Structured dialogical design as a problem structuring method illustrated in a Re-invent democracy project
This article proposes the importance of admitting into the repertoire of Problem Structuring Methods for (Community) Operational Research, the methodology called Structured Dialogical Design (SDD). Problem Structuring Methods are described in the literature as facilitating transparent and participative ways of formulating and systemically modelling problems with a view to participants’ co-defining alternative fu- tures. We reflect upon the contribution of SDD as lying in its appreciation of “third phase science” and discuss links to other deliberative processes. We indicate why SDD can be classed as “problem structur- ing” despite the near absence of publicisation in the Operational Research (OR) literature to date. We discuss distinct contributions that the SDD offers to the OR world and indicate how it strengthens and extends Community OR, contributes to Critical Systems Thinking in OR, and offers new mathematical ap- proaches that the Community OR practitioners may wish to consider using. By way of illustration, we showcase the “European Initiative” as an aspect of a large-scale project across five geographical regions funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund, in conjunction with the Future Worlds centre (2016– 2018). It engaged as stakeholders five cohorts of youth pioneers concerned with formulating options for Re-inventing democracy in the digital age.
Laouris, Y., & Romm, N. R. (2021). Structured dialogical design as a problem structuring method illustrated in a Re-invent democracy project. European Journal of Operational Research.