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Thread: Global Redesign Institute as a problem solving platform

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    Global Redesign Institute as a problem solving platform

    Hi!
    As my first post I would like to present my views and ideas regarding Global Redesign Institute in the making. I believe that graphically supported think tank (version currently in the making) should eventually be upgraded with a tree like problem solving platform which would enable large number of participants to solve complex problems in a tree like problem solving process.

    The think tank which enables larger number of participants to develop solutions regarding organization of society and technical solutions, which would enable the human species to flourish, would in my eyes be a big step forward in the Zeitgeist Movement and extremely important for spreading the message around the world. Until now Zeitgeist movement has mostly been communicating values, way of thinking, explaining connections not immediately obvious, which although scientifically sound, cannot really convince larger audience due to lack of real world solutions to support the values. The Global Redesign Institute (GRI) can change this and produce solutions which (if viable) could serve as a tool in addressing larger audiences which need hard facts to support abstract ideas and values. Also worth mentioning is that due to complexity of the task in developing organization of society and detailed technical solutions, large numbers of people developing solutions in an organized and scientifically sound way are the only way to achieve this goal and so far obviously no attempts have been made anywhere in the world to do it in such a manner.

    The need for solutions produced in GRI to be scientifically sound and therefore produced using scientific method is extremely important for two reasons:
    1.)it gives solutions credibility which a “forum like solution creating” does not have
    2.)It would attract experts from around the world to participate and invest more effort into problem solving and creating solutions due to their confidence in the think tank system. This would be hard to expect in a think tank where non scientifically reached opinions would matter and problem solving would not be organized in such a way that only scientifically sound solutions would be accepted.

    There are many ways to organize the GRI to be able to fulfil above described criteria and more heads than just mine would have to step together to find working solution. However, I can provide my views and ideas.

    Problems to be solved

    Although purely technical aspect of society (such as detailed blueprints for cities for example and technical solutions to build them, including labour requirements) is extremely important, it is not worth much alone when presenting it, because organization of society (for example who are participants in scientific decision making in society, how these participants are motivated, how workers in various fields are motivated, what are the relations between various groups of people, what are the societal mechanisms which enable scientific and technological progress, and so on) defines how the infrastructure, goods and services will be produced and its “wise design” can lead to its stability and progress. The meaning of “wise design” means that multidisciplinary teams would in their development of solutions first have to define society`s goals, then problems and then solutions from the widest perspective to the tiniest details, using knowledge from all relevant fields of science.
    Therefore the institute must first tackle the global problem of organization of society, which would be solved using all the fields of science. Due to it being a “soft science” (which means that we cannot expect solutions to be scientifically proven), at some point solutions with least scientific objections must be picked. The development of solutions regarding organization of society would with progress more and more include technical aspects of society, which means that solving technical problems would not start only after the full solutions regarding organization of society would be provided, but instead development of both solutions would be in parallel.

    Technical solutions have to stem from organization of society and also constantly be evaluated as peer reviews from various scientific fields, not just technical (for example technical solution regarding a house would be evaluated from a psychological standpoint and rejected because it would be too stressful to live in and therefore produce undesired anxiety which can potentially lead to a person being less able to socialize). Technical solutions must be developed globally and regionally at the same time (for example, there is one best solution of city design, which is a global solution, but this design must in one region be slightly changed due to different environment, which is regional solution).

    Only after new society would be defined in detail, it would be possible to start developing solutions for transition from present society using same methods.

    Mechanism for creating solutions

    It is important to avoid the think tank becoming chaotic as we usually see in forums which are great to solve simple problems, but fail when the task at hand is too complex. Also due to too much noise, solutions are not easy to find anymore in an unorganized system of problem solving. For scientific problem solving, this structure is not appropriate and does not provide environment where participant would devote much energy and time into solving one particular problem, which would fit into larger picture. Due to this, more formal tree like structure which solves problems step by step is required and in a tree like structure new problems arise from previous solutions and are solved in further levels.

    Formal and rigid structure of solutions developing process has pros and cons. Cons are that process of communicating ideas is much slower than brainstorming on a forum and also some participants can view the structure unappealing and decide not to participate in creating solutions. But however, clearly pros outweigh the cons due to the complexity of the task at hand. Benefits are that steps through which the solution has been developed are easily visible, can be analyzed (reviewed scientifically) again and corrected if needed.

    However, the structure of the think tank must find a balance between rigidity and still being able to be appealing for participants. Too many rules would be beneficial for stability of the problem solving process, but participants, who create solutions in their free time and without payment, would have a certain limit to how much bureaucracy they would like to tolerate.

    Still, the scientific method must be applied, which means that all solutions provided would be accepted or rejected according to criticisms from other participants (a kind of peer review).

    In order for solutions to have scientific validity, all solutions and peer reviews must be in a form of a scientific paper, most important aspect of which is stating sources of information in the paper and following the scientific method throughout the paper. This is not a complex issue to grasp and can be quickly understood by anyone just by reading a few pages of instructions. Every participant should read simple instructions before contributing. Solutions and criticisms to solutions can have many forms, simplest of which can be just naming the original research which has already solved a problem, and most, let`s say, complex one would be original research of problem which hasn`t yet been researched by anyone. Original research usually requires a lot of effort and sometimes money to conduct. It would be very useful if a group of GRI participants would regularly contact universities around the world and try to suggest that someone for example writes a PhD dissertation on the topic. GRI should also offer online publishing of any original research or other scientific papers conducted by its participants.

    Taking all above mentioned into consideration, we can proceed to the system of problem solving in GRI. There could many versions of the system and only time would tell which system is most stable and at the same time allows for reasonable speed of problem solving along with attracting as many participants, most importantly experts from various fields.

    The following is my rough outline of the system.

    Because of complexity of the task, a tree like structure is needed in order for all the steps to be clear when analyzing the validity of the detailed solution at the end. At the beginning, we have to think as widely as possible to determine first goals, determine problems on the way to achieve these goals (again thinking as widely as possible), create solutions to these problems and then (as the next goal on a tree like process is to achieve these solutions) determine problems on the way to achieve them. We continue in this manner until we arrive to final details (solutions) with no further problems on the way to achieve them. I will illustrate the process using grossly simplified examples.
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    Step1: Determining the goal

    Determining the goal which we would like to achieve is first step and here as in all steps it is important to think as widely as possible.

    Example: What is the goal of the diver? After a number of contributors present their papers (which could be even only one sentence long) on the subject, goals are determined using rational consensus. Probably a number of trustworthy coordinators, who understand the philosophy of science and logic behind the process of problem solving in GRI, would be needed to review the papers and determine goals.

    One of the goals: to dive 30 meters deep and return to the surface unharmed

    At this place we have to point out that we tried to think as widely as possible.

    Step 2: Determining the problems (or questions necessary to be answered at this point) on the way to achieve above mentioned goals

    Using same approach as in the step 1, problems are determined.

    One of the possible problems: he cannot breathe under water

    Step 2 presents a number of problems and now the participants try to solve each problem separately.

    Step 3: Creating solutions to certain problem

    Each solution is peer reviewed and later coordinators review the solutions and criticisms. They first determine which solutions have been disproven. Disproven solutions are discarded. Next, other solutions are reviewed and using some criteria (possibly picking one with least criticisms) or a bit subjectively one (or in some cases more than one) is picked as most promising and worth developing further. In this step coordinator`s understanding of philosophy of science plays a crucial role and also debate with participants, who created or criticized solutions, is needed before deciding.

    One possible solution: develop a breathing apparatus which would enable the diver to breathe under water.

    Again we have to point out that we picked the least detailed solution possible here and will go more into details in next step in a tree like process.

    Step4: Determining whether there are any conflicts between this solution and any of the goals (solutions) anywhere in a tree like structure

    This step is very important in order to develop a tree like process as a whole without any conflicting solutions and goals. Again, coordinators must perform this task by reviewing all the goals (solutions) determined anywhere in the process.

    As the tree like process grows larger (more and more detailed problems and solutions) more effort and therefore more coordinators are required to perform this task.

    Example of conflicting solution and goal: If we previously determined that one of the diver`s goals is also not to use any machines to achieve the goal of diving to 30 metres and returning unharmed (this means that we had 2 goals at the beginning and were creating solutions to problems on the way to achieving 1 goal), the solution to develop breathing apparatus would be conflicting with second goal, which means that this solution would have to be discarded.

    Now we return to step 2, but one level higher

    This means that we now in our case determine problems toward achieving solution of “developing breathing apparatus. Again trying to think as widely as possible:

    Example of problem: The air in the apparatus must be contained somewhere in order for diver to breathe it under water.

    A very important step is also determining problems toward achieving this solution and at the same time achieving another solution anywhere in a tree like structure. This step is crucial for achieving uniform creating of different solutions. Most of problems like this will be determined by coordinators because they will be in contact with each other and also constantly search through the tree like structure which we cannot expect from other participants.

    Example of problem on the way to achieving multiple solutions: How can we contain air somewhere in order for diver to breathe it under water and at the same time be able to start the dive from the boat

    In this case we have to imagine that another “branch” created solution to certain problem which states that dive will start from the boat.

    The process continues in the same manner (creating solutions for each problem separately, determining best solution, determining conflicts of particular solution with any of the existing goals and so on) until we solved a problem regarding last bolt on our breathing apparatus.

    However, we cannot expect that the process will run smoothly every time and it is possible that some solutions would be determined invalid after many new levels have been added to it (research went more into the details). In this case this solution would have to discarded and all further levels also.

    The described process is in my eyes one possible option to scientifically arrive to solutions to complex problems. As the problem solving progresses, coordinators would be the key to developing the organization of problem solving process further as they would be most informed about the details and also in contact with participants.

    Coordinators

    Coordinators will be crucial for smooth solution creating because the process of science cannot be fully automated and requires rational consensus. Coordinators will have to be educated in order for them to understand scientific method, philosophy of science, have an overview of different scientific disciplines and be able to determine when solutions provided are scientifically valid, whether enough different views have been presented (views from different scientific disciplines) and at appropriate time write explanation (maybe debate a bit with authors of the proposed solutions prior to this) why certain solution has been accepted and will be developed further.

    Coordinators coordinating coordinators (I know, it sounds funny) will be required and they will be the group which will develop educational materials for coordinators and also be the group which would intervene if there would be conflicts between participants and coordinators.

    Proposal

    I would volunteer to be an architect and supervisor (of course in cooperation with anyone willing to help me) of such think tank. However, enough volunteers have to be willing to participate in the project because it would be quite complex from the very beginning. To begin, a few coordinators (let`s say three or more) who understand scientific method would be needed to create (along with me) educational material for new coordinators and at the beginning also coordinate the work of participants. Lead software engineer and a large number of software engineers (from my past experience with software developing I would say not less than ten) would be needed to develop a quite complex software at the very beginning, not just creating a very simple version and upgrading it as needs arise. I have to point out that I am not a software engineer, so I cannot be a lead engineer. From the beginning the program has to be able to support fast growth of activity.

    What I previously explained was only a rough outline of the think tank and much more complexity would be needed. However, the effort needed to create it is small compared to its potential to bring large number of brains together and to scientifically develop the socio-economic system for the first time. Such approach would also end endless opinion based debates regarding which socio-economic system would be best because every critic will be able to post his scientific paper regarding isolated problem anywhere in a tree like structure and see whether it stands its ground.

    Looking forward to any comments.

    Best regards,
    Luka

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    Senior web developer here

    Proposal

    I would volunteer to be an architect and supervisor (of course in cooperation with anyone willing to help me) of such think tank. However, enough volunteers have to be willing to participate in the project because it would be quite complex from the very beginning. To begin, a few coordinators (let`s say three or more) who understand scientific method would be needed to create (along with me) educational material for new coordinators and at the beginning also coordinate the work of participants. Lead software engineer and a large number of software engineers (from my past experience with software developing I would say not less than ten) would be needed to develop a quite complex software at the very beginning, not just creating a very simple version and upgrading it as needs arise. I have to point out that I am not a software engineer, so I cannot be a lead engineer. From the beginning the program has to be able to support fast growth of activity.

    What I previously explained was only a rough outline of the think tank and much more complexity would be needed. However, the effort needed to create it is small compared to its potential to bring large number of brains together and to scientifically develop the socio-economic system for the first time. Such approach would also end endless opinion based debates regarding which socio-economic system would be best because every critic will be able to post his scientific paper regarding isolated problem anywhere in a tree like structure and see whether it stands its ground.

    Looking forward to any comments.

    Best regards,
    Luka
    Wow, you wandered in my mind!!
    I want to build this system and have been thinking of ways I could make it a reality, because to me, it will be a massively effcient way of solving all sorts of problems. Even philosfical ones! I volunteer to be either, lead software engineer, or one of the many to bring the software (web app?) online.
    I program Object Oriented PHP, Javascript, CSS, jquery, work with databases, XML, sockets, can design and implement massive use sites, efficient code, groud-breaking ideas, atleast breaking the current ground! or a stagnated pool of ideas!

    Count me in, btw, I've just arrived here, looking to implement some similar ideas!

    Kind Regards to all you visionaries!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by freeUsAll View Post
    Wow, you wandered in my mind!!
    I want to build this system and have been thinking of ways I could make it a reality, because to me, it will be a massively effcient way of solving all sorts of problems. Even philosfical ones! I volunteer to be either, lead software engineer, or one of the many to bring the software (web app?) online.
    I program Object Oriented PHP, Javascript, CSS, jquery, work with databases, XML, sockets, can design and implement massive use sites, efficient code, groud-breaking ideas, atleast breaking the current ground! or a stagnated pool of ideas!

    Count me in, btw, I've just arrived here, looking to implement some similar ideas!

    Kind Regards to all you visionaries!!!
    Welcome to the movement, freeUsAll!

    Excellent! Just the skills needed for the job (and the skills which I completely lack). Only the matter of time before we gather sufficient number of volunteers to start developing it. I have to mention that I have experience with leading teams and with software development as a user, not programmer (Through outsourcing I developed quite a complex program which enabled better communication between various people in the company).

    However, still waiting for feedback from leaders of the movement to get green light for it. The problem is that I don`t really know yet in detail what the global redesign institute currently in the making will look like. I believe it would be best to wait for official information regarding GRI and for feedback from leaders regarding proposal before start of development. Hopefully enough volunteers will be available until then so the project can start.

    I was thinking that it would be most efficient to start development with me writing a detailed blueprint (which would include explanations in order for everyone to understand big picture) and then we brainstorm a little bit and make neccesary corrections to the blueprint. When final version is complete, we agree upon who would take particular role and start developing it. Please understand that I would like to be sure that we have green light from leaders and enough volunteers before writing the blueprint because I would have to invest a lot of energy and time into it. Probably a few months of work...

    And I have to say that I am very glad to see that someone else shares my views!

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    I'm Concept/Product/Software Engineer. Count me in!

    Hi Luka and FreeUsAll,

    Sounds like we need to get this ball rolling you can count me in on this roller-coaster for sure

    I have experience in PHP OOP, C, C++, C#, LabVIEW, Java, Photoshop. Taught Electronic Engineer, I have had the pleasure of developing automated test systems for the automotive industry and building tailored products up from scratch. I am also admin for the Website Zeitgeist Movement Chapter Frankfurt | Willkommen im Frankfurt Chapter der weltweiten Zeitgeist Bewegung

    I insist that projects are planned properly so that initial unforeseen problems that may arise are minimised or eliminated. Planning is very important, as Luka mentioned, it may get complicated from early on. We need therefore a good plan and clean way of expressing our ideas and structuring them in a tidy, yet simple, comprehensible manner. Graphical is the way forward I think as lets face it, kids understand images before they can read

    I have created numerous diagrams in UML (Unified Modelling Language) and presented logical mind maps to customers for previous projects, so I could definitely contribute in the early stages of concept design and planning, all the way through to programming.

    I had the honor of speaking in person with PJ the other day in Berlin and he supported the idea of getting a GRI team together and getting some initial concepts together in graphical form. I think that waiting for someone to give us the go ahead is unproductive and not really in line with how the movement works. By using the scientific method, we must test ours ideas and proposals. So lets get the boat rockin I say! I suggest we build a quick, basic Website (Wordpress/Wiki) with credentials for people who are interested in joining the team. Short intro to the site and a place where people can signup. This would also need some basic planning for it. I know a nice Wiki-Tool that we use here in Germany that allows users to show what software and skills they have, as an idea. Once we get a good team together, we can use the Website/Blog/Wiki for communicating within the Team allowing users to collaborate at this initial stage. Once we grow out of the Website, we can dump it for something that we can grow on

    What Luka has written so far is great, so i'm looking forward to realising these ideas and working with you guys.

    Greetings from Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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    Hi Inversion, welcome. Here's an automation project you might find interesting: http://wiki.farmbot.it/Welcome
    We're all in this together by ourselves. - Lily Tomlin

    "I can't put these ideas back in the box." -Jen Wilding

    Behold the turtle, who only makes progress when he sticks his neck out. -A. Terrapin


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dev View Post
    Hi Inversion, welcome. Here's an automation project you might find interesting: http://wiki.farmbot.it/Welcome
    Hi Dev,

    That looks awesome. Thanks for the link

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luka View Post
    'Although purely technical aspect of society (such as detailed blueprints for cities for example and technical solutions to build them, including labour requirements) is extremely important, it is not worth much alone when presenting it, because organization of society (for example who are participants in scientific decision making in society, how these participants are motivated, how workers in various fields are motivated, what are the relations between various groups of people, what are the societal mechanisms which enable scientific and technological progress, and so on) defines how the infrastructure, goods and services will be produced and its “wise design” can lead to its stability and progress. The meaning of “wise design” means that multidisciplinary teams would in their development of solutions first have to define society`s goals, then problems and then solutions from the widest perspective to the tiniest details, using knowledge from all relevant fields of science.

    Open Systems Theory

    1. OVERVIEW
    The version of open systems theory developed primarily by Fred Emery, OST(E),
    has two main purposes. The first is to promote and create change toward a
    world that is consciously designed by people, and for people, living harmo-
    niously within their ecological systems, both physical and social. “Socioecology”
    captures the notion of people-in-environments. Included within this is the con-
    cept of open, jointly optimized, sociotechnical (and sociopsychological) systems,
    optimizing human purposefulness and creativity, and the best options afforded
    by changing technologies. Again, these organizational systems are designed by
    the people themselves. The second purpose is to develop an internally consis-
    tent conceptual framework or social science, within which each component is
    operationally defined and hypotheses are testable so that the knowledge required
    to support the first purpose is created. OST(E) develops from integrated theory
    and practice where the practice involves important human concerns, societal and
    organizational.

    The first design principle (DP1) is called “redundancy of parts” because there are more parts (people) than are required to perform a task at any one given time. In DP1 responsibility for coordination and control is located at least one level above where the work,learning, or planning is being done. DP1 yields a supervisory or dominant hierarchy.
    The second (DP2) is called “redundancy of functions” because more skills and functions are built into every person than that person can use at any one given point in time.
    In DP2 responsibility for coordination and control is located with the people performing the task.

    1.jpg
    Therefore, it is in social science that the choice between the two streams
    becomes stark and consequential for practice. The endless definitions of a
    “human nature,” a static generic concept, contrast sharply with the serial genetic
    construct of a purposeful system as above, one who “can produce. . . .” In OST(E)
    the people who inhabit and purposefully change the world also use conversa-
    tion as preparation for concerted action (de Laguna, 1927) with a huge range
    of skills, motives, and affects (Tomkins, 1963). These people choose, change
    their minds, and in all ways behave just like us. They appear to be an entirely
    different species from the impoverished creatures we tend to find in other vari-
    eties of social science.
    On the line of abstract universals we find people who are
    imprisoned within their skins or other static boundaries such as the life space
    (e.g., Lewin), who must be induced or taught to cooperate (e.g., the Human
    Relations school), who are passively subject to irresistible “drives,” instincts,
    and forces (e.g., Freud), and those who, incapable of directly perceiving real-
    ity, are condemned to guessing it from reading their instrument panel (e.g.,
    Maturana and Varela, 1980). We end up with two quite irreconcilable human
    portraits.
    Last edited by RhythmAnarchy; 11-20-2013 at 08:42 AM.
    Everything Is Possible. Nothing Is True.
    (ψ = Σanψn)
    What do you know when the time is up and the door to the box is opened?
    It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.

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    Hello Chaps,

    Should we perhaps be talking about where and when we should begin? Simple question, infinite answers. But, the simple answers are always the best

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    I'm glad I found this thread. I think this is a great concept and deserves some more thought and action.

    Id suggest gathering everyone interested and having an intitial discussion with the group on google hangout or skype.

    I'd be happy to help coordinate the first virtual meeting about this. If anyone is interested please email me your name, google+ handle, and time zone and I will try and arrange for a time everyone can make.

    Please send information to:
    Evan@theartofe.com
    And put Global Redesign Institute in the subject line.

    All the best!

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