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Living better in a better world: an ecosystemic approach for the governance of complex systems

Pilon, André Francisco (2010): Living better in a better world: an ecosystemic approach for the governance of complex systems.

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Abstract

Problems of difficult settlement or solution cannot be solved by segmented academic formats, market-place interests or mass-media headlines; they demand a critical appraisal of current patterns of production and consumption, governance and policies, environmental and cultural linkages, civic engagement, and democratic participation. Beyond the creation of choices and the development of capacities and motivations, education, environment, health and quality of life must be embedded into and promoted by the cultural, social, political and economical institutions, which are more critical than individual motives and morals. The proposal is oriented at creating a new framework for problem solving in society and to build a new ethical paradigm able to face the current socio and environmental crisis, changing the dominant perspective of powerful political economic actors, in view of new paradigms of growth, power, wealth, work and freedom. Instead of dealing with “taken for granted issues” (the apparent “bubbles” in the surface), problems are detected and worked with deep inside the “boiling pot”, considering the dynamic and complex configurations intertwining, as donors and recipients, four dimensions of being-in-the-world: intimate (subject’s cognitive and affective processes), interactive (groups’ mutual support and values), social (political, economical and cultural systems) and biophysical (biological endowment, natural and man-made environments). The process of change must take into account the singularity of each dimension and their mutual support, as they combine to induce the events (deficits and assets), cope with consequences (desired or undesired) and contribute for change (diagnosis and prognosis). Development projects are oriented to enhance the connections and seal the ruptures between the different dimensions, fostering their mutual support and dynamic equilibrium. A framework for planning, implementation and evaluation of public policies, as well of research and teaching programmes, is proposed, in view of the development an ecosystemic model of culture.

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