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Enabling Strategies for Viable Futures

Checklist of constraints on emergence of a coherence response to global crisis.

Enabling Strategies for Viable Futures
Beyond binary logic: Solutions vs Problems?
Transcending Agreement vs Disagreement
Enabling possibilities beyond "project logic"
Configuring globally: patterning the resolutique
Engaging with complexity
Re-enchanting engagement through metaphorical enrichment
Reframing strategic articulation to embody dynamic engagement
Uncovering systemic challenges: uncertainty, unknowns, the unsaid and the unexpected
Reorganizing knowledge and unfreezing categories
Mining civilizational knowledge and wisdom
Challenge of faith-based governance
Dialogue mapping and transformative conferencing
Democratic feedback processes and civilizing governance
Eliciting insight: Wiki-Solutions
Enabling experiments with alternatives
Simulation, play and dematerialization
Monitoring strategic initiatives
Self-reflexivity and mirroring

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This is a provisional working checklist of possible courses of action in response to the challenges of the future. It refers primarily to other documents on this site where the arguments are elaborated. The concern here, with respect to the future, might perhaps best be framed by two well-known quotes:

Albert Einstein: To repeat the same thing over and over again, and yet to expect a different result, this is a form of insanity.
George Santayana: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

The preoccupation here is not with mega-projects and initiatives, many of which are on the table, but with the possibility of enabling other modes of framing the challenges and the possibilities for actions with multiplier effects. The strategic emphasis is on low cost experiments with a self-reflexive, self-critical bias -- learning from what has not worked and benefitting from modes of thinking that may have been ignored.

The challenges of humanity call for skills and attitudes more closely analogous to those of the extremes of mountaineering exploits -- perhaps to be compared with climbing the North Face of the Eiger (Eigerwand). These contrast with any conventional assumptions of normality and business as usual. The latter tend to imply, as a caricature, that all is required is to be suitably outfitted, comfortably seated and appropriately animated -- at a safe distance from those risks, but with an enhanced view of them in the expectation of some fatal happening (armed with a cocktail of stimulants should such not eventuate) (Norms in the Global Struggle against Extremism, 2005). Within such a metaphor, the question is what are the "holds" required to navigate the hazards inhibiting identification of viable strategic responses? The brief sections of this document are intended as indications of such "holds".

The range of papers cited here is clustered to emphasize the futures perspective of the title. A more general clustering of Research Themes and Papers is also provided on this site. A previous exercise for the Global Governance Group (Governing Civilization through Civilizing Governance: global challenge for a turbulent future, 2008) also cited a range of these papers, clustered in terms of the strategic responses from a governance perspective under the following headings:

Preamble: meta-themes ("about" responding to the challenge)
Contemporary "myths" governing the relationships of governance and civil society? Integrative schematic: Resolutique and Problematique -- with Imaginatique and Irresolutique
Civilizing governance vs Governance of civilization? Circular configuration of Thinking/Doing categories
Potential response conventionally presented : "Thinking" and "Doing" Elaborating a richer "global identique"
Challenge of governance: metaphorical impoverishment? Interdependence of governance / civil society initiatives
Cognitive challenges of governance Detailed articulation of tabular presentation of Thinking/Doing
A necessarily questionable "open source" articulation?  

The futures perspective, which frames the following clustering (and the writer's background), had also been articulated in a more narrative form in the following:

The intention here is not to suggest that what follows should be read sequentially, but rather to use the headings as indicative of some topics that might be of greater interest. The above-mentioned clustering from a governance perspective makes use of a range of tables and diagrams to highlight interrelationships between the issues and strategic possibilities.

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