World Futures 58 (5 & 6):395 – 416 (2002)
This article honors Bela H. Banathy's work in social systems design and acknowledges his intellectual, professional, and humanitarian gifts to the system sciences community. The author examines Banathy's epistemology of conscious self-guided evolution and how it has influenced the author's thinking and research in design of educational systems, and in particular the study of education's role as an evolutionary guidance system for civil society. Specifically, the author examines Banathy's notions of evolutionary guidance systems (EGSs) and the design inquiry process. Design conversation is elaborated as a communication method for systems design and as a medium for communicative democracy. The concepts of civil society and democracy are examined in depth, providing an etymological analysis of each as a foundation for civil society as an ideal image. Consideration is given to Banathy's ideas of democracy and the New Agoras as ethical systems for the pursuit of conscious evolution. The author presents his considerations for education as an EGS for conscious evolution of civil society.
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