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Simulated Social Interaction: Managing The Dissonance Of Social And Economic Transformation In The Public Domain

Abstract:

There is a wide social and economic transformation from the hierarchical structures and industrial relationships with their roots in the nineteenth century mercantile capitalism to a more networked and heterarchical society (de Vulpian 2005, Crawford et Al 2009) that is in transition – socially, economically and culturally Already more agile leaders are ‘sensing possibilities and catalysing change’ by creating more suitable forms of organizational structures to enable transformative processes (E.g.Google, Zappas).

Dissonance, that uncomfortable feeling that the usual way of thinking and doing no longer work as well as they need to, is a symptom of these changes and also of a readiness to explore new ways of doing things. Several emerging trends are indicative of the cultural, social and economic transitions that are underway. These include: increasing participation in social media, multiplayer games, global social interaction and knowledge sharing. These changes represent emerging ways of meeting needs for wellbeing, learning, and to make a living.

Simulation is currently used to provide experiences that are not easily accessible to people as a way to enable them to learn about a real situation or perform a prescribed task. The popularity of multiplayer games involving heroic journeys by teams suggests a growing societal need for these exploratory pattern sensing experiences in the population – a need to learn to work in non-homo-social teams and to work in volatile and unknown contexts. This paper explores social media and multiplayer games as socio-cultural simulations that are arising as a response to change and asks questions about how these communication media can also inform the use of simulation as a tool for enabling organizational change including broader participation in informed decision making, and changed roles, rules and expectations for people in organizations.

Authors/Affiliation:

Dr Kate Crawford/Eviva

Deanna Hutchinson/The Simulation Agency

Submitted to:

SimTecT Conference

Year:

2014