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Probable future trends

The Future of Leadership: reframing the unknown (Part #5)

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See note (38)

Increasingly rapid organizational creation, evolution, adaptation, and dissolution is to be expected with rapid membership turnover and constantly changing patterns, of inter- organizational interaction, including splits and mergers. The rate at which people or organizational units link together in response to newlyperceived problems will increase. This will be facilitated by improvements in communication technology. Some information systems may even be deliberately designed to bring increasingly improbable combinations of bodies into the same organization on very specific issues for very limited periods. (39)

New styles of INGO may arise as a result of contacts between the mixed government-voluntary sector organizations encountered in many socialist and Third World countries and the intersect organizations in the West. The influence of the position of the People's Republic of China in the debate on INGOs within the United Nations may prove to be particularly significant in this respect. Disillusionment with coordinating "umbrella" and other inter-agency organizational mechanisms will lead to more sophisticated use of information systems to link organizations and by-pass the behavioural and "territorial" problems of "super-INGOs" to the point of substituting for many of the functions performed by them.

The difficulty for society to organize itself in advance in preparation for unknown problems which no existing official body is mandated to recognize, will lead to greater recognition of dependence on the network of nongovernmental bodies as "lookout" and "first-aid" institutions before the problem is politically respectable. It will be recognized that the network will "generate" organizational forms appropriate to the problem.

The option of channelling project funds through the most appropriate body under the circumstances, whether it be governmental business, academic, or nongovernmental will gain greater acceptance. The organization of response to a problem will become much more complex as many interdependent channels in the network are used.

The effectiveness of INGOs will come under increasing criticism and new, more sensitive, criteria for evaluating their performance and significance will be developed. (One possibility is the development of a variety of organizational indicators, similar to corporation stock indicators, to show the utility of contribution through a particular nonprofit body.)

The number of regional INGOs will increase. It is also probable that the number of INGOs formed from sub-national level NGOs will increase as the fragmentation of the nation-state becomes a social reality. The territorial basis of representation will become less significant.

It will increasingly be recognized that INGOs and voluntary organizations constitute a participative, possibly part- time, career opportunity and a viable alternative to the frequently alienating and dehumanizing environments of the government and business sectors. This recognition by young people will be accompanied by a rejection of bureaucratic INGOs and the adaption in some cases of a new style of operation, which may have more of the features of movements and, possibly, networks of communes. This is also a central notion in Mitrany's thought.

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