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“Why & How We the People Ought to Connect the Dots …”

Presentation Abstract for  8th. National & International HSSS Confrence Thessaloniki, 5-7 July, 2012

Haven’t we all spent hours of time trying to discover the best possible solutions for wicked questions, often with no any obvious answers? Haven’t we all be thinking for years, what does democracy really mean, whether freedom of expression is applicable, or whether our politicians, act upon according to an ethical vision or according to their private interests? Have we all felt, at certain occasions, deceived by those who are in power or distracted by media owners and propaganda techniques on what reality looks like? Haven’t we felt concerned or scared to raise our voices against what is being decided for us, without us? Is currently our “democratic consciousness” defined, simply, by voting every four years? Where are we standing at, as citizens of this world if we have succeeded in producing intelligent means of communication, but we haven’t developed the ability to discover who we are and where we want to go, through constructive democratic dialogue aiming in the revealing of a truth that will exclude no one? "Why & How We the People Ought to Connect the Dots…" will present to the conference participants the reasons WHY democracy should be reinvented as a bottom-up process, with the citizens for the benefit of the citizens. And HOW is that possible to be realized by engaging people from all walks of life in a structured democratic dialogue employing the methodology of inductive, deductive, and retroductive logics. By “connecting of the dots…” we mean the consensual “connection” of people’s mental models, i.e., opinions, knowledge, understandings, wisdom and vision for the future, versus the current domination by political, financial, and academic elites. 

Dr. Alexander (Aleco) Christakis 

Dr. Alexander (Aleco) Christakis is a PhD Theoretical Nuclear Physicist, Social Systems Design Scientist, and former faculty member or several Universities. He also serves in the Editorial Boards of several journals, was President of the International Society for Systems Sciences (http://isss.org/world/index.php), and he also is the Founder of the Institute of 21st Century Agoras (http://www.globalagoras.org/), a non-profit organization dedicated to the evolution of civic, global, and institutional capacity for coordinated democratic decision-making using professional systemics (Co-Laboratories of Democracy.) Aleco Christakis will share with the audience “Why” he became preoccupied for most of his professional life with the discovery and application of structured dialogic design (SDD) for the definition and resolution of "wicked problems." After answering the "Whys" of the title question, there will be an opportunity for questions from the participants before moving on to the "Hows”. Forty years of practicing his trade in the field has taught him that “strategic management” in the definition and resolution of wicked problems is not meaningful, effective, and feasible in a top-down approach based on the design and delivery of solutions by political or academic elites. We know now that such an approach violates “the axioms” of the systems approach, which is the theme of this conference. 

Ms Maria Kakoulaki 

Ms. Maria Kakoulaki is an active journalist, working as a News’ Chief Editor for Channel 4U, (as a Columnist for the newspaper “ΝΕΑ ΚΡΗΤΗ” (Crete TV Media Group) and her experience includes all types of media, with participation in various European Conferences and workshops abroad. She aims to address WHY a journalist embarks on a conscious journey searching for the Truth, concerning the modern Problematique, and why that very Truth is not a static or permanent condition, but rather a combination of strategic thinking and interactive systemic practicing of a life-time efforts and experiences, starting from each one, through many and for all. Taking as a starting point, her journalistic work, through a variety of interviews, mainly in politics and economics, she aims to elaborate HOW social media can enhance the capacity of stakeholders to engage in co-laboratories of democracy for the collective discovery of truth and consensual wisdom by the people, and for the people, in the context of our contemporary national and international settings, such as the recent European - Greek financial and political crisis. She will also address some [Meta]modern embedded myths and norms and point out the “ought to” vision, away from the “either/or” dilemmas, the unquestioned replies, the rhetoric questions, the endless monologues and the zero-sum games. 

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