- Stigmatization. Users are permanently classified into service providers and service receivers. Traditional healthcare organizations for instance typically classify users into two disjoint categories: the active users, namely professional and informal carers, and the patients and the elderly, who are considered as users incapable of any active behavior . Likewise, in disaster management organizations, predefined active roles are assigned to institutional responders while the citizens are confined to a passive role [2, 3].
- Fragility. The artificial distinction in an active and a passive side of society severely affects quality-of-emergence [3, 4]. In particular, it introduces a systemic performance penalty in that only a subset of the social actors is available to serve the whole set. As well known, the fast growth and the progressive aging of the human population are introducing a new context—one in which the “service subset” is quickly decreasing in proportion. The problem is no more the ever increasing social costs; rather, it is the fact that the spectre of unmanageability—namely the vision of a fragile society unable to serve its citizens—is just around the corner.
- Absence of a referral service. Despite having an only partial view on the capability and current state of the available servers, it is the responsibility of the client to identify which server to bind to. It is the user that needs to know, e.g., which emergency service to invoke, which hospital to call first, which civil organization to refer to, and so on. Referral services do exist, but they mainly cover a single domain (i.e., healthcare) and very specific cases (typically, the seamless transfer of patient information from a primary to a secondary practitioner ). Because of this specialization such services mostly possess an incomplete view of the available resources.
- Lack of unitary responses to complex requests. To the best of our knowledge, no referral service provides a composite response to complex requests such that the action, knowledge, and assets of multiple servers are automatically or semi-automatically combined and orchestrated. Even electronic referral systems in use today are mostly limited  and only provide predefined services in specific domains. As a consequence, in the face of complex servicing requests calling for the joint action of multiple servers, the client is basically left on its own. Societal organizations do not provide unitary responses nor assist the client in composing and managing them. Reasons for this may be found in lack of awareness and also in the “convenient” shift of responsibility for failures from the server to the client.
Two key challenges of our societies are, one the one hand, being able to define one such organizational model. At the same time, fundamental aspects of the identity of the organization must be preserved. A second challenge is thus learning how to guarantee the resilience of our “evolved” organizations. Organizational fidelity [10, 11] (bounds to identity drifting) therefore becomes a new design requirement for our future organizational models.
In previous posts I presented an organizational model called Fractal Social Organizations (FSO). FSO takes the responsibility as a generalized referral service for the orchestration of complex social services. In FSO, the rigid client-server scheme of traditional organizations is replaced by service orientation, while bottleneck-prone hierarchies are replaced by communities of peer-level members. Role appointment is not static and directed by the organization, but rather voluntary and context-driven. It is my conjecture that the just stated new design assumptions allow for the creation of smarter societal organizations able to match the complexity of our new complex world.
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