John Wiley & Sons
January 1, 1974
Redesigning the Future is for anyone perplexed by today’s rapid social changes and anxious to redefine his role in life. In this major new work, Russell Ackoff states with great force and urgency that because we are undergoing profound cultural and technological changes – changes from the machine age to the systems age – it’s imperative that we learn to restructure our current modes of thinking. He isolates the flaws in our thinking, reinterpret society as a web of interlocking rather than separate systems, and develop strategies for redesigning the systems we live in
Here, you’ll discover how to design and manage societal systems so that life is perceived as an organic whole, not a series of disconnected parts… how to create a system that you mainly serves the needs of its members… and how systems can benefit rather than destroy our environment. You’ll also find fresh insights into eight major crises that confront us: education, the generation gap, race, crime, health, ecology, transportation, and underdeveloped countries. Ackoff discusses alternative educational systems that focus on learning rather than teaching and are tailored to fit students’ personal as well as social desires and needs… ways in which the computer can be used to humanize and increase the effectiveness of education… The importance of extending educational opportunities so that people of all ages can continue to learn… how we can change our thinking to bridge the generation gap… and ways to develop preventive police systems so that communities can learn to police themselves. In these and many other areas the author brilliantly integrates technical and humanistic concepts into a book which speaks directly to everyone who is concerned about the future
If you’re involved with systems and their applications to world affairs, interested in the future of the social, behavioral, and organizational sciences, and seeking creative ways to accommodate yourself to a world of accelerating change, redesigning the future will provide you with many challenging ideas and techniques.
Russell L. Ackoff is Daniel H. Silverberg Professor of Systems Science at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in philosophy of science and bachelor of architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and was awarded a D.Sc. (honorary) from the University of Lancaster (UK). He has taught philosophy, operations research, statistics and systems sciences at numerous universities throughout the country, including Wayne University and Case Western Reserve University. He has written many books, including The Design of Social Research, Progress in Operations Research, A Concept of Corporate Planning, and On Purposeful Systems with F. E. Emery, and has contributed more than 100 articles in a variety of journals and books. He has served as consultant for such companies as Eastern Airlines, General Foods, and the National Academy of Sciences; as researcher for Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, IBM, and Standard Oil; and as participant in management education to Columbia and Cornell universities, US Steel, and Western Electric.