Patterns and Metaphors

Metaphors are a special form of presentation natural to many cultures. They are of unique importance as a means of communicating complex notions, especially in interdisciplinary and multicultural dialogue, as well as in the popularization of abstract concepts, in political discourse and as part of any creative process. They offer the special advantage of calling upon a pre-existing capacity to comprehend complexity, rather than assuming that people need to engage in lengthy educational processes before being able to comprehend. The Patterns and Metaphor section of the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is an attempt by the UIA, since the 1980s, to explore the role of metaphor and pattern in relation to governance, understanding of world problems, articulation of more appropriate organizational strategies, transformative conferencing and dialogue, and knowledge organization.