- / -
Table 1 is a (very tentative) exercise in generalizing the significance of "union", "international" and "associations". The upper portion of the table highlights "union" as emergent identity, "inter-" as indicative of a generic form of bonding across boundaries, with "associations" as the content of what might be potentially interrelated by the previous two. The domains of the Mandelbrot set are used experimentally as metaphors to distinguish these, together with contrasting traditional symbols.
The table highlights the particular features of the strategic initiatives (separately described) that correspond to generic understandings of "union", "inter-" and "associations". Again these are tentatively associated with two quite distinct sets of metaphor, namely those of the fundamental forces of physics and those of traditional categories. It is possible that the 12 zones of that portion of the table are indicative of 12 "languages" appropriate to sustainable governance [more] -- as an extension of Edward de Bono's metaphorical argument for "6 hats" and "6 shoes" in strategic management dialogue .
The references below the table point to related explorations of these issues -- although other references are indicated as resources on the websites of the four strategic initiatives linked below.
|Table 1: Distinction between 4 strategic initiatives in terms of their exemplification of 3 ordering characteristics [tentative]||Union||(Inter-)||Associations|
|bonding (across boundaries)||potential associations|
|order||chaos/order boundary||chaos, complexity (uncertainty)|
|Union of Imaginative Associations||air,
|electro-magnetism||coherent (design) concept / pattern||(unforeseen) connections||significance|
|configuration enabling improbable focus /
|gravity||viable ecosystemic integrity / biodiversity as a self-sustaining process
|Union of the
|weak nuclear||existentially coherent self-questioning / paradoxical transcendence (catastrophe theory, koans)||(intriguing) challenges to assumptions of coherence /
riddles / humour
|inexplicables / incompatible insights / catastrophe / tragedy|
In an effort to interrelate the four strategic initiatives in Table 1 in the light of their three-fold attributes, the logo used in various orientations for each of them calls for some further comment. [Note that access to the websites of each initiative can be achieved by clicking on the corresponding coloured circle -- as is the case from each of those websites]
The image has the merit of holding the 4 contrasting initiatives, each indicated in a 3-fold manner. Arguably the circles holding each of the 4 can be associated with the particular understandings of "union" -- with the particular "associations" in the outermost (coloured) smaller circle within, whilst the "inter-" dimension is held by the (uncoloured) inner circle. Faintly circumscribing the whole is a circle indicative of some form of "meta-union". In an effort to focus these concerns on engagement in immediate global challenges, the symbol (derived from the Basque lauburu ) was first used in a "playful exploration of ecopsychological embodiment of climate change pathways" (cf Playfully Changing the Prevailing Climate of Opinion Climate change as focal metaphor of effective global governance, 2005).
Of course such a 2 dimensional image raises interesting questions as to whether an appropriate "roundtable" representative of the 12 "languages" would be more fruitfully represented in 3 dimensions to avoid diminishing (or privileging) the signifance of any.
The implications of such a representation have been discussed separately (Union of Intelligible Associations: remembering dynamic identity through a dodecameral mind, 2005) -- notably with respect to its implementation (or recognition) in a virtual environment (Spherical Configuration of Interlocking Roundtables: Internet enhancement of global self-organization through patterns of dialogue, 1998).
An extension of Table 1, in the form of Table 2, highlights the significance of the contrast between the generic understandings of "union", "inter-" and "associations" with the conventional preoccupations of values (faith), knowledge, strategy, organizations, problems, information and law. Efforts at their interrelationship are evident to some degree in the strategic initiative of the Union of Intelligible Associations (now terminated) and the diversity of databases that arose from it (and are still accessible online). Tentatively, again, these are clustered into real/imaginary, tangible/intangible in the spirit of the distinctions of the complexity sciences.
|Table 2: Distinction between conventional preoccupations in terms of their exemplification of 3 ordering characteristics [tentative]||Union||(Inter-)||Associations|
|bonding (across boundaries)||potential associations|
|intangible||imaginary||faith, values||union with the transcendent (as a community or individual embodiment)||inter-faith relationships / challenge of unbelievers||diversity of beliefs|
|real||knowledge||synthesis (theories of everything)||classification||subjects|
|strategy / policy||(global) plans, resolutions, action frameworks, policy coordination||cooperation, collaboration||actions, proposals, initiatives|
|organization (social, group)||(global) unions, conferences, federations, coalitions, meetings, parliaments||
international, inter-regional, inter-disciplinary, inter-cultural, inter-sectoral (networking)
|tangible||imaginary||problems (strategic, tactical)||crisis (of crises), (global) insecurity||inter-sectoral, cross-disciplinary, international||disruptors|
|real||information||integrated information systems (world wide web, internet, telecommunication system)||compatibility across boundaries, standards and technologies, hyperlinking||content|
|law||harmonised (international) legal framework||compatibility across boundaries, reciprocity||specific laws|
Table 3 explores the possibility of combining the above distinctions with those derived from an experimental ordering of the set of WH-questions in terms of Arthur Young's integrative "Rosetta Stone" of meaning (see Functional Complementarity of Higher Order Questions: psycho-social sustainability modelled by coordinated movement, 2004; also Conformality of 7 WH-questions to 7 Elementary Catastrophes: an exploration of potential psychosocial implications, 2006)
|Table 3: Distinction between 4 strategic
initiatives in terms of their exemplification of 12 characteristic pairs
|bonding (across boundaries)||potential
|.||Motive||Means||Suspect / Accomplice|
in spatial context
(Where to go?, Where is it from?)
Provenance: Where does that come from? Why is it significant?
Where am I?
Where is the knowledge?
Who has it?
Who discovered it?
|operacy in functional context||Which?
(Which way? Which to choose?)
Which transformation and why?
How to respond?
Who to believe in?
|kairos (in temporal context)||When?
(When to start? When to stop?)
When to be like that?
Why be like that?
When to act?
How to act?
When to start?
Who is so impelled?
Who to impell?
|Union of Imaginative Associations||attractor
(What is it? What to do?)
What have I done?
Why have I done it?
What do I do?
How do I do it?
What evidence is this? Who says so?
Although these experimental juxtapositions of categories are useful pointers to possibilities, all such orderings call for refinement through a conceptual "tuning" of the arrays. The musical metaphor is also helpful in pointing to the possibility that quite different "tuning systems" may be significant and useful.
This work is licenced under a creative commons licence.