Sichuan University, China
Keynote: J Food Process Technol
Agriculture problems can sometime be complex societal problems. Sometimes the problems in agriculture exceed the borders of the agriculture field. Agriculture is a part of society and problems in this field can extent the state, or even the continent borders. In those cases, an agriculture problem becomes a complex societal problem. These complex societal problems are policy problems such as we have seen in the Agro-industry with the mad-cow disease causing BSE, with the foot and mouth disease causing economic problems and the time again occurring fowl plague and bird flu. These problems connect with economic, well behavior, political decisions and can provoke a lot of emotions. Methodology of handling complex societal issues focuses on methods and tools for analyzing, structuring, guiding and evaluating complex societal problems. Complex societal problems are unstructured, dynamical and constantly changing problems and have a large impact on society on macro, meso and on micro level. Handling complex societal problems needs a special multi-disciplinary approach. The content knowledge comes from content experts. The process knowledge comes from facilitators. The power is in the hand of the different actors. These processes provoke many emotions. The Compram Methodology is a specially developed to handle complex societal problems. In a six step approach guided by a facilitator, the problem will be analyzed, and possibilities for changes will be researched by experts and actors. The methods and tools facilitators need for supporting these kinds of problems. The facilitators use methods specially created for the field of societal problems combined with methods and insights derived from other fields, such as, law, economics, societal sciences, methodology, mathematics, computer sciences, chaos theory and operational research combined with content knowledge. Often a combination of methods is needed. This approach can also be used for creating a more sustainable agriculture.
Dorien DeTombe is a Founder and Chair of the Field Methodology for Societal Complexity. She developed the Compram Methodology for political decision making on complex societal issues like sustainable development, terrorism and credit crisis and water affairs. The Compram Methodology is advised by the OECD to handle global safety. She studied Social Science and Computer Science. She completed her Doctoral Degree in Methodology for Societal Complexity.