10 Simulearning

The Concept of "Simulearning"

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:

 TYPE Quantitative Qualitative
 DOMAIN Physical processes Organizational processes
 structure  Equations
 data  Parameterizations
 structure  Interactions
 data  Conversations
 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.

Simulearner in relation to Virtual Reality

This Subsection is constructed to parallel the description of Virtual Reality in Section 9.

Regulation on purpose (that is, regulation of the organization up to and including the levels of its purpose): simulation of the organization in terms of purpose, information flows and activities, with thor ough visualization

2nd-order coupling: attachment to parameters of purpose and internal and external feedback, for vigilance about the coherence of the organization (that is, the consistency of its goals with its activities)

Direct connect to system's "whys": understanding of the system emerges from simulating in the 2nd-order domain ("simulearning")

Simulearner Applied: CAD System for "Conversations for Design"

Virtual Reality on its own is not a sufficient tech nology for the full dimensions of Conversations for Design because:

Virtual Reality is not a 2nd-order process, that is, it does not, in itself, focus on the relationship of goals to outcomes.

The citizen must engage in a 2nd-order process in order to exteriorize his or her values in using a product/service, including the trade-off of additional cost versus benefit; unless these values are exteriorized, the producer cannot account for them.

Virtual Reality does not address the issue of the emergence of distinction in conversation among citizens and providers; for that to occur, citizen and provider must jointly engage in a simulearner process.

The simulearner process has benefits for both citizen and provider, individually and together:

The simulearner concept applied to a CAD System (as in computer-aided design system) for "Conversations for Design" will combine the concepts outlined in this seminar with intimate knowledge of on-demand production capabilities.

There is a parallel set of cybernetic modelling tools for applying the simulearner notion to the social issues of the corporation.


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:

avoiding lock-in of "product position" or set pricing scheme

moving "market size" to an indefinite number of "units of 1", i.e., no one is turned away

There exists a major opportunity for retrieval of productivity.