Monday, September 20, 2010

Addendum to Mission Statement

By Carl Hunt

After some reflection (a common outcome associated with the coevolution of thinking and producing!), we should expand explanation a bit on the mission statement. As it reads before more “coevolution” is offered by other readers, it now says:

Harness the power of the cyberspace medium to orient users and developers to the challenges of cyberspace to create a common understanding of the environment for maximum, harmonious exploitation of its connective potential.

Cyberspace, like all environments that sustain life, have their own power sources. In the physical domains of air, water, land and space, these power sources are based on physics and chemistry for the most part. In SENDS, we hypothesize that the power of cyberspace resides in the thinking and generated knowledge of the users of cyberspace. This explains the critical requirement to apply social sciences to better understand and exploit “the power of the cyberspace medium.” And, as we will explore in future blogs, these same social science-based understandings will support the Wicked Problem resolution approach that SENDS has adopted.

Speaking of WP resolution approaches, the mission statement addresses the creation of a “common understanding.” WP theory and application calls for the creation of shared understanding of a problem before attempting to resolve it (we discuss later why we don’t try to solve WP, preferring to resolve them). Common understanding (very similar to shared understanding, but not quite the same) allows us to better appreciate the qualities of cyberspace from a global standpoint. One of the interesting features of cyberspace is that we access it locally, but can interface with it globally through the massive connectivity it offers. This phenomenon is also a study requirement for SENDS as we move through the first year Pilot and beyond.

Perhaps the least understood term in the mission statement as currently written is the word “harmonious.” This word really needs the next word, “exploitation,” for maximum understanding and context. I refer you to the 1 September entry to ensure you understand what we mean by “exploitation” in the mission statement, but when taken together, “harmonious exploitation” means the blending or synergizing of discrete concepts that might not always fit together without a blending environment such as cyberspace. These concepts include security, accessibility and availability, terms often associated with Information Assurance. In fact, the concepts that are blended together in the goals of Information Assurance reflect a requirement for harmony to emerge.

So, in conclusion of this expanded discussion on the mission statement (as currently written), we offer that we propose SENDS will enhance the potential for users and developers alike to better understand cyberspace and exploit all it potentially offers us. We can accomplish that goal through a harmonious synergy of secure but accessible entry points into the environment that maximizes the connective potential cyberspace lays before us. There’s a huge social component in those ideals and that’s why SENDS and Wicked Problem resolution techniques seem to complement each other so well. More on that later…

No comments:

Post a Comment