This blog is part of an online learning platform which includes the Pathways to New Community Paradigms Wiki and a number of other Internet based resources to explore what is termed here 'new community paradigms' which are a transformational change brought about by members of a community.


It is intended to offer resources and explore ideas with the potential of purposefully directing the momentum needed for communities to create their own new community paradigms.


It seeks to help those interested in becoming active participants in the governance of their local communities rather than merely passive consumers of government service output. This blog seeks to assist individuals wanting to redefine their role in producing a more direct democratic form of governance by participating both in defining the political body and establishing the policies that will have an impact their community so that new paradigms for their community can be chosen rather than imposed.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Keeping an Eye and a Thumb on Entrenched City Halls


As stated in a prior blog post, there is no plan to turn this blog into a data journalism site. There is still though a great deal of commonality between the efforts of new community paradigms and data journalism. Partnerships would seem to be a natural relationship. This is particularly true with new community paradigms efforts working from the outside, engaging with entrenched political institutions over a protracted period of time. This takes a more disruptive approach to establishing new community paradigms. Entrenched politicians often use anecdotal stories to support their decisions. Having a thorough analysis of the facts, especially those hidden from public view could help leverage change in a community. Even if a data based story is not of larger publication interest it could still be of importance to the community in which it is occurring.

The first challenge is finding out what data there is available. This can depend upon how consistently open the government is to transparency and open data. Those which have an open approach can offer different methods of keeping current.

Some sites will offer “email alert” functionality. The Doing Journalism with Data, First Steps, Skills and Tool course offers UK government publications as an example, here is the American version. Others will offer RSS feeds (read more about RSS). The course features the Office of National Statistics in the UK and Data.gov.uk. Here in the United States there is Data and Statistics | USA.gov.

This accessibility does not seem to be as prevalent though at the state and especially at the local levels of government and when it is available one needs to be sure that it is providing untampered and unbiased information.

Even when the institution does not offer either email alerts or RSS feeds, there are alternatives available such as ChangeDetection.com which can track changes and send update notifications with or without the willing cooperation of the institution.

There are also advanced Google search techniques that you can use to help determine what sort of information you want and where that information might be.

A Google search though can provide too much information and there can be a desire to focus the search. Searching with an exact phrase by using quotation marks e.g. “crime statistics” has fewer results compared to crime statistics with no quotes. Using a minus sign can exclude data, e.g., “crime statistics” versus “crime statistics” -national, the later will provide a more local and regional focus. You can also broaden your search with a wild card asterisk "*". Using * for example within an exact phrase such as “crime statistics city of * ” will give you a list of websites of cities and their crime statistics. You have to experiment though and the number of results generated does not stay consistent.

You can also try searching within particular types of websites for specific information. Using site:ca.gov "community health” provides community health related websites in California ending with ca.gov. Using filetype:xls will give you results formatted as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, filetype:doc as Microsoft Word documents and filetype:pdf as PDF’s.

Searching for databases is a different matter as the contents of a database might not be visible to the search engine. In that case you can use the word database "search by" instead of filetype. Databases though are the best means of organizing data for analysis if made efficiently accessible.

More advanced search operators such as Google’s advanced search, Google Guide advanced search operaters page and the ability to combine different search operators are also available.

Sometimes, however, a possibly more confrontational approach, using legal avenues to obtain information by requesting it directly from government institutions through Freedom of Information or Right to Information laws is needed, when you cannot find it online. These are rules or regulations that provide citizens access to particular types of information, such as environmental laws.

To understand these legal rules and regulations check with sources for Freedom or Right to Information laws, or connect with people fighting for these laws.

You should speak with the organization in question before making the request, to check if they do hold the data but also anticipate possible exceptions and exemptions. Consider what judgements have been made on previous or similar requests.

The second challenge, beyond gaining access, is considering the means of analyzing the type of information you are seeking, whether it follows changes over time, requiring data over time or it compares items, meaning you need data dealing with the comparison or sometimes you need data that can add context to an issue.

All of this depends though on how the institution maintains its information online and how it provides access to the public. As suggested above, maintaining the data in machine readable form within databases is the best way of establishing a transparent open data environment.

If this is the case then you can request a related data dictionary. If investigating, for example, crime, gender, victim, and suspect information gathered by the police or investigating gifts or hospitality given to individuals by organizations and that information is kept in a database, then a data dictionary can be very useful.

These have data codes, designed specifically for combining data sets that use the same code. The course provides the HES online Data Dictionary Inpatients (PDF) from Great Britain. Here is access to data dictionaries for the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Obviously, it would be easier if all government institutions organized their data this way. This provides a good rationale for supporting open data laws. Often though the data is not so neatly organized and must be extracted.

There are means of collecting and extracting data usually left to those focusing on data journalism. Still understanding these methods so as to better work as or along with data journalists seems a good idea.

A primary means of extracting data is called scraping: using Google Drive spreadsheets or other online tools such as OutWit Hub , Import.io, Chrome extension Scraper or Scraperwiki. With a Google Drive spreadsheet which is available to just about everyone, it is matter of using the function formula =ImportHtml(“URL","query",index) with the URL of interest address in quotations, the type of data format which is either table or list you want, also in quotations and the sequence number of specific table or list that you want which is not in quotes.

As an example, the World Cup has been ongoing for the last few days so the course provides a FIFA webpage that publishes information on football agents in Cyprus. The formula for extracting the first table on the page is =ImportHtml(“http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/footballgovernance/playeragents/association=cyp.html”,”table”,1). Be warned though, you cannot just copy and paste from a Page or Word document or even blog post.

The New Community Paradigms wiki provides a variety of different of organizations, often through Facebook connections, outside the framework of institutional government that can provide knowledge and advice on a range of issues.

You need to map out what you’re interested in and which organizations, both governmental and non-governmental deal with that area. You might also seek other experts or pro-amateurs that collect and publish data by thinking about the people affected by the issue that interests you.

If looking for data in specialized areas of knowledge then you need to understand the jargon or professional language used in that arena. Sometimes you have to pick up the telephone and ask someone.

Data journalism pursues in depth analytical stories that may be beyond the capacity or interest of an organization focused on particular community issues. There may be times though when statistics or data on a certain issue are needed to make a case for change in a community. There are a number of different types of sources of information available to build a case for change.

1) National statistical organizations

2) Local, regional and national governments and departments

3) International bodies

4) Regulators and auditing bodies

5) Charities and non-profit institutions

6) Corporations

7) Professional bodies and unions

8) Open data initiatives in your field

Google’s Public Data page

The Guardian’s datastore

OpenSpending

At some point, these efforts take on the aspects of a long term campaign by an established and organized group rather than one time issues. Maintaining a data library then becomes essential. The course suggests using social bookmarking services such as Delicious or Pinboard.in. This site uses the Diigo Group Page feature for new community paradigms to organize sites and related tags. You can also keep records of your sources in a master document (Google Docs, Microsoft Excel). Proper tagging allows you to find your data fast.

If starting to work as an organized group for change through new community paradigms, then the basic idea behind organizing your means of accessing, extracting, collecting and analyzing data in this fashion is the same as it is for data journalism.

"If you need to do something more than once, get a computer to do it for you," Charles Arthur (The Guardian).

Finally, even if the data is not available or not made accessible by a government institution or city hall, it still raises questions. Why is there a lack of data? What are the implications if certain data is not collected? What about data that exists but is not shared? These concerns still fall under the endeavor to create new community paradigms.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Enabling a Better Tomorrow through New Community Paradigms via Systems Thinking

This post is a ‘two-fer' covering the fifth and sixth segments of the STW/STIA Systems Thinking Certification course.  At this point in the course, we are exploring ways to make things better. We are endeavoring to take the perhaps audacious step of Enabling a Better Tomorrow. This endeavor requires all of the segments which came before it and which could, unfortunately, only be summarized on these pages. Although Enabling a Better Tomorrow has an idealistic ring to it, the actual application to specific situations is more concrete. 

The Kumu map for the segment follows basically the same path as the Enabling a Better Tomorrow approach. The creation of a unique model for a situation starts with assessing the overlaying Reality of the particular Situation. There are Assumptions by those involved in the Situation and Behavior Trends resulting from them. In creating a model of the situation in order to find some means of improving it, the systems thinker seeks to attain a deeper Understanding of the system being studied by understanding the Stakeholders involved within the system, the Boundaries making up the system and the Leverage Points within the system that enable change. These are all then used to make a Strategy which through a process of Adoption is implemented by the Stakeholders creating a new pattern of behavior and hopefully attaining the desired situation.

This is still though only a template for any particular situation but it is important to get the template correct as possible before moving on to the actual situation with which you are dealing. A template is good because it can be applied to a variety of different situations. My situations of interest can be listed under new community paradigms but I knew that I wanted a fairly robust template so for the segment’s assignment I created a model on a Strategy Enabling a Better Tomorrow. The model is an attempt to map out a template for a general implementation plan or strategy for the Enabling a Better Tomorrow process. The difference between what I did and what was presented in the segment was classifying elements of the Enabling a Better Tomorrow into different categories, Underlying Reality, Overt Reality, Modeling Components and Change Management Factors and demonstrating how they could be interrelated differently at different levels. Each element of the model provides links to a deeper examination of that element.

The challenge in actually implementing new community paradigms is that reality is far more complex. Nobody is going to be able to give you the answers to complex problems, especially Wicked Problems on the pages of a blog. At best, they may be able to show you a path or a process that you must undertake for yourself.  The paradox is that one has to deal both with the complexity of the situation being faced and the seeming complexity of finding the means of dealing with it through systems thinking. 

To appreciate this complexity we are going to have to go back a couple of segments to Systems Thinking 2nd Segment - Striving for a Better Understanding.  Understanding comes before enabling.  The second segment provided an overview of systems thinking but the blog post covering that segment only highlighted the main points.  Each Kumu segment map also offers additional information along ancillary pathways. One such pathway connector in that segment leads you to Michael C. Jackson’s System of Systems Methodology (SOSM) framework.

This section addresses the difficulties of integrating systems thinking, or in deciding which system thinking system to select in addressing the problems facing us. Part of the reason this is all so complex is because it involves people and people are complex, particularly in groups. 

The short version is that all system thinking approaches can be categorized in two ways, first classifying the system as either simple or complex, and then by classifying the relationships stakeholders of the system as  Unitary, Pluralist or Coercive. Community governance as envisioned by new community paradigms would fall under the Pluralist classification though could move at times to the other two.  The Pluralist classification could include Appreciative Inquiry, Idealized Design, and other approaches. 

This all goes back to Dancing through the Complexities of Thinking Systematically about Systems Thinking and looking at system thinking itself through a meta lens. 

When looking at the system and extending our boundaries of what we consider the system to be, in addition to thinking about the particular specific issues, we also begin thinking about meta-issues, the meta is the thing to focus on, higher levels of abstractness or about (its own category).

An experiential truth, one that you have to go through yourself, is that these different perspectives between the different systems being examined and system thinking itself, and between the various types of systems thinking and the different levels at which they operate are not as separate and distinct as they seem.  

They may appear so when presented on the pages of this blog but in their consistent utilization, there is a tipping point at which the complexity begins to become more coherent. The uncertainty may remain because that is always a factor within the complexity and some may prefer to ignore both the complexity and the uncertainty. Unfortunately, this is usually unsustainable and leads to unintended and invariably bad consequences. The ‘Moonshot’ challenge is getting the members of your organization or communities willing to work past the hurdles to reach beyond that point.

There is a level of model creation between the empty template of Enabling a Better Tomorrow and the more specific but numerous choices subsumed under Jackson’s SOSM Framework but this one you have to create yourself using the resources made available from the other two levels.

This is the approach that I took in creating the model New Community Paradigms.  It is based on the development template provided by the Strategy Enabling a Better Tomorrow model. It also followed a structure of a more specific example provided by the STIA Certification course. It is though only a rough approximation of what has been developed so far in creating new community paradigms. It still follows the basic principle of modeling pronounced by George Box, “All models are wrong but some models are useful” as discussed in Insight Maker - Understanding Systems Thinking and Systems through Trial and Learning.

At this stage in its development, the New Community Paradigms model is not a realistic facsimile of the New Community Paradigms endeavor nor is any of it applicable to specific situations. It is interesting though how systems thinking is able to incorporate all of the elements together into an organized and useful system that could enable greater understanding in how to create and implement new community paradigms.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Open Data - Left or Right, Inside or Outside, Works for Creating New Community Paradigms

The importance of open data to new community paradigm efforts was realized at the end of last year with the post, Open Data as End and Means of Civic Disruptive Innovation which dealt, in part, with Code for America’s Beyond Transparency related video panel and Open Data - Getting Started video panel. Since then supporting documentation on the topic from a variety of sources has been collected. This issue has support from both the political left and right and from numerous organizations. Two of which are sources that have been followed for some time but have not been featured to any extent on these pages. One works from within government, at all levels, and one works mostly outside of government, actually it pretty much works outside. 

Public Lab for Open Technology and Science is a connected online but still working within their own individual community that develops and applies open-source tools for environmental exploration and investigation by democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-It-Yourself techniques, like hooking camera’s to weather balloons or kites for public mapping. It is a collaborative network of practitioners actively re-imagining the human relationship with the environment. Although there is no claim of any expertise in this area, having a chapter in your community with which to work together seems a logical step. Online, they seem a very cohesive community. How well they are integrated into the community advocacy within their own communities outside of their group circle is another question.  There would arguably be easier and better integration with community governance based on participatory democracy than with the more institutional forms of government.

The group that works from within the multiple levels of government is GovLoop, which has a simple mission: connect government to improve government. We aim to inspire public sector professionals to better service by acting as the knowledge network for government. This is something to which communities striving to create new paradigms would want to be connected.
GovLoop is the largest government niche network of its kind, serving a community of more than 100,000 government leaders helping them to foster collaboration, learn from each other, solve problems and advance in their government careers, as well as being a leading site for addressing public sector issues.
It could also be a potential fifth column against entrenched bureaucratic institutions of government power, a good thing from this blog's perspective. Not that this will be found in any part of the GovLoop mission statement or be anywhere explicitly stated on their webpages but they invariably give support to best practices across the spectrum of government which is helpful in putting pressure on entrenched holdout government institutions and the community making up GovLoop is often sympathetic to the community principles expressed on these pages, at least as individuals if not through their particular institutions. 
Voices from both of these communities have spoken up for important events supporting the expansion of open data in government. PLOTS called for celebration, within their ranks, for the first birthday of the US Open Data Policy and the first open data report. President Obama took the historic step of signing an executive order on May 9, 2013, making open and machine-readable data the new default for government information a year ago. Not that sexy sounding but making information about government operations more readily available and useful is paramount to the promise of a more efficient and transparent government at all levels.
The White House Project Open Data, covers, at a federal level, efforts in  opening data in areas of importance to new community paradigms including Health, Energy, Climate, Education, Finance, Public Safety, and Global Development.
These efforts, which are designed to share best practices, examples, and software code to assist other federal agencies with opening data, have helped unlock troves of valuable data and are making these resources more open and accessible to innovators and the public. Data for which taxpayers have already paid.
Pat Fiorenza, Senior Research Analyst at GovLoop, posted an article, ”DATA Act is a Big Win For Data Transparency", on the passage of H.R. 2061, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013 (DATA Act), the Senate version of which had passed in April, and which the President’s signed in to law on May 9, 2014
 The DATA Act was supported from both sides of the political divide in Washington DC being championed by Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Darrell Issa (R-CA) in the house and Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) in the Senate.
Government transparency, according to Pat, provides numerous means of improving not only transparency, but also business growth and improved government services. Making it as well, in my view, a primary and essential tool for community activists. 
Freely available data from the US, and from all levels of government for that matter, is an important national resource, serving as fuel for entrepreneurship, innovation, scientific discovery, and economic growth. In a time of imposed austerity because of tightening budgets, it can provide a means of combating waste, fraud, abuse and corruption.
Publishing data allows activists to analyze government’s financial data and assess spending trends, and be improved stewards of taxpayer money. Pat was actually talking about government institutions but the idea still works for advocates not on the government payroll. 
John Kamensky, a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and another frequent GovLoop blogger had previously written an article on "Implementing the DATA Act:  Encouraging Signs" focusing on the sweeping nature of the new law and the challenge for public managers to effectively meet the relatively tight implementation timeframe. 
This was the result of a three-year effort to pass the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (the DATA Act) which deals with federal spending transparency based on the success of the Recovery Act’s financial reporting efforts and proposed extending of it to all federal spending.  
Even though the effort was at the federal level, there are still lessons for advocates working at the local level. John, highlighted several key lessons provided by Ed DeSeve, a key leader of the Recovery Act effort. 
These included providing focused leadership from the top with implementation led by well-respected veterans of public service. New community paradigms recognizes that community leadership will remain essential as will dedicated professional public service.
Perhaps more apparent in keeping with new community paradigms is a collaborative governance framework through which to engage networks of affected stakeholders.
If  they can get statutory deadlines established ensuring the urgency to act and get appropriate funding for implementation then it would be an extremely helpful step, although this is likely something that community advocates working outside of the doors of city hall cannot initiate by themselves.
Unfortunately, there isn’t any dedicated funding even with the new federal law, but  other aspects point to hopeful signs of potential success and again provide lessons at the local level.
The effort had virtually unanimous support in Washington. Virtually unanimous community support, if and when it could be achieved, would arguably be as good if not better than virtual bipartisan support in Congress. There would also though still be the need for a commitment to the oversight of its implementation.
The federal effort was supported by the Data Transparency Coalition, an outside group involving industry and non-profit stakeholders that not only supported passage, but more importantly supported implementation. As demonstrated by the New Community Paradigms wiki, communities have multiple advocacy organizations with which to work.
Communities can seek key support and involvement from public interest organizations that are key stakeholders in using transparency to improve citizen engagement and agency accountability such as the Sunlight Foundation.
As John Kamensky said, with the federal effort, any attempt to implement open data policies, regulations and laws will have to face the real challenge of not just complying with the law, but actually acting on its intent to increase transparency, improve performance, and change the culture in government institutions, particularly from a new community paradigms perspective city halls.

By creating coalitions of like minded advocates both outside and inside of government halls, those seeking to create new community paradigms can achieve not only the opening and availability of data but can also create the social networks needed to transform their communities.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Dancing through the Complexities of Thinking Systematically about Systems Thinking

The next segment of the STW/STIA certification course deals with "Thinking Systematically" having previously covered three segments that provided basic concepts and terms, as well as a hands-on tool, Insight Maker, to use in developing and experimenting with those concepts through models.

Now we are going to move close to getting metaphysical but it will be quick and we will come back. The problem is that there is a difference between, in writing or talking about what something is or what something does say dance as opposed to writing or talking about doing that something, even more so with actually doing it, dancing. There is the moon, there is the finger pointing at the moon and then there is a picture of the moon and a finger.

According to Thwink.org, what Systems Thinking does or is as an art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination”, and as science “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment,” of making reliable inferences about behavior by developing an increasingly deep understanding of underlying structure. A modified definition originally devised by Barry Richmond, who coined the term in 1987.

Mostly according because I added the italicized extensions of the definition moving the definition closer to the actual doing. People who do, with conviction, strive toward something they see as concrete. Our attitude towards problems is often less focused on the doing and more on getting it done, completed, finished. We want to be more direct, solve the problem at hand, forget it, then move on to something else.

Thinking is employing one's mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation; to have a certain thing as the subject of one's thoughts. Systemic, as used especially in physiology or pathology, refers to pertaining to or affecting the body as a whole, or pertaining to or affecting a particular body system. Thinking, as a verb, systematically, as an adverb, is then to think in a systematic manner pertaining to a system. It is not enough to recognize and understand a system as a system. Our own thinking must be systematic in the intervention of that system. There is a large disconnect between how obvious this may seem when written down and how often it actually occurs.

In understanding both what dance is or does and in knowing the doing of dance we can move to a higher level of development and begin to symbolically represent dance, to compose dance, to understand what is and do choreography. If we are thinking systematically about a dancer’s injury then we are not merely thinking of only the injury on the body or of a particular body system but also of the larger issues related to the body or particular body system. We could be thinking about diet or exercise or medications, even the dance floor.

If we do not then we not only fail to understand the problem deeply enough, we also take the means of addressing the problem for granted. Sometimes, although not as true as in the past, with no harm to ourselves or anyone else. More and more though we need to go deeper to avoid distant, unforeseen and unintended consequences and circumstances. These type of outcomes are becoming more frequent, especially in wicked problem situations that impact us all through our communities.

In addition to thinking about the particular specific issues, when looking at a system and establishing our boundaries of what we consider the system to be, we also begin thinking about meta-issues, the meta is the thing to focus on as higher level of abstractness or about (its own category). There might be a better general category term for what is being referred to here but its absence makes its need more evident.

The points along the Kumu path of this segment deal with management or meta-management issues that can arise when addressing various systems. These occur across systems involving people, materials, production and end products, time management, avoidance of mistakes, limitations, system fixes, acquiring new learning, organizational culture and behavior, financial relationships, sustainability, and whether the potential exists to become victims of the system or systems of the victim. Each is looked at individually but is also related back to what has been learned previously in the course through Kumu map’s visualization of the relationships.

The approach in addressing these meta-issues of the course though is back to hands-on experimentation, not metaphysical inquiry. The assignment for this segment consists of, “using one of the diagram forms presented to date develop models for two situations which are near and dear to you”. I chose a Causal Loop Diagram based on one of the models presented within the segment, New Learning Inhibited (IM-7018). I cloned the model, substantially reorganized it and extended it but nevertheless still maintained its basic structure.

The result is New Organizational Learning Inhibited through Bureaucratic Over Complicatedness & Corruption (IM-16192). The model is in storytelling format so one uses the “Step Forward” button at the bottom right corner to move through the model. The model is intended to integrate some of the concepts of theories of action, double-loop learning and organizational learning raised by Chris Argyris in, "Teaching Smart People How To Learn” and a number of concepts considered by New Community Paradigms.

The model starts with a balancing loop diagram Problems/Solution Generation (B1) of the commonly found command oriented top-down approach to management based on so-called Newtonian principles (the Newtonian principles are not so-called, the claiming a basis for management is). It needs to be recognized though that this has been, and can still be under the right circumstances, a very successful approach. Management finds problems to solve by use of Command Structure Management. The environment though continually raised new problems, some from the manner in which management has organized the environment and new learning about the environment, as a complicated machine requiring new algorithms is required, which is then applied to the new problems.

There is a point though at which this method begins to break down. Systems move from complicated to complex because they begin to become non-linear and demonstrate emergent properties, or perhaps the ability of the complicated management system begins to lose its capacity to contain those aspects of the always complex system. The approach exhibits “Decreasingly Effective Action” (R1) through “Inappropriate Actions” based on an over-dependence upon “Outdated Thinking, Communicating and Learning”, and the effectiveness of (B1) is diminished.

If the institution attempts to maintain the status quo it can become overly dependent upon “Typical Bureaucratic Intervention” and an increased dependency upon “Defensive Routines” which maintains the appeal of “Outdated Thinking, Communicating and Learning”,  as Status Quo Bureaucratic Institutions (R2). This approach inhibits “New Learning” by the organization and the potential of “Insightful Intervention” which is what the institution needs. This can be true of private or public institutions.

If extended further by institutions then this trend can result in “Corruption of the System” through a “Status Quo Politically Based Corruption of Entrenched Institutions” (R3) to defend the institutions continued existence in its current form, which means maintaining its current form and status of power. It does not even have to be to the benefit of those individuals currently in power. New players can be brought in but the system will be maintained regardless of any well-meaning but ineffectual attempts to change it. This goes beyond the usual idea of corruption as an illegal or unethical act by someone. Corruption of a system is anything that prevents a system from fulfilling its intended purpose. Well-meaning regulations that result in detrimental and unfailingly unintended consequences are therefore corruptions of a system. There is also the ability of institutions such as public sector institutions like city halls to impose legally sanctioned constraints that benefit the few rather than the system as a whole. This is also a corruption of the system. These three reinforcing loops are, in my view, repeated single loops as defined by Argyris which metaphorically twist the system into knots, entrenching the system into the larger environment.

The means proposed for Breaking the Entrenched Loops Reinforcing Loop (R4) and instilling Argyris’ double loop to provide “Insightful Interventions” into the workings of the institution or the system itself is, as stated in the original New Learning Inhibited Model, “Being on Purpose”. This was never actually explained but it still rings true so it is maintained it, my model.

There are two ways under New Community Paradigms that communities can be on purpose. One is community governance, through participatory democracy, as considered through Community Governance and the wiki-pages and related blog posts found under it. It is also believed, however, that this approach needs to be supported or scaffolded through Systems Thinking Approaches so that members of the community are not merely engaged but become empowered with the ability to effectively address the challenges even wicked challenges facing their community. The second way is Democratic Direct Disruptive Design, first, introduce through Open Data as End and Means of Civic Disruptive Innovation and based, at least analogously, on Clayton Christensen’s theory of Disruptive Innovation and extending that concept to Disruptive Innovation in Governance. This is still only part of the strategy that is required though to implement new community paradigms. We will need to incorporate more if we wish to succeed in creating a better tomorrow and we will undoubtedly need, I strongly suspect, some form or forms of systems thinking to accomplish it.

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