Power Hierarchy vs Hierarchy of Intention

Thursday, 30th December
12:00 CET

Presentation and conversation by Christopher Wray

In the natural sciences and wherever complex systems are studied, "organization" implies "hierarchical organization": real structures at multiple different (spatiotemporal) scales, with particular interest in cross-scale interactions, recursive environmental constraints, nested structures, etc. In human social organization, whether communal, corporate or otherwise, "hierarchy" is increasingly portrayed as undesirable - an outdated, patriarchal model that entrenches power and encourages its abuse. Which is it to be: hierarchy as structurally necessary in describing the reality of community, or hierarchy as structurally undesirable, to be designed out of community governance? In this session, we will explore the conceptual distinction between on the one hand the necessary hierarchy of intention in organizing communities and, on the other hand, unnecessary and sometimes undesirable power hierarchy. Let us discuss the implications for community governance.