The CaseMonitor Project

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1 Berlin, May 2006 Introduction for IT COMPANIES For the consideration of a strategic partnership The CaseMonitor Project A Next Generation Web-based Support For Social Processes A concept by Contact Per Traasdahl Director ArtSourceLab Krüllsstr. 3 D Berlin Germany Tel Cell

2 Content I. Introduction: ArtSourceLab In Search Of A Strategic Partner... 3 II. A New Challenge To Software... 4 III. Software Support For Social Processes... 5 IV. The Internet Paradigm Versus The Needs In Social Processes... 6 V. The Nature Of A Case: The Case Paradigm... 7 VI. Example Cases And Their Need For IT-Support... 8 VII. Development Plan & Partnership Expectations VIII. CaseMonitor Illustrations Screenshot of the first CaseMonitor model,

3 I. Introduction: ArtSourceLab In Search Of A Strategic Partner This paper outlines the social implications of the new software concept The CaseMonitor Project, for which a resourceful and dedicated strategic technical partner is sought. The project targets a truly new challenge for software use. Its solutions will facilitate full circles of stakeholders to partake in social processes (including less educated groups), it will feature a new use of multimedia features as part of organizational decision-making processes; hence opening new frontiers for E-Governance and for organizational planning and evaluation processes, thus in a new way including the work-force/the public/clients/partners, in particular also those, who are today still not accustomed to handling management terminology. Rather than just a vision taking the case of the weak, the CaseMonitor Project takes the imperatives of the modern Value Based Organization, of Diversity Management and the importance of decentralized motors of motivation into account. CaseMonitor solutions will not just represent opinions and reports in a more structured way, but also challenge all inputs to get thoroughly reflected before they interact with the omnipresent competitive levels of decision-making. About the IT Partner sought for The IT partner company must have produced outstanding results and be rooted in the tradition as a developer of software and software development tools. The ideal partner for the CaseMonitor Project is already committed to a best practice of balancing open source and commercial policies. With this paper, we hope to inspire representatives of qualified IT companies to meet us for further talks and sharing of conceptual details. About ArtSourceLab ArtSourceLab is a Berlin based interdisciplinary platform for the development of solutions for social scenarios, spanning from treatment of trauma victims to psychosocial strategies for microeconomic growth, community building and regional planning. ArtSourceLab conceives and supervises social processes in commission of Organizations in the public and private sector. ArtSourceLab was founded in 2001 by the Danish artist Per Traasdahl (http://www.artsourcelab.net/downloads/cv_pt_en_0505.pdf). While in the 1990ies he developed artistic solutions for business corporations (Sony, Coca Cola, Shell, Canon, Zurich Insurance, Disney and Johnson & Johnson and others), the focus with ArtSourceLab was to bridge activities between for-profit and non-profit sectors, hence strengthening regional sustainable economic growth (as a counterpoint to the instable global markets), and to empower civil society groups to participate in societal decision-making processes beyond the political scene: within their community, between organizations, at workplaces and in relation to the public welfare sector. Since the start of ArtSourceLab, numerous experts have contributed to concepts and procedures, which have led to the price-winning concept TeenKom, to other direct implementations in model-projects or which have formed into arguments and methodologies challenging conventional sciences and current corporate and public sector policies. In Chapter VI of this paper, you can read the outlines of some projects headed by or co-conceived by ArtSourceLab. 3

4 II. A New Challenge To Software A vast number of proprietary or open-source software projects (as open source for example phproject or dotproject) offer solutions concerning planning, controlling, evaluation and publication of social processes within or between organizations. Our search since 2004 for doable software supporting and challenging the implicit decisionmaking in social processes has, however, brought us to the surprising conclusion, that we are here talking about a growing need, which (according to our findings) is not matched by suitable software solutions. In our studies of the reasons for this gap in a software scene where you usually find dozens of software projects for any problem zone implying automatic content computing, we found the understanding of social processes and not the capability of software developers to be the weak point. The difficulty of realizing the real need of software in social processes, however, automatically challenges the technical domain. Hence, sustainable solutions will only be realized when the developers of the social domain and of the technical domain form a learning environment. Not only does the CaseMonitor development require a strategic interdisciplinary cooperation; it also requires a new kind of integration between policies for software production and social system design. Although the CaseMonitor Project is minded towards open-source policies, the instrument will need a protected development with intensive coaching and supervision of the software users before it can work alone. And as mentioned this coaching has more to do with understanding the social process than with technical difficulties. A CaseMonitor will be highly intuitive and simple in terms of usability. The difficulty of handling a CaseMonitor project has to do with the knowledge management and case modelling necessary in the interface between the social and the technical domains. The core challenge is to realize, in which sense a social process can be seen as a case and then to set up the case stakeholders, their rights and the scale of flexibility and options for altering configurations during the process. Social scenarios in need of this tool are (and will be for at least 5-10 years to come) too vulnerable to employ and configure the tool alone or with mere technical assistance. Consequently, the CaseMonitor Project software shall neither be open-source nor will it be sold as complete product packages. CaseMonitor commissions will be servicecontracts including more or less elaborate custom configuration, while the customer after their case is completed - will hold rights to archive, research and download Case content at the CaseMonitor Project server, however, without being granted ownership of the software ( Chapter III, Abuse). 4

5 III. Software Support For Social Processes The term social process can apply to for-profit as well as non-profit scenarios. Typically, a social process represents a complex mix of interests, which in the course of the process are to be compared, challenged, reconsidered etc. The difficulties of designing a suitable software support are foremost the following: Problem Internet: The (present) Internet paradigm has an effect on the user, which is contrary to the need in social processes. ( Chapter III) Terminology: In social processes different stakeholder types use different kinds of language (management terminology, everyday-language, story telling, multimedia etc). The transfer and cooperation between those languages represent the maybe most profound innovation of the CaseMonitor software and corresponding social system design. ( Fig.3) Social processes supervised as cases: Social processes can only gain decision-making qualities if the supervising framework challenges the process to form as an individual case. ( Chapter III-IV) Fairness and rights systems: The quality of participatory social processes is more than anything conditioned by the sense of fairness, connecting opposing process topics. And fairness is as we know a continual development, which cannot be fixed once and for all in a written rule or easily achieved by following mainstream democratic principles. Hence, each social process needs its unique rights system and unique conditions for altering those rights in the course of the process. ( Chapter V) Abuse: The moment you create a tool like the CaseMonitor, which reaches further into weak or powerless groups, the one or the other decision-making manager might be tempted to abuse the access and the information in order to gain more control rather than more participation. Hence, the CaseMonitor Project must be a careful development where the social game-rules are integral parts of the resulting software. ( Chapter VI) 5

6 IV. The Internet Paradigm Versus The Needs In Social Processes In the course of the past ten years, the Internet has grown to become the globally most important monitor, archive and mediator for information. On the Internet, we can find text on any thinkable topic. Regardless of which topic is at hand, the Internet can take us in directions extending any perspective we might have. Thus, any case will have multiple correlations pointing to new cases, which again point to new cases and so on (Example: Wikipedia). It is against the Internet paradigm to proclaim any case as autonomous. Consequently, since all cases point to other cases, the Internet grants the Human civilization only one case, which is not just an aspect of other cases: The global case = the human civilization and its environment. ( Fig.1) The realization, that everything is always embedded in this one and only case, shaped the arguments for sustainable development beginning around Today, the term sustainability is a central part of any social policy. The most common functionality of the internet, automatically positioning any action as relative to the one and only global case, gives us a huge problem when we try to monitor social processes: A case - when seen as a social process - will only convey its need for decision-making, action and setup of stakeholders when it is condensed to a degree, where you imagine it to be a self-organized system and not just an aspect of other cases! Just like a cell, being an autonomous entity and yet dependent on outer relations, or like the scientist writing his treatise: It is not enough to import from or offer a path to (link to) arguments by other authors. External arguments must be appropriated into the specific perspective of the treatise. Then, within his own text, the author must base his arguments on comparison between arguments already positioned within the text. A comparison between a text-internal argument and an external reference is not enough! ( Fig.2) 6

7 V. The Nature Of A Case: The Case Paradigm Closed social system A case must be conceptualized as a (near to) closed social system! While we always acknowledge, that in reality, everything is connected, we still do need the condition of autonomy, the game-structure or with a new term: the social meta-structure : Otherwise we cannot point to the case stakeholders and the case cannot be regarded as an individual case. If the condition of being closed is not omnipresent in all action frames of the case development, the case breaks open and is eventually just a collection of aspects of other cases. Facilitating comparison Any argument within a case relies on comparison between perspectives appropriated from external positions. You constantly need the option to compare the one perspective with something else within the case and the case-monitoring tool must facilitate such processes or lead you to them. Offering dialogue A case must offer a dialogue between internal positions! If a statement stands alone within a case, it will automatically call a comparison with external statements and thus break the boundaries of the case, which in turn - immediately changes the framework of the case, overruling any prior stakeholder and workspace setup. Beginning and end A case will only constitute as a closed social system if certain parameters like time, money or other countable measures mark the beginning and the end of the process. Consequently, the monitoring of a specific case must first of all place the ruling principle of beginning and end as the determinant of all functions. If there is no clear sense of case beginning and end, the case will disqualify as a social system and have to be regarded as an aspect of one or more larger cases. Analogies of the case paradigm: o Personal biography: we constantly invent our past, relative to our present life situation. This is only possible if we regard certain phases as individual systems, modules or cases, which together form a long string of development. o Art: A work of art takes place in real life in the form of a painting, a sculpture, an installation, a performance etc, however, it is very clear, that it has it s own reality different from normal reality. Exactly this potential, to mount perspectives on real life from this other world, is what intrigues us and helps us to imagine real life sequences as cases, so to order the past and the future beyond rational thought. o Social Meta-Structures: Once a project is launched in reality it will always develop in more or less surprising ways. In the long run, we cannot control reality. Therefore our analytical planning must have a level the Social Meta- Structure - where we can employ logic, anticipate action and pursue sustainability; so to shape and reconsider our cases while they are consumed by the impact of reality. 7

8 VI. Example Cases And Their Need For IT-Support Presently, ArtSourceLab is directing or partaking in projects in planning for gradual implementation over a number of pilot-projects. For these projects, individually configured CaseMonitors shall serve as tools for administration, decision-making and evaluation. The projects are in the sectors of E-Governance, Organizational Learning, participatory community building and (re-)integration in the labour market (of prisoners, teenagers, and traumatized refugees. ArtSourceLab chooses such most radical scenarios in order to point to fundamental relations between the human mind and its contextual social systems). The partners in Sweden, Denmark and Germany include public administrations, independent institutes and marketplace agencies. During the past five years, a wave of local or national E-Government solutions has made the gap between information and participation clear. The typical E-Government solution allows online requests, downloads and FAQ services but it is still far from acting as support for decision-making processes. The re-shaping of a European welfare state model corresponding to the impact of globalization will require new project monitoring tools if the highly complex scenarios including public administrations, civil society stakeholders and marketplace agencies are to be handled in a productive way. Without tools capable of including marginalized groups (groups not yet participating in the knowledge society ) the gap between creative and illiterate, rich and poor will increase and eventually lead to a societal collapse threatening democracy. At ArtSourceLab we regard community building, (self-) empowerment and the marketability of civil society interest and potential to be the most important keys to sustainable societal stability and growth. The following project examples all have to do with societal creativity and the integration of marginalized groups in marketplace scenarios. Skiss Swedish model project on new methods of reducing health deficits among employees in the public sector. Partners: The Swedish national labour agency, The European Union, Konstfrämjamdet (a national Swedish Art Foundation), the county of Stockholm and five regional Communities. The Skiss CaseMonitor conceived by ArtSourceLab in collaboration with project participants is in planning as support for new projects in the Skiss development, which started 2005 (www.skiss.se). The software shall on the one hand support the development of new methodologies for artistic intervention as vehicle of reconsidered perspectives on health (=> documentation, discussion and peer coaching) while commune directors and possibly other stakeholders are granted certain access and participation rights. Terms Of Art European Project on the topic of artists as catalyst in societal processes. Partners: Interdisciplinary group of partners in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland and England, including national associations of art and artists. Terms Of Art CaseMonitor Via national model projects the Terms-Of-Art development platform shall facilitate monitoring, comparability, evaluation and theory making on the topic of societal creativity. 8

9 Virtual Cluster Interdisciplinary project developing think-tank bringing business experts, community builders and civil society stakeholders together in order to form new market alliances and added learning values. Partners: The City of Leipzig has shown interest in launching a Virtual Cluster, talks with the Berlin Senate are pending. The Virtual Cluster concept is custom designed for shrinking city -scenarios: In cities suffering from closedown of heavy industry (ex. Detroit in the USA or the former European east block) new investments and local market oriented initiatives will only succeed if the traditional working force acquires knowledge society skills (networking, self-governed continued education etc). In order to kick-start such developments, business experts and community builders will coach local stakeholders via the webplatform, which shall monitor every stage of project developments. TeenKom Small-Job Agency for Teenagers, operating in local communities, selforganized by teenagers via the web-based TeenKom platform. Partners: The Social-Cultural Work Association Berlin, The Association of Neighbourhood Centres in Berlin, Outreach mobile Youth work Berlin The TeenKom Web-Platform: Around the job-activities an extensive system with individual profiles, job profiles, customer profiles and various bonus-point systems shall empower Teenagers to develop skills and social competence. The platform shall have a reality-game -character co-designed by participating adolescents. The TeenKom concept won the 1.Innovation-price of the Youth and Family Foundation of Berlin in 2002, a pilot project was successfully conducted in 2005 and the implicit approach to troubleshooting Ghetto-problems is inspiring current discussions among policy makers and social scientists. (website in German language only) 1001 Doors Integration of prisoners in the labour market. Partners: JVA Tegel (Germany s largest prison, Berlin), The Department of Justice of the Berlin Senate, The European Union, The Art & Prison Association Berlin, GSUB Social Business Consultants Inc. After successful completion of a pilot project in the Berlin prison JVA Moabit in 2004, 1001 Doors is currently in the final planning phase for a launch of a model project in JVA Tegel. Beginning with art, role-game and film workshops 6 12 month before release from the prison, the 1001 Doors CaseMonitor shall sustain a broad mixture of film and other documentation representing a multimedia competence profile. The idea is here on the one hand, that prisoners on the paper have very little chances, whereas when a potential employer sees how a prisoner acts, reflects and deals with team-work, he would have a more direct way to spot the real potential. On the other hand, the documentation platform serves to give the prisoner a sense of continuum during the long and complicated way towards societal integration. In his profile on the web-platform he can add reports about new developments and build on contacts to online mentors or volunteer companions, who commit to the project. (German language only). 9

10 VII. Development Plan & Partnership Expectations One CaseMonitor solution has so far been employed live : As StoryBoard in TeenKom, the Trailer (the TeenKom pilot project), March-November A CaseMonitor concept is being developed for the Swedish project Skiss. On this basis we have concluded the need of forming a CaseMonitor working group including a software development team, ArtSourceLab and associated experts involved in individual projects in progress. In order to service and supervise partners and clients in up-coming projects we need to work out a basic version of the CaseMonitor with the following goals: Global and case specific features are clearly to be differentiated. ( Fig.4) A general model for the setting up of workspaces and user rights is to be developed (based on the Case Paradigm conditions outlined in chapter V) A web-based test environment for development purposes and a parallel test version of a CaseMonitor for the established and for potential client partnerships is to be worked out. A To-do list and a list of candidate features are to be worked out. For each package of technical solutions envisioned, a catalogue with consequential social game-rules or other usability measures will be mirrored in ongoing social processes or virtual social meta-structures. The CaseMonitor Working Group is to be based on a strategic partnership between ArtSourceLab and a resourceful Partner with extensive software solution experience. The two partners will invest equivalent resources up-front: ArtSourceLab will invest knowledge, partnerships and live projects facilitating CaseMonitor developments with a degree of innovation, which will open new horizons for the development and use of participatory software in social processes. ArtSourceLab will contribute real-case scenarios and a mix of stakeholders (from top-managers to citizens of Ghettos), all motivated for participatory software development. Consequently, the CaseMonitor development has the potential to troubleshoot the most common problem of software: that the end-users and user-groups are in lack of knowledge about the technical requirements, and that the software development team is not really capable of challenging the knowledge management taking place within the social system. The software partner will invest an all-round software development competence, production facilities and a server environment, ensuring an operative basis of the CaseMonitor Project enabling fast strategic action once a new CaseMonitor is to be configured. The CaseMonitor Working Group should at this stage - be based in Berlin, the political and operative centre of the social conceptions heading the CaseMonitor development. The investment will follow the development of real-case social processes, a step-by-step development enhancing the participatory quality. While those developments will all have 10

11 a budget, a demo CaseMonitor solution (version 1.0) will be an up-front investment. In total we estimate the job of setting up the demo CaseMonitor facilities to require 2 weeks for a software architect, 2 weeks for a server administrator, 2 month for a software programmer and 1 month for a web designer (in the area of usability/web-design ArtSourceLab will have contributing competences see the several screenshots in this paper). Since we are talking about a long-term strategic partnership, ArtSourceLab and the technical partner will apart from producing the software invest time in forming goals and actions for the development. This includes the preparation of presentations and bids for further implementation scenarios, where specialists from the ArtSourceLab network and from the technical partner together create concepts uniting social and technical methodologies. 11

12 VIII. CaseMonitor Illustrations Fig.1 The one and only case on the Internet = everything (see chapter IV) The need in social processes the constitution of individual cases is not supported by the current paradigm of the Internet. Reference 1 Reference 8 Reference 13 Reference 14 Reference 2 Reference 4 Reference 7 Reference 9 Reference 5 Reference 10 Reference 11 Reference 3 Reference 6 Reference 12 Fig.2 The Nature Of A Case: The Case Paradigm A Well-Structured Case In order to qualify as a case, a scenario must be conceptualized as a (near to) closed social system (like a cell) capable of sustaining any argument as internal dialogue. (See chapter V) Source 1 A Well-Structured Case Source 3 Argument X2 Argument X1 Source 2 Argument X3 12

13 Fig.3 Well-structured case management: Software supporting social processes must accommodate different uses of language! In social processes different stakeholder types use different kinds of language (management terminology, everyday-language, storytelling, multimedia etc). The transfer and cooperation between those languages represent the maybe most profound innovation of the CaseMonitor software and corresponding social system design. Management Management Terminology (Systematic language) Knowledge transfer Conventional Management Well-Structured Case Management Conventional Management Operative basis Storytelling (Associative language) Everyday-Language (Applied language) Multimedia (Referential language) Within the Well-Structured Case Management the recurrent options of comparison and the notion of roles, workspaces and case duration allows conditions like the use of language and the setting of key topics to be subject to play, improvisation and variation. Modern top down bottom up processes often fail their goal of producing sustainable participation and consequently fail to establish Conditions for heightened forms of diversity and self-responsible workflow. With well-meant ideas at hand, empowerment still won t utilize in the operative basis if management terminology persistently represent the argumentation structure. On the other hand, if management terminology is left out, the systematic logic and reason of controlling and reporting methodologies will not be apparent. The solution to this paradox is one of the most important ideas behind the CaseMonitor Project: Within the Well-Structured Case Management, different languages and titles are employed for the same issues, they are layered, brought to interaction and to play, so to open up the strict management terminologies for those stakeholders to whom they are unfamiliar, while getting the management used to read and handle the direct everyday- 13

14 language most used and often most effective in the operative bases, the interfaces to clients, partners, customers, mainstream users etc. 14

15 Fig.4 Models for The Skiss CaseMonitor and the TeenKom StoryBoard The Browser-image conveys a Monitor with a left-right main division (like 2 eyes: 3+4 and 5+6), which again can be devided in top-bottom, however all in moveable framesets. This illusion of a physical device has proven to ease the user web conception and to help focus on the essential actions without loosing the sense of the overall case action frame Screenshot of the Skiss CaseMonitor model, 2005 as dummy: 1+2 Top panel (NO reload, only numbers refresh) 1 workspaces and action frames 2 user profile, user preferences, information flow, FAQ, workspace-change button 3+4 Left Main Window 3 TOC, clicked from (1) 4 Content window or authoring site (ideas, reports or evaluations) 5+6 Right Main Window 5 TOC clicked from (2) or from (3) 6 Content window or information window, clicked from (2), (3) or (5) 7 Bottom panel (NO reload): Multimedia Report Generation, clicked to (5) or (6) B A The Model for the TeenKom CaseMonitor (called StoryBoard ) included 5 storage-windows (A) facilitating a desktop-like environment without overlapping windows. All navigation and search actions were included in the bottom Time-Line- Bar (B), a simple wide scrollable web-generated file representing the case lead actions and occurrences from beginning to end (222 days). 15

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