The methodology of the Schematic is much like using building and construction codes. They can be used to
1) upgrade existing structures to become code compliant, and
2) design new structures according to code.
The Schematic can be used two additional ways:
1) to validate existing social processes, practices, policies and laws, and the design of organizations and institutions as being up to the standard of social sustainability, and
2) to create new, sustainable designs for social practices and institutions, for example.
The Schematic and the Design Team. The Schematic’s usefulness is its capacity to develop clarity in fundamental beliefs and their underlying assumptions. It is particularly useful when team members are working on social questions where opinions may run rampant. It ensures that all team members have common, transparent beliefs and understanding about what they are talking about and doing.
Because of that capacity, the Schematic is an excellent learning device for identifying and then examining our beliefs and assumptions. It also reveals the matters we neglected to take into account that typically form the source for errors, mistakes, and inferior performance in failed projects. 31 The methodology of the Schematic allows the Team to develop designs for a social process and social institution that are validated against the four core values of social sustainability. That is, the Schematic is useful for determining ahead of time whether social processes, organizations, institutions, social policies, and laws actually have the capability of contributing to socially sustainability. “Trial and error” becomes quickly observable while developing the design.
Using the Schematic in a team setting is an ideal place for citizens in local communities to learn about their individual and common beliefs and assumptions, and then design sustainable policies and organizations that are supported by socially sustainable (validated) beliefs and assumptions. As teams proliferate over time, it is expected that socially sustainable beliefs and assumptions will form the foundation for culturally consistent societies regardless of the diversity of ethnic and other subgroups of those societies. Because everyone wants to live in a stable society for the long-term, the Schematic and Design Team Process provide individuals in their local community with the opportunity begin the process by using this consistent methodology with predictable outcomes.
Conveniently, when the Schematic is used to validate a topic by using the seven values of social sustainability. The Schematic can also be used to validate the moral and ethical conformance as a separate process to assure that answers are socially sustainable and moral and ethical.
Three experiential exercises are provided on pages 171, 176 and 179 for using the Schematic for problem solving and for validating the morality of a topic.
A Framework for Validating Social Sustainability
The universal nature of the core values, (life, equality, growth, and quality of life), and the morality and ethics that emanate from them lend to the redesign all social organizations to contribute to the long term social sustainability in any society. The Raphael Unified Theory of Human Motivation 32 provides a universal means to understand how to design child care to elder care, for example, and all of the social processes, organizations, social policies and laws in terms of social sustainability that affect everyone in the duration of their life from pre-conception to the grave.
As powerful and universal as these values are their usefulness only becomes apparent when they are used with a methodology that incorporates them in the design of social processes, organizations, policies, and laws to name only a few. As explained earlier, without a methodology, their usefulness is much like trying to devise a compass by writing the words “North,” “East,” “South,” and “West,” on a round piece of paper and then expecting to use it on a sailing ship to find your way to some destination.
The mechanism for applying those values to social institutions is the Social Sustainability Design and Validation Schematic. Using the Schematic offers a proactive means for encouraging individuals and social organizations to seek options, make decisions, and take actions that are validated by each value, their combination, and their morality and ethics to support social sustainability. In a sustainable society it is not enough to be a “good citizen.” “Good” is relative from one culture to another. What is necessary in a society that is moving toward social sustainability is for each citizen to generate decisions and actions that proactively 33 contribute to the social sustainability of that society.
When organizations, agencies, and institutions likewise use these values and ethics to make their decisions and take actions the same proactive, “good” outcomes are the result. Social sustainability then becomes a social symbiosis between individuals and the social organizations of their society.
The Schematic, The Team, And The Mischief Of Assumptions
Dealing with Assumptions. As a learning device, the Schematic offers a workable antidote to the “fragmentation” that David Bohm34 writes about in his book, On Dialogue. Fragmentation occurs because of the misunderstandings about the beliefs people hold for any topic. Dialogue, as Bohm defines it, exposes beliefs and assumptions that individuals may have. When they are not exposed, misunderstandings occur leading to fragmentation in the dialogue. Because fragmentation can occur very easily, the methodology of the Schematic requires the team to enter into the dialogue technique that Bohm recommends to diligently examine their beliefs and hidden assumptions. The Schematic answers that most pragmatic of all questions, “What works?” 35 to support social stability and social sustainability. The Schematic is capable of revealing the presence of unproductive beliefs and their underlying assumptions.
Using the Schematic and the practices of disciplined dialogue that Bohm suggests will give members an opportunity to compare and reframe erroneous beliefs and assumptions. If their assumptions are not exposed but simply included in their designs without validation, then it is very likely the designs will be flawed and eventually fail.
The logic of the Schematic lends itself to
a) designing new social and organizational processes;
b) re-designing existing social processes, non-profit organization founding documents, and social policies; and
c) validating existing social processes, founding documents, laws and social policies as being in alignment with the values and ethics of the proactive morality, or not. The Schematic proactively encourages individuals and organizations to seek options, make decisions, and take actions that are validated by each value and their combination as being moral and ethical.
The Process Of Revealing Hidden Assumptions
What tips us off to underlying assumptions is our emotional reactions to differences in beliefs. They are the evidence of what challenges our relationships with the other people. When we thought that everything was smooth sailing with our friends, suddenly we find a “disturbance in the force” of our relationship with the other person. To get the relationship back on track it is necessary to engage in logical dialogue techniques that reveal the hidden assumptions related to the subject of discussion.
Please note that dialogue as a process is far different from conversation and discussion. Dialogue in this sense is that unique exchange of thought among several people that seems irresistibly connected, as though without separation, yet allowing the unique contribution each person has to offer. “The discipline of team learning starts with ‘dialogue,’ the capacity of members of a team to suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine ‘thinking together.’ “ “Team learning is vital because teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations. This [is] where ‘the rubber meets the road’; unless teams can learn, the organization cannot learn.” (Senge, 1994).
Values form the base of our thinking, speaking, option-development, choice-making, decision-making, action-implementation that we express in our lives and how we live them. They are fundamental to the expression of who we are.
Beliefs — To say “values” is to also say “beliefs” because if we value something then we believe those values must be expressed in our lives. And, we further expect those who hold those same values and beliefs will also behave as we would. Yet, beliefs and expectations can vary greatly between people who hold the same values. Why?
The reason they diverge so greatly is that while values are universal, beliefs, opinions, and assumptions are cultural, familial, and personal. Behavior may vary from one person to the next and from one society to another, even though they hold the same beliefs because of underlying, unexposed assumptions. When you see inexplicable differences as this, look for unexposed assumptions. Then it becomes time to ask that all important and revealing question, “If we hold the same values, why are our beliefs and our expectations for fulfilling those beliefs so different?” That is the time for engaging effective dialogue techniques.
Validating Our Beliefs. Caution — Don’t get caught up in the “how” question or the “why” question. For example, “How could you, or ‘Why did you…? come to that belief from that value?’ ” will lead you into numerous rabbit holes of speculation. The “why” and “how” questions are not very useful. Rather, it is far more useful to work through each belief by discussing “what” led you to that belief. Examine them without judging them as good or bad, or referring to the individual from whom they came. Further, this can be done easily in a team where you feel safe emotionally and socially to ask questions that will help reveal assumptions. For example, “When did you first begin to hold this belief/opinion/assumption? From whom did you hear this belief/opinion/assumption? And so on.
Within the Team, when differences of beliefs are discovered, it will become necessary for its good working order to examine those beliefs to determine how they contribute to the sustainability of our civilization, national societies, communities, family, and ultimately the individual — not just for this year, but as they contribute to the development of sustainability 50 to 250, and 1,000 years ahead. Yes, 1,000 years is not too much to contemplate. That is why when you think of sustainability, think at two levels, the ideal envisioned future outcome, and the developmental steps that must be implemented to attain that ideal outcome.
Validating Assumptions. Failure to reveal and validate assumptions, either by overt agreement or tacit agreement, will invalidate the results of the Team. Every difference of a belief is evidence of assumptions that must be validated separately through the Schematic as supporting or not supporting social sustainability. When differences still persist, it is time to call upon your Consultant for insights and advice. This may seem tedious, but is a preventative procedure that will go a long way to eliminate unforeseen problems and failures of eventual designs. Documenting the validation or invalidation of assumptions will be useful to other teams as they examine similar designs. Differences between the validated results of different teams are indicators that unrevealed assumptions still exist.
We tend to live our lives minute-by-minute and day-by-day with incredible lists of beliefs in mind, never thinking of the unexposed assumptions that support those beliefs. Most of us simply accept the assumptions and expectations that were tacitly attached to those beliefs when they were given to us as children. It is essential for the development of sustainable social organizations that their fundamental beliefs and assumptions are exposed and validated.
“Everything is Fine.” The development of hundreds of local Design Teams will be able to examine the fundamental assumptions that underlie the social systems of our society. Assumptions are the soft sand that is quickly eroded when tragedies wash across communities and nations. David Bohm tells us,
“When things are going smoothly there is no way to know that there’s any thing wrong — we have already made the assumption that what’s going on is independent of thought. When things are represented, and then presented in that way, there is no way for you to see what is happening — it’s already excluded. You cannot pay attention to what is outside the representation. There’s tremendous pressure not to; it’s very hard. The only time you can pay attention to it is when you see there is trouble — when a surprise comes, when there’s a contradiction, when things don’t quite work.
However, we don’t want to view this process as a ‘problem,’ because we have no idea how to solve it — we can’t project a solution.” 36
The biggest assumption that amounts to a grand societal lie is that “Everything is fine.” The Social Sustainability Design and Validation Schematic has an uncanny knack for exposing assumptions of team members, their communities, and the assumptions of our culture, larger societies, nationally and internationally. But it takes courage to begin. Perhaps the biggest untested assumption I’ve made is that the citizens of democratic nations are concerned about their future, and will become engaged in designing a sustainable future for their children and grandchildren. But then, perhaps they only see that “everything is fine.”
Techniques For Working The Schematic And Moral Compass
Because the Schematic is eminently flexible, you can begin at almost any place in its format. Eventually though all items will need to be completed for future referencing by other Teams.
Beliefs. Start with a belief you wish to test for its sustainability and write it in the Beliefs column. Look to the right to Expectations column. What expectations stem from this belief? Write those down. As you can see, it is not always necessary to fill in all of the blanks of a Schematic to test for the validity of a belief, or expectation. To test the validity of a belief or expectation, you must challenge that belief or expectation using the seven values in Column #10. If it is not supported by all seven values, then it is not validated.
Expectations. This is the other location where you can begin testing. Enter the expectation. Look to the left to the Beliefs column. What beliefs support this expectation? Write those down, and continue.
Validating an Existing Policy or Sustainability Project. Start with a policy, any policy whether it is a family, community, social, corporate, national, international domestic or foreign policy. Or, you could begin with a Sustainable Design you wish to test. Is it sustainable and effective? Write this policy or Sustainable Design feature in Column 7, Expectations.
Examples may include mandating that health plans provide free contraception to reduce unwanted pregnancies, or restricting visitor access to a state park for habitat recovery. In this case, each Expectation (policy or Sustainable Design feature) must be tied to a particular intention.
1. What Criteria of Fulfillment as the result of your beliefs and expectations would you use to measure whether the policy or Design feature works as intended? Write the Criteria for Fulfillment you have identified in Column 6. Using the above example on restricting visitor access to a state park, we might use the population of a recovering and endangered species over time as one of the Criteria for Fulfillment.
2. If the policy has been in place for some time, data for the Criteria for Fulfillment may already be available so you can evaluate whether the policy is effective or not. If it is a new or proposed policy, or a feature of a Sustainable Design that will be new to society, then recognize that you will not be able to validate its effectiveness at this point, but will have to wait for it to be tried somewhere for a period of time to measure its effectiveness. It may be validated by the four core values, but its effectiveness may not be apparent, yet.
Beliefs have moral and ethical connotations. They are ideas about how an individual or society “should behave” 37 that many times are not recognized because they exist in the form of assumptions. When evaluating a policy (or Sustainable Design feature), there are often competing views on its merits and demerits. Each party will have one or more underlying beliefs, whether recognized or not, which motivate them to be in favor or against that particular policy.
1. Start by identifying the parties in favor or against the target policy or Sustainable Design feature. In the example above on mandating that religiously affiliated health plans provide free contraception, we might identify religious institutions and the federal government as parties who have competing views on this subject.
2. For each party, try to identify what underlying belief is motivating them to be in favor or against the target policy. In the example to follow, religious institutions may be against the policy because they believe that freely available contraception will lead to immoral behavior. Supporters of contraction, on the other hand, may believe that individuals must have access to family planning methods to reduce welfare costs. Place each belief in Column 8 along with its respective owner.
Evaluate each belief against the Interpreted Values contained in Column 9. If this does not resolve the problem, then use the Innate Values in Column #10. This process requires seasoned judgment to use effectively, and not everyone will agree on the socially sustainable conclusions. However, even if no clear-cut answer that everyone agrees upon is achieved, using the Schematic will have served a valuable function in focalizing discussions around the topic of social and material sustainability so that constructive dialogue develops. Using the three secondary Value-Emotions to evaluate the emotional content of the topic should bring final clarity to the dialogue.
Exploration Tactics By The Team
There are three primary techniques for using the Schematic. The first involves the process of building socially sustainable designs based on “visioning” some desired outcome as a social process, organization, or policy in the future. Visioning necessitates strategic planning where short-term goals are developed to fulfill long-term goals. The second involves testing an existing social process, organization, institution, social policy or law to determine its validity as contributing to social sustainability, or not.
1. Visioning and Strategic Planning are planning techniques that allow us to develop a vision for what we wish to bring into existence through validated designs contributing to social sustainability. Using the Schematic for strategic planning allows us to develop long-range plans and then devise short-range plans that fulfill that vision. Once the future vision design is validated, then the strategic plan can be developed with incremental short-term goals that eventually complete the strategic plan and vision.
Though visioning offers the potential of developing validated long-term goals, developing short-term goals will be challenging. Planning and implementation must take into account unknown factors that will surely arise that must be addressed. In other words, the plans must be adaptive and flexible with all participants keeping the interests of the plans ahead of any political or social positions that may develop along the way. We must be patient with ourselves to design that future and keep in mind the universal values as the criteria for every step along the way.
Start with a larger concept and then divide it into smaller parts. The smallest unit of social sustainability to work with is the individual. You can never go wrong beginning at this level because the foundation of any functional and sustainable society is the individual/family. If your team begins at the large end of a project using visioning and strategic planning, it will eventually have to work its way back toward the narrow end to validate how that design/vision contributes to the sustainability of the individual/family.
As example, if you are designing a sustainable local healthcare center, that vision is more familiar to you than the larger topic of a global or national health care system, for example. You may find it interesting that a socially sustainable local community health clinic has the same rooms, equipment and staff as clinics now, but the intention for its existence and operation is vastly different. You may wish to work with a local clinic as a whole system, and then divide it into its smaller components to be discussed as separate sustainable systems of the clinic. Doing so, you would begin to see how healthcare as a whole is a system that must relate to other social systems, as education for example.
You would do this before dissecting these into smaller parts, and this is what this whole process is about: taking a larger social system of a global civilization and discovering the subordinate systems that operate within the larger sustainable system. No social system is sustainable without related and subordinate systems being sustainable, as well.
This design process looks at a great deal of minutia in a very tedious fashion. If you look at a small community medical clinic and then use this process to discuss the design of the functions within the clinic, you may find that you achieve more rapid results. In the case of procreative couples who want to begin planning 3-6 months beforehand conception, or perhaps 2, 3, or 4 years beforehand, and would like to prepare for that time. You would examine the educational services that your clinic would provide, and what staff member of the clinic would provide this, and who is the most skilled. This person may also have the dual function to be the visiting family practitioner, who would come to visit the family before and after conception and during pregnancy, and who would follow this family unit through the years ahead.
According to the continuum, as the fetus matures and is born, other functions within the local clinic would need to be provided. Rather than having the clinic drive the services, the needs of human beings as physical, social, psychological, intellectual and spiritual beings would drive the design of those services.
You may find a tremendous frustration in your work with this design process if you think of providing service to the current population in your community. In your vision, you may be looking at demographics where one healthcare clinic serves a population of 500 or a 1000 people, with 250 families. As you look at the communities across a large city—such as Green Bay, Wisconsin— you might exclaim, “Oh, my gosh! We need to have 1000 clinics to serve a million people.” Thus, you would begin to think in other terms.
While the Design Team Process may seem frustrating for a project as this, keep in mind that this is only a design to serve the human need to develop a socially sustainable community; and, of course, one of the first places you would start is with healthcare, the multi-levels of healthcare, and then education along the human social sustainability continuum.
Floundering and Finding Your Way Out. If you do not have a design that has some ideals to it, then you will flounder. If you think in terms of only serving the immediate needs of the public, then you will also flounder. If you get caught up in how to acquire the needed resources — “How do we fund this now?” — and so on, you will flounder.
With a vision, your projection is not to have these particular problems in the forefront of your minds, but rather what services do you need to provide in order to develop a socially sustainable community for generations to come. Recent literature, for example, cites that some third world countries are providing and developing high-tech solutions to local problems without having to hire experts. There are intelligent people everywhere, and intelligent people read up on the materials available and figure out how to do what needs to be done with the materials and resources at hand. When you do it this way, then you become very inventive, very creative and you will find that you will then have local, enduring solutions.
2. Testing an Existing Social, Policy, and Decision-Making Processes for Validation. Testing an existing social process or social policy involves de-constructing the originating organizational documents, such as charters, constitutions, by-laws, or policies and analyzing their parts from the standpoint of validating their sustainability. For example, if you evaluate a legal statute or law, you would first look to the expectations associated with it. List these in the Expectations column of the Schematic. If the statute or law provides a sanction for violation or a reward for compliance, list these in the column #6, Criteria for Fulfillment. When you find assumptions, and you will, list those in the Beliefs column to be validated later when the team is working on that column.
Next, the Team would proceed to discover the fundamental beliefs that underlie the operation of the organization that support the Expectations and Criteria provided in the founding document, policy, law, or regulation. Some organizations state their beliefs in the early part of these documents, which are usually associated with its philosophy and intention for its existence. List these in the Beliefs column.
The last process involves the validation of the social sustainability of those underlying beliefs, expectations, and the desired performance that measurably fulfill those expectations. If the policy, law or regulation does not support life, equality, growth and quality of life of the individual, family, other social institutions, then it is not validated to support social sustainability. When a policy, law or regulation, etc., is unable to be validated as supporting the four primary values of social sustainability, then it must be revised and replaced by one that does, or is removed.
Social Sustainability Design And Validation Schematic ~
|Project: .......||Page: ..........|
|1. Global Statement of Project:
|2. Statement of Intention (briefly):
|3. Area of Sustainability:||a. Social or||b. Material ? (Circle one)|
|4. State the area of examination for social sustainability (e.g., family, childrearing, community, education, health care, economy, commerce and trade, governance, or other) :
State the question relating to material sustainability:
|5. Venue (Circle one): → Individual/Family → Community → State/Region → National → Global Region → Global
(This involves planning)
|CRITERIA FOR FULFILLMENT
(This should be measurable)
|[We value]…||[We believe]…||[We expect]….||[We observe]…|
► Quality of Life
♦ “Love” of
© Copyright Daniel Raphael, Ph.D. 2018 USA.
Reproduction is authorized when © Copyright is intact
|Project: .......||Page: ..........|
|1. Global Statement of Project:
|2. Statement of Intention (briefly):
|3. Area of Sustainability:||a. Social or||b. Material ? (Circle one)|
|4. State the area of examination for social sustainability (e.g., family, childrearing, community, education, health care, economy, commerce and trade, governance, or other) :
State the question relating to material sustainability:
|5. Venue (Circle One): → Individual/Family → Community → State/Region → National → Global Region → Global
© Copyright Daniel Raphael, Ph.D. 2018 USA.
Reproduction is authorized when © Copyright is intact
An Experiential Exercise Using The Schematic
1. Global Statement of Project: This is the kernel of the sustainable social project you plan to design. For this experiential exercise we will write, “Reduce Teen Pregnancies, ages 12-19.”
2. AREA OF SUSTAINABILITY: For this exercise, circle “a. Social”.
3. State the social project being designed for sustainability. For this exercise, the topic is: “Child bearing.” Also, write this in the top line as the “Project” of the Schematic. It is duplicated here for future reference as you accumulate pages of the Schematic in a file folder, for example. Number the pages consecutively.
4. Venue: Circle: Individual/family level. Later, you can scale-up your design to the community level or higher once you have completed and validated the design for the individual/family level. For the sake of this example, it is easier to select the “individual/family” level because an individual or family is sovereign in how it chooses to practice its own sustainable population.
5. Statement of intention? This is directly related to (1.) “Global Statement of Project.” According to our example, we write “Decrease abortions”. Our project is to reduce teen pregnancies, and our intention is to reduce abortions.
6. Criteria for fulfillment: (Columns 6 and 7 are directly related to each other.) For every expectation, there are many criteria, behaviors or outcomes that fulfill that expectation. If we expect to reduce teenage pregnancies, then we need to have criteria to measure the progress of the programs we use to make that reduction. To check the validity of a criterion, measure it against the seven values of sustainability in column #10. For social sustainability to become a part of a community or society there must exist measurable behaviors or outcomes that demonstrate how expectations are being fulfilled.
Column #6 will become a list of measurable criterion that allows us to assess our progress to fulfill our project (1.). Letter each item as “a”, “b”, “c” and so on to provide a referencing guide in columns “7.
Expectations”, “8. Beliefs”, and “9. Values.” List as many criteria as you can before proceeding. In our example the following are provided:
a. Fewer incidents of pregnancies for girls 12-19.
b. Lower school dropout rates / More graduations.
c. Fewer abortions for this group (reported/projected.)
d. Fewer welfare & WIC enrollment for this group
e. Fewer reported abandoned infants.
f. Fewer infants put up for adoption.
g-z. Add other criterion as necessary to measure your project.
Provide details for each lettered entry to let the reader know how each criterion will be measured; and, other details as needed.
7. Expectations Column: This column has to do with the program(s) that we expect will fulfill the criteria. In this example we would expect that in order to reduce teen pregnancies, those who become responsible for pregnancies and births of teenagers 12-19 years old would be provided a combination of programs to fulfill the criteria. “Those who become responsible” would include the teenager (boy and girl), his and her parents, and community support agencies, for example.
We would expect that…
● Procreation education programs would have been provided long ago to the parents of the teenager, and long before the teenager becomes sexually active. This prepares parents for socializing, instructing, and enculturating their future teenager with an understanding of the seven values, beliefs, and expectations so the child is prepared to make responsible decisions concerning his or her own sexuality and his or her procreation of a new generation. It is essential that the sexually developed child fully appreciate the consequences of their decision upon the social sustainability of their own life, their own eventual children, and upon the community and society.
Age-specific and developmentally-specific procreation education materials are provided to the parents or guardian of the young child who will become a teenager, whether male or female. This would be done early enough in that child’s life to answer their natural questions about reproduction, why there are boys and girls, and other topics.
This column can be expanded to provide programs as needed for each criterion. For example:
● Beginning prior to when the child becomes reproductively capable, the child is made aware of human sexuality in ways that are suitable for their age and sexual development. This may include the full spectrum of birth preventative methods from abstinence to sterilization. Those who are capable of reproduction are provided with no-guilt access to birth control devices and medications; and for those who are not yet capable of reproduction information about those resources is made known.
As the reader may consider, this technique of information, education, and training can as easily be used for the prevention of tobacco use, drug and alcohol use, anti-social behavior including bullying, peer pressure, and many other behaviors that are detrimental to social sustainability. Procreation education in a sustainable society is viewed as any other developmental topic, like acne for example, that inevitably appears in a child’s life.
● The thrust of the programs in “Expectations” is to place the responsibility for social sustainability practices upon the individuals who have the most influence to effect a sustainable outcome. At present society is responsible for the support and care of infants-becoming-adults by citizens who had no control of the procreation of that child. That is blatantly un-sustainable.
8. Beliefs Column: The lettered items in this column correspond to the lettered items in the Expectations and Criteria columns.
NOTE: Values express as beliefs which spawn expectations that are demonstrated as behavior that we can measure. When we want to understand how the core values support sustainability, we must consider the expectations that flow from a particular belief.
Seven Core Values: Life, Equality, Growth, Quality of life, and the three Secondary Value-Emotions of Empathy, Compassion, and a generalized “Love” for humanity.
VALUES: Life, equality, growth, quality of life Interpreted Values
Beliefs: (& assumptions)
Where to begin working the Schematic. The conundrum of where to start working with the Schematic is something the Design Team will have to discuss and figure out. For example, you would expect to provide procreation information, education, and training only if you believed that doing so would bring about the fulfillment of the Criteria. You must then answer the question, “What leads you to believe that doing so will be effective?” This and similar questions will lead the team to identify the assumptions of those beliefs.
As social sustainability is the final point on the continuum of survival for a civilization, only what supports a society’s social survival, existence, continued maintenance and sustainability is validated as important. The sustainability of a civilization, nation, or society is not dependent upon political positions, for example, but upon what truly affects its socially sustainable existence.
Our example continued: As we begin to work the Beliefs column, it is time for us to ask about the underlying assumptions being made about procreation education in a socially sustainable society. ASSUMPTION: increasing availability of information, education and training to parents-to-be, parents of children, children, and reproductively capable young adults will decrease teen pregnancies and decrease abortions. Are there other significant beliefs and assumptions?
● We believe that all sexual beings should become aware of their sexuality as an aspect of their humanness. We believe that this is best provided by the parents or guardians of the child, as a part of growing up. We assume that parents have this information already, and we further assume that parents with this information will share it with their children during the course of their growing up. Ignorance of the basic functions of human procreation and reproduction contributes to the material and social UNsustainability for the individual, family, community, and global civilization.
● We believe that it is essential that children-becoming-adults are fully informed about their sexuality in order to make mature, responsible, and socially sustainable moral decisions about their reproduction. Increasing awareness must keep pace with their physical development — educational materials attuned to a child’s physical, sexual, emotional and social development.
9. Interpreted Values Column: Very often those who are unaware of the seven universal and timeless values that are innate to our species and each and every individual will assume that their beliefs are supported by their own set of values. In reality, for those who are fully aware of the seven values, a personal set of values are interpreted values of those seven values. The usual reaction to providing this degree of clarity is usually met with a great deal of questioning that is a response to cognitive and cultural dissonance. It will take a period of time, more or less, for individuals who come into this awareness to integrate this new values-reality into their thinking and to appreciate what these seven values represent.
10. Values Column: Now it is time to cross-check or validate the items in the Interpreted Values, Beliefs, Expectations, and Criteria Columns against the seven values in Column 10. Checking the validation of each item of the listed beliefs (and each assumption) is supported by each value and their combination. When validation is not possible, then the belief(s) and interpreted value(s) will need to be amended to match validation process of the seven values in column #10.
11. Statement of Findings, (page 169) The top section of the Statement of Findings is identical to the top section of the Schematic, with the narrative of findings provided below. In the section, the Team will write a narrative of their findings, conclusions that recount the validation by each of the four primary values for each belief, assumption, and the criteria that are examined. This is an essential historic record as to whether the Team found the elements supporting the topic as either sustainable or unsustainable.
Example: Because all humans are sexual by gender, and sexual according to their physical maturity; all people are equally endowed with sexuality, and equally in need of sexual and procreative information, education, and training in order to make responsible decisions about whether to and when to procreate children. Delaying procreation until the optimum era of an individual’s life allows the optimum contribution of growth to their life, and their child’s life. Further, it is the responsibility of organizations related to this topic area to make available education as well as birth control devices and medications to reproductively capable individuals; and, it is the responsibility of reproductively capable individuals to avail themselves of those educational materials, birth control devices, and medications. These reciprocal responsibilities support the symbiotic social sustainability relationship of the individual, social agency organizations, and society.
The Statement of Findings shows the relationship of the various columns of information in a brief narrative form.
The Schematic allows users to develop socially sustainable ethical and moral social policies for themselves, their own procreative family, and their community. Working the Schematic provides a synergistic effect that provides educational awareness and understanding of how social sustainability contributes to the individual’s, family and community’s sustainability.
Failure to Validate. Sometimes a social issue is not supported by the four primary values. If it is not possible to validate the topic then it is necessary to write a Statement of Invalidation that is published to avoid duplication by other teams. Teams will find, however, that some aspects of their designs are only partially validated. These need to be published, as well.
An Experiential Exercise Using the Schematic’s Methodology to Address a Moral Question
The Schematic as a Moral Compass has three primary functions,
● Cross-checking the socially sustainable moral validity of those designs and other work that is produced by Design Teams; and,
● To test the socially sustainable moral and ethical validity of existing policies and laws, for example, whether of private organizations, corporations, governmental agencies, or non-profit organizations of any size, for example.
● To guide the design of new social policies and laws.
NOTE: The following is an adaptation of the same experiential exercise used for using the Social Sustainability Design and Validation Schematic that we began on page 155.
In this case, the purpose of the exercise is to provide a proof that the solutions provided with the Schematic are morally and ethically in agreement with the seven values of social sustainability.
Developing Social Programs to Fulfill the Moral Answer: This exercise will complete the bottom half of the Schematic by developing example programs to “Reduce Teen Pregnancies / Reduce Abortions.”
The Top Half of the Schematic asks for definitive and descriptive information about the moral question.
1. The Moral Question: “Does the morality of social sustainability support the publication and provision of education and training concerning human procreation to individuals age 20 and below to reduce teen pregnancies, ages 12-19?”
2. AREA OF SUSTAINABILITY: For this exercise, circle “a. Social”.
3. State the moral issue being validated for social sustainability. For this exercise, the issue is: “Free Press, Child Bearing.” Also, write this as the “Moral Issue” in the top line of the Compass. It is duplicated here to identify it for future referencing by others who access the “Library for Sustaining Wisdom.”
4. Venue: Circle: Individual/family level. For the sake of this example, it is easier to select the “Individual/family” level because the individual and family are the lowest sovereign social level for how it chooses to practice sustainable population morality.
5. Statement of intention? This is directly related to “1. Moral Question.” According to our example, we write “Reduce Teen Pregnancies”. The moral issue is the publication of relevant material to reduce teen pregnancies, and our intention is to reduce pregnancies in this group.
At this point the top section of the Compass has been completed.
We will now move directly to “Findings.” The Statement of Findings provides a more detailed, narrative, discussion of how the for core values were used by the Team to validate social and moral issues.
The moral question: “Does the morality of social sustainability support the provision of education and training concerning human procreation to individuals age 20 and below to reduce teen pregnancies, ages 12-19?”
Equality: The value of each member of the potential procreation is equal when procreation occurs when it is preceded by informed, conscious, and intentional decision-making for the optimum point in the life of the prospective mother, father, and child. YES.
Explanation: Premature pregnancies deprive the mother, father, and child the opportunities of a more mature life to access the benefits of life equally as others who have waited. Their value to the community and society to aid their own sustainability and that of their own family, community, and society is diminished by the responsibilities of premature parenthood.
Growth: The growth and maturation of the individual, (mother, father, and child), is more fully assured when informed, conscious, and intentional procreation takes place at the optimum point in the life of the prospective mother, father, and child. YES.
Explanation: Premature pregnancies prevent the optimal course of maturation and growth that support the social sustainability of the mother, father, child, family, community, and society.
Quality of life: The quality of life is more fully assured when informed, conscious, and intentional procreation takes place at the optimum point in the life of the prospective mother, father, and child. YES.
Explanation: Premature pregnancies deprive the mother, father, and child the opportunity of a higher quality of life to grow into the full potential of their social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual maturity equally as others who wait.
Because providing information and training about procreation encompasses the realm of families, the considerations for sharing information and providing training encompasses the earliest eras of the continuum of human existence from the neonatal era through the elder years social sustainability. 38 It begins specifically with pre-conception couples who have decided to bring children into the world. What do they need to know to bring a healthy sustainable child into existence? What information does the couple need to know about informing and instructing their child with sustainable procreative information? At what developmental stages does the child need this information? What are the usual developmental stages of sharing specific information in those stages with children who are not capable of reproduction? And so on.
In a socially sustainable society, the process of child bearing and parenting involves learning about and knowing how to delay procreation until the optimum time in their life to bring children into existence. Second, the process of parenting involves sharing that same information with their child as he or she grows up, providing age-dependent information as the child needs to know. In this way, the moral decisions and practices of social sustainability become the responsibility of each person. Parents become responsible for enculturating their children in the responsibilities and art of living in a socially sustainable society, and responsible for instructing their children with the knowledge to fulfill those moral guidelines in their own lives, and in their own children.
An Experiential Workshop Training Exercise
The following is an experiential exercise that will take 2-6 hours to complete in a workshop situation. In an experiential exercise as this there are no mistakes — you learn by doing. After an hour, your team may feel that “something is just not quite right.” If that is the case, stop and examine what is happening and make adjustments.
Please form into Teams with 5-11 people. Do your best to compose teams with as much diversity with regards to age, race, gender, professional and educational background, etc. [The assumption for having diversity is to bring a very diverse set of beliefs, opinions, and assumptions into the Team for discussion. There is a caveat: Great diversity could also become a great impediment to the smooth and rapid development of agreement. Differences between Teams examining the same topic can be discussed later, for everyone’s enlightenment.]
Initiating the Team. Although there is no leader of your new team, usually someone will take the initiative to bring several people together into a team. This is good — someone has to initiate the process.
Choosing Team Roles. Briefly discuss the function of each role within the Team and also the training and/or experience each of the members has applicable to selection for the various roles in the Team. With some effort, the team will soon perceive who has capability or even expertise in the roles of Facilitator, Recorder, Consultant, and Inquiring Members. After your first session together, you may want to discuss whether changing roles may be needed.
NOTE: Your immediate work is to select a Recorder even before you choose a Facilitator. This is necessary because almost immediately the Team will begin to experience “lost lines of inquiry” in the discussions.
Facilitator. The person selected for this role will begin to perform his or her duties immediately after selection. You are cautioned to be flexible at the beginning and as non-intrusive as possible. Do not over-facilitate. Just watch, observe, note, and in time make facilitative suggestions.
Becoming too involved too early will stymie the forward movement of the Team. It is important that each team member be given space for taking responsibility for his or her words and actions.
Inquiring Members. The most active members of the Team are the “Inquiring Members” though every member must ask questions. Their role is to aggressively probe, prod, and dig into the topic by directing questions to the group.
Goal. The goal of your Team is to:
1) fill out the Schematic as completely as possible; and,
2), complete the FINDINGS report.
Caveat: For training purposes, it is not necessary for the team to complete the project as it is to come to understand and appreciate the Team Process. This means becoming comfortable with the operation of team roles and with the dynamics of interplay of individuals engaged in the team process involving the art of inquiry as you work the Schematic.
Development of Topics for Teams. Because of the limited time of the Workshop, teams should quickly select a topic of general interest. Spend only minimal time determining your topic. If the team gets bogged down, ask the Facilitator to assist in determining your topic. Discuss some topics you would like to work on to validate their social sustainability.
a. This can either be a “VISION”; or,
b. The examination of any topic at a stage in the Continuum.
c. Deconstructing an existing social policy, law, existing social organization. If the policy is a single statement, it will fit the criteria of a design topic that can be tested in the Schematic. If not, it will need to be divided into smaller parts so that each can be evaluated.39
The topic. Every topic will fit into a hierarchy: The global aspects of your sustainability project, a mid-range, and the specific topic you will be working on. If your team is unable to reduce the project to a workable size promptly, the team can later reframe the topic as the team progresses. For example, look at the health care system and break it down as follows: sustainable global healthcare system; sustainable community healthcare system; sustainable local clinic; sustainable home healthcare.
Design / Creation vs. Implementation. During this creative process of developing designs that you will test for sustainability, do not become concerned with questions as, “How will the local sustainable clinic be financed?” Answers to questions as these and others will need to be raised when your team or someone begins the implementation process of your Team’s validated designs. Such considerations may include the population the clinic serves, such as a community clinic for all age groups or that of a clinic on an aircraft carrier, for example.
Stop the Process. After about one hour, Facilitators should bring the Team to a stop and ask the team members how they think the team is doing. This is a very sound way of “auditing”* the unspoken observations of team members.
* Don’t hesitate to ask members if they are using reflective thinking, critical thinking, and “the self-observer.” (Page 183.)
Checking In and Reporting. The workshop facilitator will stop the teams every hour or two to report to the larger group. As this is an experiential training exercise where we learn by doing, where everyone’s learning becomes more complete in a shorter time by sharing the experiences of each team with the other teams.
Experience and Training. As team members gain experience performing their respective roles within the Team, they begin to realize that each could become immensely more productive and confident with just a bit more training. Team process, team dynamics, team facilitation and many related topics have been meticulously researched by social scientists for the last 60 years. There is a great deal of literature and training available or support the effectiveness of the team you will initiate in your local community.
Process and Growth of Team Members
The Design Team provides a high-level working environment of personal and social interaction. It provides a unique opportunity for curious and creative collaboration and for honest and authentic examination of existing social institution designs and their policies.
Developing options and solutions to social problems through the use of each member’s wisdom, knowledge, and experiences offers each member the opportunity to experience the exhilaration of being a part of something uniquely valuable to all societies. The lessons learned from those experiences will be profound and lasting.
“Most of us at one time or another have been part of a great ‘team,’ a group of people who functioned together in an extraordinary way — who trusted one another, who complemented each others’ strengths and compensated for each others’ limitations, who had common goals that were larger than individual goals, and who produced extraordinary results. … Many say that they have spent much of their life looking for that experience again. What they experienced was a learning organization. The team that became great didn’t start off great— it learned how to produce extraordinary results.” (Senge, 1994))
Straight talk, “Meta-talk,” and Non-verbal Behavior. Each of you will become more and more adept at “reading” what another team member is saying. It is especially important for members to convey their remarks without sarcasm or aggressive language. Those and other “messages within the message” are indications that members are examining a topic with differing assumptions, even though they may have identical values and beliefs about that topic. That is evidence that it is time to expose those assumptions. Assumptions are neither good nor bad, but provide a hidden and defining meaning or agenda to a topic. Your team will need to examine all assumptions as part of the discovery process of working the Schematic. Your team will become incredibly productive and unified when those assumptions are revealed.
The “Observer-Self”. The Design Team Process is best served when each team member becomes a self-observer. The “observer-self” is someone who is a student of critical thinking — those skills that allow the person to observe their own thinking and its processes, and then seeks ways to improve the process by which they come to conclusions. By engaging in self-monitoring, each team member is able to effectively correct their participation within the team. This is an especially important and necessary function as the team matures and takes on its own identity. When team members act as an “observer-self” they reduce the need for the Facilitator, making the flow of the team process much smoother. Until this occurs, the Facilitator will provide that function with support from the Consultant.
Critical Thinking. Team members who are capable of questioning their own beliefs as a means to uncover long-held assumptions provide a valuable service to the work of the team. This is the heart of critical thinking. Only by doing so will teams become more productive as members learn how to reason among themselves. Design Teams are truly reflective of the capability of our societies as a whole.
To quote Richard Paul and Linda Elder regarding critical thinking, “A well cultivated critical thinker: raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely; gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively [and] comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards; thinks open mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.” … “Critical thinking is, in short, self -directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. … It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.” 40 All team members must also become adept at critical speaking, critical questioning, and critical listening.
The Process of Achieving Peace
The difficulty of achieving peace arises because people of different races, cultures, ethnicity, and genders have different traditionally interpreted values, beliefs, hidden assumptions, and expectations of the seven values that are innate to everyone.
Working toward the achievement of peace requires a process of recognizing the seven values that are common to everyone, appreciating how contentious interpretations of those values developed for each party involved in this peace process, then discussing those differences, and finding reconciliation. This has been tried before. What stands in the way of resolution is the acceptance of the morality and ethics that are borne out of those seven values, and applied to each party of the peace process. Until the seven values, morality, and ethics are accepted as the rules for peace negotiations, there is little to talk about.
The process discussed above can be replicated in a Team environment with two parties, (labor and management, city gangs, two parties with different agendas but similar goals, and many others), who are in opposition but willing to negotiate. To make the process of achieving peace possible, it is necessary that each member of the team has the same intention, confidence, and courage to engage and challenge their own beliefs, and those of the other members.
Examining Our Assumptions to Validate Our Beliefs. Again, (page158), the results of peace negotiations will always be in doubt until all of the underlying assumptions of all parties involved are exposed and resolved. It begins by examining the differences of beliefs between the parties involved. It begins without judging the other’s beliefs as good or bad, or the individual from whom they came! Peace is not sustainable when differences of values and assumptions remain in place. Delaying this process can bring about a cessation of aggression but the differences will lay dormant until those differences are inflamed again.
A Broader Understanding Of Design Team Contributions
In addition to generating designs for sustainable social processes, local Design Teams provide an additionally valuable social service to communities, states, and nations. By becoming skilled at discerning, weighing, sifting and sorting values and gradients of options, team members evolve into citizens capable of providing mature leadership in their communities, states, and nation. Local Teams provide a valuable social service to the sustainability of their larger society by offering the broader public a realistic, validated educational process of how societies become socially sustainable, with citizens becoming more responsible for the leadership of their communities, states and nation.
Because local Design Teams offer their community, states, and nation a bottom-up way of developing designs for sustainable social processes at all levels including the national level, the overall benefits may not be obvious. Hundreds of Design Teams that come together as a system become a perfect scenario to bring about positive and constructive social, cultural and political change. Thousands of team members provide a way of “informing” our culture of the realities that are required to underwrite the survival, social stability, and social sustainability of our societies. Local Design Teams will be able to examine the fundamental assumptions that underlie their social systems to discern those that are UNsustainable.
Perhaps the biggest assumption I have made is that people are concerned about their future and will become engaged in designing a sustainable future for their children and grandchildren. It is my hope that this is not an assumption but a reality of the character of citizens broadly. But it takes courage to begin.
It is the interactive social-emotional affective environment that goes on to produce the synergy of the team when the team meets in person, which is more than what each member could do alone or consulting by email. This is why it is important that teams meet together in person as often as they can, rather than apart, so that they can work with this affective environment between and among them.
The work of the team will be challenging. Its examination of the sustainability of the traditional and UNsustainable ways of life will put many beliefs and their assumptions to a severe test. Our traditional ways of life never had an conscious intention to work toward the centuries-long process required to sustain a nation into the millennia ahead. The traditionalist belief has been that everything will work out all right if we just keep doing what we are doing, i.e., “the future will take care of itself.” The phrase, “the future will take care of itself,” represents the height of self-delusion and condemns our children and their great grandchildren to our care-less attitudes today.
With the consciousness of our moral responsibilities to all future generations, Local Sustainability Design Teams provide an organized and predictable means for developing validated designs for social processes — effective and meaningful contributions to the social evolution of our families, organizations, communities, and the larger societies of every democratic nation.
Strategic Visioning. Teams can use the Schematic and the Design Team Process for “visioning” sustainable designs for the future. Once the future vision design is validated, they can begin to develop decremental designs that fill in the blank spaces between today and that envisioned future. Trying to achieve utopian outcomes in one step poses a ludicrous hoax on an uninformed public. Communities and societies now have the tools to consciously evolve socially and publicly through staged developments to move them toward social sustainability.
Social Sustainability Design Teams may be far off the chart of reality for most people in the 21st century, but consider the following:
● The problems we now face are global. Yet, our democratic nations came into existence without a plan for sustaining themselves.
● Futurists, scientists, and historians agree that earth’s civilization, as it exists and as it grows larger, is UNsustainable. A precipitous decline in the quality of life for many seems inevitable.
● Because no person has ever had the experience of being trained in Planetary Management, no one living has the capacity to bring the resources that are obviously available to heal the problems described above. The only resource that has the talent, breadth of service and sheer numbers needed to begin transforming the unstable and unsustainable nature of our global culture are the people who have the most to lose and the most to gain — millions of citizens in thousands of local communities.
Because all historic societies have proven the failure of their original design, are we willing to sit and watch our own go the same way? Without innovative solutions from the bottom-up in every local community to move our societies toward social sustainability, our civilization is likely to go the way of many dozens of civilizations that have risen, peaked, declined, and disappeared, (Diamond, Jared). Implementing design solutions for social sustainability must emanate from the people who will enjoy the benefits of their preparedness, or suffer from their lack.
Progressive social evolution will not be possible
Until leaders and the people realize that
The hope of a better nation –
And a better world –
Is bound up in
The progress and enlightenment of the individual.
31 - Dörner, Dietrich. 1996 THE LOGIC OF FAILURE, Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations
32 - Raphael, Daniel 2018 UNDERSTANDING Social Sustainability p 19-20
33 - The use of the seven values in decision-making inherently provides proactive “good” or ethical outcomes when the morality and ethics of those values are also used for those decisions.
34 - Bohm, David, On Dialogue ISBN 0-415-33641-4
35 - Wright, Kurt 1998. Breaking The Rules, Removing Obstacles to Effortless High Performance.
CPM Publishing, Boise, ID ISBN 0-9614383-3-9
36 - Bohm, David On Dialogue (2004): 68. ISBN 0-415-33641-4
37 - “Should behave” comes from the normative theory of ethics. Normative ethics tells how we ought to behave in order to be moral. See the author’s paper, Making Sense of Ethics.
38 - Raphael, Daniel 2016 Organic Morality — Answering the Most Critical Moral Questions of the 3rd Millennium.
39 - NOTE: “Deconstructing” or testing the validation of a policy can be a simple as examining an Human Resource (HR) policy in your company: a) In #1 Global Statement of Project, you would write, for example, “Validate HR Policy #___”, and then in “Criteria of Fulfillment” you would write in the specifications of that policy. Next, proceed to “Expectations” where you would want to answer this question, “What expectations would require these criteria?” Then proceed to “Beliefs”, and answer this question, “What beliefs would support these expectations and criteria?” And finally under “Values” you would test each belief, expectation, and every criterion against each value, and write a very brief Statement of Findings of your test(s).
40 - Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008. Also see, the link.