Defining Social Technologies
According to Otto Scharmer, social technologies are tools and practices that enable groups of people to collaborate and co-create in a way that leads to a more sustainable and equitable future. Social technologies are grounded in systems thinking, which emphasises the interdependence and complexity of social systems, and they are designed to facilitate generative conversations and collective action.
social technologies are tools and practices that enable groups of people to collaborate and co-create in a way that leads to a more sustainable and equitable future
Scharmer identifies several key social technologies, including:
- Presencing This involves tuning in to the present moment and accessing a deeper level of awareness and intuition. Presencing helps individuals and groups to connect with their purpose and values, and to sense the emerging future.
- Dialogue Dialogue is a way of engaging in deep, generative conversations that facilitate mutual understanding and creative problem-solving. Dialogue involves suspending assumptions and judgments, listening deeply, and seeking to understand the perspectives of others.
- Prototyping Prototyping involves creating small-scale experiments or models of new systems or processes. Prototyping allows individuals and groups to test their assumptions and hypotheses in a safe and low-risk environment, and to learn from feedback and iteration.
- Co-creation Co-creation involves working collaboratively with others to design and implement new systems or processes. Co-creation emphasises the importance of diversity, inclusion, and collective intelligence in solving complex problems.
- Social networks Social networks are platforms and tools that enable individuals and groups to connect, communicate, and collaborate across geographic and organisational boundaries. Social networks can facilitate the sharing of knowledge, resources, and best practices, and can help to build communities of practice and support.
Scharmer emphasizes that social technologies are not ends in themselves, but rather tools for creating positive social and ecological outcomes. By using social technologies in a deliberate and intentional way, individuals and organisations can co-create a more sustainable and just future.