What is a SymEssay?
SymEssays are publications of the SymThinkTank symVenture and try to provide inspiration and guidance to Society: institutions, policy and decision makers… and other symVentures, current and future ones.
SymEssays attempt to answer complex societal questions through new collaboration centred paradigms, based on the fundamentally human and mutually interdependent principles of trust and reciprocity, both applied to the relations between individuals and between individuals and society (including government). They propose concepts for societal innovation – where “society” ranges from global society to villages and neighbourhoods and aim at giving practical substance to the inter-dependent values of SymDignity, i.e. the right of all humans to unconditional dignity, and SymSolidarity, the solidarity across borders and generations. SymEssays aim at triggering research, social and economic entrepreneurship and political initiative, all centred on innovation, collaboration, education and solidarity. In this sense, they propose political visions in the largest sense of politics, i.e. the engagement of citizen in Society.
A SymEssay is a collaborative working paper in the domain of societal innovation. Its purpose is the exchange of ideas and the feedback of experience. As such, it is never finished, never perfect, but remains collaborative work in progress and collective intelligence in action. It is intended to contribute to the development of the SymSystem.
The “Sym-”, which these essays use abundantly, comes from the Greek “symbolein”, “together”. And there are called “Essay” in honour of one of the author’s favourite humanist thinkers, Michel de Montaigne, who taught us insistently to treasure humans as they are and not as we think that they should be.