In addition to individual virtues, the world needs visions. Visions play an important role in changing the world. Vision is a communal virtue. To change something, it is not enough that there is a road map to get there. In addition, a vision of what is meant by getting there is needed. A road map is not enough if the community lacks a sense of how to get there. The goal is created and shared among the community. Development is about trade-offs, understanding them, and getting things done. The Golden Middle Way is an old communal virtue.
Formation of the worldview
To understand all this, we first need to understand what the world is all about. Often, we divide the reality around us into a material and spiritual dimension. In controlling them, man divides reality into two additional dimensions. The first is time and consists of the past, the present and the future. In another additional dimension, we divide the surrounding world according to its state, as we do, for example. with water, whether it is in the form of gas, liquid or solid, so we also look at the world non-linearly. By observing and combining these things in nine dimensions, man creates in his mind a picture of reality. In ecology, energy matters are an additional sub-dimension in the material dimension.
In addition, there is oneness - the ultimate purpose of all that the nine dimensions are not enough to describe and measure. It is a concept that belongs to religions and holiness and can also be a doctrine based on faith rather than knowing. Through consciousness and perception, one perceives the changes in matter, energy and associated signals that surround him, both unconsciously and consciously in the material and immaterial realms. In the intangible dimension, humans and animals depict and communicate, through language and other symbols, the state of things around them. Through communication, living communities exchange messages and form communities to secure their species and life on earth. Communication is active or inactive with various aids.
International decision making
As a result of internationalization and the post-World War II globalization, global political decision-making and operational mechanisms have changed dramatically. There has been a shift from sovereign state decision-making systems to international and supranational decision-making. Problems are perceived globally, although their priorities and interventions vary greatly at country and regional level. Current international decision-making is not primarily about minority protection thinking. It is not always present, even in all countries that respect the rule of law.
Joint visions of the future
In managing change, predicting the future is one of its components. Already during the primitive culture, there were shamans in the community who believed they had the ability to see the future through their connections with higher powers. Under a system of religions and church-based leadership, the country's leadership had a better ability than the people to anticipate the future and recognize the signs God had given it in matters that became the basis of legitimacy in the exercise of power.
The relationship between the political leadership of the present system and the foresight of the future remains different. The means to anticipate things are more transparent than in the past due to the efficiency of the methods. Science, statistical mathematics and people's higher education in the community have made things more predictable in the human community. However, acting on a forecast is not the same as making decisions based on other facts. Could visions building act as a bridge between forecasts and facts?
Global operating environment
On the other hand, major global change programs also have their weakness in their preparation and implementation. They are exposed to content obsolescence faster than sector-specific business programs and / or lower-level regional development and change programs. The Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its predecessors, the UN-led Agenda 21 and Millennium Development Goals (MDG), are a good example of how such large-scale global programs work.
These intergovernmental cooperation programs over the last 30 years have been nevertheless necessary and justified.
The question is whether the design and implementation of existing programs are so-called. "Best Practices" as claimed by their practitioners. Throughout its history, the world has changed through a variety of action programs. Effective reform mechanisms are still in place, and no one is looking for poorly functioning solutions. The Soviet Union, based on a planned economy, was perhaps the best-known example of malfunctioning change management, although it had its merits.
Developments in management systems and automated data processing through the change of the 1960s and 1980s produced perhaps the largest single increase in the efficiency of a single policy and environment in the world in the material and spiritual dimensions of reality described above over a period of about 50 years. The advent of the Internet in the 1990s has only complemented and enhanced the potential of digitalization. To achieve integrity, those opportunities must be understood and integrated into the overall management of change. To this end, a vision based on cluster thinking should be created to manage the whole by building, through the "Octal Matrix", a reality description language and platform for sustainable development. The current 17-point program is too broad.
Cluster 1 – Support to Material Dimension
When the world development community identifies and plans for environmental interventions, it should have a space-based description and insight into material reality and its present state. Such an assessment of the material, intangible and interoperability management situation should be able to describe reality and its interdependencies before setting up its control system and setting operational objectives. Most things can be described with different flow models. When the flow model can be described, it can also be controlled. Often, even identifying functional dependency and understanding the cyclical nature of functions and what kind of information is exchanged between different parts of the system is enough.
The SDGs program should be reorganized to provide greater manageability and synergies. In the environmental matters, there is no common denominator for assessing the state of the physical environment in the octal matrix. Progress on climate change is quite legal. The impact of water, energy and green mass on climate change lacks a holistic view of the whole material dimension and the logic behind the construction of indicators. Water and its state changes in the energy field are the most important resource and variable in environmental issues related to the material dimension. Its principal high circulation has been shaken, and the binding of liquid water to the diminished green mass is also an obvious reason for current climate change.
Cluster 2 – Support to Social Development
Most of the development cooperation to date and the current Sustainable Development Program have to do with the intangible dimension of reality. It often consists of measures and programmatic content in the areas of education, health care and social security. In addition, social development includes the construction of private business infrastructure and support functions for new goods production and service sector development. In social development, solutions have been developed based on donor countries' own systems without adequate vision and adaptation of development and technical assistance programs to local needs in the local development of aid recipients.
There have also been miscalculations in social development when donors have planned and implemented narrow programs, such as privatization of the economy, without knowing the historical development of the recipient countries, and by paying too much attention to achieving politically and ideologically colored goals in transition support programs. The Russian economic transition support program of the early 1990s was completely miscalculated. The knowledge and know-how in Russia regarding business reorganization was not utilized in any way based on FDI-funded solutions that began in the 1980s. In donor countries' CIS transition programs, the focus of the programs was elsewhere.
Cluster 3 – Support to Spiritual Dimension
Developing the intangible dimension and the role of public authorities are something that the world does not have a common understanding of. The rule of law has become an overwhelming development target in transition economies as well as in Asia, Africa and South America. The model is based on ecclesiastical state institutions, a structure which, as a result of the ideological streams of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, was realized as different constitutional states with principles of separation of powers. 19th-century industrialization and ideological streams of the role of the state in society shaped social development independent of the church, both in the industrialized countries and in their overseas territories, which have formed the basis of current state structures around the world.
Reforming the social structures of the state is different from the state development of the former colonies. Replacing the centralized state-led structure with the rule of law and building civil society has been the main approach to creating new state structures in the former socialist countries. It must be remembered that in the socialist countries, the state was not the actual governing institution, but the parties that built their socialism. There was no private ownership of the means of production in these countries. That is why privatization programs were carried out in these countries, where their national wealth was transferred to a small elite within a short period of time, creating a new problem of income distribution and regional development. The two crazy years in Europe are 1848 and 1992. The impact of the latter in the CIS is just beginning. Legislative and social development in the countries cannot be take place through introduction of imported laws.
Cluster 4 – Management and Steering Processes
Digitalization is the keyword right now all over the world. Its content varies from country to country. When we talk about digitalization, it is based on traditional computerization that began in the 1960s in terms of content and methods. The construction of information systems is always part of the management system modernization according to the needs analysis and the system work, hardware and software standards used by the organization. In system work, the operating environment is described and documented using different description languages. Digitization can also mean the conversion of media from non-digital presentations to digital to enable their electronic processing.
Systems work, design and implementation of information systems are well-standardized functional processes. The processing rules related to computerization and digitalization are derived from the laws and standards governing the operating environment. System results and input are defined based on user needs. Hardware capacity, tasks, and compatibility are defined according to the organization's standards prior to IT acquisition and deployment. Documentation of the information system and training of the users are of great importance for the successful implementation of the system. Creating digital systems without proper process analysis and ensuring compatibility with elder and other systems is a waste of resources.
Communication as maintainer of integrity
The great leaps in media development (printing, press, broadcasting, Internet, social media, electronic archives and public services) were initially associated with major ideological changes. Today, however, media reforms have taken place regardless of them. In the 1970s and 1980s, major powers fought a historic dispute over UNESCO's "New World Information and Communication Order" program, where the United States and the "free world" were in various camp against Soviet-led Third World countries. The latter won the Pyrrhic victory over the dispute. The United States withdrew from UNESCO, leading to the organization's financial chaos and credibility crisis. The United States rejoined 2003 as a member of UNESCO and the worst crisis in development history is over.
There is still tension in the relationship between the West and the development community, which has not been identified as a problem and formulated into a broader intervention in SD or other global programs. The role of the Internet and the media is different in the former centralized countries and their successor states compared to the rest of the world. Attitudes towards social media also divide countries into different groups. Also, within the West, the attitude towards this extraterritorial jurisdiction, mainly by the United States, and unfair competition toward small countries' media services, has been questioned more often nowadays because of the unfair business practices and revenue generation with social media.
Security issues in development
The rule of law recognizes the rights and obligations of both individuals and states and the need for their coordination. He that seethe the sword shall perish is an old wisdom. A rights-based social order will not work without mutual coordination of interests. As with intergovernmental conflicts, also communication and visibility require both parties to make compromises comparable to crisis management. The legitimization of communal virtues as binding obligations under international law is a means of setting more functioning global security and development order on our planet.
© Heikki K. Auvinen / Asumer Oy, 2019