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Activity-related problems


Complexity: its constraints on social innovation (Part #2)


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1. The situations identified in the previous section Imply not only

(a) the opportunity for alternative use of some assets currently "blocked" by conventional practices and attitudes, but also (b) the existence of Individuals who (although owners in their own right of some of the assets) could well be willing to make use of some of the other assets if they were available under some innovative arrangement.

The asset-owners could therefore well prove to be asset-users, if they had access to assets located elsewhere or under different conditions than their own. This is particularly true if the availability of assets located at different points within a country or around the globe could constitute, to the extent desired, an attractive framework to support some measure of an alternative lifestyle.

2. In addition to the asset owners, there are other individuals and groups who could beneficially be associated with any alternative approach to asset management if suitable arrangements could be made to ensure that the net result was economically viable and did not result in devaluation or misuse of the assets from the owners point of view.

Rather than identify the individuals or groups who could be users of the assets, it is more useful to identify the kinds of activity in which such individuals or groups could engage.

2.1 Health and well-being: Centers, courses, and related initiatives are an increasingly common response to a variety of developing needs, for example

  • physical: keep fit centers, beauty farms, special cures, etc.
  • non-physical: growth centers, dojos, retreat centers, meditation centers, re-creation centers, etc.

2.2 Intensive care: Centers are increasingly more conscientious care in a higher quality environment for following:

  • the physically handicapped, and the bed-ridden
  • mentally handicapped
  • the aged and those suffering from terminal diseases
  • the gifted and talented (e.g. in the case of children)
  • maternity clinics and convalescent homes.

A special case is the telephone-based service for those in a state of stress (e.g. suicide, anxiety, etc.)

2.3 Knowledge and culture related: It has been recognized that the post- industrial society will be highly dependent on the "knowledge industry". Much knowledge-related activity can be based on alternative environments particularly with the progressive decentralization of communications (telephone, telex, computer links). Examples are: design, programming, consultancy, education, etc.

Such environments are also very supportive of cultural and artistic activity: theatre, music, crafts, etc.

2.4 Conferences: Because of the Increasing dependence of society on meetings, and the increasing inadequacy of existing meeting environments, much could be achieved by developing high quality communication environments - facilitated by the kinds of people who would be attracted by such alternative settings (rather than by the equipment which might be used).


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