metaphor is renowned as a key to creative thinking and innovation and a most intriguing unexplored resource to guide the elaboration of more complex conceptual frameworks and organizational structures... information systems have traditionally been ruthless in eliminating the ambiguity of metaphor from the communications they support... however, one great advantage of metaphor is that, like rumour and humour, and if well-chosen, it travels rapidly through any network, whether computer-assisted or not... how then might it be possible to marry metaphor processing into policy-making environments as a way of breaking through the imagination barrier?
consider the fashionable focus for the international community at this time, namely sustainable development... how is this complex notion to be carried and addressed in the imagination, and especially in the media... metaphor can be used to highlight the collective difficulty in developing strategies to bring it about - metaphors such as "global village" or "Gaia" do not give focus to the strategic dilemma and the operational opportunities... due to imaginal deficiency, sustainable development is best understood at this time through the metaphor "having our cake and eating it too"... this corresponds to its corporate (re)interpretation as "sustainable competitive advantage" - both are tragic examples of poverty of imagination in a complex environment
consider a policy environment in which text (including speech), data and graphics were treated as infrastructure "plumbing" and in which the conceptual centre of gravity was shifted to an imaginative level sustained and disciplined by the computer-assisted use of metaphor... a major concern in the conference would be to ensure the circulation of meaning through metaphor... complex conceptual insights would be expressed succinctly through metaphor... the challenge would not be who could dominate the discussion in quantitative air-time terms, procedural manipulation, or resolutions passed - rather it would be a question of who could produce the most seductive metaphors to capture the strategic complexities and the opportunities for the formation (and survival over time) of hitherto impossible coalitions of bodies favouring seemingly incompatible policies based on integrative conceptual frameworks of unsuspected elegance
the djed report - continued
the djed report
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