Biodiversity and Public Policy Choices

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Policy : 

Policy Fall 2008 Redundant Lecture

Conventional policy formula : 

Conventional policy formula Political input Policy formulation Implementation Enforcement Policy Reform Assumption of conflict Rational economic transactions Rational distribution of resources

Complex Change formula : 

Complex Change formula Relationship X dynamics X phase space Change process = emergence Change ≠ Reform

Complexity : 

Complexity Interwoven relationships created through systems feedback

E8 Configuration : 

E8 Configuration 248 dimensions Feedback creates variations.

Feedback : 

Feedback Variations created because ‘return’ is not exact, but rather affected by current conditions (strange attractors) as opposed to initial conditions.

Complex Policy Process : 

Complex Policy Process Policy = A single multi-layered non-linear (rather than accumulative) process Does not assume system ‘rationality’ but rather system ‘adaptability’ Looks for ‘evolutionary’ change rather than incremental change. i.e. not reform, but change that responds to current conditions. Looks for ‘sustainability’ rather than merely compliance. Policy solutions may require adjustment of system dynamics/relationships/learning. Solutions may emerge with the problem and therefore require careful observation of current adaptive conditions, rather than only past causes.

Issues in contemporary Policy Theory : 

Issues in contemporary Policy Theory Time Is there a true connection between the past occurrence of a social problem and the present conditions? Does the problem occur before or after a break in continuity of social ‘habits.’ i.e. is it appearing in a transition? A transition problem is distinct from a problem of bad ‘habits.’ Does the policy allow for creative emergence or does it force a ‘false’ equilibrium with past models/conditions? Does the policy recognize the complexity that has ‘layered’ overtime.

Phase Space : 

Phase Space Boundaries Created by feedback between initial organizing principles of system and adaptive conditions.

Issues (cont.) : 

Issues (cont.) Phase Space: all adaptive variables available to an agent. (Landscape) - Is there adequate phase space to solve the problem? -- is there a culture of ‘learning?’ -- is there adequate diversity? - What is the agent/society already adapting to? -

Issues (cont.) : 

Issues (cont.) Adaptability Is there a learning culture? Does leadership allow for appropriate adaptation to new circumstances? How is learning dispersed throughout the culture? Does society/organization encourage diversity? Can the society/organization learn from and create with diversity? Can the society/organization sustain itself through ‘evolutionary’ leaps in the adaptive landscape?

Issues : 

Issues Dynamics (the interaction/adaptive learning of relationships) Are the dynamics adequate to create change? _ Are the dynamics adequate to sustain change and the original relationships? - Again is there adequate diversity (the key ingredient of dynamics)? How are dynamics created and sustained in the organization/society?

Emergence : 

Emergence Emergence of a plant/stable patterns

Issues : 

Issues Emergence The non-linear process by which change appears from the interactions of system agents. If the change could not have been supported by the system elements alone, but rather emerged from the interaction and there fore is ‘greater than the sum of the parts;’ the change is therefore said to be evolutionary.

Emergence : 

Emergence New patterns Easier to recognize the process Stable patterns are the potential Sustainable Variations emerge Rangoli patterns/India Raga

System Observation : 

System Observation The key process skill in deciding on appropriate policy intervention Designing for multiple outcomes - Solution to problem as it appears in current conditions Creating/sustaining dynamics of process Increasing individual/system capacity for learning and therefore creative adaptation Stability of relationship patterns/process More important to know where system is going than where it has been in some cases

What seems to be chaos…. : 

What seems to be chaos…. overtime stable patterms emerge…

Observation/Participation : 

Observation/Participation What can the system sustain through creative adaptation?

Questions of observation : 

Questions of observation What is the system adapting to, what organizes the behavior? Does what we propose force adaptation to their same ‘maladaptive’ principles (e.g. fear) or does it improve system dynamics from which something more sustainable appears? Are we in a transition? Do we have the skills to steward a transition? What others variables exist in the same phase space? What stable patterns do we see emerging? Do they need to be de-stablized or supported? If de-stabilized are we ready for the transition that will occur?

Is it a transition from one state of organization to another? : 

Is it a transition from one state of organization to another? Off the cliff but not yet on the ground?

Summary: The keys to effective policy in complex environments : 

Summary: The keys to effective policy in complex environments Observation Timing Attention to dynamics and process Ability to participate in current conditions rather than only reflect on the past. Ability to recognize change when it happens (whether or not it is regulated.) Learning Willingness to engage multiple forms of knowledge

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