To say goodbye to 2018, I chose to write an article about the Dialogus value of the Escola. I do not refer to the dialogue in its Socratic meaning as a method of inquiry and the search for new ideas which could serve, and indeed does, in our classrooms. In the Escola Europea Dialogus, as a value, is related to the trust and collaboration between people, which is one of the basic elements that comprise a logistic community.
From the dialogue and relationships, which today can be widely accepted as conversations in various channels that society puts within our reach, trust is born. From this trust the possibility to look for new ways of doing things emerges; namely the possibility to apply innovation and creativity to everyday activities and operations. The parties involved accept the associated risks, and with them the potential failures, whilst searching for success and excellence based on new approaches and common efforts.
We are faced with a change in the model of operations which will be better appreciated with the passage of time. We need to wait a few years to fully understand that what is currently happening. When the change is taking place, it is difficult to appreciate its full impact, especially when dealing with changes that take place in the background. The development and implementation of new technologies is taking us at an incredible speed towards a fundamentally global sector; one that is very technologically advanced and increasingly robotised, with communications spanning various channels and involving more and more interactions between persons and sophisticated information systems. A competition is emerging between complex processes carried out by multifaceted and diverse communities that have to operate in tandem in both formal and informal scenarios. This trend calls for expert knowledge of available technologies, the ability to work in teams, and shared leadership, among others.
I believe in the principle that modern transport logistics should have people capable of sharing, committing and cooperating. Today, after many years working in the sector, I believe that we need to develop collective intelligence. How can we identify the parameters which will develop this collective intelligence within a logistics community?
Thomas W. Malone, in his book “Superminds”, a word that designates a powerful combination of individual minds, delves into the study of the elements that, when combined, take collective decisions that make sense in the long-run. We believe in democracy and that individual votes of the people can bring about positive changes for our society. In many occasions we also positively value the results, as we can justify them as the responses to a collective intelligence that has opted for the most beneficial option for all.
In each logistic or port community we need to identify the elements that favour this cohesion, which is formed by invisible threads that make up a network of interests capable of coordination and progress. Some activities favour it clearly: joint Quality Action Plans, and the Port Community Systems are clear and concrete examples. In today’s society others contribute as well, such as government bodies that represent the main groups of the sector, trade missions, associations, the media, training activities, and in some ports clubs such as the Propeller… Moreover, without a doubt, social media plays an increasingly vital role. I frequently receive connection requests through the LinkedIn platform from various members of the sector, and I am a member of many groups linked to port activities. Through the WhatsApp platform I also engage in dialogue in groups comprised of members of the logistic community. These platforms create links that facilitate discourse between everyone involved and I am convinced will continue to do so in the future.
Does the port community and society help develop collective intelligence?
In my opinion, without a doubt, they do. The results from the work carried out based on the ideals, efforts, knowledge and creativity of a medley of persons are far more superior than the results obtained by the best component of the group individually. This is largely thanks to the ability to work in teams – in modern times a logistic community has to be looked at as a team – and according to the research done by the sociologist Anita Wolley, thanks to the number of women within the group, among other things. In this respect in today’s society we are also seeing phenomenal changes for the better.
From the Escola Europea we will continue to work to promote and encourage Dialogus, to help us create collective intelligence which will help us continue building the best nodes of the most efficient transport networks in the upcoming year. Without a doubt, this will best benefit the quality of the services contribute to our society. Together we are constructing networks for a better world.
Happy holidays and a prosperous 2019 to the whole logistics and transport community in the Mare Nostrum, Europe and the world.