Thursday, 21 June 2012

Adapt: The Palchinsky Principles

In his book Adapt:Why Success Always Starts With Failure, Tim Harford writes
"What Palchinsky realised was that most real-world problems are more complex than we think. They have a human dimension, a local dimension, and are likely to change as circumstances change. His method for dealing with this could be summarised as three 'Palchinsky' principles: first, seek out new ideas and try new things; second, when trying something new, do it on a scale where failure is survivable; third, seek out feedback and learn from your mistakes as you go along."
The first Palchinsky principle chimes well with the potential creativity of Interactive Democracy. The second suggests that local government and local trials may allow lower risk, perhaps faster feedback and smaller impacts if things don't go to plan. It may also allow data from more "experiments" to be fed back into the system. Thirdly, measuring the performance of policies against their objectives provides one type of feedback but individuals can also present their experiences on the ID site, pointing out problems and proposing changes.

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