Ideas

Ideas

Milan Zeleny continually produces innovative ideas, views and interpretations

... because he cannot and does not know how to do otherwise.
 
Like the pearl oyster produces pearls, regardless of their popularity, use or price, Milan Zeleny cannot stop "giving birth" to new ideas, despite some objections that they are often wasted by being "thrown to the swines".

 
The knowledge we're pulling from all over the world, but for local action. Every action takes place in the context of time and space, knowledge is hovering above all the happenings in the realm of ideas; it coordinates our actions digitally "from the cloud above". The deglobalization (relocalization) of action strengthens the globalization of knowledge and information. Each action (knowledge) is local, just as the description of action (information) is global.

 
An action motto for regions, towns, and other units which try to re-establish their economic-political independence, autonomy, and self-sufficiency, particularly in the era of the failure of central planning and political parties.
 

Information can be downloaded from the entire world; knowledge is produced through local action. Every action takes place in a given context of time, place and culture. The ability to coordinate action – i.e. knowledge and experience, is maintained in the domain of mental and neuro-motoric reactions. The rules of coordination emerge through instinct, inner skills, external learning or expert reformulation. Knowledge is action; information is digital or analog description of action. The difference between action and its symbolic description is expanding (similar to the difference between what we say and what we do). Every knowledge (action) is necessarily tacit (accessible through descriptions only, while every information is explicit (not easily transformed into action).

 
The company, as well as the economy, is not and does not work like a machine, but as a living organism; it learns, adapts and produces itself. You cannot successfully manage economy (although many are trying) as a machine (with the exception of simple subcontractors), but only as an autonomous and self-organizing system of business teams of employees-entrepreneurs – as it used to be at the Bata Corp..

 
Every decision-making process must have at least two different, conflicting criteria. If there is only a single criterion (an objective, purpose), then the “measurement plus search” procedure will do; this is not decision making. To decide means to deal with "tradeoffs" (among criteria). Decision-making and optimization with a single criterion is clearly an oxymoron.
 

Autopoiesis addresses the fundamental mystery of life: how is the maintenance of identity and functions of an organism possible under the continuous turnover of components? Even cell membranes are only tightly packed communities of components. Cancer is just another living organism trying to maintain its identity, growth and survival within the host organism: it is necessary to dissolve its membrane so that it is recognized as a foreign body and not ignored as a natural part of the organism; then it can be “killed” by organism´s own immune system.
 
For example, also coral reefs are communities of autopoietic interspecies cooperation of their own production. Coral reefs abhor monoculture. Such interacting and interpenetrating autopoietic societies are creating their own ecologies, economies and defenses – long time before the emergence of humans. Yet, human systems are like coral reefs. The main problem of coral reefs is human (heteropoietic) intervention. No scholars or politicians should dictate how coral reefs and human societies should function. Their humble role is to observe, describe and try to understand. Human intervention in living systems not created by man is hubris of the species.

The global success of the Bata system lies not in it´s individual functions, methods, approaches and techniques, no matter how sophisticated in their time, but in their integration into a comprehensive, self-producing and self-service system, primarily because of corporate self-governance. Individual components can be copied, but they never work in isolation. Their organic, whole management system cannot be copied. For every ambitious undertaking with the final product or final customer, one must create a customized system of management, in search of one´s own way.

 
To learn from your own mistakes is not sufficient; mistakes are to be prevented or avoided. Especially in politics, entrepreneurship, professions and education, it is mandatory to learn from the mistakes of others, not one´s own. Here every mistake affects the innocent masses of individuals, families and communities. To learn from own mistakes, using people as “experimental animals”, is immoral.
 

Traditionally, an old-fashioned division of labor prevailed: scientists discover, engineers invent, and entrepreneurs innovate. This divisive separation of effort has to give way to integration: new institution is needed, based on close teamwork of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs: an Entrepreneurial University in a local or regional setting.

Direct democracy
 
This is a real, authentic, and original democracy, based on the direct connection and relations between the voters and the elected. The inserted link of political parties degrades direct democracy and transfers power to a simple intermediary of political enterprise (party) which puts its own interests above the interests of voters.

 
The free market is very different from the open market. The open market guarantees the "freedom" of the producer and provider, but the free market protects the freedom of the customer and the consumer. In the open market, you can cheat, manipulate, misrepresent and lie; the free market protects the participants in the transaction from lie, theft, injury and damage. Freedom does not imply the right to hit someone "over the head", but to ensure that the participants in market transactions are not hit "over the head" and - thus remain free. Governmental failure to secure free markets it self-evident.
 

We are now going through deglobalization of action (localization and re-localization of global action), while strengthening globalization and quantity of information flows. Every action (knowledge) is local, every description of action (information) is global. We are entering the era of global information and local knowledge (we download cookbooks of the entire world, but the art of cooking emerges through local action only). We know what to do and how. To know about is not the same as to know how; to know why complements knowledge with wisdom. Information flies around the world at the speed of light, but products and their inventories we transport and ship around slowly and dearly. It is now necessary to produce locally, at the closest proximity to customer (even by the customer itself – self-production and self-service).

 
Education is always a system, i.e., a coherent whole of contents, form, organization and direct relationship between the provider and the user. Bad systems cannot change or be improved through separate modifications of individual components (such as simple injection of money). Better systems can only be achieved by improving the whole, i.e., changing the weights of all its components listed above.

 
The present-day society lacks motivated high-quality entrepreneurs (there are many opportunists and schemers). The Entrepreneurial university (Jan Bata’s concept) teaches entrepreneurship through doing business. Its students learn not only through reading books, but mainly through managing real entrepreneurial action. To know of something does not imply the ability to do it.
 

For millennia, men have carved nature into physical, chemical, biological, engineering and social domains. No such unnatural divisions exist in nature. Nature is remarkably integrated in its creations and productions, combining physical, chemical, biological, engineering and social aspects into a unified whole. Only a similar integration of human education and action can bring forth the true innovation, crucial for our future.

 
"Live as if you were 
to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were 
to live forever."