MG Taylor's 1995 Invitational DesignShop Event, Designing the 21st Century Enterprise, is the focus of Leaping the Abyss: Putting Group Genius to Work, by Chris Peterson & Gayle Pergamit.


By Design, Not Default

TANSTAAFL DesignShop events are forward-looking events designed to address strategic, policy, cultural, and philosophical aspects of a particular issue or group of issues. They bring together individuals, teams, and organizations who are "stakeholders" within the context of the subject matter and are meant to be catalyzing events that substantially augment, leverage, redesign and create new intellectual tools and processes that narrow the gap between Vision and Current Reality.

The essence of the TANSTAAFL DesignShop process is anticipatory design - AND, understanding the price associated with action or non-action. Most organizations - no matter their size - have barely enough resources to keep up with the changes specific to their immediate market environment let alone the entire world in which they function. The drive to be competitive and to satisfy customers continually narrows an organizations focus (The Innovator's Dilemma). Further, organizations tend to get trapped in their own world view. Weak signals are missed because they fall off the radar screen. Even large and successful organizations find it increasingly difficult to keep up with change. Time, and personal bandwidth becomes the critical resource - not corporate recourses.

Action-oriented, TANSTAAFL events are extensively documented with the expectation that many short and long term solutions and opportunities may follow from them. While each DesignShop is a "stand-alone" event, they are designed as a progression, creating the potential for synergy among events.

In each TANSTAAFL, participants will:

Perform Weak Signal™ Research and anticipatory design;

Diagnose in collaboration with peers, and solve industry specific problems and social issues too large and complex for one organization to solve;

Develop collaborative and co-design skills;

Build and strengthen personal networks;

Refresh your personal insight, understanding and gain a broad global view.

2001 Product & Service Focus

TANSTAAFL DesignShop® Series:
Creating the Commonwealth of the 21st Century


TANSTAAFL DesignShop Events To Be Rescheduled

MG Taylor (MGT) has decided to reschedule the TANSTAAFL DesignShop® Series, allowing for the development of a tighter focus, more detailed description, and longer lead time for each event. Over the first quarter of this year, MGT has been actively promoting the TANSTAAFL series and engaging with its network to hone the subject matter and provide a framework that appeals to a diverse and well informed audience. Feedback indicates a high level of interest AND a desire to have more definition around each event prior to committing time and resources to attending. Thus, MGT will be iterating the event descriptions and designs, integrating the ideas, suggestions, and new learning that we have gathered in our marketing efforts.

Potential Topics Include:

Coding the Transparent Society

The advent of the Internet is undoubtedly one of the most important developments of the 20th Century. The Information Revolution has altered global societies as dramatically as the invention of the printing press over 500 years ago. For the full, globally beneficial potential of this revolution to be realized, however, it is critical that the architecture of cyberspace be created through active design rather than through passive default.

It was once common to hear that cyberspace is, by nature, unregulable, that it is immune from any type of government (or anybody else's) control. Lawrence Lessig argues that this is not the case, that cyberspace has no inherent nature, the Internet is what we make it. The question then becomes, how do we design and implement the cyberspace commonwealth we all want?

The loss of control of personal information, be it our shopping preferences or details of our genetic "defects." What is the appropriate response of an open society? Do we guarantee people's right to strong encryption, or do we insist on reciprocal transparency?

How can we insure that information tools are used to eliminate the current economic, social and political disparities, rather than magnify them? As new and exciting technologies are developed, how do we insure that new and unforeseen divides do not open up?

What can be done to encourage and protect innovation in the information age?

What forms of global governance might become necessary as a result of the information revolution?

The Knowledge Workforce: Who Are They, Where Will They Come From, How Will You Keep Them?

First introduced into the organizational lexicon by Peter Drucker in the 1960's, "knowledge work" remains an enigmatic concept to most companies. This event will engage participants in an deep exploration of knowledge work, focused on understanding and articulating the skill sets, characteristics, needs and roles of a modern knowledge worker. What are the avenues to attracting, developing and retaining a highly skilled knowledge workforce? What do knowledge workers want from their employers? How will we cope with critical workforce shortages as innovation continually transforms the workplace?

The Advant of Advanced Technologies: Engine of Construction or Destruction?

Join leading thinkers in the fields of advanced technologies in asking the fundamental questions of technology's impacts upon society. How will the application of nanotechnology impact culture and other human aspects of society? What are the ethical issues that scientists and society must address? In an era of lightning fast innovation, has can we make informed and anticipatory decisions in the use the many disruptive technologies on the horizon?

Systemic Health Care Issues: Economics & Ethics

What are the global health care issues facing society and the health care industry? How will regulatory statues and laws change and evolve? What health care agenda will be advocated by policy makers? What are the privacy issues facing both consumer and provider? What impact will biotechnologies have on the future and what are the ethical issues facing the health care provider? How will you and your organization influence and be influenced by the future of health care?


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