Table 4: Application to Union of International Associations
See separate Commentary. In order to facilitate comprehension of Table 3,
Arena 1: Hardware / Mode
The focus in this case is on the selection and operation of hardware capable of handling information in the form necessary for the UlA's publications and future developments that may require such equipment. This has resulted in the installation of a local area computer network which links 10 microcomputers. The choice was made in terms of the need to transfer information to sub-contractors capable of high speed photocomposition and pagemake up. Rejected options included use of terminals linked to a main-frame computer in an external service bureau. Experiments are being made with data networks. Options under consideration include use of laser disks and graph plotters.
Arena II: Hardware / Software
The focus in this case is on the selection of computer software compatible with the micro-computers. This included software to operate the network and software for a shared text database on the network. Using such software, further programs were then developed to handle the specific needs of the UIA publications. Investigations are being made into laser disk access software
Arena III: Hardware / Content
The focus in this case is on the operation of the system for research, editorial, administrative and publication production purposes (especially in the case of the descriptive Yearbook Vol. 1 and 2). Other concerns have been the possibility of on-line access of external bodies to such data, the exploration of computer conferencing / electronic mail systems, and the possible distribution of databases on laser disks.
Arena IV: Groupware / Mode
In this case the focus is the management problem of the adaptation of the UIA structure to a local area network, namely the reallocation of workloads, the redistribution of functions and the assumption of new tasks in response to the opportunities of the network. Although well-advanced, this process is not complete.
Arena V: Mode / Conceptware
Here the focus is on how people within the UIA, especially editors, evolve new ways of thinking about their work and ways of handling it. This development cannot be described in specific terms, since it is primarily a shift in attitude in response to a pattern of new opportunities and constraints. It is of fundamental significance to those concerned
Arena Vl: Groupware / Software
Activity in this arena has so far been limited to developing software to handle networks of relationships between organizations (e.g. membership links, working relationships, etc), especially for Yearbook Vol. 3. This could be extended to the operating units of complex secretariats (e.g. those of large IGOs). Further developments might include software to actively facilitate contact between organizations in the light of their programme priorities, and software to sustain meta-stable coalitions (e.g. 'potential associations', 'tensegrity organizations' and 'resonance hybrids') which have been a theme in UIA research.
Arena Vll: Groupware / Content
Here the UIA concerns include discovering means of representing patterns of relationships (especially networks) between organizations, whether through computer graphics or plotted maps (as argued in the UIA Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential). Other concerns include the clarification of the distinct (but complementary) kinds of data which a coalition of organizations can usefully exchange in order to ensure its viability and effectiveness (as partially explored in the Yearbook Vol. 3).
Arena VIII: Software / Conceptware
The need for innovation in this arena has been explored, from the UIA perspective, in the Encyclopedia. The concern is with the possibility of developing software to handle patterns of (possibly incompatible) concepts which guide the way in which the fragmented sectors of society are perceived and interrelated.
Arena IX: Conceptware / Content
Again, the possibility of innovation in this arena has been explored, from the UIA perspective, in the Encyclopedia. The concern is with 'trans-conceptual' ways of handling the incommensurable perspectives and sets of data which are so characteristic of the international community of organizations. Particular attention has been devoted to patterns, metaphors and patterns of metaphors, as a largely unexplored resource for the comprehension of appropriateness and as a guide to navigation through complexity.
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