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I L L A H E E

Institute

Translating Inquiry into Action

Prospectus A project of the MFA Collaborative Design Program and Pacific Northwest College of art


Illahee Institute Translating Inquiry into Action

(Draft Concept Paper presented by the PNCA – Collaborative Design Program)

Executive Summary Population growth, increasing affluence, technology, the accelerating pace of change, and energy demand are hurling humanity and the environment upon which we depend into a variety of complex problems including climate change and all its associated issues; water scarcity, food production, poverty, mega-cities, and new epidemiologies of diseases to name a few (See Appendix A: The Nature of Complex Problems). To say we are living in a complex world is an understatement. One individual, or organization, or even one community can no longer address complex issues alone. The nature of complex or what are often called wicked and even super-wicked problems has been well explored in the literature. Complexity arises from our own complex plural identities, culture, and the structure of our own brains, which gives rise to conscious and unconscious behaviors. Complexity also is an emergent property of the structure of a system. There is a growing necessity for an Institute to coordinate and legitimize the efforts for tackling and solving complex problems. This is a proposal for the formation of an Institute, one that capitalizes on three key opportunities: 1. Portland colleges and universities are not networking / sharing their research to their greatest digital potential; research is still bound in an anachronistic system of intra-college assessment and obscure journals. 2. Young undergraduate and graduate researchers have limited opportunity to continue their research. 3. Portland has a progressive, “activist” culture. This proposal recognizes that a key partnership between an existing non-profit (such as Illahee) and an existing institution of higher education (such as PNCA) would significantly reduce operational and social capital costs (as compared to a for-profit model). Thus in this proposal the Institute would begin as a nonprofit that brokers collaborative design and conversations between colleges / universities and organizations in the Portland region. Illahee has a core mission of inquiry that leads to a better informed public with a sense of community and direction. The Illahee mission complements and is compatible with PNCA’s mission to prepare students for a life of creative practice. Specifically, PNCA’s Collaborative Design graduate program (MFA-CD) will be the active partner with Illahee to form the Institute. The Institute would employ a director working primarily outside the organization (establishing relationships with colleges / universities and organizations), and a post-grad student running the center. MFA-CD students earning credit would do the work of maintaining the database, and identifying research synergies. Grad students would also act as “ambassadors” to local colleges / universities, cataloguing research and building trust. The research inquiry that MFA-CD would perform would revolve around the theme of the yearly

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Illahee lecture series. A trial-run of this has already taken place; systems maps of Oregon’s education and healthcare system are already being researched, and revolve around the Illahee talks given in March by Diane Ravitch (education) and Wendell Potter (healthcare). Our intention is to extend Illahee’s function as a forum; an Institute would be a way for the reform the lectures champion to be carried out. The Institute would also be a way for Illahee attendees and concerned citizens alike to address complex problems in the Portland area. An Institute would employ the kind of system analysis needed for the longterm addressing of complex problems; it is meant to catalyze the disjointed incrementalism of our current paradigm. The greater goal of the Institute will be to confront the myriad complex problems effecting not only Portland, but the world. The Illahee Institute will employ a transdisciplinary, imaginative design thinking process to tackle complex problems. The many complex problems (i.e. climate change, modernizing education, healthcare, homelessness) we face demand new approaches. Scientific, logical and analytical efforts are not sufficient to tackle problems with social and political dimensions. The expected outcome for any issue tackled will be to articulate a preferred future, design an integrated transition, and identify actions and projects that will animate the transition. To the extent possible, complex problems will be tackled in the context of specific communities (especially within Portland). Benefits to Illahee • Greater recognition and credibility in the Portland area • A larger forum and a younger audience • Clout in Portland’s educational system Benefits to PNCA • A foundational Institute for MFA-CD program • A means to attracting the best students to PNCA • A unique portal for PNCA undergrads and grad students to access research and collaboration opportunities. Benefits to Portland • Platform to engage researchers working on complex issues and opportunities for them to interact with the public and continue their research. • Way for activist Portland citizens to engage complex problems. Over time the Institute will create a rich network of environmental and social innovators. We envision the Institute as a subsidiary to Illahee, with a director and advisory board. The Institute will act as a bridging organization: Illahee will bring lecturers to Portland, will lend credibility to the projects, and will be a rich source of connections for building a network; MFA CD will work actively to support these projects with brainstorming, event planning, marketing, and youthful enthusiasm. We envision this as a symbiotic relationship: students who work actively with the Institute will graduate with a wide range of skills, and be connected to a dense network of progressive Portland professionals; Illahee will have a developed, well-documented portfolio of projects to give them even further credibility. Above all, our hope is that the work generated from this collaboration will further benefit Portland communities, and beyond.

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Value Proposition We seek to create an Institute that addresses complex problems facing the Portland area, particularly those problems identified by the nonprofit Illahee.

Current Landscape for addressing Complex Problems

Micro-Action: Action which causes a change within one system, often on a particular issue. Example: Mad as Hell Doctors (activist physicians for a single-payer health care system)

Micro-

Macro-Inquiry: Inquiry that gathers a broad scope of issues and examines multiple systems. Example: Lectures put on by Illahee

Inquiry Writing/Media University Research

Macro-

Micro-Inqiry: Inquiry that is focused on one system, often a particular aspect of that system. Creates data which can be used for macro-inquiry and micro-action Example: Research conducted at Universities

Lectures/Forums Illahee Lecture: Wendell Potter

Action Initiatives/Orgs Mad as Hell Doctors

Illahee Institute

Macro-Action: We believe there is a gap in the current lansdscape which Illahee Institute is intended to fill.

Illahee Institute Structure Much of the institutional structure is already in place. Illahee is an established non-profit that strives to create an informed public with a sense of community and direction, and its primary function is to bring lecturers to Portland addressing key environmental and social issues. Originally Illahee was founded as a connector between environmental and social good organizations, which aligns as a primary goal of this project. There have also already been a number of ad-hoc community conversations arising from the Illahee lecture series for some time. Furthermore Illahee already has an “Illahee Institute� (the research arm of the organization) that is underutilized.

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Illahee Board

Advisory Board

Illahee

I L L A H E E

Institute

-Illahee board (3) -PNCA board (2) -Post-graduate student -Graduate student -Director Staff -Post-graduate student -Interns

Illahee President

Director

Co-appointed by Illahee and PNCA

Illahee Institute Design Lab Graduate students from PNCA, PSU, Lewis & Clark and U of Portland may apply

The Institute would consist of: • Its own director (co-appointed from and PNCA). • A post graduate student Macro-Action • An advisory board consisting of existing board members in the non-profit and the institution of higher ed. • MFA-CD students running the organization. The Institute would employ a director working primarily outside the organization (establishing relationships with colleges / universities and organizations), and a post-grad student running the center. Graduate students earning credit would do the work of maintaining the database, and identifying research synergies. Grad students would also act as “ambassadors” to local colleges / universities, cataloguing research and building trust. The trust of all of the customer segments is paramount to the success of the networking. This is a major reason for making the Institute a nonprofit (esp early on). The research inquiry that MFA-CD would perform would revolve around the theme of the yearly Illahee lecture series. A trial-run of this has already taken place; systems maps of Oregon’s education and healthcare system are already being researched, and revolve around the Illahee talks given in March by Diane Ravitch (education) and Wendell Potter (healthcare). Our intention is to extend Illahee’s function as a forum; an Institute would be a way for the reform the lectures champion to be carried out. The Institute would also be a way for Illahee attendees and concerned citizens alike to address complex problems in the Portland area. An Institute would employ the kind of system analysis needed for the longterm addressing of complex problems; it is meant to catalyze the disjointed incrementalism of our current paradigm.

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Our Engagement Process Students would act as ambassadors to Portland’s myriad colleges / universities and organizations. They would not only query research being done (as part of informing the Institute’s database), but also build trust.

Partn ers

munity Com d e ir sp

earch Res

Im

p rov b ased facilitation Stakeholder In

w s

l ahee Instit u t e te r v

i

e

Community projects addressing complex issues would be decided internally and would be inspired by the Illahee lecture series. In the first stage the Institute would assess the feasibility of tackling the complex issue, and which individuals in Illahee’s greater network would make good teammates. In the second stage MFA CD students would facilitate the community group formation (dialogue, and building trust). Finally a “transition design” would be drafted for addressing the complex issue. The outcome of this process could be a myriad of things: An app, a policy, a book, a movement.

Il

In

An ongoing concurrent process of in-house systems mapping of issues like education and health care could inform the research landscape of the database, as well as future topics for the Illahee lecture series. System maps are integral in identifying leverage points that can be targeted for impacting the system (See Appendix B: Leverage Points)

D es ign Charrettes

System Mappin g

Transiti C

s e r a ti o n

It G a m es

.......

..... . .

Web Interface The backbone of the research networking would be a next-generation database. An early Key Activity will be for the Institute to map out the academic disciplines in a way that combines the 3D appeal of “nodes” with the ease of editing that comes with a wiki. Though still a prototype, we believe Ward Cunningham’s Wiki 2.0 project has great potential as a nodal database. The Institute, and partnered colleges / universities, would be the users of the database, and at least early on would be by invite only. 5

Org


The website will be Portland-centric and will be designed to maximize face-to-face meeting of researchers (to other researchers, and to concerned citizens). It would consist of the database (free, invite-only) and a public landing page announcing things like: • Research synergies being identified by graduate students. • Workshops revolving around Illahee topics. • Success stories of collaborative research

Pilot Studies

High Income Money

Two pilot projects are underway to get a better sense of how the Illahee Institute would function: one focusing on the health care system and one on the education system. In both, MFA Collaborative Design students have participated in conversations with stakeholders and Illahee lecturers: Wendell Potter and Diane Ravitch. In depth interviews were then conducted with stakeholders within each system.

From

To

• •Private Insurance • •Government • •Medicare / • •Pharma Companies Medicaid / V.A. •Hospitals • •Alternative Medicine

Low Influence

• •Doctors/Nurses

High Influence

• •Pharmacies • •Medical Schools • •Employers

• •Lobbyists • •Insured Patients •Public Health Interest Groups

• •Uninsured Patients

Low

The health care system project has been carried to the Income completion of two health care system maps. One which plots stakeholders on axis of influence and income, then shows the flow of money between those stakeholders. The other is a relationship matrix descriping the relationship between each stakeholder and color coded to show the nature of those relationships. The influence that X has on Y Government Government

Medicare, etc (gov’t programs)

Insurance

Pharmaceutical

REGULATION

Programs of government

HEALTHCARE

Insurance

FUNDING

Pharmaceutical

Lobbies for gov’t poliLobbies for regulation cies to act in their favor

Lobbyists

Interest Groups

Employers

Provides funding source Pay taxes to gov’t to for politicians; camTries to influence policy fund healthcare propaign contributions in grams exchange for policy

Insurance creates supplemental policies Shaping public opinion for gaps in medicare; in- Sets prices to sell drugs of health programs surance forces sick poor people off policies

Programs of the gov’t. Set policies, determine funding

AARP, wants to chance, pressure, ensure health- Pay taxes care

Determines what pricing Purchase insurance for Work on behalf of insur- Shapes public opinion of is set for different politheir employees; make insurance ance companies cies/ companies choice

Regulates coverage and Type of insurance who should be covered.

Sets pricing of drugs; Provides grants for Medicare benefits negopurchasing power R&D, regulates via FDA tiated through bulk

Case-by-case

Lobbyists

Regulates restrictions on lobbying

Provides standard for lobbyists to attempt to influence

Provides standard for lobbyists to attempt to influence

Provides standard for lobbyists to attempt to influence

Interest Groups

Makes policies; democracy invites public opinion

Creates groups to help shape public opinion

Provides standard for groups to organize to influence

Provides standard for groups to organize to influence

Provides standard for groups to organize to influence

Through insurance

David to Goliath; oppos- Pro-industry against ing forces insurance mandate

Negotiate, case-by-case

Through insurance

Consumers

Set tax requirements

Employers

Regulates how much coverage provided

Funded by employer payroll tax

Insurance companies employ lots of people

Through insurance

Case-by-case

Regulates licensing, HIPPA, payment via medicaid, etc.

Pays for treatments

Pay for services, approve procedure / determines network

Sells drugs to hospitals

Work on behalf to shape Push agenda regulation

Licensing of professionals; regulation of policies

Limits number of patients able to be treated

Pays for primary care; sets regulation of how much is covered

Provides “perks” to get their drugs prescribed

Case-by-case; ex: AMA: Shapes public opinion of Through insurance against single payer insurance

Regulates via FDA & DEA; required to keep records

Pays for drugs

Pays for some drugs

Sets prices to sell drugs Case-by-case

Provides grants to fund education

Exposed to in clinicals

Influences cirriculum, sponsors research

Regulation & licensing; Determines what pracLimits coverage / treatdecides what insurance tices would be covered ment has to cover under policies

Interest in what works & is patenable

Hospitals

Doctors / Nurses (primary care)

Pharmacies

Medical Schools

Alternative Medicine

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INFORMATION

Medicare, etc (gov’t programs)

Through insurance

Through insurance, maybe

Pharmacies

Alternative Medicine

Sometimes employed by Exists and is regulated Complies with regulation gov’t. by

Health care providers; works for programs

Health care providers; works for programs

Provides drugs to patients; checks for drug interactions

Experimental or not covered

Provides health services Billing department exSets pricing for indito insured; negotiate ists to get payment from vidual policies / groups network insurance companies

Negotiate pricing for drugs

Orders drugs, retailer of Develops treatments that supplies could be patentable

Provides standard for lobbyists to attempt to influence

Provides standard for lobbyists to attempt to influence

Maybe influence? not as prominent?

Provides standard for groups to organize to influence

Belong to interest groups to persuade policies

Creates groups to help shape public opinion

Through insurance

Student chapters

Doctors / Nurses (primary care)

Receive payment; comply with regulation

Interact through insured

Through insurance

Maybe influence? not as Some advocating for prominent? increased alternatives

Hospitals

Provide health care

Provides retail of drugs

Treatment

Provides healthcare to their employees; specific clinics in network, etc

Through insurance, if have prescription drug plan

Through insurance

Relationships to send patients here for more specialized treatment

Located within hospitals

Some “alt treatments” provided, i.e. doulas

Pharmacist checks for Practicing; case-bycomplications / interaccase tion of drugs

Employ caregivers

Prescribes drugs to be filled by pharmacies

Prescribes drugs to be filled by pharmacies

Fulfils treatments

Residencies, attached to Venue for clinical rotamed schools tions

Pharmacy school

Could be practicing alt. medicine

Recommends treatments available (?)

Could be practicing alt. medicine

Teaching / integrated research


Cost Structure and Budget • Building the platform: $110,000 (estimated from the case study of Innocentive done by Forrester consulting). Innocentive is an organization that uses an online platform to broker clients who have innovation problems to experts who can solve them; the two platforms would be arguably similar in sophistication. • Director: $40,000 annually • Post-Grad student: $30,000 annually *All other costs are assumed to be borne by the higher education institution and the nonprofit. Proposed Partners

Revenue Streams Early: Grants, seed money from the colleges / universities who stand to benefit from the use of the database. Later: Consultancy: Colleges, organizations that desire the Institute to research the database. Though the platform would be free and accessible, the longer it exists, the denser it will become. Knowledge of the database will be a core competency of the graduate students. An example of paid consultancy would be a college wishing to better understand its core research competency.

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Appendix A: Nature of Complex Problems Population growth, increasing affluence, technology, the accelerating pace of change, and energy demand are hurling humanity and the environment upon which we depend into a variety of complex problems including climate change and all its associated issues; water scarcity, food production, poverty, mega-cities, and new epidemiologies of diseases to name a few. To say we are living in a complex world is an understatement. One individual, or organization, or even one community can no longer address complex issues alone. The nature of complex or what are often called wicked and even super-wicked problems has been well explored in the literature. Complexity arises from our own complex plural identities, culture, and the structure of our own brains, which gives rise to conscious and unconscious behaviors. Complexity also is an emergent property of the structure of a system. There is a growing necessity for a center such as the Illahee Institute to coordinate and legitimize the efforts for tackling and solving complex problems. We emphasize this necessity by examining below three systems - money, language, and democracy - that have traditionally been referenced as solutions to our problems, but which are increasingly inadequate for solving our modern complex problems: 1) Money: We cannot simply spend our way out of our complex problems. “Money” is a good starting point for elaborating the Illahee Insitute’s emphasis on systems thinking. Money is typically thought of as a possession (for exchange), but it is rather a potentiality within a dense network of relationships. It might seem someone with a lot of money has a lot of power, but that power is embedded in: a banking structure that regulates it; a functioning market mechanism; the state’s oversight; a pervasive mythology that this green piece of paper has any worth; etc. Using this systems approach, we can reframe money, so that it’s no longer discussed just in the limited human dimension of greed. Instead of money and greed being framed as a moral question, we can talk about the regulation of money in terms institutional accountability, and the value of money as the linguistics of markets. Another dilemma of the monetary system is that even if we could put a price on what it would take to solve a complex problem, the price itself does not communicate the complexity of the issue. Take the simple example of shopping at the supermarket. The price of a can of green beans or anything else does not communicate the following dilemmas facing a systems thinker: • Do I trust that the corporation manufactured the product according to my ethical standards? If not: • Do I trust the government to have regulated it so? If not: • Do I have faith in the political process that the (perceived) wrong can be righted? If not: • Do I trust the media to expose the scandal? If not: • Do I at least trust the rule of law such that the corporation can be sued? This is a lot to think about just for a can of green beans. What is especially complex is that at some levels these systems (corporation, government, etc.) are cooperating and at other levels they are competing. Simply throwing money at a problem may actually do more harm than good. It is vital to understand what leverage points are accessible to impact the system. 2) Language: One problem with language is that we do not have a common language. Even if we are all speaking English, the amount of jargon surrounding a particular academic field, or ideology, 8


or community, or business culture is undeniable. Communicating across these fields will be a core function of the Illahee Institute. Compounding the problem of language is a common belief that there is such a thing as “perfect communication”: that if we could only articulate a solution that we could solve it. Yet just because we recognize and judge our language to be imperfect, it is a philosophical fallacy to say that that we could perfect it. Language is inadequate yet undeniably essential. The Illahee Institute will navigate the challenging landscape of transdiciplinary collaboration by bridging communication. 3) Democracy: “The greatest good for the greatest number” is a paradoxical political programme. Quantifying “good” and determining the “greatest number” is a dilemma for democracy; democracies don’t tell their citizens one transcendent “true” or “ideal” way to live, but instead make tolerance of the many ways to live well together the chief virtue. Democracies are not inherently “good”; philosophically, majority rule is indistinguishable from a tyranny of the majority. What is important in the Illahee Institute process is respecting the integrity of each community, organization, and individual such that their values and beliefs are pitted against one another with the goal of living well together. The Illahee Institute process will challenge the systems that often go unchallenged. The search for understanding, community and direction will be at the core of Illahee Institute engagements around specific complex issues.

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Appendix B: Leverage Points

Leverage Point Countdown: Places to intervene in a system

By Donella Meadows

1.

The Power to Transcend Paradigms!

Self

12. Constants: Parameter and numbers such as taxes, subsidies and standards 11. Buffers: Stabalizing stocks 10. Structure: Such as physical structure or transportation network 9. Delays: The length of delays, relative to system changes 8. Balancing Loops: Or negative feedback loops. Relative to impact they are correcting against 7. Reinforcing Loops: Or positive feedback loops create gain and intensify

6. Information Flows: Who does and does not have access to what kinds of information 5. Rules: Such as incentives, punishments and constraints 4. Self Organization: The power to add to, change, or evolve the structure 3. Goals: The desired outcomes 2. Paradigms: The mindset out of which the system arises 1. The Power to Transcend Paradigms: No paradigm is “true�

2.

Paradigms

lancing a B Loops

Organ izat ion

8.

4. 5.

10.

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12.

7.

nf or Lo cin op g s

B 10

ws Flo

Re i

RS E F UF

11.

Inform atio n

6.

9.

GOALS

i|iii

DELAYS

3.

iii

Constants

es i i R u l| i i i i | i i

Structure

c Danielle Olson 2012


Contact PNCA – Collaborative Design MFA Students: Danielle Olson (dolson@pnca.edu) Dustin Freemont (dustin.freemont@gmail.com) PNCA Faculty: Peter Schoonmaker (pschoonmaker@pnca.edu) Don Harker (dharker@pnca.edu) PNCA - Collaborative Design Program 1330 NW Kearny St., Portland, OR 97209 11



Illahee Institute Prospectus