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Topic ICT May Enrich the Modelling Process by Expanding the Boundaries of Agreement
Participants | Roger Harnden | Alfonso Reyes | Clas-Otto Wene | Roberto Zarama |
Critics | David Best | Raul Espejo | Keith Pheby | Barnaby Sheppard |

Meeting 1 NotesMeeting 2 Notes

Meeting 3 Notes

Outcome Resolve

Co-ordinator = Alfonso Reyes


  • In terms of observing systems, modelling is a recursive operation in languaging in which the conceptual, formalised and the later affected model encapsulates a snapshot of some determined bondage of the messy world. 
  • By moving from modelling of an observed system towards modelling in an observing system, we may change our previous diagrams with the one that is shown at the end of these notes.
  • Perhaps one of the major challenges in this view of modelling is how can we connect the people from the community with the experts during the modelling process. In other words, how can we design a transducer to connect "experts" technical distinctions with people legitimate concerns about the issues that are at the core of the policy process?
  • The other loop that has to be designed is the one that takes into account the consequences of the implementation of the policy making on the community itself. This loop wills feedback these consequences into the modelling process again.
  • We have to take into consideration, as well, that involving relevant people from the community is not always possible because of a secrecy aspects of some issues being discussed. But again, this is not an impediment for this kind of participation; it is a restriction for the design of this mechanism.
  • We are distinguishing three main aspects of the process: the experts, the policy makers and the community. The question is how we design the process to be balanced, that is with sufficient checks and balances in order to give a fair chance to all relevant viewpoints during the process of policy making.


  • The missing of arrows in the model (i.e., the diagram) are not the key issues, but the epistemological underpinnings of this way of thinking. If the model being offered helps in developing a self-awareness (i.e., a consciousness) of the people involved in actual policy making processes in terms of this way of thinking, then we could say that we are addressing the key issues of modelling and policy making regarding community aspects.
  • Remember that you have to make a connection with ICT, in particular the point of the use of ICT to enlarge the capacity of understanding the here and now.


  • Notice that in a way the new diagram is considering he use of ICT. For instance in regarding the issue of visibility, that allows people in the community to "see" how the process of modelling and policymaking is being carried out, ICT might play an important role. The same is the case in the other way around. How can we use instances of ICT to gather in real time and to the full the peoples concern about the issues being discussed and present them to the individuals in the modelling process?
  • But in addition to this use of ICT as to enhance communication channels, is the challenge of using it to facilitate the whole process itself. Is there any particular characteristic in modern ICT that could be used to handle the modelling and policymaking process in a more effective way? 
  • It seems also important to take a critical view of ICT in this regard. A view that considers aspects as values and, in general, ethical issues regarding the use of ICTs. ICT does not do anything by itself; it simply reveals some forms of practices undertaken by people and organisations. Practices that are mostly shaped by the use of these ICTs. The technology has the same blind spots of its designers; a critical view should help us to reveal (i.e., make explicit) such blind spots.
  • Having said that, there still remains open a question regarding if there are some intrinsic qualities of ICT or not. It could be that visibility is one of such intrinsic aspects of modern ICT that does something to the quality of human communications.
  • Perhaps, in this discussion, it is important to separate ICTs in their modelling and analytical capacity from ICT as a communication infrastructure.
  • Therefore, the widening of the here and now through the use of ICT does not refer only to a quantitative aspect but also to a qualitative aspect.

Working Diagram of Policy Making