1 Preface and Context

Focus of the Seminar

Available technologies to support new strategies for the corporation interactive television



virtual reality

New capacities made available by new strategies new corporate structures


demand-activated production

New responses to the demands of the modern marketplace made available by new capacities global markets



increased variety and uncertainty

A major change in the way needs will be met for citizens and producers alike CONVERSATIONS FOR DESIGN
The primary message is that we are not talking "into the future", but instead talking about shaping a future in terms of what can be done now.

Desired Outcomes

To demonstrate that requisite technology is available now

To use that technology to change perceptions of the present and future

To convey an understanding of implications for the modern corporation, its philosophy and structure

To learn from the synergy of a group focused on the problem

Genesis of the Seminar

Important time for corporations and for Du Pont

Identification of language, theories, tools, exemplars, resources, individuals

Critical mass of content, a synthesis of long-term enquiry

Availability of demonstrations to make new and "do-able" applications very tangible

Identification of experienced participants, gathered to provide rich variety of perspectives and specifics

Part of a commitment to process

Context for the Seminar

We perceive a major "phase change" in the relation ships of the players in the modern economic environment:
Internal versus external initiation, design, problem-solving

Organization-determined versus citizen-plus-producer-determined

Costless switching as catalyst and enabler

Demand-activated production as a reaction demanded by changed and changing circumstances

There are 3 areas of focus required to fully encompass this transformation:
Technological front-end that enables new relationships among participants in the economic system as a whole

Social relations within the corporation, including required transformations

Technology for implementing demand-activated production in manufacturing

This seminar is about the first of these focus areas, especially in regard to technology required for the front-end of a demand-activated production system.


Within constraints of time and circumstances, the format of the seminar will be:
Short demonstrations or presentations of concepts, laying groundwork of common language and experience for discussion

Conversations rather than straight lecture

Open discussion with all attendees

Demonstrations at MIT and NYNEX, preceded by orienting discussion and followed by examination of issues related to themes of the seminar

Awareness of traps in language: order and complexity are a function of language, and complexity is in the language of the observer

Particular sensitivity to vocabulary and distinctions and the critical importance that they play, as for example in choosing to use one term or another: