Review: Designing a World that Works For All – Solutions & Strategies for Meeting the World’s Needs – 2005-2013 Labs

6 Star Special, Best Practices in Management, Complexity & Resilience, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Economics, Education (General), Environment (Solutions), Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Priorities, Public Administration, True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Medard Gabel

5.0 out of 5 stars Co-Creator with Buckminster Fuller of the Analog World Game, The Gold Standard for Serious Games 4.0, September 4, 2014

Medard Gabel, co-creator with Buckminster Fuller of the analog World Game, and architect of the digital EarthGame(TM), is “root” for anyone who wishes to do holistic design, true cost economics, serious games, and open source information-sharing and sense-making. He is too little known, very modest, and does not get the deep attention that he merits.

I have participated in his design seminars, and am always thrilled at how well they work. Everyone starts out working on “their” problem, generally an issue in isolation, and around the middle of the week-long seminar, all the different teams experience the “aha” moment when they realize that they cannot succeed in isolation, that all the challenges need to be addresses by everyone working together.

For me Medard Gabel is the “gold standard” and none of the serious games, however well-intentioned they might be, can be helpful beyond their narrow niche for lack of the holistic understanding and the information-sharing and sense-making architecture that Medard provides for — mostly human, not technical at all. As Russell Ackoff likes to say, what is good for one part of the system might be very bad for all the other parts — Comprehensive architecture and prime design — all threats, all policies, all demographics — are essential to our moving past the toxic industrial era of reductionsim and separation that we have fostered these past two hundred years.

I rate this book, because it is a collection of the best of the best from past books, some of which I reviewed at the time, at six stars instead of five.

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Review: Designing a World that Works For All: Solutions & Strategies for Meeting the World’s Needs

5 Star, Atlases & State of the World, Best Practices in Management, Change & Innovation, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Decision-Making & Decision-Support, Economics, Environment (Solutions), Future, Games, Models, & Simulations, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Priorities, Public Administration, Strategy, Survival & Sustainment, Technology (Bio-Mimicry, Clean)
Amazon Page

Medard Gabel

5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary Sequel, Second Book in Series,October 30, 2012

This is the second book in the series, the first was Designing a World That Works for All: How the Youth of the World are Creating Real-World Solutions for the UN Millenium Development Goals and Beyond. They are different books, not the same book. This book brings in new perspectives and new initiatives from the design labs that occurred after the first book was published.

I have known Medard Gabel for close to a decade, and while disclosing that he is one of the contributors to the non-profit Earth Intelligence Network that I funded when I had money, I consider him, as the co-creator with Buckminster Fuller of the analog World Game, and as the designer of both the digital Earth Dashboard for the UN and the digital EarthGame for all of us, to be in a class of his own. He is unique.

Medard Gabel is modest–the blurbs do not do justice to him or his work or the incredibly talented and imaginative individuals (not just youth, but mid-career professionals) that he attracts to this calling.

I have participated in two of his design labs and recommend them to one an all. Everyone enters with their own issue area (urban planning, energy, whatever) and halfway through they experience the “aha” moment (epiphany for Republicans)–everything is connected and NOTHING can be planned, programmed, budgeted, or executed without integrating everything.

As Russell Ackoff likes to say, what is good for one part of the system might be very bad for all the other parts. Comprehensive architecture and prime design–all threats, all policies, all demographics–are the future.

Other high-level books that I recommend with this one are:

Continue reading “Review: Designing a World that Works For All: Solutions & Strategies for Meeting the World’s Needs”

Reference: World Game Document One

Analysis, Analysis, Budgets & Funding, Geospatial, InfoOps (IO), Methods & Process, Stabilization, Strategy, True Cost, White Papers
Click on Image to Enlarge

167 Page PDF

Reference: A World That Works for All

About the Idea, Blog Wisdom

A World That Works for All

Building on last week’s REVIEW: Buckminster Fuller’s 1928 Ideas & Integrities this week I want to honor one new book and reinforce that book with mention and links to several others, all of which make the same point in different ways: we have the power to design a world that works for all.


Designing a World That Works for All: How the Youth of the World are Creating Real-World Solutions for the UN Millenium Development Goals and Beyond (Volume 1) by Medard Gabel and his many international students is in my view revolutionary — a milestone in human applied thought. Having attended two of his design sessions with some of the students he has mentored in this long-running endeavor, it has been my privilege to share in the “aha” experience when half-way through the session all of the smaller teams working on disparate things like agriculture, energy, transportation, water, etcetera suddenly realize that everything is connected and nothing can be designed properly unless it is understood in relation to everything else.

Medard was the co-creator with Buckminster Fuller of the analog World Game, and has recently drawn up the preliminary cost and process estimates for creating the digital EarthGame in which we all play ourselves at every level, with transparent access to “true cost” and all other relevant information.


Separately, in support of a forthcoming book, Medard has documented the reality that we can create a prosperous world at peace for one third the price of what the USA alone spends on elective wars and a global armed secretive presence (over 750 military bases world-wide, all at taxpayer expense). The rigorously researched graphic of relative costs is his, used with permission, all rights reserved to him. Together we all seek to create a Big Bat 21 for the public that funds a World Brain and Global Game such that every public everywhere has better information and more aggregate insight than any government or corporation or international organization.


Medard, who founded and manages BigPictureSmallWorld, has influenced me greatly, as have many others, but few in such sustained depth. Kirkpatrick Sale and his book Human Scale, Paul Goodman and his 1960’s bookCommunitas, are among the critical voices that led me to publish Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace (edited by Mark Tovey with 55 contributors), and to write and publish Intelligence for Earth: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability; as with all my books, the latter two are free online. It was with all these minds in mind that I recently created a new graphic to depict how ignorant and ill-suited to our needs are the secret intelligence communities of the world (the US is spending $75 billion a year for what one general says is “at best” 4% of what we need while another says it is all completely “irrelevant” to our forces engaged in combat as well as stabilization & reconstruction).

I agree with Gregory Unruh, who has written that transparency is the Internet’s killer app, and also with Jeff Jarvis, who writes of the shift in power from secrecy to transparency. Still, I credit Alvin and Heidi Toffler with the earliest and most developed recognition (in PowerShift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century) that information is a substitute for violence, wealth, time, space, and labor.


However, having access to information is not enough. There needs to be a change in mindset and a change of the game such as Gandhi accomplished in India and Tom Atlee has suggested for us in both Tao of Democracy and the more recent Reflections on Evolutionary Activism. As Russell Ackoff urged in his paper “Transforming the Systems Movement,” we have to stop doing the wrong things righter and focus instead on doing the right things. In my view, the two-party tyranny and its shadow substitutes No Labels and Americans Elect as well as, are all efforts to mislead the public into thinking that we can stick with the status quo electoral system that has been thoroughly corrupted, we just need to elect the “right” kind of people. Not so.

Below I list tiny handful of especially insightful books on changing the game, and my two lists of lists that sort all my recent reading in easy to access categories. Designing A World That Works For All boils down to clarity (not the theater we get now from politics and the media); diversity (all of us — every single one of us, as informed participants in our self-governance); integrity (not something visible in any organization with shadowy financial backers and hidden agendas); and finally, a commitment to sustainability (playing for the long term, for our children and their children).

Put simply, and now that the Internet and GroupOn and Twitter and other emergent capabilities make this possible, the time has come to end Rule by Secrecy and top-down decision-making that is not in the public interest. We now have the power–both technologically and financially–to create a Big Bat 21 for We the People (imagine 100 million citizens paying an average of $10 each) to fund a public intelligence network, a public policy network, and a public budget oversight network, all three working at all levels from municipality to county to state to nation to world. Joe Trippi and Zephyr Teachout proved that We the People can–in the aggregate–outspend Wall Street….but we have to want to!

In my view, and I wrote about this as Obama’s Choice, we have in the next 30-90 days a transformational opportunity in America. We can demand Electoral Reform (1 Page, 9 Points) of every single one of our Senators and Representatives, and of our President, and we can demand a roll call vote on this simple restoration of public sovereignty — those who vote against it can be recalled by their constituencies and replaced by the 4th of July 2011. Restoring the clarity, diversity, and integrity of our electoral system in time for 2012 is what Buckminster Fuller would call “Prime Design.” It is fundamental. Absent that reform, everything proposed by the government, the corporations, the two-party tyranny, No Labels, Americans Elect,, the churches, the unions — none of it is relevant to getting America back on track. Electoral Reform. Now. “Yes, We Can” Change the Game.

See Also:

Review: The leadership of civilization building-Administrative and civilization theory, symbolic dialogue, and citizen skills for the 21st century

Review: The Great Turning-From Empire to Earth Community

Review: Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution

Review: Reflexive Practice-Professional Thinking for a Turbulent World

Review: Society’s Breakthrough!-Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People

Review: Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative)

The author is unemployed and seeking righteous work. Have brain, will travel.