Senge on Openness… and Microworlds

Everytime I return to this book (The Fifth Discipline) it gets better, and seems more prescient. Here is a quote from Senge that sounds like Scoble could’ve said it:

Nothing undermines openness more surely than certainty. (p. 281, from a section on “Openness and Complexity”)

It also seems he’d read Papert already, as he has a whole section at the back of the book related to Microworlds. I write and share a lot of what I consider cutting edge thinking on video games and simulations in education, but look at this excerpt from 1990, sixteen years ago:

Now a new type of microworld is emerging. Personal computers are making it possible to integrate learning about complex team interactions with learning about complex business interactions. These new microworlds allow groups to reflect on, expose, test, and improve the mental models upon which they rely in facing difficult problems. They are settings for both crafting visions and experimenting with a broad range of strategies and policies for achieving those visions. Gradually, they are becoming a new type of ‘practice field’ for management teams, places where teams will learn how to learn together while engaging their most important business issues.

Microworlds, will, I believe, prove to be a critical technology for implementing the disciplines of the learning organization. And they will accomplish this by helping us rediscovr the power of learning through play. Shell’s Arie de Geus saus that organization learning occurs in three ways: through teaching, thourhg ‘changing the rules of the game’ (such as through openness and localness), and though play. Play sis the most rare, and potentially the most powerful. Microworlds are places for ‘relevant play.’ (p. 315)

At times, reading Senge even sounds like I’m reading Dewey.