Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

There has been a powerful surge of energy in the group over the last few days, suggesting, perhaps, the imminent emergence of a higher degree of complex organisation and purpose.

The energy and activity—distributed across various threads—appears to be building around a group agenda (roughly) along the following lines:

(1) Defining the problems we are addressing—building a definitive, systemic map of the (interrelated) global problems. Focusing initially on the issues rather than the solutions.

(2) Defining and assembling the sensemaking tools necessary to address the problems.

> An audit of the existing tool set
> A wish-list of what's missing from the existing tool set
> A means to federate and build upon the existing tools

(3) Connecting with the wider community

> Other people who are working on similar tools
> Other people who are working to address the problems in different ways
> The practitioners whose work the tools may assist
> People with the resources to catalyse the development of the tools and potential new institutional forms

(4) Defining a charter / ethos of the group. Identifying and exemplifying the patterns of interactions that we aim to encourage more widely in society.

(5) Other items?

> Defining a mission statement to post as a fixed item at the top of the Ning main page for new visitors / members.

> Should we make the group fully open now or continue to grow via invitation?

> Should we federate other tools around Ning (and, if so, which ones) or should we look to move to an alternate platform (e.g. Drupal or Wordpress mu?)

A tool missing from the Ning feature that might help us to flesh out, refine, and coalesce around the agenda is a Wiki. So as an experiment I have posted the agenda above on a Global Sensemaking wiki, created using DekiWiki.


Splitting the locus of the discussion in this way may not be a sensible idea—and if this proves to be case we shouldn't hesitate to abandon the idea (or to build on it in a different direction).

Feel free to add comments on the agenda (and/or on the Wiki idea/experience) here as well.

Once we have fleshed out the agenda, we can focus on an action plan for achieving our goals.

[UPDATE 3rd June 2008: Wiki switched to DekiWiki, which looks like a more promising longer term option for the group. I have changed the links above accordingly].

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Been. Did some. Great job Andy. Thanks.
Nicely done, Andy.

I added a few comments.

I also added a Bibliography page. In my own comments on that page, I point out that if I were to just copy and paste my literature review bibliography into the wiki, it now spans roughly 12 MS Word pages, meaning the Bibliography at the wiki would be an enormous page. I suggest that perhaps we need a set of top level categories as a way to break the Bibliography up into separate pages.

I'd like to know what others think before I start tossing in references.





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