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problematique [2015/01/31 23:55]
problematique [2020/07/27 15:38] (current)
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 +Quest for Structured Responses 
 +to Growing World-wide 
 +Complexities and Uncertainties 
 +SECTION ONE: Work Statement & Proposal (green pages) 
 +SECTION TWO: Conceptual Frame & Work Procedures (white pages) 
 +SECTION THREE: Annexes (pink pages) 
 +As in every epoch of its existence, mankind today finds 
 +itself in a particular "​situation"​. And as always this situation 
 +is created and nurtured by those who live amid the myriad events 
 +that comprise it --events that now are in the process of 
 +tumultuous and ever accelerating change, events that now 
 +increasingly and even violently clash with one another. In some 
 +deep sense our situation compels us to animate and perpetuate it 
 +almost blindly, and thus to move toward a future whose shape or 
 +quality we do not comprehend, whose surprises we have not 
 +succeeded in reducing to a rational frame of ideas, whose 
 +complexities we are not in the least sure of being able to 
 +There are, however, a few basic perceptions that possess 
 +both wide currency and increasing persuasiveness,​ by means of 
 +which people in many different walks of life have begun to 
 +apprehend the nature of this situation. It is thanks to such 
 +perceptions that we have come to recognize the forces that hold 
 +us in their grip as arising from what we have long recognized as 
 +being the very source of our power and achievement --at least in 
 +those countries where the industrial mode of life has flourished 
 +and broken the back of age-old scarcities. 
 +The source of our power lies in the extraordinary technological 
 +capital we have succeeded in accumulating and in 
 +propagating,​ and the all-pervasive analytic or positivistic 
 +methodologies which by shaping our minds as well as our 
 +sensibilities,​ have enabled us to do what we have done. Yet our 
 +achievement has, in some unforeseen (perhaps unforseeable) 
 +manner, failed to satisfy those other requirements that would 
 +have permitted us to evolve in ways that, for want of a better 
 +word, we shall henceforth call "​balanced."​ It has failed to 
 +provide us with an ethos, a morality, ideals, institutions,​ a 
 +vision of man and of mankind and a politics which are in 
 +consonance with the way of life that has evolved as the 
 +expression of our success. Worse, it has failed to give us a 
 +global view from which we could begin to conceive the ethos, 
 +morality, ideals, institutions,​ and policies requisite to an 
 +inter-dependent world --this, despite the fact that the dynamics 
 +of our technologies and of our positivistic outlooks are global 
 +in their impacts, their consequences,​ their endless profusion 
 +and, more importantly,​ in the promises they proclaim and in the 
 +promises they imply. 
 +This failure is often regarded as having created a number 
 +of separate and discrete problems capable of being overcome by 
 +the kind of analytic solutions our intellectual tradition can so 
 +readily generate. However, the experience of the past twenty or 
 +thirty years has shown with remarkable clarity that the issues 
 +which confront us in the immediate present, as well as their 
 +undecipherable consequences over time, may not too easily yield 
 +to the methods we have employed with such success in the bending 
 +of nature to our will. Such apparent resistance could be 
 +attributable to many things, none of which must be pre-judged,​ 
 +but about which certain, assumptions might be made. It could be 
 +due, for instance, to the magnification of the problems we must 
 +grapple with --that is, to the fact that almost all of them are 
 +global in scope, whereas the socio-political arrangements we have 
 +created are ill-equipped for dealing with issues that fall 
 +outside their strictly established jurisdictions. It could be due 
 +to heightened yet often obscure interactivity among phenomena,​ 
 +whereas our manner of solving problems owes its strength and 
 +efficiency to the identification of rather clear and direct lines 
 +of causality. It may be due to rapid rates of change, especially 
 +in the technological sector, whereas our institutions,​ outlooks 
 +and minds are geared by long-time habit to beliefs in slow 
 +unfolding and permanence --beliefs which have sustained certain 
 +relatively stable concepts of polity, of social order and of 
 +intellectual orderliness. In brief, whatever it is due to, the 
 +conjuncture of events that surrounds us is to all evidence 
 +worldwide, complex, dynamic, and dangerous. 
 +Moreover such a situation can be seen as a new, or novel, 
 +experience, for in our long commitment to stability and 
 +continuity we have hitherto succeeded more or less, in steering 
 +our social evolution toward the known and in avoiding that which, 
 +for being unknown, was also uncertain and, therefore,​ 
 +Because of the dissonances that inhere in our situation we 
 +find that our current attitudes toward life and issues are 
 +tending to become rigidly polarized and in consequence,​ hesitant 
 +to the point of paralysis. On the one hand, we take refuge in the 
 +comforts of that inertia we believe is going to help us preserve 
 +all the attributes of what we have come to call and to accept as 
 +"​civilization"​. On the other hand, we tend to seek escape in 
 +iconoclastic or utopian futurisms whose feasibility and 
 +intellectual worth we know to be questionable,​ but in whose 
 +visions of a wholly new human order we sometimes find solace as 
 +well as some fleeting release. 
 +These contradictory attitudes toward uncertainty are old. 
 +However, it bears repeating that the uncertainty,​ as we 
 +experience it today, is new --both in its dimensions and in its 
 +extraordinarily complex dynamics and structure. From this 
 +fundamental mismatch between the situation, that we still insist 
 +on describing as a set of "​problems,"​ and our mental and 
 +emotional attitudes, which we continue to feel might give birth 
 +to "​solutions,"​ we can already make the assumption that our 
 +notion of problem is wholly insufficient for us to face whatever 
 +it is that our situation proposes both to our intellect and to 
 +our conscience. At the same time our notions of solution are 
 +equally insufficient to enable us to define those outcomes that 
 +could or might result in novel ways of coping with our 
 +predicament --namely, of organizing our vision at a higher level 
 +where new approaches and attitudes might begin to acquire a 
 +degree of immediate relevance. 
 +It is the aim of this particular project of the Club of 
 +Rome to turn the above assumption into a positive statement, by 
 +trying to cognize and investigate the all-pervasive problematique 
 +which is built into our situation, through some new leap of 
 +inventiveness. Success in an attempt of this nature would enlarge 
 +and deepen both our sensibility and our understanding and open 
 +the way for certain new attitudes that eventually might become 
 +reflected, concretely and operationally,​ at those levels of 
 +decision making where policy is formulated. 
 +In the making of such an effort the factor of time has 
 +acquired the utmost importance, for rapid change which is a 
 +crucial aspect of our technological momentum is accompanied by a 
 +parallel phenomenon: the similarly rapid and massive 
 +crystallization of any corrective action we devise and apply to 
 +single problems, to the discrete components of the situation. If 
 +our initial surmise that such partial cures are either 
 +insufficient or irrelevant is correct, it follows that every such 
 +action exacerbates the problematique as a whole and adds certain 
 +irreversible features to it. This, then, must lead us to conclude 
 +that time is not only of the essence but an absolute imperative 
 +that must condition any undertaking which seeks a new approach to 
 +the dilemma of our age. 
 +This point is well illustrated by some recent studies 
 +concerning "​decision effectivity time." Such studies indicate 
 +that any corrective or beneficent effects of present action are 
 +dependent on varying time-spans, and that in many instances these 
 +time-spans have narrowed down to a critical minimum. A number of 
 +types of crisis have been singled out whose flash-points could 
 +now be seen as clustered well within the decade of the 1970'​s. 
 +Thus, effectivity margins that apply to general problem classes 
 +such as large-scale destruction or change, widespread tensions, 
 +continuous and growing distress, tension producing responsive 
 +change, etc., are increasingly conceived as probably falling 
 +within a 1-7 year range (nuclear escalation, 1-5 years at the 
 +outset; institutional insufficiencies,​ 3-5 years; participatory 
 +impatience which is one of the main factors feeding the 
 +alienation of our youth, 3-4 years; widening famine, 5-7 years; 
 +pollution, housing, education, etc.,3-7 years). These random 
 +instances serve to show that if something is to be done it needs 
 +to be done now --for otherwise we might be confronted by that 
 +ultimate experience: N-E-V-E-R. 
 +Such then is the predicament of mankind, and the object of 
 +this document is to describe, in terms that are perforce still 
 +somewhat cursory, what can be done now, the issues that must be 
 +addressed, the organization of the needed effort, its scope and 
 +its program, the methods of investigation that appear pertinent 
 +and the outcomes which, a priori, one might hope for. 
 +The document is divided into three parts. The present first 
 +section contains an overall description of the above points. The 
 +second section is an attempt to discuss in a very general way 
 +some of the methods of approach and organization that could be 
 +considered at this stage as possibly being useful in an 
 +undertaking of this kind. The last section consists of various 
 +clarificatory annexes describing, among other things, the aims, 
 +plans, and general philosophy of the Club of Rome. A few comments 
 +on these aims, which directly relate to the present project, 
 +The Club of Rome is an informal, non-political,​ multinational 
 +group of scientists, intellectuals,​ educators, and 
 +business leaders deeply concerned with the situation just 
 +sketched, who among them have decided to face the issues that 
 +confront mankind in any way which offers the hope of reaching a 
 +new level of understanding and therefore of successful action. 
 +The members of this group have access to considerable 
 +sources of information and knowledge. Acting jointly, they 
 +believe that they can mobilize enough intellectual and financial 
 +support to try to undertake the present project that should be 
 +viewed, not as another research study, but as an effort at 
 +intellectual breakthrough that promises a fresh vision and 
 +approach. It is their belief that only an effort which strives to 
 +go beyond "​conventional wisdom"​ and methodological orthodoxy can 
 +allow us to perceive the complex dimensions of the problematique 
 +of our age, and thus set the stage for the formulation and 
 +development of the long-term options and alternative outlooks 
 +needed for policy-making. They are further convinced that a group 
 +of private persons who while concerned are nevertheless free from 
 +the responsibility of day-to-day political decision --and who, as 
 +individuals,​ have no political ambition except the good of 
 +mankind and its survival --can contribute in this way to the work 
 +of those who are responsible for leadership and action. 
 +With reference to the project under consideration,​ the 
 +major objectives of the Club of Rome are: 
 +1) To examine, as systematically as possible, the nature and 
 +configuration of the profound imbalances that define 
 +today'​s problematique throughout the world, and to attempt 
 +to determine the dynamics of the interactions which 
 +seemingly exacerbate the situation as a whole. 
 +2) To develop an initial, coarse-grain,​ "​model"​ or models of 
 +this dynamic situation in the expectation that such models 
 +will reveal both those systemic components that are most 
 +critical and those interactions that are most generally 
 +dangerous for the future. 
 +3) To construct a "​normative"​ overview from the foregoing 
 +models and to clarify the action implications --i.e., the 
 +political, social, economic, technological,​ institutional,​ 
 +etc., consequences --that such an overview might entail and 
 +4) To bring everything that has been learnt as a result of 
 +this initial effort, to the attention of those in political 
 +authority, in the hope that such findings might stimulate 
 +the conception of new lines of policy that would be 
 +effective in coping with our situation'​s overall dynamics 
 +and its world-wide dimensions. 
 +5) To persuade governments to convene a World Forum,* with 
 +whose consent, support, and encouragement an intensive 
 +dialogue concerning the findings of the project would be 
 +initiated to the end that a much larger and deeper effort 
 +could be undertaken. Such an effort would aim at developing 
 +the needed operational "​macro-models"​ conducive to 
 +endeavors at integrated policy-planning and to the 
 +development of new institutions within whose frame of 
 +competence such work could be carried out. 
 +These objectives have been set with the full knowledge that 
 +many governments and international organizations are beginning to 
 +recognize the dangers with which our present situation is 
 +fraught. Thus on the international level bodies such as NATO or 
 +OECD are now undertaking detailed work on many individual issues, 
 +while the United Nations is planning a world conference on the 
 +problems of the "​Environment"​ in 1972. These moves are welcome 
 +and should add greatly to our recognition and understanding of 
 +the grave matters that are facing the whole of mankind. 
 +*For further information regarding this point, please see 
 +Annex II in the last section of this document. 
 +Nevertheless,​ the prime difference between these approaches and 
 +the one being proposed by the Club of Rome must be noted. It 
 +resides in the fact that most current efforts are directed toward 
 +single or parallel problems and do not attempt any consistent and 
 +comprehensive study of the totality of the problematic events 
 +that add up to our world system; nor do they address themselves 
 +to the areas of dynamic interaction or of overall consequences of 
 +these events; nor, for that matter, are they explicitly concerned 
 +with questions of institutional change, development,​ and 
 +invention which might be necessary to cope with what is 
 +confronting us. 
 +The approach adopted by the Club of Rome, on the other 
 +hand, derives from the threefold hypothesis:​ 
 +a) that the predicament we seek to understand is systemic in 
 +character; and that the boundaries of the system encompass 
 +the entire planet; 
 +b) that the real problematique which inheres in the situation 
 +has now transcended discrete categories of events -- 
 +overpopulation,​ malnutrition,​ poverty, pollution, etc. -- 
 +and arises from confused and obscure consequence- patterns 
 +generated by the interactions of such categories of events; 
 +c) that any desirable, or even acceptable, resolution of the 
 +problematique will in all probability entail, at least as 
 +outcomes to be seriously considered, fundamental changes in 
 +our current social and institutional structures, for the 
 +simple reason that these structures were not established to 
 +operate in so complex and dynamic a situation as the one in 
 +which we find ourselves. 
 +It is in the nature of our languages, hence of our manner 
 +reality, to see and call the dissonant elements in a situation,​ 
 +Similarly, we proceed from the belief that problems have 
 +"​solutions"​ --although we may not necessarily discover these in 
 +the case of every problem we encounter. This peculiarity of our 
 +perception causes us to view difficulties as things that are 
 +clearly defined and discrete in themselves. It also leads us to 
 +believe that to solve a problem it is sufficient to observe and 
 +manipulate it in its own terms by applying an external problemsolving 
 +technique to it. 
 +Although it is true that there are certain problems (mostly 
 +in the field of technology and engineering) that can be dealt 
 +with in this way, it is also becoming quite evident that such 
 +problems are no longer the most important ones with which we must 
 +When we consider the truly critical issues of our time 
 +such as environmental deterioration,​ poverty, endemic ill-health,​ 
 +urban blight, criminality,​ etc., we find it virtually impossible 
 +to view them as problems that exist in isolation --or, as 
 +problems capable of being solved in their own terms. For even the 
 +most cursory examination will at least reveal the more obvious 
 +(though not necessarily the most important) links between 
 +problems. Where endemic ill health exists, poverty cannot easily 
 +be divorced from it, or vice versa. Certain kinds of criminal 
 +behavior often, though not always, seem to be related to poverty 
 +or slum living conditions. Furthermore,​ if we try to solve any 
 +such problems exclusively in their own terms we quickly discover 
 +that what we take to be the solution of one category of problem 
 +may itself generate problems of another category (the reduction 
 +of death rates in developing areas and the resultant increase in 
 +poverty, public unrest, overpopulation,​ etc., is a good example 
 +of this single avenue approach). 
 +Another unfortunate consequence of the preference we 
 +display toward orthodox problem-solving is the misapplication of 
 +effort and energy. Thus many agronomists devote a great deal of 
 +ingenuity toward increasing the yield per acre of our crops 
 +without seeming to realize that the particular solution called 
 +"​agriculture"​ may possibly no longer represent the single, 
 +feasible resolution of the problems clustered under words such as 
 +"​hunger"​ or "​malnutrition"​ when the latter are considered in 
 +their world-wide dimensions. It seems reasonable, therefore, to 
 +postulate that the fragmentation of reality into closed and wellbounded 
 +problems creates anew problem whose solution is clearly 
 +beyond the scope of the concepts we customarily employ. It is 
 +this generalized meta-problem (or meta-system of problems) which 
 +we have called and shall continue to call the "​problematique"​ 
 +that inheres in our situation. 
 +The fragmentation of reality caused by our conceptual and 
 +linguistic makeup notwithstanding,​ it is still necessary to talk 
 +about the situation and to communicate ideas concerning it. Since 
 +we have no new language for doing this, we can only approach the 
 +notion of the problematique in terms that are familiar to us. We 
 +can break down the problematique into its major components and we 
 +can list such components, both for purposes of their tentative 
 +identification and of creating a referential base, under the 
 +title of Continuous Critical Problems. The listing that follows 
 +represents a general statement of the most commonly recognized 
 +problems of this sort. 
 +1) Explosive population growth with consequent escalation of 
 +social, economic, and other problems. 
 +2) Widespread poverty throughout the world. 
 +3) Increase in the production, destructive capacity, and 
 +accessibility of all weapons of war. 
 +4) Uncontrolled urban spread. 
 +5) Generalized and growing malnutrition. 
 +6) Persistence of widespread illiteracy. 
 +7) Expanding mechanization and bureaucratization of almost 
 +all human activity. 
 +8) Growing inequalities in the distribution of wealth 
 +throughout the world. 
 +9) Insufficient and irrationally organized medical care. 
 +10) Hardening discrimination against minorities. 
 +11) Hardening prejudices against differing cultures. 
 +12) Affluence and its unknown consequences. 
 +13) Anachronistic and irrelevant education. 
 +14) Generalized environmental deterioration. 
 +15) Generalized lack of agreed-on alternatives to present 
 +16) Widespread failure to stimulate man's creative capacity 
 +to confront the future. 
 +17) Continuing deterioration of inner-cities or slums. 
 +18) Growing irrelevance of traditional values and continuing 
 +failure to evolve new value systems. 
 +19) Inadequate shelter and transportation. 
 +20) Obsolete and discriminatory income distribution 
 +21) Accelerating wastage and exhaustion of natural resources. 
 +22) Growing environmental pollution. 
 +23) Generalized alienation of youth. 
 +24) Major disturbances of the world'​s physical ecology. 
 +25) Generally inadequate and obsolete institutional 
 +26) Limited understanding of what is "​feasible"​ in the way of 
 +corrective measures. 
 +27) Unbalanced population distribution. 
 +28) Ideological fragmentation and semantic barriers to 
 +communication between individuals,​ groups, and nations. 
 +29) Increasing a-social and anti-social behavior and 
 +consequent rise in criminality. 
 +30) Inadequate and obsolete law enforcement and correctional 
 +31) Widespread unemployment and generalized under-employment. 
 +32) Spreading "​discontent"​ throughout most classes of 
 +33) Polarization of military power and psychological impacts 
 +of the policy of deterrence. 
 +34) Fast obsolescing political structures and processes. 
 +35) Irrational agricultural practices. 
 +36) Irresponsible use of pesticides, chemical additives,​ 
 +insufficiently tested drugs, fertilizers,​ etc. 
 +37) Growing use of distorted information to influence and 
 +manipulate people. 
 +38) Fragmented international monetary system. 
 +39) Growing technological gaps and lags between developed and 
 +developing areas. 
 +40) New modes of localized warfare. 
 +41) Inadequate participation of people at large in public 
 +42) Unimaginative conceptions of world-order and of the rule 
 +of law. 
 +43) Irrational distribution of industry supported by policies 
 +that will strengthen the current patterns. 
 +44) Growing tendency to be satisfied with technological 
 +solutions for every kind of problem. 
 +45) Obsolete system of world trade. 
 +46) Ill-conceived use of international agencies for national 
 +or sectoral ends. 
 +47) Insufficient authority of international agencies. 
 +48) Irrational practices in resource investment. 
 +49) Insufficient understanding of Continuous Critical 
 +Problems, of their nature, their interactions and of the 
 +future consequences both they and current solutions to 
 +them are generating.* 
 +It should be evident that these Continuous Critical 
 +Problems are meant merely to serve as general labels under each 
 +of which entire trees or clusters of issues that appear 
 +analogous, can be classified. Further, neither their rate of 
 +occurrence nor their intensity is uniform throughout the world. 
 +Therefore, the causality structure that underlies such a listing 
 +is obviously of extreme complexity and actually impossible fully 
 +to ascertain through mere observation for, even on direct 
 +empirical evidence, it is clear that the true list must be many 
 +times larger than what we have given. 
 +However, even from this limited listing we begin to sense 
 +that these large problem-areas are system-wide,​ interdependent,​ 
 +interactive and intersensitive;​ that they transcend national 
 +frontiers, or even regional boundaries; and that they are 
 +seemingly immune to linear or sequential resolution. 
 +This, in turn, suggests that when the problem-trees have 
 +grown to world-wide proportions their branches intertwine --or, 
 +if we use the image of clusters, we can say that the clusters 
 +overlap. Such areas of overlap then create new problem-areas 
 +* These Continuous Critical Problems are not listed or grouped in 
 +any particular order; nor is the list to be regarded as complete. 
 +whose description (hence our understanding of them) escapes the 
 +boundaries of the original taxonomy. Therefore, the line of 
 +approach to be taken must first aim at clarifying the systemic 
 +character of the problem-areas,​ and secondly, must re-state them 
 +in a way that will make their most critical synergies visible. 
 +The five frames that will be found on the following two 
 +pages are an attempt to give a graphic portrayal of this dynamic 
 +and interactive growth of the problematique. In each of the 
 +frames the problem-areas are symbolized by differently shaped 
 +shaded spaces. 
 +Fig.l merely represents an arbitrary and random positioning 
 +of such problem-areas,​ with the aim of describing a situation 
 +wherein the visible interactions among the conjuncture of 
 +problems is patently weak or, even probably, non-existent. Such 
 +situations have often been experienced in the past especially if 
 +they were being viewed in terms of the whole world as the context 
 +within which the singular problem areas were evolving. 
 +It is with reference to this type of situation that our 
 +problem-solving methods were developed. And they consist in 
 +attacking each of the problem-areas separately and in attempting 
 +to find discrete solutions in each such area. This analytic habit 
 +continues to hold sway over our minds, despite the fact that we 
 +have, by now, recognized the existence of certain contiguities 
 +among the problem- areas. Such contiguities have become manifest 
 +some time ago, and are no doubt due to the growth of the problems 
 +--although this growth has displayed different rates in its 
 +momentum, and has occurred along different vectors (Fig.2). 
 +The continuation of these trends would seem to have turned such 
 +contiguities into clusterings and overlaps (Fig.3), which we may 
 +perceive superficially but whose real structure and dynamics 
 +escape us. In actual fact the situation tends increasingly to 
 +appear as a single complex system whose internal relationships,​ 
 +interactions,​ fields of force, and overlaps are extremely 
 +confused (Fig.4) and impossible to delineate without a very 
 +serious attempt to model it in its entirety. Such a modeling 
 +effort could, for example, reveal the morphology of the situation 
 +as resembling what is shown in Fig.5 --namely, as having a 
 +composite dynamic core, and differing intensities of interfaces 
 +and relationships,​ all of which must be identified and organized 
 +into a unified frame of perception and understanding. 
 +Such an approach --which can only incompletely be 
 +communicated in two-dimensional drawings --is clearly needed and 
 +clearly important for it now appears possible to surmise that 
 +attempts at understanding the situation in terms of isolated 
 +problems have gone almost as far as they can. If this be true, 
 +then, greater effort along the same lines should teach us but 
 +little that is new about the phenomena which make up the issues, 
 +and hardly anything at all about the living, changing, dynamic 
 +texture of the interconnections that actually create a 
 +If we are to learn something new it would appear, 
 +therefore, that we need to create one or more situational models 
 +which might reveal --with reference to, but almost independently 
 +from, the problem-clusters:​ 
 +1) the identity of the most critical and sensitive components 
 +of the situation;​ 
 +2) the main or major interactions that exist among the 
 +various variables contained in the situation;​ 
 +3) the behavior of the main variables in relation to within 
 +the situation;​ 
 +4) the time-dependent ordering of the chief possible outcomes 
 +and of their present consequences for action; 
 +5) the presently invisible critical connections that operate 
 +systemically within the present situation and that 
 +situation'​s future configuration;​ 
 +6) the positive and negative synergies that must exist among 
 +various alternative consequences and options. 
 +Factors such as the above can be explored because, by means 
 +of modeling the situation correctly, it becomes feasible (1} to 
 +penetrate the areas of interdependence among problems and 
 +clusters of problems; {2) to manipulate the models artificially 
 +--so as to observe the behavior of the situation'​s components 
 +under differently structured configurations. After the modeling 
 +work has been completed it should be possible to elaborate 
 +suggestions for curative or corrective action that might prove 
 +helpful in developing policies. However, to be taken, all these 
 +steps require that a ground be established upon which the entire 
 +modeling effort can be made to rest. Such a ground is what we 
 +shall refer to as the "​value-base."​ 
 +The primary aim of modeling is to give the subject a shape, 
 +a structure, a configuration that is determined by an objective 
 +which, itself, is external to the subject. Hence the clarifications 
 +or insights that might be obtained from a successful 
 +modeling effort are never reached in terms of the subject {i.e., 
 +a problem or a situation) but in terms of the external objective 
 +to satisfy which the modeling was undertaken in the first place. 
 +Such an objective always entails a value, and the setting of it 
 +must therefore create the particular value-base that gives 
 +meaning and direction to the whole endeavor. 
 +A value-base explicitly stipulates certain assumptions 
 +about what is “good"​ and what "​bad."​* In the past, it was not 
 +always necessary to make such a stipulation because a problem 
 +could be recognized clearly and singularly as a problem and 
 +therefore fell automatically into a negative value category. This 
 +is not the case nowadays when we must deal with the problematique 
 +of a whole world-wide situation. In so extended and complex a 
 +problem area the value premises reveal themselves as being so 
 +confused that it becomes imperative to define a value-base that 
 +will govern the work from the very outset. 
 +The value-base to be selected must satisfy certain 
 +* This manner of proceeding is actually implicit whenever 
 +we say that something represents a “problem"​. When we call 
 +occurrences such as hunger, or over-population,​ or lack of 
 +education, “problems"​ we are in fact defining them in this 
 +way because according to our value system they represent a 
 +state that is bad, in comparison to an alternative possible 
 +state --which we call “solution"​ --that we accept as being 
 +fundamental criteria. First, it must qualify as a heuristic 
 +tool-concept that can be used throughout the study. Secondly, it 
 +must be consonant with the initial perceptions and beliefs that 
 +have triggered the work. Thirdly, it must support, and in some 
 +sense justify, the outcomes that are expected from the effort. 
 +The second and third criteria have already been elaborated 
 +throughout the preceding pages; nevertheless,​ it might bear 
 +repeating here that the ground of pre-suppositions from which we 
 +shall start is the belief, backed by considerable empirical 
 +evidence, that there are strong interactions among the events 
 +which create our situation and that, while it is impossible fully 
 +to isolate the former, it should be feasible to identify, through 
 +modeling, some critical aspects of their temporal and spatial 
 +morphology. And, moreover, that such identification might also 
 +permit us to anticipate a number of dissonances which may not 
 +exist at present, but whose developing conjuncture could well be 
 +forming those new issues and problems which will define our 
 +It is on this ground of perceived fact and belief that we 
 +must now evolve the value-base of the work, as a heuristic toolconcept 
 +that will satisfy the first criterion stated above. This 
 +can be done with reference to the nature of the problematique 
 +itself, that is, with reference to the most general attributes we 
 +find in those component elements of our situation that we have 
 +called Continuous Critical Problems. When we review these (even 
 +superficially) we find that all of them are problems in relation 
 +to something else --either other problem-clusters or a particular 
 +state of the system in terms of which we look at them, or values 
 +we take for granted because they are embedded in our current 
 +culture. Thus, for example, uncontrolled population growth is a 
 +problem when viewed in relation to a particular state of the 
 +environment that we are now experiencing. It was not a problem 
 +when we experienced the environment differently;​ namely, in a 
 +different state of the overall system. Such examples can be 
 +multiplied, and if they are we shall notice that in every 
 +instance the problematic element derives from an imbalance that 
 +affects the relationships existing among situational components. 
 +This observation cannot but remind us directly that imbalance is 
 +a state which defines the pathology of an "​ecological"​ system, 
 +which, in fact, our situation, seen in its entirety, represents. 
 +Ecology, as one hardly needs to note, is the study of the 
 +equilibria and the dynamics of "​populations"​ of living entities 
 +within given environments. The notion can be extended and 
 +generalized to comprise the equilibria and the dynamics of all 
 +entities, for every dimension of contemporary experience is a 
 +definable population of facts and concepts: biological,​ 
 +physiological,​ physical, psychological,​ ethical, religious,​ 
 +technological,​ economic, political, national, international,​ 
 +communal, attitudinal,​ intellectual,​ institutional...;​ the full 
 +list is no doubt finite but very long indeed. It covers 
 +everything and event among which relations of mutual 
 +determination,​ complementarity or competitiveness can be 
 +Hence if we extend, as is increasingly being done nowadays, 
 +the definition of ecology to comprise the dimensions of 
 +occurrence in our world-wide environments it becomes possible to 
 +say that we are confronted with a problematique which is 
 +ecosystemic in character. The normative statement that describes 
 +the value- content of any ecosystem is "​ecological balance."​ 
 +Consequently it is the idea of ecological balance that can, and 
 +will, be taken as the underlying value-base of the study; for in 
 +the terms dictated by our situation the "​good"​ is self-evidently 
 +and most generally capable of being defined as the reestablishment 
 +of that many-dimensional dynamic balance that seems 
 +to have been lost in the modern world. 
 +Given the general conditions of this study, such a valuebase 
 +should make it possible to develop models and attain 
 +insights that have global relevance, and should further open the 
 +way for the integration of the models into one primary synthesis 
 +capable of providing ideas that, subsequently,​ can be made 
 +actionable in terms of concrete policies, of new structures, and 
 +new institutions. 
 +The points that have just been touched upon amount to 
 +saying that: apart from the reasons of urgency for which the 
 +study is being recommended its only a priori hypotheses arise 
 +from the recognition of the problematique as possessing worldwide 
 +dimensions and therefore systemic characteristics,​ and that 
 +the functional attributes of today'​s world system necessarily 
 +involve normative elements which, being planet-wide,​ transcend 
 +sectoral, political, or regional differences;​ and the recognition 
 +that our current methods of description as well as our social and 
 +institutional structures are not designed to operate effectively 
 +in a system which is world-wide. 
 +It should be repeated in order to emphasize the point, if 
 +for no other reason, that the approach briefly described above 
 +is non-political be it in motivation, in methodology,​ or in its 
 +initial results. Its aim is to create new clarificatory models of 
 +the known and already described components of our complex 
 +problematic situation so that the subsequent activity of policy 
 +formulation may be facilitated or even made possible. It 
 +represents a step forward in relation to the present state of 
 +affairs, inasmuch as the current ways of describing our situation 
 +do not allow of any rational or effective attempt to grapple with 
 +the fundamental political considerations to which all insights 
 +and conclusions must ultimately be reduced. 
 +The effort as a whole would be divided into two distinct 
 +First: The "​project"​ as described herein, undertaken by the Club 
 +of Rome and dealing with the empirical aspects of the 
 +situation, its morphology and the interrelationships that 
 +operate among its components. This would be the rough 
 +modeling phase; 
 +Second: A subsequent and more ambitious phase, hopefully to be 
 +undertaken by the World Forum, dealing with the study of 
 +the critical aggregations revealed by the initial model and 
 +would aim at the discovery of alternative means of 
 +interpreting and resolving interface imbalances and to 
 +the identification of various options that are suggestive 
 +of coordinated policies. 
 +At the present juncture, the scope of the project (first 
 +step) is seen as follows: 
 +• to define criteria for identifying imbalances of a global 
 +nature especially with reference to their future evolution 
 +• to attempt a qualitative and quantitative delineation of 
 +the interactions that appear critically synergistic within 
 +the situation created by these imbalances;​ 
 +• to establish a tentative morphology of problem interfaces 
 +and interactions;​ 
 +• to identify and evaluate the main trends of research 
 +currently being undertaken with reference to this type 
 +of problem, to determine the degree to which such research 
 +can contribute to the investigation of the overall 
 +• to outline programmes, initial methods of approach tasks 
 +and responsibilities pertaining to the investigation as a 
 +• to attempt to take the first steps necessary for the 
 +development of a dynamic computerized model by means of 
 +which the entire structure, rather than the mere 
 +parameters, of the situation can be manipulated,​ so that 
 +new configurations of the problematique may be revealed and 
 +experimented with. 
 +The governing statement concerning the project as a whole 
 +is that its aim is not research in the traditional sense 
 +but "​invention."​ 
 +This should be understood to mean that what is expected 
 +from the effort are new insights and approaches rather than the 
 +further and deeper elaboration of already known facts. The latter 
 +will be used in their present state of elaboration as the 
 +substantive material upon which the work will bear --however, the 
 +expectation that animates the work itself concerns the meaning 
 +which all these facts, in their systemic nature and system-wide 
 +impacts, have for the future of mankind. 
 +Hence it is necessary to interpret the following program in 
 +the light of the above statement of purpose. 
 +a) Investigation 
 +This initial attempt should define some of the main 
 +empirical dimensions of the problematique,​ the way it is 
 +presently sensed and perceived. 
 +The sources from which this information will be obtained 
 +are international agencies, research institutions,​ universities,​ 
 +special study groups, foundations,​ unions, associations,​ youth 
 +groups, and various selected interest groups, etc. 
 +Existing data banks of national or international scope 
 +dealing with critical world problems will be located and used 
 +insofar as possible. 
 +Nevertheless in order to avoid sliding into some form of 
 +taxonomic research activity the project will for a start concern 
 +itself mainly with the basic grouping of problematic issues that 
 +are most widely known. These were listed earlier in this document 
 +under the heading of Continuous Critical Problems. 
 +Each of the Continuous Critical Problems that were named 
 +is today the object of more or less deep research in many 
 +organizations and in many countries. This research is generaliy 
 +directed toward the problems themselves and not toward their 
 +interrelations--an aspect to which particular emphasis is to be 
 +given in the proposed effort. A comprehensive survey of this 
 +ongoing research must necessarily be made in order to identify 
 +capabilities,​ lags, and gaps in the body of understanding and 
 +knowledge now available, and to make use of any pertinent 
 +information it affords us. 
 +Therefore the investigatory phase will attempt primarily at 
 +infusing the Continuous Critical Problems with as great an 
 +operational meaning as feasible; to enlarge or reduce or refine 
 +the initial listing by means of trees and clusters; to establish 
 +definitions that are more precise especially in relation to the 
 +value-base of ecological balance. 
 +b) System Description 
 +The investigatory part of the work should lead to, or be 
 +accompanied by, the design of the system which represents the 
 +matique in its world-wide generality. 
 +The organization of such a system must be so conceived as 
 +to reveal: 
 +• the structure of the dominant interrelationships among 
 +systemic components. 
 +• the nature and present intensity of the interactive 
 +relationships;​ the nature and intensity of the "​feedback"​ 
 +and "​feedforward"​ effects; the general (obvious) causality 
 +patterns into which the interactions can be seen. 
 +• the dynamic of the interactions from which some idea 
 +system'​s future states can be sensed or deduced. 
 +• the controlling elements of the system as it is today, and 
 +how this order is likely to change as the system evolves in 
 +• the component linkages that appear to be the mostly 
 +• the functional morphology of the linkages: degrees of 
 +rigidity, flexibility,​ equilibrium,​ stability --in the 
 +rates and the levels of the system of interactions. 
 +The final configuration of situational components to emerge 
 +from the proposed study will therefore have a spatial and 
 +temporal morphology that embodies the dynamic process that 
 +animates critical world problems, when that process is set in the 
 +context of a general value framework of ecological balance. 
 +The project will not attempt a forecast of how problems 
 +will be apprehended in the future, although the final shape of 
 +the system will depend on the integration of alternative 
 +perceptions of the future with perceptions that have currency 
 +c) Report 
 +The project should result in either one or several reports 
 +containing the synthesis of the work conducted, interpreting the 
 +new system of world-wide critical interconnections,​ the key 
 +problem-clusters that should be given particular attention, and 
 +the methods to be used in their further investigation. 
 +d) Outcome 
 +The reports, by giving a clearer picture of the nature of 
 +the problematic interactions,​ of their relative importance and 
 +their dynamic configurations,​ should be of use as a preliminary 
 +indication of possible new and viable directions in the field of 
 +Once this initial aim is attained it is the hope of the 
 +Club of Rome to have its findings reinterpreted in depth by the 
 +kind of instrumentality that was referred to earlier as the World 
 +Forum. Such reinterpretation would allow the results of the 
 +project to be fitted into the framework of different value 
 +systems and molded into new attitudes and outlooks at a higher 
 +level of political endeavor where new structures and institutions 
 +can be designed. However, to be reached, these ends require means 
 +that are both more ambitious and more sophisticated than those to 
 +be used in the project --e.g., policy analyses and design, tradeoff 
 +calculations,​ deontic logic applications,​ the construction of 
 +alternative systems, long-term dynamic simulations with multiple 
 +variables, etc. 
 +Through such means a normative as well as an empirical 
 +delineation of the future states of the world system might be 
 +obtained together with the details of the new framework of 
 +integrated policies, institutions,​ and organizations that are 
 +necessary to render such a new world system operational. 
 +e} Organization 
 +The overall organization of the project is described below 
 +in its relationship to the envisaged structure of the Club of 
 +A. The aims of the Club of_Rome have already been noted in 
 +relation to the project being considered here. Its general 
 +objectives and constitution are described in Section Three 
 +(Annex I). 
 +B. The project falls directly under the cognizance of the 
 +Executive Committee of the Club of Rome. During the 
 +latter'​s formative stage an Executive Committee has been 
 +formed ad hoc whose membership will be found in Section 
 +Three (Annex III). 
 +C. The Executive Committee has asked the Institut Battelle at 
 +Geneva to provide administrative support and act as 
 +managing agency for the project. This request having 
 +received favor- able response from the Battelle 
 +management, it was decided that Battelle'​s Geneva Centre 
 +de Recherche would be providing hospitality and facilities 
 +for the Work Group that will be engaged in carrying out 
 +the project. 
 +D. The Executive Committee has asked Prof. Hasan Ozbekhan to 
 +undertake the overall direction of the project and the 
 +operational responsibility for the Work Group. Currently,​ 
 +the Work Group itself is visualized as consisting of some 
 +ten senior scientists from various national backgrounds,​ 
 +supported by a team of junior researchers. Further details 
 +concerning the Work Group will be found in Section Three 
 +(Annex IV). 
 +E. The aid of a number of Consultants will be solicited to - 
 +support the Director of the project. These consultants 
 +should be authorities in various fields that pertain to 
 +the project in its generality. 
 +The principal role of the consultants will be to offer new 
 +ideas and substantive verification from the viewpoint of 
 +disciplinary approaches whenever necessary. 
 +A general idea of the planned competence of this 
 +consulting group will be found in Section Three (Annex V). 
 +It is expected that the project as described can be realized 
 +within a budget of $900,000 and that its duration would be 
 +approximately of 15 months. Therefore if the work can be started 
 +sometime during the summer of 1970 it should be completed by the 
 +end of 1971. 
 +The purpose of the present section is to provide an overall 
 +impression of how the work described heretofore might be 
 +conducted, and to discuss insofar as is possible at this early 
 +stage some methods and techniques of approach that are 
 +tentatively being considered. 
 +No firm and unequivocal commitment to a given methodology 
 +can be made at this time. The problematique --i.e., the subject 
 +to be addressed --that was outlined is extremely complex and must 
 +be approached by way of a unifying framework of concepts that 
 +will afford it a solid methodological basis. The chosen approach 
 +itself needs in some sense to be an invention closely and 
 +specifically tailored to fit the needs of the subject. 
 +Viewed in this light, it becomes evident that the work 
 +must be conducted not merely as if it were a straightforward 
 +investigation into known facts but rather as an effort (1) to 
 +uncover new meanings and consequence-patterns that inhere in 
 +dynamic combinations of such facts, and (2) to shape such 
 +meanings and consequence-patterns into new, more revealing 
 +To do this we need to meld together two fundamental,​ but 
 +different, logical approaches:​ 
 +1) a hypothetical-deductive system that provides us with 
 +the tool concepts necessary to penetrate and manipulate the facts 
 +that make up the situation surrounding us; 
 +2) a cybernetic system by means of which we can create 
 +alternative configurations of our findings, both so as to 
 +make the latter clearer and to see the various behaviors of newly 
 +defined consequences within different time frames. 
 +This is to say that we must on the one hand build an 
 +axiomatic, and on the other hand a plan. 
 +Through the melding of these two approaches, it should be 
 +feasible to examine our world-wide situation and to develop some 
 +ideas about how it can, or ought to be changed, to accord with 
 +the value-base of "​ecological balance"​ that we have chosen as the 
 +ground of our reasoning. 
 +We should note moreover that to create such a combined 
 +system of methods we have to take into consideration the levels 
 +of cognition from which the problematique and its components are 
 +perceived. Hence the Work Group (and what it represents, namely, 
 +the Club of Rome) will enter strongly into the methodological 
 +equation because its perceptions will be governing the work. 
 +Having made these basic clarifications we may begin by 
 +establishing some procedural assumptions. In doing this we shall 
 +alter the order of the above, to basic approaches and begin with 
 +a tentative outline of the cybernetic system so that our thoughts 
 +can be organized in a logical manner. 
 +In our attempt to design an initial and highly tentative 
 +planning construct, we must begin by proposing certain 
 +definitions that can also be considered as working assumptions.* 
 +Substantive operations undertaken by the Work Group 
 +Results expected from the project; i.e., suggestions,​ 
 +clarifications,​ insights, reports, impacts. 
 +Directives concerning the goal that the Work Group 
 +receives from the Club of Rome. 
 +Instrumental inputs that the Work Group re ceives from 
 +or through the Club of Rome, including information 
 +techniques, methodo.. logies, ideas, facilities, etc. 
 +Subject of the work; i.e., elements or components of 
 +the problematique 
 +* The ideas that will be found throughout this whole 
 +section derive from many sources and represent a synthesis 
 +of the thoughts of many authors. Unfortunately neither the 
 +nature of the document nor the circumstances in which it 
 +was written permit individual recognition with respect to 
 +every point made. 
 +Among the foregoing concepts, the ones listed below are 
 +operational variables that enter into the overall framework as 
 +Controlled inputs 
 +Controlled inputs 
 +Uncontrolled inputs 
 +The most simplified and elementary way of visualizing the 
 +relationships that will become established among these elements 
 +in the course of the work, is shown (Fig. I) on the next page. 
 +It is self-evident that the nature as well as the level of 
 +the output are entirely dependent on the nature and the level of 
 +the relations we can establish and formulate with regard to the 
 +inputs that will enter the system of work. Moreover, these 
 +relations are likely to give us some indications of the methods 
 +of approach, which might have to be used. Hence the assumptions 
 +we have advanced will now have to be looked into somewhat more 
 +The controlled inputs we have defined are objective and 
 +means. The precise operational meaning of these words as well as 
 +the manner in which they interact in relation to the goal must be 
 +Here, the first point to be made is that neither objective 
 +nor means are fixed nor static concepts. They constantly interact 
 +with each other, with the project --that is, the work-in-progress 
 +--and with the subject of the work, namely, the even 
 +This interaction need not necessarily alter the direction 
 +of the objective (i.e., the nature of the task) or the nature or 
 +quantity of the means. But it is very likely to cause changes in 
 +the level of goal-attainment. 
 +This is because the time-span of the work envisaged is 
 +something in the order of fifteen months and a learning process 
 +will set in as soon as it starts. This, in turn, will alter the 
 +perceptual make-up of the Working Group. This process can be 
 +outlined as shown on the following page (Fig. 2). 
 +There are further reasons, connected with but differing 
 +from the learning process, that force us to consider those 
 +differences in level that define a relationship of dependency 
 +between output and controlled inputs. This introduces two ideas 
 +that are fundamental both methodologically and substantively. 
 +These ideas are: 
 +(1) -"​Futurity"​ or the future dimensions of the events that form 
 +the problematique to be investigated;​ and 
 +(2) -"​normative analysis"​ in the light of which the value-base 
 +that was chosen --i.e., ecological balance --can be made to 
 +govern the objective of the work. 
 +The notion of futurity enters into the argument because 
 +there are basically two ways of looking at a situation and 
 +perceiving its problematic features. Both are grounded in the 
 +idea of "​differential"​. Namely: (a) a situation represents a 
 +problematique because some of its characteristics differ from the 
 +characteristics of a past situation that the people involved 
 +agree to define as non-problematic --or as "​normal";​ and, (b) a 
 +situation represents a problematique because some of its 
 +characteristics differ from the characteristics of a future 
 +situation that the people involved agree to define as nonproblematic 
 +--or as "​ideal"​. 
 +In either case the first step is to proceed from a general, 
 +agreed upon, image. And, in either case, what makes agreement 
 +possible is a shared value-base. 
 +In the project being considered we have started from the 
 +assumption that the problematique is both world-wide* and new in 
 +its configuration;​ therefore it would be impossible to evaluate 
 +its differentiating aspects with reference to a past situation. 
 +Hence it was decided to establish differentials with reference to 
 +some future state of the world-system of which the defining 
 +value-base would be "​ecological balance"​. 
 +To be able to create such an image two things are 
 +necessary: (1) an idea or vision of how events will evolve toward 
 +the present situation is left to itself or left to evolve with a 
 +minimum of tampering; (2) an idea or vision of how the situation 
 +will look in the same future if it is normatively conceived in 
 +the light of ecological balance. 
 +It might or might not have been noticed that in the 
 +foregoing few paragraphs the whole argument was given a somewhat 
 +new shape merely by elaborating in a very superficial way various 
 +points that are embedded both in the facts we must deal with and 
 +in the general methodological philosophy we have adopted at least 
 +for a start. Thus we have: 
 +1. OUTCOME PARAMETERS: in the sense that the goal must deal 
 +with "​differentials"​ between a present state of 
 +the system and a future state of the system. 
 +* This feature alone would make it impossible to judge it 
 +in terms of a shared past value-base. 
 +2. INPUT PARAMETERS: in the sense that the objectives and means 
 +must be set at such a level so as to permit: 
 +2.1. A forecast of the normal future state of the present 
 +situation (logical future). 
 +2.2. An image of the future state as can be imagined in the light 
 +of the value-base of ecological balance (normative future). 
 +2.3. Interim states of the objective for judging whether the 
 +difference between 2.2. and 2.3. adds up to a meaningful 
 +evolutionary or interim situation be identified and singled 
 +3. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: which is the value-base (ecological 
 +balance) that must be so clearly and 
 +operationally defined that it can be used 
 +to judge any established relationships as 
 +valid or invalid. 
 +From these points certain new conceptions regarding the 
 +level of dependence problem can be derived. For example, and 
 +solely as an example, we can establish the following levels: 
 +Goals Objectives Means Events 
 +Null g ∅ O ∅ m ∅ e ∅ E ∅ 
 +Low g 1 O 1 m 1 e 1 E 1 
 +High g 2 O 2 m 2 e 2 E 2 
 +g 3 
 +O 3 
 +m 3 
 +e ∅ 
 +E 3 
 +From an arrangement of this sort it becomes --or should 
 +become --possible to build various models (which, basically, are 
 +pay-off matrices) in which the combined weights of objectives and 
 +means can be made to relate to various levels of forecast and 
 +normatively determined future events to derive different levels 
 +of goals. 
 +It is in turn from such models that corresponding plans 
 +will be constructed in which all the concepts that were listed 
 +earlier (Table II) can be related to each other in a way that is 
 +not arbitrary but optimizing. 
 +The most important consideration in the structuring of 
 +controlled inputs is the definition of "​ecological balance",​ 
 +which needs to be established as the governing principle of the 
 +objective. Such a definition does not exist at present nor can 
 +the idea itself be given any kind of operational meaning through 
 +mere verbalization --namely, through a simple description of what 
 +the expression might signify. 
 +"​Ecology",​ that is human ecology in the sense we have 
 +described it in the first section of this document is, itself, a 
 +system of extraordinary complexity comprising both individual 
 +entities and multidimensional relationships,​ some of which have 
 +network characteristics. All the component forces and phenomena 
 +existing in such an ecology cannot be taken into consideration in 
 +a study such as the one being envisaged. Nevertheless a series of 
 +them that pertain with particular emphasis to those elements 
 +problematique that will be studied has to be selected and 
 +developed into indices, in accordance with the best methods 
 +extant for the creation of such indicator lists. It is possible 
 +that certain interesting ideas being explored in the USA as part 
 +of the effort involved in creating Social Indicators might prove 
 +useful, in building such lists. 
 +In conjunction with this, simultaneously in fact, the 
 +notion of "​balance"​ will have to be reduced to operational 
 +significance. Balance, in a system-wide human environment,​ is 
 +ultimately reducible to a finite number of trade-offs. Hence what 
 +will be required to make our objective operational is, in all 
 +probability,​ a three-dimensional matrix in which the selected 
 +ecological indicators are ascribed trade-off values not only in 
 +terms of monetary cost but also of other vital kinds of "​costs"​ 
 +and kinds of "​worth"​ pertaining to action and outcome (i.e., to 
 +policies and results). 
 +With such indices and matrices at hand it should become 
 +increasingly feasible to view the model of a problematic 
 +situation in the relatively simple form 
 +W = f (Ii , Oi) 
 +W = the measure of the worth of a particular action (or policy). 
 +Ii = the input variables that control the alternative courses of action. 
 +Oi = the extraneous, non-controlled variables, that affect 
 +Aside from level relations and adjustments and indices that 
 +lend operationality to the objective, the legitimacy of the 
 +plan must also derive from its dynamic conception --namely, from 
 +the manner in which the foregoing .~ through the system as a 
 +whole. For it is evident that the relationships among all operational 
 +elements will be constantly changing. Hence it is 
 +important to develop from the outset a planning construct that 
 +recognizes and accommodates such changes while the work is going 
 +on. The rationale for this is that the Club of Rome is not 
 +external to the world. It too is part of the situation. 
 +Therefore, it follows that ~ inputs must, themselves, be viewed 
 +as feeding into the subject of the work. 
 +Since the subject of the work is in a state of continual 
 +flux, the work must necessarily be evolutionary and dynamic. Some 
 +results, representing clarifications of the problematique'​s 
 +components, will be obtained as the work process unfolds. In 
 +consequence it is likely that: 
 +(1) a feedback loop will be generated going from these 
 +continuous interim results back to the Work Group, and change the 
 +perception of the latter with regard to the interpretation of the 
 +objectives to be attained; 
 +(2) another feedback loop generated by such results will 
 +affect the notions that the Work Group has concerning the nature 
 +* This general formulation of action variables within the 
 +context of an entire system was developed by Dr. A.N. 
 +Christakis and Dr. N. M. Kamrany. 
 +of the output --i.e., the goal. These shifts, or renewals, in 
 +understanding may change the perception of the Club of Rome 
 +concerning the problematique and must therefore be viewed as a 
 +source of new objectives as well as of new means --i.e., of new 
 +controlled inputs.* 
 +All these feedbacks whether taken singly or in combination 
 +will affect the nature of the output and possibly alter it. 
 +Recognition of these processes provides us with a 
 +preliminary planning construct which is outlined on the next page 
 +(Fig. 3). 
 +Up to this point we have dealt mainly with the controlled 
 +inputs side of the overall work plan. In the following pages we 
 +shall deal with questions concerning uncontrolled inputs. 
 +*Moreover if such results are very important and dramatic 
 +(which is unlikely) they will also create a feedback loop into 
 +the situation and generate new events. But because the 
 +probability of this is very low it need not be considered 
 +presently. (That is the reason for that loop being shown in 
 +broken lines in the figure on the next page.) 
 +The uncontrolled inputs with which we shall concern 
 +ourselves have been qualified as "​events"​. Events are the 
 +substantive elements of the situation; therefore, they describe 
 +all the components of the problematique including what we have 
 +called the Continuous Critical Problems. 
 +The controlling issue with reference to events --insofar as 
 +the proposed study is concerned --is that they must be understood 
 +in their essence, in their structure, and in their dynamic 
 +behavior. Hence our approach to them must be hypotheticaldeductive 
 +in character; and our aim, the creation of an 
 +This is obviously very difficult because today the 
 +configurations of the very important events that are constantly 
 +occurring around us are blurred. We have no precise feelings 
 +concerning their nature, no real way of formulating ideas about 
 +their future implications,​ no appropriate methods to trace the 
 +causal connections between what we sense to be symptoms and what 
 +might be the central illness. Linkages that were clear when our 
 +minds operated within the framework of determinism have become 
 +obscured and confused. Empirically we are able to describe 
 +numerous problems-- but this approach does not really help us to 
 +penetrate the essence of the situation. What seems needed is to 
 +proceed, mainly, through heuristic, inventive approaches, using 
 +almost any technique in the hope that we might sufficiently 
 +disarrange what is obvious so as to be able to penetrate a little 
 +further into what might be real. 
 +Once these facts have been clearly recognized and admitted 
 +we can start by establishing a number of hypotheses, which will 
 +underlie as well as guide the study. These hypotheses obviously 
 +derive from many sources and represent a particular manner of 
 +cognizing the nature of the reality that surrounds us --they are, 
 +nevertheless,​ consonant with the value-base of ecological balance 
 +we have chosen as the governing objective of the study. 
 +1. The events to be considered are crisis-related components 
 +of our situation. 
 +2. In their totality these events represent a problematique. 
 +Problematique is not defined by its component events as an 
 +aggregation that is analogous to a "​set"​ --in the 
 +mathematical meaning of the term --but as a system. 
 +3. As such, the events to be studied are in themselves and in 
 +their attributes, dynamic, interconnected,​ and 
 +interdependent and that "​operate together such a way 
 +as to produce some characteristic total effect"​.* 
 +4. These dynamic relationships do not appear to be either 
 +regular or stable; they are akin rather to evolutionary 
 +"​jumps"​ that create imbalances throughout the system. 
 +* In this hypothesis the definitions of Hall and Fagen and 
 +that of Allport have been paraphrased somewhat and combined. 
 +See: A.D. Hall and R.E. Fagen.. "​Definition of System"​ in 
 +Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist,​WW. 
 +Buckley (ed.) Aldine Publishing Co., Chicago, 1968. 
 +And, F.H. Allport, Theories 0£ Perception and the Concept of 
 +Structure, John Wiley and Sons, New York 1955. 
 +Note: We shall assume in the study that critical events behave 
 +approximately as shown above. Namely, there is a crisis level at 
 +about 4 years hence beyond which most of the events we must 
 +consider will become uncontrollable,​ unless they have been 
 +deflected by newly developed corrective policies. The deflection 
 +period must be conceived as short to be effective (l+year). The 
 +lead-time for projects such as the present is generally set to 
 +1-3 years. These figures represent an averaged-out consensus of 
 +those working in Crisis Research in the USA. They were obtained 
 +from Dr. John Platt of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. 
 +5. Such imbalances seem to have two major characteristics:​ 
 +(a) their time-scale of occurrence is relatively short and 
 +might be getting shorter; (b) they are, or appear to be, 
 +a-causal inasmuch as each imbalance has impacts that 
 +resonate throughout the system, although in varying degrees 
 +of intensity. These characteristics will have to be 
 +operationally probed in terms of the fundamental criteria 
 +that apply to ecosystems:​ 
 +6. This might suggest the presence of various kinds of 
 +impingement effects within the system that generate new 
 +events. These effects could be phenomena like: interface,​ 
 +mismatches, intersensitivity,​ clusterings,​ overlaps, 
 +synergies, functional dissonances,​ time-phase dissonances,​ 
 +It is in terms of these six basic hypotheses that the study 
 +will be conducted. The main thrust of the effort will be directed 
 +at identifying:​ 
 +1- The “events"​ within the system --namely, the components of the 
 +2- The “attributes"​ of the events --namely, the components'​ 
 +functional characteristics. 
 +3- The "​relationships",​ "​interconnections",​ and 
 +"​interdependencies"​ among the events and among their attributes. 
 +4- The "​characteristics total effect"​ that results from all the 
 +above and that we have called the "​situation"​. 
 +In the course of the project the greatest emphasis will be 
 +given to the first three points noted above, whereas point 
 +four is to be viewed as the subject of later efforts that have 
 +been mentioned in the opening section of this document. 
 +It is not possible to delve deeply into the methodologies 
 +to be used in this project because: 
 +(1) a priori decisions about methodology might prejudice 
 +the outlook of the Work Group to a degree that would reduce its 
 +effort to an arbitrarily slanted, academic exercise ; 
 +(2) although there are a number of methodological 
 +approaches that have been evolved in recent years all of them, 
 +almost without exception, are still highly experimental --so that 
 +it is impossible to judge their operational worth especially in 
 +relation to a large-scale problematique such as the one we shall 
 +have to consider. 
 +In the light of the above the best strategy would seem to 
 +be that of remaining free of methodological commitments and preconceptions 
 +and to choose the apposite approaches as we go along 
 +and as the work dictates. 
 +This obviously does not mean that the effort will be 
 +entered into blindly. On the contrary, it means the circumstances 
 +are such that the greatest freedom of action and flexibility of 
 +invention must be preserved. The specific methodological field 
 +within which we shall be able to make the needed choices is 
 +large, but it can be described if we outline the project'​s 
 +operational evolution, as is done in the flow chart (Fig. 5) on 
 +the following page. 
 +This chart shows the step-by-step development of the 
 +project starting with the given value-base that leads on the one 
 +hand to the creation of a normative image of the future and on 
 +the other hand to the setting of the correct objective/​means 
 +level. From this ground (which satisfies the normative and some 
 +of the strategic requirements to start the work) the project 
 +proceeds to the identification of "​events",​ namely, the 
 +uncontrolled inputs, and advances through self-evident logical 
 +steps to the goal. 
 +Each of these steps will require one or more methods or 
 +methodological approaches. Decisions with regard to such 
 +approaches will have to be made in the course of the work. There 
 +are, in fact, several levels of methodology that will have to be 
 +closely consi- dered at each stage. A number of these are shown, 
 +by way of example and illustration (in Table IV on the page 58) 
 +as they pertain to the work in process when such work is broken 
 +down into the three fundamental planning categories which are: 
 +the Normative, the Strategic/​and the Operational. 
 +As a final comment on the contents of the preceding table 
 +it might bear repeating that the methods which will be used for 
 +advancing the work as a whole are not yet fully known. Their 
 +elabo- ration is itself a part of the project. For instance, it 
 +is felt intuitively that many developments in cybernetic logic, 
 +in multi-valued logic, in generalized logic, in meta-ethics,​ in 
 +economic analysis, in coding, in structural morphology, in 
 +biotechnics/​and in many other areas of knowledge have a great 
 +deal of relevance for the effort as a whole. Naturally, they will 
 +be introduced into the work process whenever a need for them 
 +becomes manifest. More- over, the present feeling is that no 
 +single method or technique will suffice for the purpose before 
 +us. Hence combinations that are heuristically conceived will have 
 +to be created almost constantly, and experimented with. This 
 +applies to the methodologies we have noted as well as to those we 
 +have not. All these points are made once more to underline as 
 +clearly as feasible that the project as a whole is one of 
 +invention and that whatever comes to hand to advance it --with 
 +the requisite intellectual validity and honesty --will be used, 
 +by itself, in combination,​ or with appropriate modifications. 
 +Having outlined the manner in which at present we intend to 
 +deal with controlled and uncontrolled inputs that are part of 
 +the structure of the project as well as work process, we can now 
 +complete the model that is descriptive of the whole insofar as we 
 +are able to visualize it at this time. 
 +This model is envisioned as a rather simple cybernetic 
 +system in which the types of inputs we have discussed are 
 +transformed into outputs that are consonant with the objectives 
 +of the Club of Rome, as these objectives were set down in the 
 +first section of this document. 
 +Our views of the overall work process are now much clearer, 
 +as can be seen in the general model provided on the next page 
 +(Fig.6). Into this model we have further introduced an indication 
 +of our expectations beyond the execution of the project itself. 
 +This was done solely to show how the total idea that inspired the 
 +Club of Rome might be viewed in its unfolding during and after 
 +the assumed successful conclusion of this particular project. It 
 +is in this sense that the prospective possibilities shown below 
 +the broken line that divides the diagram ought to be interpreted. 
 +Ob. 1. The prime objectives ascribed to the project by the Club 
 +of Rome. 
 +Ob. 2 First changes in Ob. 1 as a result of interim findings by 
 +the Work Group. 
 +Ob. 3 Final changes in Ob. 1 as a result of the definition and 
 +configuration of the Problematique. 
 +Changes in Ob. 1, Ob. 2, Ob. 3 result in firm objectives (0) and 
 +required means (M). 
 +M Means provided by the Club of Rome to the Project. 
 +E Situation existing in world system as perceived by Project. 
 +E The uncontrolled inputs from the Problematique on which 
 +Project will work. 
 +E Adjustments in the perception of the Problematique as a 
 +result of its definition and configuration. 
 +Goals Expected outputs from the definition and configuration of 
 +the Problematique. 
 +G.l Changes affecting perception of the Club of Rome in expected 
 +outputs as a result of interim attainment of Goals. 
 +These will be expressed in the new formulation of firm 
 +objectives (0) and required Means (M). 
 +G.2 Minor possible impacts of interim outputs on World System -- 
 +affecting E and El. 
 +G.3 If World Forum materializes and continues work; new 
 +perceptions will be fed into World System. 
 +G.4 If the work of the World Forum results in new policy 
 +structures, World System will be affected. 
 +G.5 Similarly perceptions of the Club of Rome will change. 
 +G.3 and G.4 are viewed as the major "​change"​ agents. 
 +The Club of Rome was started following a meeting convened 
 +in Rome in April 1968 by the Giovanni Agnelli Foundation and the 
 +National Academy of Lincei to discuss new approaches to the 
 +problems of world society. At the end of this meeting a number of 
 +those present, increasingly concerned about the symptoms of 
 +breakdown of our society that are appearing simultaneously with 
 +higher levels of prosperity and the ever-quickening application 
 +of new technology, decided to continue to work together, and 
 +called their group "The Club of Rome" after the city of its 
 +The Club of Rome is an informal, multinational,​ nonpolitical 
 +group of scientists, economists, planners, educators,​ 
 +and business leaders. It is non-political in the sense that its 
 +members are not involved in current political decisions and that 
 +it has not itself any ideological or national political 
 +commitments. Its vocation is the good of mankind --which in its 
 +opinion subsumes also the good of any nation or people in a world 
 +that is rapidly emerging as a whole, integrated system. It 
 +believes that a rethinking, rediscovery,​ and reformulation of 
 +values consonant with the realities of our time is needed; that 
 +broad goals for man and society must be defined; that a new set 
 +of institutions and instrumentalities is required to conduct 
 +human affairs adequately; and that to organize human society at 
 +this higher level we must first understand the present 
 +exceptionally dynamic and dangerous world situation and the kind 
 +of futures that may eventuate from it. Its overall objectives 
 +were thus formulated as follows: 
 +"(a) To contribute toward an understanding of the problems 
 +of modern society considered as an ensemble, and to 
 +the analysis of the dynamics, interdependencies,​ 
 +interactions,​ and overlappings that characterize this 
 +ensemble, concentrating particularly on those aspects 
 +that concern all or large sections of mankind; 
 +“(b) To heighten the awareness that this complex of 
 +tangled, changing, and difficult problems constitutes,​ 
 +over and above all political, racial or economic 
 +frontiers, an unprecedented threat to all peoples, and 
 +must therefore be attacked by the multinational and 
 +transnational mobilizing of human and material 
 +"(c) To make the results of these studies and reflections 
 +known to public opinion, in scientific, intellectual,​ and 
 +political circles, and to centers of decision at 
 +all levels, in order to influence to the utmost extent 
 +the conduct of the world'​s affairs in a more rational 
 +and human way.” 
 +To carry out this design, the Club of Rome has to spread 
 +its action in various directions, including the carrying out of 
 +studies and research as indicated in the present Proposal. So 
 +far, it has established a number of contacts with key people in 
 +Ottawa, Moscow, Washington, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Stockholm,​ 
 +Berne, Vienna, and other capitals, as well as in international 
 +organizations;​ and it is expected that this activity will be 
 +continued also during the execution of the project herein. 
 +The Club of Rome was incorporated on March 1970 in Geneva 
 +as a non-profit private association under the Swiss Civil Code. 
 +Its Secretariat is in Rome; and representatives or offices will 
 +be established in various parts of the world, the first two being 
 +in Geneva c/o the Institut Battelle and in Tokyo c/o the Japan 
 +Techno-Economics Society. By its Statutes, its membership is 
 +limited. At present, there are (25) ordinary members and the 
 +total number envisaged is 60. New members are co-opted with the 
 +approval of the Executive Committee. 
 +The present project, as emphasized in the proposal, 
 +constitutes but a stepping stone which, it is hoped, will lead to 
 +further, more elaborate, in-depth studies based on the 
 +preliminary morphology of the problematique that the project will 
 +endeavor to construct. These in-depth studies cannot be attempted 
 +within the framework of the Club of Rome. Such an undertaking 
 +requires anew form of cooperative effort among industrialized 
 +countries. The Club of Rome tentatively advances the idea of a 
 +World Forum as the under-pinning of this effort. This idea should 
 +not be understood as a rigid, fixed, or sine qua non prescript 
 +for future effort, but as the subjective formulation of what the 
 +Club of Rome feels would be an adequate framework for a profound 
 +and action-oriented study of the predicament of mankind. 
 +As envisaged, the World Forum would be created by the 
 +governments of industrialized countries through an act of 
 +political will. The direct involvement and responsibility of 
 +governments in this venture seems essential, for policy 
 +challenges of a world-wide nature can no longer be met unless 
 +they are integrated with policy considerations of a regional or 
 +national character. The Club of Rome recognizes that one of its 
 +basic tasks is to act as a catalyst in bringing about such acts 
 +of political will. To this end, contacts have been made with 
 +international organizations as well as with governments whose 
 +positive responses are considered vital to the initiation and the 
 +carrying out of a study program under the aegis of a World Forum. 
 +The Club of Rome has also accepted as its responsibility the need 
 +to provide a rationale for structuring the work of the World 
 +Forum, and to offer it a suitable body of methodology as well as 
 +tentative models of mankind'​s dynamic but unstable situation. It 
 +is to meet this particular responsibility that the accompanying 
 +project has been proposed. 
 +The conception of a World Forum cannot be elaborated in 
 +full detail at this juncture. That would be the initial task of 
 +those governments who engage jointly in the effort to create such 
 +a Forum. However, in line with current thinking in the Club of 
 +Rome, the World Forum might be conceived as an ad hoc 
 +organization,​ separate from any other agency and established with 
 +the sole purpose of executing in-depth studies of the various 
 +critical aspects of the human situation. It should be kept slim, 
 +flexible, and adaptive to changing needs. It is likely that the 
 +period of its duration should be limited, say from three to five 
 +Since it is hardly possible that the necessary scientific 
 +brain-power could be marshaled and shaped into inter-disciplinary 
 +teams for a temporary assignment of such magnitude, it would be 
 +more feasible to set up an effective method of organizing and 
 +managing inputs that could be obtained mainly from the 
 +intellectual resources now available in "think groups",​ 
 +consulting firms, research institutes, academic institutions,​ 
 +industry, etc. 
 +A three-fold multi-national organization might be 
 +envisioned that would consist of: 
 +An International Board of perhaps 10 to 12 members of the 
 +highest international repute to work full-time at the of 
 +the World Forum, aided by a small administrative staff. 
 +A flexible arrangement of scientific panels and workshops, to 
 +guide the work of the various groups undertaking differing but 
 +consistent patterns of individual study, and to provide the 
 +"​fine-structure"​ of the rationale; such scientific panels and 
 +workshops might operate in an intermittent way and convene at the 
 +seat of the World 
 +Forum or elsewhere according to need; members would be 
 +selected from scientists of renown who would be able to 
 +devote a large fraction of their energy and time to this 
 +A flexible group of external contractors,​ ranging from 
 +individual experts to large inter-disciplinary research 
 +institutes and academic centers, to whom specific tasks would be 
 +The thrust of the World Forum study would be directed to 
 +creating the elements of a world policy and to devising means for 
 +its subsequent enaction in the form of new, world institutions 
 +and their corresponding instrumentalities. The working out of 
 +operational plans having world scope might hopefully follow. 
 +However, the principal goal of the World Forum study, as the Club 
 +of Rome sees it, would be to convey to policy-makers and to the 
 +public at large a dramatic "​state-of-the-world"​ message supported 
 +by proposed policy responses. In other words, it would serve to 
 +clarify our fears and give focus and direction to our hopes. This 
 +might in turn give rise to a massive public prise de conscience 
 +that would pave the way to action by enlightened governments and 
 +world leaders. 
 +The Executive Committee is in the process of being formed, 
 +hence a listing of its members cannot be given at this time. Such 
 +a listing will be communicated to the full membership of the Club 
 +of Rome as soon as possible. 
 +It is tentatively felt at this juncture that the effort 
 +described in this document will require a Work Group of Senior 
 +Scientists and a Support Team of Junior Researchers. 
 +The competences envisaged as necessary are the following:​ 
 +-1 project director 
 +-3 planners with general system analysis and 
 +cybernetics backgrounds 
 +-1 mathematician specialized in topology 
 +-1 senior statistician with operations research 
 +-2 senior computer programmers 
 +-1 social scientist with experience in morphological 
 +-1 economist with knowledge of general systems theory 
 +-1 political scientist with experience in 
 +international relations. 
 +The team of junior researchers will come mainly from the 
 +areas of computer programming,​ logic systems, data retrieval,​ 
 +file composition,​ formatting, etc. It is also one of the aims of 
 +the Club of Rome that through exposure to work with the main task 
 +force, the team of junior researchers will undergo an intense 
 +educational and formative experience. 
 +It is expected that the work can easily be handled by 
 +available computer capacity, i.e. Honeywell 632 (Battelle} or CDC 
 +3800 (Geneva University} . 
 +It is deemed to be of the greatest importance that a 
 +strong roster of Consultants be created to support the Work Group 
 +during the course of the project. 
 +At this stage two categories of consultants are being 
 +1. Specific individuals capable of providing knowledge and 
 +skills in various disciplines such as, for instance: 
 +Political Science, Law, Economics, Sociology, the Hard 
 +Sciences, Life Sciences, Ethics, Anthropology,​ Psychology,​ 
 +Education, etc. 
 +2. World leaders in various cultural fields --Religion, the 
 +Arts and Humanities, etc. --who will be consulted as to 
 +their opinions, ideas, and views. 
 +Geneva, March 13. 1970 HO/myg/ns