Thinking About Technocracy

Where to from here?

Communities of Practice and Technocracy

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Communities of Practice are one of the most exciting collaborative frameworks to emerge out of modern theories of learning and development.  I find no mechanism more effective at systematically transcending boundaries.  …That’s right, systematically transcending boundaries…a paradox. 

Learning is the classic example of systematically transcending boundaries, and communities of practice are effectively learning machines or (a phrase I dislike) learning organizations. 

I believe that CoPs lead to all sorts of technocratic governance prospects.  By esteeming information, learning and advancement in particular fields while not blocking access to newbies or other participants, the prospects are set for collaborative decision making and critical redirection in ways that few other means I have found can match.

A technocrat needs to not only have science but ought to define collectively the relevance of a scientific view to a set of questions and then test and refine (e.g. through adaptive management processes).   Communities of practice are self-governing, self-selecting units that have structure and yet, ideally, remain quite open–like human brains.  They are extremely effective for just this sort of application.  How low should carbon standards go?  CoPs can answer.  Who’s in the CoP?  It’s a social network of expertise that can be structured in any number of Web 2-3.0 sorts of ways.

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Written by ryanlanham

January 5, 2009 at 7:02 pm

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