Evolutionary Learning Community (Roundtable) -- Alexander and Kathia Laszlo, August 5, 2002
46th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), Shanghai, P.R. China, August 2-6, 2002.
Sunday, August 5, 2002, 8:00 a.m., ELC
This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. These should not be viewed as official
transcripts of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be
directed to the originator. These notes have been contributed by David Ing (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the IBM Advanced Business Institute ( http://www.ibm.com/abi ).
SIG since 1999
A learning community focus on evolutionary change
10 minutes: introduction
40 minutes: presentations, key ideas (5 to 10 minutes each paper)
Papers are in the proceedings.
30 minutes: identifying the key questions that drive the research line
30 minutes: what are the collective questions, that we are all asking together
Kathia Laszlo: The Knowledge, Learning and Society: an Evolutionary Perspective on the Role of Knowledge Management in a Changing World
Believe in dialogue and collaboration
Creation of the future, rather than just learning about what is known from the past.
At the same time, there's a lot of knowledge, and there should be a lot of integration that should be done, if the conversations take place.
Educational systems, and also in business and corporations, family (self-directed, designing communities, not just following the cultural pattern).
Recently working at a business school in Monterrey, Mexico
Interest in knowledge management, applied towards development.
Paper describes generations of knowledge management.
First generation: Capture and registration
Second generation: Using the captured knowledge for innovation
Propose that knowledge management can become a field of interest in the public and social sectors, so that there is an equitable component
Creating value and wealth through knowledge, with a goal other than just creating profits.
A third generation: evolutionary knowledge distribution
More meta-knowledge, taking charge of evolution
A process of democratization of knowledge
It is not about knowledge and know-how, but also meaning and know-why
Expand to societal learning, ethical social innovation and evolutionary development
Background: Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, and then Ph.D. at Saybrook in San Francisco
Was in marketing, and then communications, Ph.D. in human sciences
Questions: how to include the concept of evolution
Working from evolutionary systems theory
The pattern of change in open dynamic systems
Complexity ==> competition, ...
An emergent process.
Isaias Padillo-Pina: Planning of a Virtual Education System for a State-Owned Higher Education Institution
(Student co-author not attending)
Polytechnical Institute, Mexico, differences between the supply and demand of educational services.
At this moment, demand is larger than supply, in both quality and quantity.
To handle quantity, ...
Traditionally, education was to give knowledge to the students, and they would progress.
Now, will give elements of knowledge, and the student will construct the neo-knowledge, but not given by the teacher.
Not just technical communications through the Internet, but the philosophical foundations.
e.g. instead of Pythagorean theorem, give line segments, and then can student can assemble the knowledge.
Have a tv channel, would like to expand this to all of Mexico.
Within a socio-technical system:
Human activity system (managers, teachers, analysts, programmers)
Technique systems (information and communication technology)
through a virtual learning environment, with a plan to educate the society.
Evolution of the virtual education system:
Today, 100% traditional education system.
On Channel 11, create a constructivist way of knowledge (over 2 to 3 years).
In 10 to 30 years, move towards a 100% virtual education system
Will need resources to evolve this change.
The interests different from corporations?
Corporations are interested in retaining knowledge after the employee is left.
Isaias Padillo-Pina: Quality Measures of Evolutionary Changes in Systems
In the physical world, have entropy
What about in the human world?
Information, based on physical energy and matter, can be described in the same way as entropy in the physical world.
Due to similarities between information and the physical world, use isomorph fields to measure the information entropy.
e.g. which investment is better (given different probabilities and different utilities)?
If we calculate expected value of each alternative, and they are the same, then what?
Calculate the entropy of each alternative: lower entropy is better.
Thinking about organizations as open systems, thus they are impacted by entropy.
With high entropy, the company will die.
Are trying to find some kind of instrument to measure this phenomenon.
Information is counter to entropy -- negentropy.
Interested in change that follows human needs, in harmony with the environment
In Mexico, people are interested in change, but through what process?
Process started 10 to 20 years ago.
Would like to have more efficient change, appropriate for a country with technology.
Not just the change, but the content of the change.
Alexander Laszlo: The Challenge of Technology Change for the Design of Evolutionary Learning Community
Monterrey Institute of Technology, Graduate School of Management and Leadership
How to work with the idea of the learning organization, Senge?
The learning organization has a lot to do with change.
Want to look at how to learn how to learn, in the dynamics of the environment, within a context.
Brings issues of sustainability, survivability.
Decided that organization is one form of community, and didn't want to limit to organizations.
SyntonyQuest sponsors this SIG, a non-profit educational institution.
Proverb: Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.
How do we create the conditions for self-directed, sustainable development?
What kinds of technologies can support the evolutionary learning communities?
What can we supply to enable these processes?
Technology means: any tool of technique, any physical equipment, by which human capability is extended.
Includes processes, as a socio-technical systems.
This is also culture-specific, and embed the culture.
What is the shift in technologies, and what can be useful?
Historically, first kinds of technologies were fabricating -- clothing, shelter, hunting
Direct extensions of the physical attributes, at a small scale.
Then technologies that supplanted our muscles -- movement, transportation
Each period shorter and shorter.
Then technologies that extended capabilities of managing ideas -- calculating, processing information.
Suggest now towards technologies that support human interaction -- make decisions collectively, create community.
There are also hard technologies in the future, as ecosystemic technologies, e.g. how do we handle our waste, working with nature.
Interested in soft technologies of the future, of technologies of human interaction: esthetics (enjoyment) of interactions.
Evolutionary systems design is ...
... a praxis (from General Evolutionary Theory, how complex dynamic systems change over time) , ...
... with a methodology (social systems design, purposeful systems), and ...
... a philosophical foundation (transformative learning, experiential learning.
Can't engineer the future, but understand the patterns of dynamics of change.
We can't direct the wind, but we can direct the sails.
Technologies are so powerful, that the risk of not leveraging them is so high.
We can work with nature or against nature.
Another field is biomimicry: how to maintain meta-stability over time, to survive and evolve.
Issues in co-evolution.
Evolution is a learning process, and the end point is uncertain: evolution as a revealing process.
Maturana: the natural drift.
When evolving, we want to be close to the natural drift.
We can't living without changing our environment, but we must do so with some meta-stability.
In Latin culture, syntony is a common word, but in English in engineering is creating consonance (not just resonance).
How do we align the human evolution directions, with this flow space, in the broader evolutionary play.
Metaphor: improvisational jazz, where formal study is helpful with competencies.
Connections across papers.
Change for what?
Possible paradox that are trying to impose a direction, when trying to creating conditions for emergence.
Want to plant seeds, so that change will grow.
Knowledge sharing and knowledge creation, and the impact on education.
How can we reconnect to nature?
How to relate technology?
How to create the conditions for self-directed evolution (e.g. not the WTO)?
Speed in change of technology
Universities in the monopolization of training.
Will the technologies support self-education?
Consideration a transformation of learning systems from traditional structures to peer-to-peer.
e.g. do universities have a concern with fostering values, or is this the role of the family?
Seeing the future, with rapid change.
Learning, traditionally has been a resource issue, a luxury.
Struggle with participation.
Learning requires energy, and is not a focus when an organization is in survival mode.
Technology relationship to language.
Next section: What have we learned, together?
Open source software presents a large opportunity.
Challenge in Mexico with buying foreign technologies, at high costs.
An opportunity to make a leap.
How to create the support technologies that allow us more collectivity?
Technology creating new language?
Role of certain institutions in society, and the role of corporations, studying the role of universities.
New ways to create new technologies, new ways to use technology.
Knowledge management from the first to third stage. Technology towards human well-being?
Advancing in balance with nature.
ELC as an attractor to help knowledge flow between educational institutions and businesses and societies.
Clarifying learning and evolution.
Dreaming, envisioning and rapid change.
Unintended consequences of knowledge and technology as entropy or catalysts for further learning.
New opportunities in information mining.
Don't see the real challenges. From cellular automata to higher levels. Should look towards what should not happen.
In third world countries, the challenge is not technology, but knowledge-sharing cultures.
Some content on this website may be subject to prior copyrights.
Please contact the author(s) prior to reproduction or further distribution of the materials.