An Online Design Journey of

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World-Making Skills

Albert Einstein

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

Albert Einstein

Online Design


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We know that the new information technology will bring changes we can't even conceive today, both in the way we think about the world, and interact with others. If present trends continue, most of the negotiations, adaptations, and creative solutions to emerging problems will be dealt with online. Thus, for transformation to occur, people must actively engage in a reality-making process that should question old assumptions while manifesting new visions of what could come true with people's intention, focus and interest.

In order to change the world, we have to change ourselves first. Our perceptions must change, get rid of what is not anymore, and learn to welcome the new. However, the world-making skills don't have to do with inventing the new "out of the blue" but with learning to see ourselves and the world anew. Thus, it is necessary to realize the importance of both the new (which nature is change) and the old (which nature is continuity). In our modern culture we tend to focus on change, on the new, on what is always in progress; we usually tend to ignore the old, the tradition, what is already known. However, to bring forth change in a balanced way, we inevitably have to respect continuity. We should be able to identify which aspects of reality should change and why, as well as to identify those aspects of reality that should be conserved alive, because it is part of people's identity.

Thus, for transformation to occur all people must actively shape the future, a collective enterprise that goes to the heart of mythmaking. Old myths have collapsed but few new ones have emerged to fill the vacuum. Creativity is key to help us find our way into the 21st. Century. We are at a moment of juncture and transition, and the future will depend on the consensus we might be able to generate both in the "real world" and cyberspace. As Ubiratan D'Ambrosio, the Dean of the Latin America Virtual University has said, each of us can either invent the future with novel and appropriate elements, or insist in the perpetration of what has become obsolete.


  • Metaphor: Mirror/ Open Eyes
  • Task: Finding One’s Voice
  • Level:the Self / Personal
  • Time: Past
  • Issues: Identity, Memory, Truth
  • Domain: The Familiar

Story-telling is the oldest form of teaching and the basic vehicle for the transmission of culture from one generation to the next. Stories are the currency of human growth. They engage the whole person by activating emotion, imagination, intellect and spirit. Telling stories can awaken in us the innate abilities to learn and heal. Moreover, how we view our life as a story often determines how life treats us. Stories sustain and shape our emotional attitude, provide us with life purposes, and energize our everyday acts giving life meaning and momentum.


  • Metaphor: Window to the World / Open Mind
  • Task: Finding Common Ground with Others
  • Level:The Group / Interpersonal
  • Time: Present
  • Issues: Common Good, Reality, Truth, Justice
  • Domain: The Friendly

To engage in dialogue is to think together, to share visions, to listen deeply, and to inquiry on what it is important to us. Dialogue is about expanding our capacity for attention, awareness and learning with and from each other. It is about exploring the frontiers of what it means to be human, in relationship to each other and our world.
Dialogue helps uncover our mental models and tacit knowledge. Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. Dialogue is a way of helping people see the representative and participatory nature of thought.


  • Metaphor: Open Door/ Open Hand
  • Task: Finding One's Place in the World
  • Level: the Whole / Transpersonal
  • Time: Future
  • Issues: Diversity, Shared Visions, Collaboration
  • Domain: The Unknown

The Internet and intranets are creating exciting new ways to work together. The model of the network is based on the acknowledgement of the importance of thinking, sharing and collaborating for both an individual and the society in which he or she lives.
The personal benefit that a memeber gets from the network will be in direct proportion to the time, commitment and effort that he or she invests, The network can only be what the capabilities and motivation of its members make it.

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© Silvia Austerlic 2001