Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

Bringing order to online discussions about climate change

A nice introduction to the MIT+Naples activity in Nature...

Bringing order to online discussions about climate change

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Comment by Andy Streich on May 30, 2008 at 3:54
That's a very useful article, Simon. Thanks. I share your idea that the active role of moderation is central to achieving something useful. I hope we can make that an explicit goal of Global Sensemaking tools.

We have on the one hand a lot of interest in creating data-driven tools that do things like data mining and are associated with semantic web ideas. That's all good. Personally, I'm quite interested in the what I think of as the other side of the equation. How do groups form around a purposeful activity? How do they organize to create goals and plans to achieve those goals? How do they make decisions? How do they ratchet forward toward delivering useful results?

The Climate Collaboratorium is a very positive and useful step to create an environment in which a large group of people can create a "semantic net" around a topic like climate change and mitigation. What I'd like to work on is adding the moderation component which my gut/experience tells me is all about group dynamics, goal and plan formation and adjustment, decision making, .... All the things an engineering manager has to think about when being tasked to deliver a product.
Comment by Andy Streich on May 30, 2008 at 4:03
So, thinking about the title of this post, I'm all for bringing order to discussion of wicked problems. More than that, however, I'm interested in going beyond discussion to action. The discussion of climate change can go on forever, even if well ordered. What we need desparately (thinking about George's recent post about urgency) is action to limit greenhouse gas emissions, find alternatives to fossil fuels, change the way the global economy works, and all those other wicked things. To me, that means enhancing the way we reach decisions and change behavior. I want to be involved with the human side of that.
Comment by Andy Streich on May 30, 2008 at 4:04
Our own Global Sensemaking group is a great case study in both respects. Can we build tools that help people discover new knowledge? Can we build tools that help people form productive groups that are dedicated to solving problems that change behavior?

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