simple restoration of public sovereignty — those who vote against it can be recalled by their constituencies and replaced by the 4th of July 2011. Restoring the clarity, diversity, and integrity of our electoral system in time for 2012 is what Buckminster Fuller would call “Prime Design.” It is fundamental. Absent that reform, everything proposed by the government, the corporations, the two-party tyranny, No Labels, Americans Elect, IndependentVoting.org, the churches, the unions — none of it is relevant to getting America back on track. Electoral Reform. Now. “Yes, We Can” Change the Game.

See Also:

Review: The leadership of civilization building-Administrative and civilization theory, symbolic dialogue, and citizen skills for the 21st century

Review: The Great Turning-From Empire to Earth Community

Review: Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution

Review: Reflexive Practice-Professional Thinking for a Turbulent World

Review: Society’s Breakthrough!-Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People

Review: Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative)


The author is unemployed and seeking righteous work. Have brain, will travel.

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Dec 6

Review: Designing A World That Works For All

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Amazon Page

Medard Gabel (Author), Design Science/Global Solutions Lab (Contributor)

5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary–a Milestone in Human Applied Thought

November 30, 2010

I have looked over the galley that is free online (as are all my books) and consider this to be a milestone in human applied thought. I have bought it here at Amazon, confident this is going to be one of the few books that I do not donate to George Mason University, which took over my entire library when I joined the United Nations in March 2010.

Medard Gabel is modest–the blurbs do not do justice to him or his work or the incredibly talented and imaginative individuals (not just youth, but mid-career professionals) that he attracts to this calling.

I have participated in two of his design labs and recommend them to one an all. Everyone enters with their own issue area (urban planning, energy, whatever) and halfway through they experience the “aha” moment (epiphany for Republicans)–everything is connected and NOTHING can be planned, programmed, budgeted, or executed without integrating everything.

As Russell Ackoff likes to say, what is good for one part of the system might be very bad for all the other parts. Comprehensive architecture and prime design–all threats, all policies, all demographics–are the future.

See Also:
Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure
Redesigning Society (Stanford Business Books)
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace
INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainaabilty

Vote and/or Comment on Review

See Also:

DesignScienceLab Book Page

Full book (8.9 MB)

Announcement (934 KB)

Purchase Directly

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Nov 30

About: EarthGame and World Brain

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Medard Gabel

Medard Gabel

Medard Gabel, #2 to Buckminster Fuller in creating the analog World Game, is a founding member of the board of Earth Intelligence Network (EIN), a 501c3 Public Charity, and has devised the preliminary architecture and cost estimate for creating the EarthGame, which we trademarked in his name.

Click on the logo below to read his two-page estimate, subject to inflation adjustment, of what it would take to create an EarthGame with “true cost” information on all elements and universal participation by all humans.  This is infinitely scalable.

EarthGame Pleliminary Plan

EarthGame Pleliminary Plan

The complete concept, unrealized and lacking funding amidst the global financial meltdown, is centered on the creation of a World Brain in which the EarthGame is the primary public policy-budgteting dialog tool, and all individuals are able to use hand-hell cell phones to both access all information in all languages all the time; and to play themselves at all levels, local to global (panarchy is the opposite of anarchy).

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Oct 22

Journal: Spinney, Boyd, Green, Kuhn on “Can America Be Salvaged?–Public Intelligence Aspects”

Idiocy in America

Idiocy in America

This lengthy piece is organized as follows:

1)  Chuck Spinney on how our partisan “leaders” are disconnected from reality and leading us over a cliff, with reference to John Boyd.

2.  An extract and link to the always brilliant CounterPunch where David Michael Green discusses the core issue: Can America be salvaged?

3.  A Phi Beta Iota editorial commentary on Thomas Kuhn (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions), Robert Steele (Paradigms of Failure, Data Pathologies), and Howard Zinn (A Power Governments Cannot Repress).

CHUCK SPINNEY: The article in Counterpunch by David Michael Green, “Can America be Salvaged?” is an brilliant expository argument describing  what are in effect the destructive outcomes of self-referencing/incestuously amplifying OODA loops that are becoming ever more disconnected from reality.

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Sep 19

Journal: Missile Defense as a Metaphor

Strategic Analytic Matrix

Strategic Analytic Matrix

The Obama Administration means well, no question about it.  They simply do not know what they do not know, and no one within the US Intelligence Community appears capable of speaking truth to power.

The truth that needs to be spoken is that Washington lacks both integrity and intelligence (as in thoughtful holistic decision-making).  Washington lacks a strategic analytic model, it lacks a commitment to eradicating the ten high-level threats to humanity (terrorism is ninth, a traffic accident, nothing more), and it lacks a process for harmonizing budgets and behavior across twelve core policy domains as illustrated below.

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Sep 18

Worth a Look: Medard Gabel, EarthGame and More

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Professor Medard Gabel

Professor Medard Gabel

Medard Gabel was for many years #2 to Buckminister Fuller, and a co-creator of the analog World Game.  As a founding director of Earth Intelligence Network, a 501c3 Public Charity, he created–and retains ownership of–the EarthGame.

Earth Tools = Serious Structured Games

Earth Tools = Serious Structured Games

Below are four specific modules that can be used NOW to excite both students and executives about the importance of sustainable design, strategic analysis, and the unity of knowledge–what E. O. Wilson calls Consilience.

Advise the President
of the United States in the
Presidential Advisor Game
learn more …

Save the World
from climate disaster in the
Climate Change Game

learn more …

Green Your Campus
in the
Campus GreenGame

learn more …

Bring Peace to the World
in the
World PeaceGame

learn more …

Other BigPictureSmallWorld programs and simulations include the LeadershipGame, The FutureGame and our week-long summer program at the United Nations and Chestnut Hill College—the Design Science Lab.

Phi Beta Iota strongly recommends anything and everything that Medard Gabel has created and offers.Give him a call to see how one of his programs will fit into your program today at 610.566.0156!

NOTE:  We *will* create the World Brain and the EarthGame, it is only a matter of when, not if.  Get started now by engaging Medard Gabel to show you how you can make sense, make strategy, and advance the common good while achieving your own worthy goals.

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Sep 10

Journal: EarthGame–What DoD & NATO Want, What Can Be Done Faster, Better, Cheaper

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Full Story Online

Full Story Online

Sentient world: war games on the grandest scale

Mark Baard

23rd June 2007

Perhaps your real life is so rich you don’t have time for another.

Even so, the US Department of Defense (DOD) may already be creating a copy of you in an alternate reality to see how long you can go without food or water, or how you will respond to televised propaganda.

The DOD is developing a parallel to Planet Earth, with billions of individual “nodes” to reflect every man, woman, and child this side of the dividing line between reality and AR.

Called the Sentient World Simulation (SWS), it will be a “synthetic mirror of the real world with automated continuous calibration with respect to current real-world information”, according to a concept paper for the project.

Full Story Online

Full Story Online

A ‘Second Life’ for NATO Staffers

Katie Drummond

September 4, 2009

This isn’t the first time NATO has toyed with virtual training programs. In February, they requested a computerized replica of Afghanistan, complete with data on Afghan economics, politics and culture, to be used by war planners in decision-making considerations. And two years ago, the Navy asked for the same thing, but with Iraq as the targeted 3D nation.

Phi Beta IotaEarthGame by Medard Gabel does all this and more, for no more than $2 million a year, with one caveat: it is unaffordable and unachievable if DoD and NATO insist on everything being Top Secret.

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Sep 6