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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 in the contemporary world cannot be solved by segmented academic formats, market-place interests or mass-media headlines; instead of dealing with “taken for granted issues” (the apparent “bubbles” in the surface), public policies, research and teaching programmes should detect the issues and work with them deep inside the “boiling pot”. 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. Problems should be assessed and dealt with 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 should be oriented to enhance the connections and seal the ruptures between the different dimensions of being-in-the-world, fostering their mutual support and dynamic equilibrium. Individuals, groups, society, natural and man-made environments should be dealt with simultaneously as a necessary condition to develop an ecosystemic model of culture. Changing the current “world-system” is mandatory, in view of new paradigms of growth, power, wealth, work and freedom (a framework for planning, implementation and evaluation of public policies, as well of research and teaching programmes, is proposed).

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