Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

I just added a challenge to the wiki: (lack of) political will:

All kinds of partial challenges can be listed and worked out. However, if the political will and sense of urgency to act is lacking, it will all be to no avail.

The book "Six Degrees" by Mark Lynas provides a very clear summary of state of the art (2007/2008) scientific climate change results, organized by expected occurrence and impact as the planet heats by 1 degree, 2 degrees, etc. It also suggests a range of policy actions. This action-oriented framework could be a very good conceptual hub for the sensemaking framework emerging from ESSENCE. Sensemaking alone, however, won't be enough. It should be actionable sensemaking, sensemaking that suggests (1) stakeholders and (2) (policy) actions required to address these issues.

In other words, one critical issue that we should address is: how to put the maps to good use? How to model the alliances of stakeholders, organizations, policy-makers that would have an interest in contributing to/making use of the maps? What needs do they have? How can we satisfy those needs in such a way that the action networks around the maps become self-sustaining?

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Bravo, Aldo, I think this is spot on. Creating good maps and interfaces to work with them is just one challenge, the other being just what you say. How do we put them to good use?

I've read one, maybe two papers, that people here have referenced which have to do with the impact of maps and mapping on users, and we could use more of that sort of information. Meantime, the only way I know of to do modeling of stakeholders and their needs -- which is a prerequisite to software design work in any case -- is to approach it just like we do in the commercial world. Find some of them and conduct interviews, walk-throughs, build and play with prototypes, etc. Otherwise we're left with nothing more than a generate-and-test approach -- how 'bout this or this or this? -- which is about as inefficient as it gets with long cycle times and little feedback (and consequently a lot of frustration). We have discussed some of these things but not in a concerted way.

I've experience doing this in a commercial setting where everybody has an interest in the outcome because there is money on the table and at least a fuzzy understanding of what the problem being addressed is. So there is motivation and participation all around. Not sure how to go about it without that sort of direct, focussed engagement so have been hoping to make the right kind of contact. I'm very eager to work on an energetic group project.

Until such a project is available I think it is valuable to act as our own customers. That is, everyone here has needs to make sense within some sort of community and many of us have current or had past jobs that are similar to what I think of as our "target customers'."

One place where I might be able to contribute is in the area of organizational development which is all about stakeholders, organizations, and policy-making. Not that I'm an expert, but I've done some work in that area and have a keen interest in it. There is certainly a rich literature to draw on. The way I think I can contribute is to tap some friends who are professional OD consultants for ideas and perhaps even encourage a couple into direct involvement with us. That's not the same as having an organization as a true end customer but would IMO be a step up from where we are now.

I suspect others here have similar experience/background that we can draw on.
Hi Andy,

Sorry for the late reply. One of the problems with all these fragmented tools with quite high tresholds to retrieve where you left off is that it is so easy to get distracted and lose the flow of conversation. Something else we should be looking into to make things work...

Would be great if you could get some OD consultants involved! Perhaps we should start an argument map on trying to get this all sorted out. I am with Mark Aakhus in New Jersey now, let us try to get started on one with what we have now.






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