Saving the Human Project?
Routledge – 2012 – 180 pages
Stakeholder or public participation has become something of a modern mantra employed in all sorts of contexts to give people a voice. There are many variants on this 'participation' but traditionally they all share a desire to maximise involvement and provide desired 'outputs' of a required quality as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Difference tends to be reduced and compromise encouraged as the outputs or even just the appearance of participation are emphasised. This book explores the large and diverse range of participatory methods currently in use, examines the problems and gaps in these methods and sets out an innovative new methodology which overcomes these shortcomings. Uniquely, this method builds from the assumption that it is not just the outputs that matter in participation - it is also the journey. 'Triple Task' is designed to help groups explore their current situation and develop a path by which they can improve their functioning and ultimately make a positive contribution to the lives of others. The book includes in-depth case studies of Triple Task in action across a range of contexts and countries, with particular focus on an EU project concerning indicators in policy-making. This new approach can be used in any context and with any sort of group to help them produce more informative 'outputs' in which a deep reflection of how the group works is allied to an analysis of how problems can be solved.
"Working in groups has never been more important than it is today. But anyone who’s tried it knows how hard it is. Bell and Morse’s entertaining and accessible guide to ‘resilient participation’ is essential reading for those who still believe in the human project. Democratising sustainability 101 has just arrived."- Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development in the Centre for Environmental Sustainability, University of Surrey and author of "Prosperity Withour Growth"
"The authors are clear in that they wish to analyse the importance of group efficacy and to do so they borrow heavily from the psychodynamic and systems traditions. The result is the Triple Task approach that combines these methodologies. It facilitates an analysis of the degree to which any group achieves its objectives while also scrutinizing the workings of that group." - Dr. Ruth McAreavey, School of Planning, Architecture & Civil Engineering, Queen's University, Belfast
Introduction 1. Projects and People 2. Triple Task. An evolving synthesis 3. Interpretation of Triple Task 4. Application of Triple Task 5. What does it all mean?
Prof. Simon Bell is Professor of Innovation and Methodology, Communications and Systems Department, MCT Faculty, Open University
Prof. Stephen Morse is Chair in Systems Analysis for Sustainability at the Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey