Dialogue and Ecological Engineering in Social Systems Design

Gary Metcalf


A number of systems theorists and practitioners have described ways in which human systems of thought and interaction might be consciously designed. Banathy (1996) specifically proposed approaches to the design of human social systems through conversation and dialogue. More recently, Allen, et al., (2003) have proposed distinctions between environmental engineering and ecological engineering, which offer valuable insights into some of the difficulties inherent in the design of human systems. This paper will explore ways in which engineering, as applied to ecological systems, may help us better understand design as applied to social systems.

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