Anne “Metamurf” Murphy & myself put in a proposal for a deliberative democracy project with an Australian state government agency. We didn’t get the gig but I was mighty pleased with the proposal (& I am rarely pleased with my proposals). So Anne & I took out much of the situation specific detail and turned it into the following short paper. It’s an attempt to meld our mutual interests into something more than the sum of their parts. If you don’t recognise a term, then try here.

Have a read and tell us what you think.

Read Wicked here

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13 Responses to Wicked

  1. Lindy Amos says:

    Hi Matt and Anne I read your collective change cycle ideas with great interest – that will be no surprise to you Anne! I am truly a believer in synchronicity – today I commenced my pre workshop reading for my masters thesis – which of course is an action learning piece of research for my Masters in Org Dynamics… and yes well the research methodologies I have been reading about, fit very nicely with the Collective Change Cycle you describe… how lovely for me and also great confirmation for me to fuel some of my emergent ideas, thanks for the gift!!!!

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  4. Thanks for the opportunity to read your proposal. I found it both interesting and helpful. You’ve reminded me of knowledge I gained when studying.

  5. Ron Lubensky says:

    A grand vision, but way too ambitious to pilot, methinks. We have enough of a challenge just getting a deliberative process convened, let alone the rest.

    I don’t think you can apply a swiss army knife approach to all contexts. For example, organisational stakeholder contention has quite different dynamics and outputs than public policy determination. Also, a change problem such as market or technology adaptation is quite a different kind of wicked to the resolution of ideological difference–facing both is diabolical!

    So I’d simplify, it will be easier to pitch 🙂
    And avoid lefty words like “collective” 🙂

    All the best!

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  10. innotecture says:

    Linda & Shirley – Glad it rang some bells with you both!

  11. innotecture says:

    Hello Ron – I don’t think ambitious is necessarily bad. This is really a positioning piece – indicating that there is a broader landscape of opportunities & associated techniques beyond “deliberation”.

    Now I agree that a “one size fits all” approach does not work for different kinds of political issues. But I don’t think we’re proposing that. As you note “organisational stakeholder contention has quite different dynamics and outputs than public policy determination” but we wouldn’t propose the same process for both. The question I would put to you is: What commonalities do those situations have? What similar patterns of behaviour occur in both (possibly expressed in differen ways)?

    And we’re definitely dealing with politics here. While technology adaption/adoption is often a complex issue, it’s not our focus here. There’s a solid tradition of looking at policy issues as wicked problems so I don’t feel uncomfortable using that term.

    I don’t mind using vaguely socialist language either – I think it’s going to come back in this next decade (after all, we had drainpipe trousers in the decade just gone, anything is possible).

    I think the really important thing that we DON’T tackle enough is conflict. It’s kinda there in the background but I think we shy away from it to a certain extent.

  12. Ron Lubensky says:

    Thanks for your clarifications about how you would apply your framework, which see now is metaphorically more an umbrella than a prescription.

    There is a lot of talk right now in NCDD about how to draw more conservatives into deliberative fora in ways that respect libertarian perspectives. I suggest this applies to all participatory endeavours. Language is important.

    I especially agree with your final para about difference. In an important article in the current issue Journal of Political Philosophy, Jane Mansbridge draws many of the most eminent scholars of deliberative theory into a collaborative recommendation that conflicting interests and power have to be surfaced and negotiated, rather than ignored in a homogenising process of consensus-seeking.

  13. Paul Culmsee says:

    We are doing this right now in Perth through technology, a sensemaking craft and a new problem structuring method that has its roots in multicriterial assessment.

    Below is the first of several case studies to come

    Click to access Alliance_Casestudy1.pdf



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