3. The more data and science we can bring to understanding what is wrong, the closer we will be to solving the world’s most intractable problems.
Facts and figures are important, but when it comes to sense-making around complex socio-economic challenges, thick data matters more than thin or Big Data. Data that is simply factual (thin or Big) speaks to the “when,” “who” and “what” is less important than thick data with context (thick speaks to the “where” and “why). But contextual data is not always enough; often we are called to make decisions that require good collective judgments, especially where the road ahead is unpredictable. There are times when we must take risks and make judgements, having the courage to create new possibilities together as we go. In fact, throughout history, dialects, cuisine, child rearing, rituals of worship, learning, and passing on of traditions – what we cumulatively refer to as culture – have all emerged as deeply rooted expressions of small communities’ willingness to walk collectively and courageously towards a shared future with little logic behind them. Their hunt for hope drew them forward. Their belief in each other, their ecologies and their traditions sustained them. And their stories and songlines ensured their ways prevailed long after their lifetimes ended.