Implication in Any Strategic Roundtable of Its 12 Knights


Anthony Judge – TRANSCEND Media Service

Each Circulating Globally in Quest of Sustainability and Immortality


Use is frequently made of “roundtable” as a metaphor to suggest a configuration of a fruitful diversity of stakeholders and contrasting perspectives — vital to an integrative perspective. In previous exercises the curious preference for 12-foldness has been variously explored (Enabling a 12-fold Pattern of Systemic Dialogue for Governance, 2011; Eliciting a 12-fold Pattern of Generic Operational Insights, 2011).

Those exercises associated 12-foldness with a variety of qualities, notably recognizable through characteristic “languages” variously considered appropriate to strategic articulation (12 Complementary Languages for Sustainable Governance, 2003). Here the archetypal metaphor is taken further through raising questions as to how these contrasting qualities might be better understood. The particular concern is to avoid premature closure on definitions of such distinct qualities. The suggestion is that they represent a challenge to appropriately subtle comprehension, and therefore call for a process evoking questions, rather than immediate closure on any particular classification. This is as much a personal challenge to learning as one seeking a larger consensus.

Use of “roundtable” merits a degree of challenge through the manner in which it implies that any viable global strategy can be readily articulated from a “planar” perspective — leading to presentation of “global plans”. Together these might well prove to be a fundamental contradication in terms — framing a mode of thinking which undermines the very “global” viability which is sought through the “plan”. This tendency to “flat earth” assumptions has been separately criticized (Irresponsible Dependence on a Flat Earth Mentality — in response to global governance challenges, 2008). The argument here considers the possibility of a more appropriately spherical geometry as a remedy for what could prove to be a critical inadequacy for this period — especially given the technology potentially supportive of another modality (Middle East Peace Potential through Dynamics in Spherical Geometry, 2012; Spherical configuration of interlocking roundtables: Internet enhancement of global self-organization through patterns of dialogue, 1998) .

The further suggestion is that there is an intriguing mystery as to how the archetypal “Knights” might be understood — as with their individual quests and any global endeavvour in which they might be engaged. Framed as a “mystery”, this potentially evokes fruitful imagination and forms of engagement which are typically beyond the capacity of strategic endeavours conventionally defined. Framed as somewhat mysterious, the elusive nature of the “Knights” and their endeavours helps to frame the difficulty in practice of achieving meaningful consensus on viable approaches to global sustainability. It suggests that a somewhat unconventional approach might prove more appropriate to the nature and quality of the consensus required.

Rather than frame “Knights” as emblementatic of a mode of organization which it is now desirable to supercede, the argument here is to benefit imaginatively from the values traditionally associated with nobility — as potentially implying a degree of holistic transcendence. This might even be one characteristic of the integrative sense of “globality”, as separately argued (Future Generation through Global Conversation, 1997; Transforming the Art of Conversation: conversing as the transformative science of development, 2012) . These values could now be especially recognized in terms of long-term learning regarding integrative remedial strategies — calling for reconnection with the popular imagination for which the archetype retains its appeal through myth and online gaming. The question is how any such myth can enable new ways of thinking in response to the strategic disconnect which is so widely evident. What might be a more appropriate “language” through which the global strategic challenge might be imagined?

Of special interest is the framing by the “Knights” of their respective quests, of how each such quest might well be a challenge to the comprehension of the others. Where do the Knights each think they are going? What form do they expect the end of their quest to take? Given the manner in which their quests have been woven into that for the Holy Grail, what might that “holiness” imply for each? How is its mythical offering of immortality to be related to that for global sustainability? This extends a previous discussion of the association of sustainability with the myth (In Quest of Sustainability as Holy Grail of Global Governance, 2011; Interrelating Cognitive Catastrophes in a Grail-chalice Proto-model: implications of WH-questions for self-reflexivity and dialogue, 2011).

The emphasis here is therefore on an open process of imaginative engagement rather than on the definitive closure so widely practiced — — typically in vain, it would seem.



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 10 Mar 2014.

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