Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Case Study Review - Wisdom of the People Forum

It is my understanding that the average number of generated observations during a one-day SDP session is sixty-four. This is why I picked the “Wisdom of the People Forum” as my choice review of the Christakis case studies.

Anything exceeding that average in any significant way, tells us that the complexity of the problem being solved is extremely high, says Christakis. This suggests that the chances of failure are high as well, especially outside of the SDP model presented in his book.

I would be remised if I didn’t mention what I pointed out from chapter 3 at this point. The likelihood of success past the storming stage for a problem of this magnitude is next to nil, according to Tuckman’s 1965 study.

The “Wisdom of the People Forum” held in 2002 generated 79 barriers making the complexity of their proposed project hugely significant. The goal was to prepare the initial foundation to facilitate integration of traditional core cultures into the modern world. What better way to handle such intangibles but with a tool that removes social-emotions out of decision making?

In effort to identify barriers to globalization, Indigenous Leaders began their collaborative work in their well-known traditional style, sitting in a circle, sharing their medicine. At this point my mind ventured back to Second Life. I could just see a bunch of Indigenous Avatars Leaders, sitting about a 3D fire pit. They might have been sharing Lyr Lobo’s witch brew even. Just kidding! But this is the spirit of globalization, is it not?

Using Christakis' SDP, it took this group of forty Indigenous participants and non-indigenous experts, originating from the Americas and New Zealand, three days to narrow a list of 79 barriers down to 8 Consensus Action Scenarios. Nothing short of amazing in my opinion.

This first “Wisdom of the People” forum gave way to an even larger one in 2003, and yet an even larger one in Japan, in 2005. The Advancement of Global Indigeneity (AGI) continues to make progress on their list of actions to this day.

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