Search: public administration in 21 century

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Robert David STEELE Vivas

UPDATE: Abstract modified by Tom Atlee

New Abstract posted.

4 Comments Received

Harrison Owen: Public Administration in the 21st Century

In the Dark of Night: Public Administration in the 21st Century

Harrison Owen: Public Administration in the 21st Century II

In the Dark of the Night: Public Administration in the 21st Century II

Preliminary reception:  What did not work need not be attacked or over-thrown, but it does need to be under-stood, as in “Lessons Learned,” and displaced, as Buckminster Fuller and Mahatma Gandhi both articulated–both favoring, as I do, a non-violent measured and very public approach–transparency as the bridging method.  The more this dialog goes forward, the more I see Information Operations as the essence of Public Administration in the 21st Century, with Public Diplomacy including Faith-Based Diplomacy, Commercial Ethics and Lessons Learned, and Civil Affairs all playing a huge role as a facilitator of the birthing process for a new process that is (public) intelligence driven, rooted in holistic integrity, and not at all about command & control or “the plan” but rather at enabling emergence with clarity, diversity, and integrity…more of less the point of the book INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability (EIN, 2010), but now to be refined in the mass market book, Manifesto for Truth: Intelligence with Integrity . . . in the Public Interest (Evolver Editions, July 2012).

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Jason “JZ” Liszkiewicz asked me to address this one, and I do so gladly.

The signal difference between public administration of the past and of the future is this: governments are no longer central, indeed, governments are so clogged up that many are routing around them.

Public Administration in the 21st Century will be characterized by three major attributes:

Stephen Colbert Truthiness or the Truth?

1)  The public, not the government, will define the rules of the road, the objectives of public policy, and the costs to be authorized.  Elites and “experts” are in disgrace for the foreseeable future.

2)  Information-sharing and sense-making will be public, not secret.  Information, not money, will be the driver of behavior, priorities, and spending.  Information, not authority, will be the means by which diverse and disparate entities are harmonized as a virtual whole.

3)  “Administration” will be a mis-nomer.  The field now called “public administration” is morphing very rapidly into a living discipline that for lack of a better term (yet) I call public intelligence.  With everything fragmented and fraud being the norm, there is a need for public intelligence professionals who can help the public connect with truthful information (I love Steve Colbert’s truthiness concept).

This is such an interesting topic to me personally that I am going to take some time to review my notes from my preparation for my 1987 written final examination for my Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Oklahoma (OU), and prepare a new essay on the core concepts and how they are changing.

Step 1:   16 Jul 1200  Fast online literature review (5 page annotated bibliography).

Step 2:  19 Jul 2200 New Abstract (below the line)

Step 3:   Essay Document (soon)

New Abstract

Public Administration in the 21st Century:

From Dead Governments to Live Communities

Robert David STEELE Vivas

Abstract

Humanity is on the verge of a major shift in human consciousness and earthly circumstance.  Epoch A leadership, leadership that assumes elites know best  and that demands obedience from below for plans from above—a leadership that assumes command & control is the natural means of controlling societies and that secrecy is a prerogative of the elite—is coming to an end.

During Epoch A public administration has been the purview of governments, the sole “authority” over peoples and resources since the Treaty of Westphalia, a Western imposition on societies the world over, each forced to accept artificial political boundaries, to give up tribal and other traditionalist forms of deliberation and decision, and to accept the coincident imposition of Western forms of organization across academia, banking, commerce, law enforcement, the military, and  even non-governmental and non-profit.  This form of public administration has been rife with corruption enabled by secrecy and public inattention to detail.  It has allowed public treasure to be mis-appropriated, militarized, industrialized, and transferred from the many to the few.

Now, Epoch B appears to be emergent, and it cannot be a coincidence that in the months leading up to 22 December 2012, the Mayan calendar date for a transformative shift in the fortunes of humanity, we are witness to a plethora of convergent human currents from the Arab Spring to the imminent downfall of Epoch A bastions from Goldman Sachs to Rupert Murdoch.

Humanity has awakened.  The five billion poor are increasingly connected with mobile technology to one another and to the Internet, an infant form of noosphere, and the prospect of transparency that eradicates corruption, combined with human ingenuity unleashed to create infinite wealth, suggest that despite the apocalyptic visions if not sick desires of some extremists, we could be on the verge of creating a prosperous world at peace—heaven on Earth.

For public administration this means at least three things will change:

1)  The public, not the government, will define the rules of the road, the objectives of public policy, and the costs to be authorized.  Elites and “experts” are in disgrace for the foreseeable future.

2)  Information-sharing and sense-making will be public, not secret.  Information and the co-creative meeting of deep, authentic needs, not money, will be the driver of behavior, priorities, and spending.  Information and the co-creative meeting of deep, authentic needs, not authority, will be the means by which diverse and disparate entities are harmonized as a virtual whole.

3)  “Administration” is now a mis-nomer.  The field now called “public administration” is morphing very rapidly into a living discipline that for lack of a better term (yet) I call public intelligence but Panarchy—public self-governance—may soon be a commonly understood term for our new state of being in relation across all nations, agencies, disciplines, and domains.  With everything fragmented and fraud being the norm, there is a need for public intelligence professionals who can help the public connect with truthful information (Steve Colbert calls it “truthiness”).

It may take a century, but Panarchy will bury Public Administration.   The public in the 21st century will not tolerate being “administered,” it will self-govern across all issues in all languages all the time.

Old Abstract

The Treaty of Westphalia was a terrible, arrogant mistake, a Treaty achieved by force and without regard to centuries of natural boundaries and traditional authorities and processes that were in harmony with one another from Africa to the Americas.  The Native American concept of “seventh generation thinking,” the Mayan calendar and other deep complex insights, and their equally powerful African concepts epitomize what we lost.  Preceding the Treaty, and running in parallel and generally above  governments, have been a small handful of banking families in China, Indonesia, and Europe, the Rothchilds being the best known but not the wealthiest (nor most powerful).  Public Administration emerged from the same fevered brains that invented the General Staff System, the Germans, with Max Weber and his theory of bureaucracy doing to the practice of government what the Treaty of Westphalia did to relations among nations—killing nations and making states with artificial boundaries a false God.  Then came the Industrial Era, with its emphasis on scientific management, interchangeable parts, and the commoditization of humans—what one author calls “the manufacture of evil.”  The Industrial Era has been one of extraordinary technical achievement accompanied by an equally extraordinary descent into Dante’s inferno—we have become corrupt to the core, achieving failure across the eight principal paradigms in which I reflect: academic, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, and non-governmental or non-profit.

We have now come full circle, and I believe, as do those in the conscious evolution community, that 22 December 2012, a sacred date in the Mayan calendar, is the beginning of Epoch B, an era in which we govern without government, create infinite wealth through networks of information-sharing and open sense-making, and achieve a prosperous world at peace—a non-zero world better suited to explore and interact with the vaster Cosmos whose mysteries we cannot—with our current fragmentation of knowledge—even begin to comprehend.

What has changed—Alvin Toffler nailed it in PowerShift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century when he foresaw the impact of information technology on power, but he went too far toward believing that states, religions, and corporations would be the dominant gladiators—instead we have Wikipedia, Wikileaks, Anonymous, and Open Everything.

Three big things have changed.

First,  the cost of connectivity has dropped to almost zero—once the balance of humanity is connected, their entrepreneurial ingenuity will eradicate corruption, scarcity, and secrecy.

Second, the capability of the human brain, sharply diminished by very bad design and very bad management practices, is about to explode.  There isn’t a computer on the planet that can compare to the processing, reasoning, weight, and energy efficiencies of the human brain.

Third, and last, somewhat mysterious but compelling in the extreme, we are facing a convergence of epic proportions—a convergence of science and religion; of diversity with unity within humanity; of bottom-up true cost facts with unlimited 24/7 human processing; and of morality within community.

Public Administration by and large has failed because it has sacrificed its integrity to special interests and substituted ideology and daydreams for intelligence (decision-support).  Public Administration in the 21st Century is going to be about intelligence with integrity . . . in the public interest.  Truth will be the coin of the realm, and Panarchy will be the outcome – governance without government, self-governance Of, By, and For We the People.

See Also:

Journal: Reflections on Integrity

Search: design thinking and public administratio

My Talk With Tom Atlee: Primer on Citizen Intelligence

Review: The Politics of Happiness–What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being

Review: The Next Catastrophe–Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters