Friday, August 27, 2010

The Wise and the Heretic

Ralf Lippold
September 8, 2008
Dear Otto,
Quite a similar special moment happened to me when I met Jay W. Forrester last summer at MIT (while I was attending a workshop on system dynamics). During a coffee break I had a chance to chat with him for a few minutes and asked him, how to get forward with system dynamics in the work field if nobody is really taking it serious. His answer was, “If they don’t listen yet, don’t worry. Work it out yourself and you will learn a lot! By the way, I am still learning.”

Having said that -at the age of almost 90 years of age- I felt quite the same as you did and thought, “Wow, I got some of his time and thoughts even as a total newcomer to the field! That can’t be really true, or?”. Despite his age his eyes had still the spark of fire that someone with a vision has -regardless of circumstances or age.
This episode has inspired me to take the step forward and move on on the road to the future I see, not an easy path as “The road to success is under constant construction” (chinese proverb).

As my ancestors come from Eastern Germany (even though nobody of the family really knows from where exactly) I have the strong feeling that there is the place for me to be (despite the economic low level that it still has). In many talks to people I always sense that the pride of not taken the easy route (going to more prosperous areas) and the spark of doing it a different -if there would be a joice (for them). Actually there is another event in a region where there almost no major economics prosperity and just larger plants. Shutting down a plant with around 600 workers depend on it (directly in the plant and indirectly at several service providers mainly doing business with the plant). In a small town with merely 16.000 inhabitants that will have a big impact (not in the best case, I guess;-().

How to make the change happen before all the mobile workers have moved away for better work?
I wonder, whether there would be a change possible? I have heard that the situation is not so uncommon especially in areas where economic growth depends just on a single resource (such as a mine) or product (washing liquid – as in the mentioned example).
Best regards

... follow the whole story and the initial spark for my above comment.
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