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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 agendas such as Addis Ababa Action Agenda - #a4a2030 - #pi9 involve actors at multiple levels in society. A regulative cycle or collective regulative bundle describes one possible way to deal with (required) change by key actors and in key systems or constellation (see the presentation on the Actor Atlas & Shingo Levels of Transformation1).

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).

Positioning pico, micro, meso and macro actors in the multi-level social architecture

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 or protect domestic industries, or attract foreign investors, are constrained by global trade agreements.


Check the tabs for background on the area of concern and impact of initiatives at each level.

Improved livelihood-centrism in knowledge conversions builds upon these attitude changes by actors at each level:
Level what used to be with Wikiworx guidelines
Pico (person) little awareness of where the self fits in the whole be knowledgeable of the ISIC and COFOG tags for important aspects of life and adapt Household journeys for the #SDGs
Micro (organisation) little awareness of how business success builds upon meso-level achievements distinguish between the cooperative and competitive aspects of business success and give both a balanced attention in Business competing & engaging in partner journeys - #b4sdgs
Meso (federation) in developing countries: little attention for this level give ''fair'' federations the attention and resources they deserve for Sector journeys - #isicWW & #cofogWW
Macro (society) little participation by stakeholders due to communicative hurdles overcome communicative hurdles by using the internet and social media also in a smart and disciplined way for Sustainable landscape, #MacroJourneys and #WWlgu

Who decides? Who is responsible at this level?

See under the tabs.


What are typical interactions?

Improved livelihood-centrism in knowledge conversions builds upon these changes in communications:
Level what used to be with Wikiworx guidelines
Pico (person) post the casual, post much, read little, focus on the own reputation ''no matters what'' ''research before writing3''; #tag to reach your target readers; engage in discussions with your readers
Micro (organisation) marketing, marketing, marketing reduce the obtrusiveness of your marketing communications, e.g. by ensuring it appears alongside suitably tagged content or pages with closely related content4.
Meso (federation) have been created ad hoc and coexist in a partly competitive mode; very wasteful… guideline: evolve towards "one federation/space per ISIC class"5
Macro (society) Each agency has its own website and communications channels, without consideration of how the individual in need will find up-to-date information that is relevant to his or her situation now. Explain the use of the ISIC/COFOG classifications alongside wiki functionality in finding and placing information; and apply it for all government communications, as well as for supporting governmental initiatives.
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 Social Architecture?

In their recent book, North, Wallis and Weingast (2009)26 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 a "landscape" in which we distinguish biotope, sociotope and technotope 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 metaphore27) various actors can be allocated better understood and delineated claims on resources, which will be inputs to the construction of sustainable and equitable futures. This construction of a sustainable future must proceed at each of the four socio-technical levels where stakeholders interact with capabilities and resources as mapped in macro journeys, meso journeys, micro journeys and pico journeys.

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 and clarify what it means to be a member of a Global Partnership for the #2030Agenda for Sustainable Development - #SDGs.

Public Private Partnerships

About the roles of and challenges regarding public private partnerships, see Public-Private Partnerships - PPP (Unsolicited Proposals - USP) (Wikiworx page).

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).

Co-operatively achieving results?

See Stakeholder engagement in

It matters for the #2030Agenda for Sustainable Development - #SDGs, as clarified among others:

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