Using the Viable System Model and Its Real-time Monitoring to Address Climate Change
Keywords:Viable System Model, Real-time Monitoring, Climate Change
Stafford Beer’s Viable System presents a template of the different management functions of any organization that can be scaled from small to large. It is an appropriate model to address the related contextual aspects of the planetary climate. It can coordinate the real time – or almost real time – monitoring of essential variables that affect planetary health
Human survival should be a purpose almost everyone supports. It depends on a healthy environment: livable temperatures for humans, flora and fauna including mitigation measures. A planetary System Five would embody these values.
System Four, focused on the future, scans emerging trends, weak signals and opportunities for implementing both improved technology and equitable human development.
System Three manages and the inside and now of the organization. It features resource bargains where trade-offs can be explored. Because resources are limited choices should focus on key variables.
System Two keeps track of conformance with agreed standards and protocols for gathering and recording information. Routine aspects monitored need to be standardized to be fully comparable.
System Three Star is an audit function that mops up the variety that isn’t already accommodated. It may be a sporadic ‘ miss anything’ check or it might investigate specific events.
The System One operations would look at different aspects of the human system’s interactions with their natural and social environments. Some of these would be efforts to provide clean water, clean energy, more natural agriculture and aquaculture and health and education services for the populations.
This template’s levels of recursion from the planetary to the community could keep track of homeostats reflecting essential variables and identify gaps or shortcomings in sustainability efforts. Much of the recommended information is gathered but not always integrated. Such an effort could be revenue-neutral by catching trends before they became crises.