October 2016 FAST Friends Update
A VERY busy month my friends! At the moment, I’m in Iceland at this moment – hoping to make the late connection after my previous plane was delayed 24 hours due to a flat time.
VISITING SCHOLAR IN NAPOLI
It is with mixed feelings that I depart from Napoli. This trip has meant a lot to me: Experiencing the city, working with students, and relationships with the excellent scholars here. The work with doctoral students was to help them develop their literature reviews using IPA. It’s funny coming full circle that way. Back when I was working on my own literature review, it was the frustration around the fuzziness of the process that set me on the path to IPA. Now, I can teach IPA to students working on their literature reviews to help them work through their frustration more effectively. This work also builds on a recent paper for the EES conference “Restructuring Evaluation Findings into Useful Knowledge” (Houston, Wallis, & Wright, 2016) where we suggested that IPA could be used for program evaluations – and also for literature reviews in dissertations. We expect that process will serve as a “science accelerator” enabling doctoral candidates to show that they are doing more than “adding to the storehouse of human knowledge” but are measurably advancing science by integrating theoretical perspectives. I look forward to working with these bright students and others in the future! In short, I feel a sense of completion, and a sense of instigation.
Additionally, I had the great pleasure of working with scholars from Parthenope University including Chiara Cannavale and Elena Laurenza (interducltural entrepreneurship), Clara Bassano (innovative online platforms for improving competitiveness of universities), Adele Parmentola, and Ilaria Tutore (policy for supporting diffusion of innovation). Those collaborations will likely lead to a conference presentation in Los Angeles, and two or three papers (and some interesting business and consulting opportunities).
For a bonus, I had the great pleasure of talking with Gerhard Fink – as he and his wife were visiting Capri at the time! His insights into power, government, and systems are very relevant in today’s confusing political-business world.
And, more generally, I strongly recommend visiting Napoli and the surrounding area. The beautiful coast, the delicious food, the wonderful people and the crazy traffic. Simply an amazing place in so many ways. Especially if you have an interest in self-organizing systems. Just come and watch the traffic flow!
For an interesting systems event, Jim Spohrer and friends are looking for presenters (see session 9): http://www.ahfe-hsse.org/index.php/program/ The official call for papers is here: http://ahfe2017.org/files/CFP2017.pdf For my contribution, in collaboration with Clara, we are working toward a presentation and paper for a web-based platform to support collaboration between universities based on knowledge mapping. Naturally, this approach would also support the development of more useful/effective theoretical models through interdisciplinary collaboration.
Next month, we are presenting a webinar on: Network Knowledge Mapping: Mapping the Known, Discovering the Unknown on Wednesday, November 9, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern time. https://ucdenver.zoom.us/webinar/register/3f4e50792b821f79c5b9141539e44ee6
Networked organizations have tremendous potential for tackling complex problems and achieving ambitious goals. They also face great difficulties in coordinating their efforts and providing evidence to show their shared success. Creating a “knowledge map” can help you make the case for your important work. Knowledge mapping also supports effective collaboration, communication, and planning. In this interactive webinar, you’ll learn the basics of this scientifically rigorous, democratic technique:
• How to map the evidence from people’s experience (interview and collaborative mapping approaches)
• How to map the evidence from research studies and other supporting materials
• How to create an integrated map to show the evidence from experience and research, bridging the gap between academia and practice
Presenter Bios: Steven E. Wallis, PhD has developed a ground-breaking tool to help advance more useful social research, Integrative Propositional Analysis (IPA). He provides workshops and consulting to help organizations to use IPA to shape high-leverage research, improve collaboration, and plan strategies to reach their goals. Bernadette Wright, PhD has 20 years’ experience in program evaluation and policy research. At Meaningful Evidence, LLC, she provides evaluation/research consulting and workshops to help non-profit leaders to make “research meet results.”
Together, with Vladislav Valentinov, our paper “The imperviance of conceptual systems: cognitive and moral aspects” was accepted for publication in Kybernetes.
Abstract – The complexity of the modern world calls for the increasingly complex (i.e., containing more concepts) and systemic (i.e., containing more causal connections between the concepts) conceptual systems, such as theories and mental models which may exist at varying levels of complexity and systemicity. Yet, these systems are often found to be impervious to data and counter-arguments. Examples of such disputes are found in arguments over global warming and in the many debates between political groups. The present paper reviews the reasons behind this imperviance and identifies ways to move forward. The paper brings together the insights from the burgeoning science of conceptual systems as well as selected ideas from the moral philosophies of Niklas Luhmann and Jürgen Habermas. The science of conceptual systems is utilized to unearth the cognitive reasons for the imperviance of conceptual systems, while the work of Luhmann and Habermas is brought to bear on the moral reasons. The most salient cognitive reasons for this imperviance are shown to be related to the questionable validity of data, the situational inappropriateness of conceptual systems, as well as their low complexity and systemicity. The effect of the moral content of conceptual systems on their imperviance is ambivalent. For Luhmann, moral communication may enhance imperviance and induce conflicts. In contrast, the Habermasian discourse ethics may counteract imperviance by stimulating the rational moral argumentation.
As usual, if you would like me to send you a paper, or if you are interested in joining a collaborative effort, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps next month I might relax a bit? Not with all these projects!
Many Thanks to all who helped make these dreams come true.