The combination of the philosophy of living systems and the guided application of available technology achieves a new potential among citizens and providers.
This concept, called "simulearning", is best presented in contrast to the activity of building a simulation:
|BUILDING A SIMULATION||SIMULEARNING|
|DOMAIN||Physical processes||Organizational processes|
|CONCERN||Accuracy and scope||Distinctions|
|SUCCESS||Match to "reality"||Shared models (including disagreement)|
|RESULT||Numerical model for "what-if" in changing inputs (forecast/predict)||Process of self-inspection leading to increased coherence among participants and with the "environment"|
Of course, simulation is a primary tool for simulearning. Re-examination of the effective use of simulation in any endeavor will reveal aspects of simulearning. Calling attention to the distinction between simulation and simulearning is crucial because:
It puts the experience of technology into perspective and causes reflection upon it. It moves the focus away from the output of the simulation as "the goal". It emphasizes the subjective nature of modelling and focuses on shared models and understanding. It maintains vigilance for consistency between goal and system behaviors and, therefore, It provides the means to retain flexibility for the organization while still achieving highly efficient results for established goals.
This Subsection is constructed to parallel the description of Virtual Reality in Section 9.
Virtual Reality on its own is not a sufficient tech nology for the full dimensions of Conversations for Design because:
The simulearner process has benefits for both citizen and provider, individually and together:
Demand-activated production couples production processes to citizens. The simulearner process couples citizens to producers, producers to producers, each to themselves and to each other. Switching is the means for constructing and utilizing this web, which makes robust and effective connections throughout the chain ("from the petrochemical plant to the citizen", as it were). What's in it for the citizen:
obtaining the best possible product and being pleased about it
What's in it for the provider:
There exists a major opportunity for retrieval of productivity.