THE EMERGENCE OF THE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
OF PRODUCTIVITY AND QUALITY OF LIFE
If you have ever wondered why, after so much effort and the billions upon billions of dollars that are spent every year... there is so much conflict, poverty and environmental degradation in the world...
Have you also wondered why there seems to be no end to those ills?
Are They Human-Behaviour Challenges?
...or Are They Structural Problems?
Most of the money spent on conflict and poverty reduction or elimination is wasted because there has been no agreement on what is best to do. So in effect, the international development community has been on what management scientists would call a decades-long firefighting mission.
Presently, the international development community sifts through the multitude of issues that ultimately impede the sustainable growth of national productivity, which has been identified as a fundamental factor for improving wellbeing. Meanwhile, too often people try to resolve their differences or disagreements by either blowing themselves up, or by trying to bring bodily harm to someone else.
These facts reveal the essence of a global technological constraint that impedes most humans from using a more people-friendly and more practical and effective way to improve wellbeing. The global constraint, in turn, creates various levels of stress on humans as they -as Adam Smith would have said- strive to improve themselves and their lot in their daily lives.
Examples of the precarious situation abound both in underdeveloped and developed countries. On the one hand, UNICEF reports that every day around 20,000 children die because of poverty. On the other hand, while terrorism is a mainstay of the media in developed countries, Rober Wright´s August 28, 1995 TIME article "The Evolution of Despair" points out how rates of depression have been doubling every 10 years in some developed countries, and that suicide is the third most common cause of death among young adults in North America, after car wrecks and homicides. In May 2013, the BBC published a qualitative vs. quantitative indicator of sorts when it reported that since 2009, suicide has claimed more Americans than land-wheeled-vehicle crashes.
Further down the road, environmental degradation is mostly a result of a few visible variables like consumption, solid and liquid waste, and gaseous emissions. So in principle, it should be easier for humans to deal with issues like the technological constraint that impedes humanity from carrying out all of its activities in an eco-friendly manner.
Yet, in addition to the spectre of billions of humans either not having enough to eat, or not having proper living accommodations or healthcare, scientists say human activities are damaging the biosphere to the no-return point.
The Engineering of Systematic Solutions to Global Issues
In this video, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, comments on the engineering approach to sustainable development, which is the global evolutionary process that faciliates the emergent System-of-Systems (SoS) properties for sustainability.
Redirect to Engineering and Sustainable Development from Earth Institute on Vimeo.
The activities of the Global SoS Network are based on the premise that all the major social, economical and environmental difficulties facing human society at the beginning of the 21st. Century are a direct result of one and the same technological constraint. It impedes humans, in their role as constituents, from using the information about stress-creating conflicts of interest, and from initiating the systematic communal behaviour required for the resolution of the aforementioned issues.
More specifically, information about all sort of social, economic and environmental conflicts of interest is readily available to constituents. As humans live their daily lives, they gather information regarding constituent conflict. Humans -again, in their role as constituents- own the information that can bring about the end of alienation and privation, criminality and terrorism, of simmering and open conflict and of environmental degradation, while boosting the sustainable growth of global productivity and wellbeing.
But humans the world over, this time in their role as citizens, seem to be unaware of how to put all that collective brainpower to good use: hence the technological constraint. Consequently, some key questions emerge from this scenario...
What are humans to do with that information?
Whom do they communicate it to?
How can human society unravel its major technological constraint?
Local Tools for Global Transcendence: Best Practice
The Global SoS Network posits that sustainable growth of productivity and wellbeing will be created by the participative platform that facilitates synergistic interaction between the constituent and legislative functions of Legislative Systems of Systems.
Since constituents own the decisions made by their legislators, they must instill effective ownership by eliminating their technological constraint. This can be done by articulating the conflict-relevant information that constituents own, and communicating it to their legislators through their national teledemocratic infrastructure.
From the Systems of Systems perspective, a national teledemocratic infrastructure consists of the postal service and the Internet, when those communication channels are used to communicate with legislators.
Luckily, the Internet offers business advantages that has brought accelerated growth to the sector. Not so with postal services, which have been termed as slow and old fashioned to the point that developing-country postal services have become inadequate to satisfy basic institutional needs, such as serving as a transport medium for municipal and housing-autority billing systems. Under those circumstances, postal services are useless for improving tax revenue or for constituent-legislator communication, nor can they help in the process of financing the creation and upgrading of infrastructure, and the construction of affordable housing in the South.
Notwithstanding, effective local resolution of conflicts of interest, be it social, economic or environmental, is the result of robust teledemocratic mailstreams that will facilitate the systematic and environment friendly:
Win-Win Resolution of Constituent Conflict
Unravelling of Industrial Underdevelopment
Eradication of Global Poverty
Image: © Benetton Group S.p.A.; with Adequate Technology? caption by Globalsosnet
But Meeting Those Global Challenges Seems So Difficult...
Macroergonomically speaking, teledemocratic collective-intelligence processes are complex-adaptive sociotechnical-information processes. And in spite of the scarily complicated, hi-tech, and expensive-sounding names, the streamlining of collective intelligence is refreshingly simple, and surprisingly economic.
To streamline their collective intelligence, constituents must use at least four basic tools, and need to initiate simple three-step communication processes. The tools are a pen, a sheet of paper, an envelope, and a postage stamp. The processes consist of writing periodic letters to the pertinent legislator, having them delivered, and obtaining the subsequent replies.
Taking into account that all this activity requires the existence of adequate postal services, the focused collective intelligence of constituents now creates nationwide teledemocratic mailsreams towards the legislatures. Thus legislators will use traditional parliamentarian procedures in order to resolve constituent conflict in a way that businesses will become motivated to invest in order to improve productivity, boosting the growth of national productivity and wellbeing. As a result, quality of life and the standard of living also improve, meaning that everyone involved, and the environment, win.
In addition to facilitating constituent-legislator communication, adequate postal services offer the adaptive capacity of addressing pressing social needs. As mentioned before, adequate postal services allow for the rollout of municipal and utility billing systems. The resulting income streams are key for the development and upkeep of the public infrastructure necessary for quality education and medical services, and for all-important trade.
The Internet is a very convenient venue for establishing teledemocratic processes. But until poor countries become affluent, the cost of each computer, in addition to installation costs (electric supply, fixed or cellular-line internet hook-up, modem, etc.) plus maintenance, upgrading, training, and hidden costs must be compared to the cost of a few stationery items and that of home letterboxes, which are usually made of low-cost sheetmetal. Home letterboxes only need a key and lock, and practically never need maintenance.
Using either type of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), postal services or the Internet, when social groups such as constituents use teledemocratic techniques, then the collective intelligence has the capacity to regulate the activities of the Public Sector System in benefit of the common good, of the environment, while steadily increasing the level of productivity.
A Straightforward Notion
THE GLOBAL TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRAINT...
...gets smaller each time a mail carrier delivers a reply from a legislator to a constituent.
Constituents comprise the world's most powerful social groups, and teledemocratic techniques make constituencies the most versatile of social networks.
Image: © Trinidad & Tobago Post
The key outcome from a reply from a legislator is accountability. It is no coincidence that countries where constituents are accustomed to carrying out the time-tested practice of communicating with their legislators... are developed countries, precisely the nations in which legislators are usually most accountable to their constituents. Needless to say, quality of goods, of services, of concern for the environment, of overall wellbeing, and of productivity, is highest in those same countries.
And because legislators are the only individuals that have the discretionary power -which they exercise collectively- to allocate public resources, teledemocratic activities give the basic sensation of being useful. Since hunches are not necessarily reliable guides, the Organization & Projects page indicates that copies of a background document, The Reengineering of Emerging Legislative and Postal SoSs, and several pamphlets, are available from Globalsosnet.
It seems that most underdeveloped nations are in the underdeveloped side of a postal divide. This means that most countries of the South have not developed postal-service-based ICT processes. As a consequence, the history of inadequate postal services appears to have inhibited the emergence of constituent-legislator communication activities. Now that the Internet has arrived, the constituent-legislator communicaction tradition just seems not to be there, so developing-world constituents do not appear to use that tool for channeling their grievances.
Legislators in underdeveloped nations do allocate resources, but they do not seem to wield sufficient leverage as compared to the executive function of those legislative SoS. The reason is simple. If there is no constituent-legislator communication, legislators cannot really speak in name of their constituents, and the legislative function is not as relevant.
The practical result is that the executive function is very powerful, as compared to the legislative function. Even if the executive function does try to be effective, without the benefit of constituent-generated information, the executive function ends not being very efficient or effective in improving the habitat in a way that would help increase national productivity and quality of life in a sustainable manner.
Thus for human sustainability, SoS Engineering (SoSE) identifies teledemocratic activities, such as those ones being researched at the International Teledemocracy Centre as Best Constituent Practice. Dealing with legislative Systems of Systems themselves is bound to help donor nations because in addition to bringing much lower costs to development endeavours, the effectiveness of constituent-legislator communication will create giant markets that did not exist before. In that perspective, SoSE can predict, as the Global Marshall Plan puts it, a global economic miracle.
Image: © World Business Council for Sustainable Development
As an example of the potential of Best Constituent Practice, once BCP activities are initiated in developing nations, practically any developing nation can not just meet, but exceed eco-friendly milestones like the Millennium Development Goals at a very small fraction of the presently projected cost. In addition, BCP allows the ISO Series Standards to bring Total Quality Management to the delivery of public services in developing countries.
Conflict, Underdevelopment, Poverty
A donation to Globalsosnet is not your usual donation. Firstly, your donation will not go towards achieving a diffuse goal that most likely attacks the effects, not the cause of the problem. Your donation will go towards an engineered elimination of the systematic cause of the aforementioned global issues. Secondly, because the goals are clear, the results are guaranteed. In the third place, your donation helps you realize somethig that, if you live in a developed nation, you might have taken for granted: Adequate postal services are a necessary and intrisic component of development and sustainability.
Transportation Safety: Quality Driving
If you get quite a shock when an airplane falls off the sky and kills dozens of people, or when someone dies from conflict, you will probably be horrified when you realize that three thousand humans die every day from land-wheeled-vehicle crashes.
The Global SoS Network has identified the isomorphism between Legislative SoS and Ground Transportation SoS. As a result, Globalsosnet has also designed the technological approach that will be necessary for eliminating 99.7% (Six-Sigma, assuming normal data distribution) of vehicle crashes.
There is an exasperating finding. Crashes are not accidents. They are statisticaly predictable outcomes. Crashes are not the fault of drivers -they are an organizational problem. So the solution to the problem is a matter of drivers participating in eliminating the SoS constraints in order to eliminate assignable causes for crashes. Globalsosnet is actively working to bring Total Quality Management, or Quality Driving, into practical use.
So, when you donate, you may want to take this information into account. There is more information on the transportaion issue at the bottom of the About page of this website. There is also a background/ working paper, which you may obtain by contacting Mr. Alvar Bramble, email@example.com .
Donations can be made to The Global SoS Network accompanied by a donation form.
Please note that, unttil further notice, donations are not tax-deductible. In addition, Globalsosnet does not yet have Paypal processing capacity.