22nd May 2008 | Draft
Configuring Global Governance Groups
Experimental visualization of possible integrative relationships
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Also available in a PDF version for printing convenience. Associated with Towards Polyhedral Global Governance: complexifying oversimplistic strategic metaphors (2008), Polyhedral Pattern Language: software facilitation of emergence, representation and transformation of psycho-social organization (2008) and Polyhedral Empowerment of Networks through Symmetry: psycho-social implications for organization and global governance (2008)
Exercise A: Using a selection of international nongovernmental groups
Exercise B: Using a selection of 12 UN Specialized Agencies
Exercise C: Using the 20 members of the emergent L20 Group
Exercise D: Sustainable development issues fom Earth Summit (1992)
-- Animations and video sequences
In the light of the arguments presented in the above-mentioned associated papers, the following visualization exercises were undertaken to determine the value of configuring a set of groups variously perceived as significant to global governance. The selection of groups may be considered arbitrary, controversial or provocative; this is not the point. The purpose is to explore how these groups might be understood as forming an integrated set -- functioning in an integrated, rather than fragmented, manner.
The positioning of the bodies with respect to one another in the images below is to be considered as arbitrary and for illustrative purposes only. The attribution of colours and the juxtaposition of labelled groups is also purely illustrative.
The bodies were selected for this exercise on the advice of Ashok Khosla, currently one of the Co-Presidents of the Club of Rome. They constitute an array of bodies with which he has varying degrees of involvement -- and by whose (non) relationship he is necessarily challenged.
The bodies included were (in no particular order): Alliance for a New Humanity, CONGO, Club of Rome, Club of Madrid, Club of Budapest, Club of Athens, Great Transition Initiative, Global Youth Action Network, The Elders, IUCN / WWF, Greenpeace, Tällberg Forum, World Future Council, World Movement for Global Democracy, World Spirit Forum, World Political Forum, World Economic Forum, World Social Forum, ZERI
In order to raise further questions, the existence of one other group was hypothesized -- labelled in the visualization by a question mark
Using the Stella Polyhedron Navigator application described in an earlier paper (Polyhedral Pattern Language: software facilitation of emergence, representation and transformation of psycho-social organization, 2008), an arbitrary choice was made to map the 20 such groups successively onto the 20 triangular faces of:
Other choices made were variously:
Within the Stella application, these various forms may be manipulated and morphed in a variety of ways. For the purposes of this paper, some visual results (in 3D in the Stella application) were exported as standard images presented below.
The emphasis is on creating representations which creatively raise new questions for discussion -- if only about the need for representations configured otherwise in Stella to focus the discussion in other ways.
Each transformation raises interesting perspectives and questions -- of different value of course. Especially interesting was playing with the geometry and morphing the figure -- as well as introducing a stellation diagram etc. One of the intriguing features was that some of the morphing features cycle through forms continuously -- giving (for once) an impression of the set of governance bodies constituted as a breathing entity.
The application (Stella Polyhedron Navigator) allows for simulated 3-dimensional manipulation asd well as export in 3-D formats, including VRML. However the latter export format lacks distinguishing labels. An alternative was therefore to record the screen sequences as videos (AVI format) that can be replayed in standard players. Several of these, based on those in Exercise A, have been made accessible as an inspiration for future possibilities. They should of course be considered experimental, especially given the bandwidth implications of the longer sequences.
These experiments are presented in a separate document
this work is licenced under a creative commons licence.