How to determine a driving force?

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Changes in society, politics, technology, art, etc. are often only the symptoms of more fundamental transformations. For instance, high unemployment is the result of underlying forces in the labour market, which in turn are affected by such factors as the rate of productivity improvement.

Rather than working with an exact definition of a driving force what is important is to have a pragmatic approach. We start with an observable change and ask "Why?" repeatedly. Where to stop asking "why?" is also a pragmatic matter to be decided by common sense.

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It would be naive to expect clear chains of causality. Instead what will emerge is a "web" of interrelated driving forces. This web will also not be static, but rather evolve. Over time new forces will be added, existing ones combined and/or replaced, etc.

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Each driving force can be described using a number of attributes:

  1. Name? Name the driving force, it helps to be specific (rather than “Demographics”, call it “The ageing of Europe” to indicate direction of the force)
  2. What: A short description of the driving force.
  3. Enablers: Factors which strengthen this driving force. (these are actually other driving forces, and you can link to them in the wiki!)
  4. Inhibitors: Factors which weaken this driving force. (these are actually other driving forces, and you can link to them in the wiki!)
  5. Paradigms: Changes in ways of thinking about the world due to the driving force.
  6. Experts: Sources for additional information about this driving force. (if you have found people, put the links to them)
  7. Timing: Dates for key milestones in the development of the driving force.
  8. Web Resources: Useful resources on the web relating to this force.


A template to use for filling in the driving forces is to be found here Driving Forces Template
Instructions how to upload the driving forces to the wiki are to be found here How to Upload a Driving Force

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