Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2007, Tokyo, Japan, Papers: 51st Annual Meeting

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A scientific discussion test on some social harmony problems

Jifa Gu


Recently in China the government pays much attention on the social harmony problems, the project team for study on social sustainability attached in Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) run a special project on the subject of studying social harmony and social stability from 2004. We have joined this project team. In the summer of 2006 Gu had chance to teach a MBA course attached to Graduate School, CAS on the subject of knowledge management, as a part of course we ran a scientific discussion test within a MBA course. Although the formal test discussion only took a half day, but the total test process including the preparation, analysis and summary lasted 18 days ( from July 27-June 14, 2006). This test got support from the other members in project.
The purpose of running this test is to teach MBA graduate students how the advanced discussion methods and tools may help people to learn the knowledge related to the social harmony and stability existed already and developed by students themselves by running an efficient and effective meeting. The whole test was divided into six subtests by six groups (corruption, housing, medicine reform, unemployment, emergent events and peasant workers) and guided by seven facilitators from project team. Before the formal discussion test the facilitators made scientific design for each subtest in the meeting process. After meeting they made various analysis for the discussion results. During the discussion we emphasized the concept of Ba proposed by Nonaka, this is both the hard and soft environment for the discussion meeting, for example we provided the good accommodated discussion rooms for their discussion, during the discussion we required the spirit of freedom, equality, independency and coordination and respect to each with other. We also emphasized the interdisciplinary study, so from one side we required the participants with different knowledge background and from other side we hope them discuss from different aspects. Finally we intended to use the advanced discussion tools and methods, such as Group Argumentation Environment, PathMaker, UciNet, GIS, psychological survey and game theory etc. with the help of computers. We stand for the combination of human and computer, but emphasizing the human. Most of graduate students had satisfied this discussion test and learnt a lot from this test. This report is just a part of summary for running the whole scientific discussion test.

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