Guidance on content patterns and key concepts: scope — societal architecture — actor maps — statute books — initiative books — resource books — three realm maps — government functions — industry sectors — municipal circles
Actor Levels: macro, meso, micro, pico
Actors at levels Macro, Meso, Micro and Pico
The table below generically characterizes actors at different levels in a modern society. Development initiatives typically involve actors at multiple levels. A regulative cycle or collective regulative bundle describes one possible way to deal with (required) change in a system or constellation1.
The level (macro, meso, micro, or pico) of a Principal2, will determine attributes of its interests (e.g., the resources for survival and growth that it must consume, produce or protect).
Also behavioural constraints are determined by the level. For instance:
- within their jurisdictions, macro and meso-level actors should refrain from giving preferential treatment to any of their micro or pico-level "subjects";
- companies compete at the micro-level in their sector of industry;
- persons compete in sports contests (in sports disciplines (meso-level)) or for job promotion (in the micro-context of an organization)
- the institutional instruments that governments can use to promote their industries are constrained by global trade agreements.
|Extent||What is the area of concern and impact of initiatives?|
|Principals||Who decides? Who is responsible at this level?|
|System||What are typical interactions?|
|Design||What are typical design or development methods? How is change initiated?|
|Cases||Which cases illustrate change factors? What representative cases are there in the literature?|
|Problems||Which approaches are used to identify problem messes?|
|Outcomes / values||What outcomes are valued and produced? How are they measured?|
Why Societal Architecture?
In their recent book, North, Wallis and Weingast (2009)23 explain the difference between natural states and modern societies. Modern societies create open access to economic and political organizations, and by doing so they foster political and economic competition, and development.
In the modern society, the balance between open access resources and private property is a subtle one. For knowledge resources, this balance seems to be least understood. Also claims on land, sea and its use are a contentious area.
Vagueness regarding the allocation of resources, be it land, knowledge or material, induces individual risk considerations that hinder development.
By using a multi-level classification of the actors in the socio-technical fabric we can articulate and vary the rules of interaction and the claims on resources. By visually representing the claims that exist on contested resources (consider the legal swamp metaphore24), various actors can be allocated better understood and delineated claims on resources, which will be inputs to the construction of sustainable and equitable futures.
Both the classification and the visual representations are indispensable instruments in re-architecting the socio-technical fabric of the techno globe, to enable more inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.
Co-operative alongside capitalistic business models
In International Labour Organisation‘s 193/2002 Recommendation on the promotion of cooperatives, it is stated: "a balanced society necessitates the existence of strong public and private sectors, as well as a strong cooperative, mutual and the other social and non-governmental sector". Along these lines, 2001 Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz has recently pointed out: "my research showed that one needed to find a balance between markets, government, and other institutions, including not-for-profits and cooperatives, and that the successful countries were those that had found that balance" (Joseph Stiglitz, Moving beyond market fundamentalism to a more balanced economy, in 80 Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics 348 (2009)); and moreover: "success, broadly defined, requires a more balanced economy, a plural economic system with several pillars to it. There must be a traditional private sector of the economy, but the two other pillars have not received the attention which they deserve: the public sector, and the social cooperative economy, including mutual societies and not-for-profits" (ibidem, 356).
Source: footnote 6, page 35 of Study on the implementation of the Regulation 1435/2003 on the Statute for European Cooperative Society (SCE), October 2010.
On how to regulate and organise a cooperative, see Statute for a European Cooperative Society (SCE).