Problems Worth Solving
problems - if solved well - would make a significant
improvement in the state of the world?
our System and Method, we recognize that problems
are created - not
given [link]. Too often, they are confused with conditions.
Since we humans tend to solve the problem we
it is important that we take great care in the
problems - or improperly defined ones - can
to disastrous solutions full of unintended
problems are surprisingly hard to come by.
have though long about this - and about the
of what makes a good problem and a good outcome.
A good problem is definable and solvable.
It is useful when solved. It is something
that those who work it are passionate about.
A good solution is sustainable. It
produces both individual wealth and commonwealth
- in balance. It is an appropriate response
to the conditions that fueled it. It is practical
and an expression of art. It is economical
and ecological. It is fun to do - it is recreational.
It augments life in all lifes forms.
It demands learning and improvement and
does not come easy. It requires the best of
all who are involved - it transforms.
|A Worthy Problem is a special class of Problems which exhibit the following additional characteristics: they address systemic issues on multiple levels of recursion and generate Worthy Projects which produce viable solutions that resolve long-term/short-term, local/global, economic/ecological “conflicts.” The practical/ideal dichotomy is defeated. This process is defined in more detail in my paper Worthy Problem Method [link:worthy problem method].
purpose of the environments we build, be they NavCenters
offices [link] or
a RDS [link] is
to facilitate Humankind’s ability
to identify and solve Worthy Problems.
Every one of these environments have to “earn a
living” by augmenting the work and financial well
being of the organization which operates them. As
a network, however, they make a capacity that has never existed before on Earth [link].
This is the function of the ValueWeb [link] architecture
and the promise that
the complex, systemic conditions, that now plague
us, can be recreated [link] into
problems that meet the specification stated above
- and then,
these problems can be disolved (not “solved”)
generating unlimited opportunities. The immediate focus of our work is to support those, whom we call Transition Managers, who have developed compency in both the “old” world systems and the one not yet born by dedicating their skills and effort to facilitating the transiton from one to another [link: mg taylor mission]. From the begiining of this work in the mid 70s, to us a global transformation of humanity was a given. The question was at what cost and to what outcome.
follows is a list of what I believe are worthy
Ones that are at the heart of our Human Enterprise.
Each is worthy; altogether, they make an architecture
that suggests a significant agenda for the first
period of the 21st century. Following my criteria,
they call me to action. I have spent
my adult life becoming worthy of their attention.
In different ways, the projects that will make
the next quarter century of my life will address
problems with both means (to get at problems such
as these) and solutions (examples that demonstrate
the specific, practical solution and provide a general approach to
the class the problem represents).
have thinking about these problems for many years,
and will continue to document them as time goes on.
These long-intended ideas will, thus, be recreated and
terms, as an exercise in an ongoing re-defining
future work [link]. Many will resonate with these Worthy Problems yet this is far from a complete list. I do not offer these as the only issues which should be addressed. There is plenty of room for more. Remember there are two definitions - the integrity of which should be respected - involved here; first, the definition of a real problem (which is created out of a circumstance and a desire), And second, the sub-set of real problems which I call Worthy. This does not mean that other problems are bad, inferior or not-worthy. I use worthy merely as a means of addressing those class of problems which allow us to work both global and local, systemic and specific, idealistic and pragmatic. All of these are in reality the same. Each of us has to follow own insight and passion and when we do so with insight and integrity it will be seen that there is a worthy aspect in everything we do.
March 16, 2002
Updated September 1, 2007
|Now, in 2007, the WEF is considering making Worthy Problems the focus of the WorkSpace at the 08 Annual Meeting in DAVOS. This may or not come about. There are valid arguments for both sides of the decision. I believe that it is as an ideal introduction of Worthy Problems that can be conceived at the present time.
of the Nation State
issue identified 1985 • posted: April 14, 2002
Nation State is dying. This is the good
news. The bad news is that there is no
credible, tested alternative. There are
multiple reasons why the Nation State was
created and many of these pertain to the
securing of human rights. Now, the Nation
State is becoming the biggest threat to
those same rights. Just letting it collapse,
however, will most likely lead to a worse
situation as raw power is likely to fill
the vacuum. The migration from the Nation
State to the
evolution will be one of the most tricky
transformations in human history.
rise of state-terrorism and non-sanctioned
terrorism; the decline in public participation
in the governance process; intelligent
discourse being replaced with spin;
Politicians running for office by running
against government; Increasing military
spread of weapons of mass destruction; Environmental
degradation; Linkage of corporations
and the political
apparatus; Multinational corporations exercising
excessive political power;
Promote and Prototype the
peaceful evolution of, and transition
to, viable political-economic structures
replace the dying
State governance architecture. This is
a long term project. It will require demonstration
on many levels of governance recursion.
the Future Course [link].
Constitutional Amendment [link].
New Political Party Platform [link].
RDS @ Davos 05 [link] - and beyond.
of Planet Earth as a Human Habitat
April 17, 2002
are over 100,000 objects in the asteroid belt
that are not plotted and thought capable of
destroying the Earth. Recently, a large asteroid
flew by the Earth some 40,000 odd miles away
- a near miss on the scale of a solar system.
Scientists discovered it three days after
the fly by.
is ample historical, geological and anthropological
evidence that there have been many global
and local-scale catastrophic events in
history that have in the past destroyed major
portions of the human race.
scale destruction being about 15,000 years
ago at the end of the last ice age - a
in geological time. Planet “X” whatever it is is like to be a real long-cycle threat.
impact of humankinds own actions
on the Earths weather, ice packs
and ocean levels is not incorporated
in the design of
ongoing and future cites and public
works projects. This is a massive
positive feedback loop capable of triggering
weather and geological instabilities.
are numerous possible scenarios related
to war or run-away technologies that can
lead to the abrupt extinction of the human
default working assumption that Earth
evolved to the point to where
is it now stable and will support human
indefinitely; Inability of business, social
and political institutions to function long
term outside the context of immediate threat;
the short term focus and self-fulfilling
of existing value measures such as money
and market mechanisms; the species
arrogance of the human race based on a few
thousand years of mostly bloody civilization;
Our inability - and willingness to try -
to see the Earth and our actions as a single
system that produces synergistic results.
feedback mechanisms, at different time and
physical scope scales, that will begin bringing
stability to an Earth-Human system that is
now on a positive feedback loop rampage; And,
build the capacity for alternative human habitats
in the case that we do not learn in time how
to steward the planet we now live on or in
the circumstance that it is destroyed by means
outside our control.
way of thinking and working has utility in
everyday affairs, as well as, related to species
survival issues. Systemic capability is essential
for the long term survival, health, propriety
and happiness of the human race. Our own works
are now approaching the complexity of nature
and exceed our understanding and ability to
predict and control the consequences that
follow from them. The tools we create to give
us prediction and control will be used to
create new complexities thereby accelerating,
again, change and unpredictability. A global
economy is an ecological system. Solutions
to the problems created by our past successes
are not unrelated to our ability to create
April 19, 2002
housing is not just a problem for those
low income. Little of human housing, anywhere,
at any cost, is sustainable economically and ecologically.
Much of housing in the aggregate on the
community and city levels reflects
and promotes (positive feedback loop) unhealthy
social conditions. Simply being able
a mortgage payment now, is not an
adequate feedback loop to promote a stable
process. The so called construction industry
is fragmented and inefficient.
fragmented industry; building codes that
inhibit innovation; the attraction of the
best talent to “high-end” projects; predominance
of single-generational families; housing
as a commodity instead as a distributed
skill within the population; how architecture
is taught; prevailing models of what is
a home; expensive, ecologically
unsound building components that bias towards
inappropriate solutions; infrastructure
dependence; insurance and financing “standards;”
Lack of project management at lower end
of the construction industry; failure to
lever technology; predominance of passive
business relationships; structure of the
entire housing industry.
housing is an ideal R&D environment.
The theory, today, is that innovation trickle
downs from high-end work; this process
is not working well. Innovation comes
better from a constrained environment.
and Plant Entrapment
April 19, 2002
and plants survive weather and food variability
by migrating. Human development is cutting
the planet into segments that denies them
the means for solving their changing habitat
conditions. Even where there is sufficient
space for both humans and other species
prosper, human architecture sprawls and connects
dense nodes in unnecessary ways that are
to many life forms. Random human development
is accelerating defended by the notion
the alternative is human denial or habitat
destruction or the creation of unacceptable
costs. The third alternative: that of
good design, that integrates the requirements
of all species, is not, presently, even in
unsound cities and infrastructure; predominance
of the economic development paradigm; human
versus nature dichotomy; “might makes right”
moral system; notion of the “inferiority”
animals; general ignorance and indifference
to sustainable policies and their economics;
food policies and farming practices; the
in-place linkage of consumerism to happiness;
“Rights” of All
yyyy xx, 2000
United States is presently the most free
country in the world. We should not take
this condition for granted and we should
recognize that it took 200 years to get
where we are after we explicitly committing
ourselves to the idea of freedom for everyone.
In the beginning. “everyone” was defined
as white males who owned land. We have
steadily expanded this definition ever
since. The Civil War was fought 142 years
a women’s right to vote was accomplished
couple of decades
of my birth, segregation was defeated in
the streets while I was in high school
and legally ended after I had voted in
two elections. The Supreme Court protected
academic freedom in a 1928 ruling and WWI
was the last time anyone went to jail for
merely writing a letter to their Senator
questioning the draft.
should remember that these freedoms were
hard fought, caused the spilling of much
blood, and are fragile.
the US has done much good in the world,
we have often used
our military and economic power to
act unilaterally in our own narrow geopolitical
and economic interests.
has caused much hardship for millions
of people who have
no voice in the affairs of humankind.
are many legitimate arguments as to the
and wrongness about everyone of these
interventions and these disagreements
are capable of going
on forever. We will never completely sort them
out because of the complexity involved.
It is better to act on principles that
can be a reliable guide and regulate
our own national behavior accordingly.
This is what we have learned to do most
of the time inside our
and this habit has become the very foundation
of our freedoms.
outside our borders
another standard applies. A murderer has
- and a better process of protection
- in our country, than has an innocent
citizen - who happens
to be in the wrong place at the wrong time
- does in a country we happen to have a
with or happens to “be in the way”
so many places were during the Cold War and now
in the time of Terrorism.
a Constitution Amendment that would unilaterally
grant all the RIGHTS - not the privileges
- of US Citizenship to all people of the
world not matter their race, religion,
economic circumstance or the political
system where they live.
Hate and Loss of Real Citizenship
yyyy xx, xxxx
yyyy xx, xxxx
|The Worlthy Problem outlined above only begin to scratch the rang and scope of opportunitys we have..
March 16, 2002
voice of this document:
INTENT POLICY PROGRAM
March 16, 2002
May 18, 2003
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Taylor 2002, 2003
Statement and Policy