Emergent Guidance

Jeff Vail spends hundreds of words getting at how to guide emergent thinking. In essence he argues for:

  • Platforms to ‘Keystone’ ecosystems.
  • Engineering by principle rather than by design (Consult Wiggins’ latest post on complexity.)
  • Local systems as critical.

Sounds about right, but you have to be careful not to:

  • Confuse guidance for control. In a real decentralized context (marked by an equal distribution of a critical level of empowerment) a multiplicity of goals and actions will emerge. You can call this guidance, but it will actually reflect the grounding of the system – the keystone platform and the system principle.
  • Get hung up on terrorism. The test for ‘flatness’ is whether or not you can adapt to all storms – literal or not.
  • Think the local community is the end game. It is all moving to one.

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