Method

The approach used in establishing the model is based on fundamental Systems Thinking.

The main benefit of Systems Thinking for our purpose is that it establishes a clear connection between our goal, “optimizing democracy”, and the parameters affecting the achievement of this goal.

In order to define an effective solution to a problem, Systems Thinking suggests as a first step to review and precisely identify the goal of our actions. Going off in the wrong direction would make our catalogue of actions ineffective altogether and waste our resources. Sometimes we do not have a clear understanding of the goal which we should be pursuing. In politics, should the overall goal for example be economic growth, well-being, or happiness? While these goals are connected, each of them will require a somewhat different set of actions in our policy making.

Having reviewed and specified our goal, Systems Thinking then calls us to analyze the correlation between the parameters affecting the achievement of the goal and the goal itself.

To ensure achievement of a goal Systems Thinking suggests it is necessary to identify all parameters affecting the goal and to ensure (in as much as possible) that they are in place. One frequent reason for policy failure is that not all parameters of relevance for goal achievement were identified and addressed. It is not sufficient for example to teach people how to employ bees for the production of honey. We also must make sure there is a market and that the producers have a means to transport the honey to the market.

A fundamental understanding of Systems Thinking is that the capacities and perspectives of each of us are limited. In order to establish the correct goal and to identify all parameters affecting this goal Systems Thinking, therefore, proposes to involve as many people with as many different perspectives on an issue as possible.

Also this entire blog and its thoughts and suggestions need to be examined in that way by people concerned with the performance of our policy making systems and looking for ways to improve them.

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