CAMELOT — Justice & Environment (the Political Dimension)

This doorway into the ePLANETe proposes pathways of initiation to the world of controversies, conflicts and negotiations associated with dilemmas and divergences of perspective on "What To Do?". 

Most questions of stratégy -- whether business entreprise, public policy, international rivalry or local-scale action -- are characterised by asymmetries in power and political agency, in status, in financial capacity, and in access to environmental resources & services.  In our sustainability context, we address these asymmetries as unresolved questions of "unequal ecological (as well as economic) distribution" and of justice.

In this context, the CAMELOT Doorway *** provides opportunities for progressive discovery and understanding of situations of controversy, considered as collective "problems of social choice". 

  • In the Gallery of HOT SPOTS, you can access profiles of "case studies" characterised by diversity of stakeholders' interests and value perspectives, scientific and societal indeterminacy, high decision stakes, and the urgency (if not inevitability) of action. 
  • This leads naturally to the Gallery of WORKSITES, the collaborative workspace where, as stakeholders engaged around our "common problem" of Sustaining What, for Whom, and Why?  On a Worksite, we work to "build our problem" -- that is, to define the options for action, the quality and performance issues that bear on the attractiveness (or not) of each alternative action, the spectrum of stakeholders, and also the spectrum of knowledge and insights that might be mobilised as resources for bulding collective intelligence around the problem.

On a Worksite, the members of a User Community may engage the use of the KerBabel suite of "deliberation support tools" for carrying out various different forms of Evaluation Exercises, with the purpose of building understanding of, and (where possible), formulating inclusive solutions to, situations of uncertainty and conflict.

  • The KerBabel Indicator Kiosk (KIK) and the KerBabel Representation Rack (KRR) are meta-information tools for cataloguing the different elements of information -- most often referred to as Indicators and Arguments -- that are proposed by different stakeholders as Signals for informing their deliberations.
  • The Gallery of Theories, Methods & Tools provides for the documentation of the diversity of conceptual frameworks, paradigms of analysis, and operational tools that underpin the production of candidate indicators and other elements of information.  
  • The Gallery of Sustainability Ideas & Actions provides for the detailed presentation of information concerning the different optrions for action under consideration in the User Community's "theatre of sustainability".
  • The KerBabel Deliberation Matrix provides a framework for the comparative évaluation of alternative situations or options for action (technology choices, site options, investment scenarios, etc.), across the spectrum of performance concerns recognised by the diversity of stakeholders.  The conduct of this sort of evaluation exercise may, in some cases, permit the identification of a commonly agreed or consensus solution to the "problem of social choice".  In other cases, the evaluation process permits to sharpen insight into the axes of divergence across stakeholders and also the dilemmas associated with the impossibility of satisfying simultaneously all criteria and all stakeholders.
  • Benchmarking tools such as K4U provide for the comparative evaluation of a specific class of objects, relative to a pre-determined framework of indicators and performance issues.  For example, the notation of business activities relative to a pre-determined grill of CSR performance criteria; or the evaluation of territorial development opportunities relative to a spectrum of natural, cultural, technological, workforce and other "patrimonial" sustainability considerations.

The intent of these Evaluation Exercises is not to apply a definitive judgment or decision rule but, on the contrary, to facilite stakeholder engagement in a open collaborative learning process -- building knowledge partnerships for syustainability.   

The different aspects of these collaborative processes can themselves be presented, by the User Community, through the exploitation of the various other ePLANETe galleries accessible in the background of the CAMELOT Doorway: the Gallery of People and Partners (including presentation of the User Community itself); the ePLANETe NewsReel and the Gallery of Collaborative Activities; the Babel2Gardens for cross-links to documentary resources of all sorts;  and  the Gallery of Knowledge Hot Topics for in-depth presentation of controversies about knowledge quality (KQA). 

Finally, it is possible to exploit the dedicated pedagogic tools of the ePLANETe platform -- notably the Brocéliande Forest and Yggdrasil -- for the purpose of detailed on-line presentations of specific Evaluation Exercices and of the collaborative learning pathways traced out by the User Community.


*** Note:  The naming of the CAMELOT Doorway is a direct allusion to the symbolism in Celtic tradition, the location of King Arthur's Round Table, with its connotations of honour, reciprocity, and good governance.  In contemporary English, Camelot is used as a symbolic name for "a place, time, or group of people, especially a country or government, when there is a lot of excitement, hope, and belief about what can be achieved"  []. 

The word, nonetheless, has taken on diverse meanings across space and time.  For example, the Larousse Dictionary gives, for camelot in French as a (masculine) noun: "Marchand qui vend dans la rue des objets de pacotille" (= a street-merchant or pedlar selling objects of little value).  As a verb, cameloter in French means to produce or furnish goods of little quality.  These usages are close to the feminine noun: (la) camelote [sometimes written as la camelotte], "Marchandise de peu de valeur, de mauvaise qualité ; ouvrage mal exécuté..." (Goods of little value -- junk or poor quality; also used to describe shoddy or badly carried out work: C'est de la camelot(t)e.  With sometimes (but not necessarily) the connotation of fraud or trickery, or a stash of stolen goods.

In short, entering through the CAMELOT Doorway, you engage with enthusiasm and hope, but are aware that in quality terms and outcomes it's sometimes a mixed bag.


From Pink Floyd, "Dark side of the Moon" (1973).

"...  Down (down, down, down, down)
And out (out, out, out, out)
It can't be helped that there's a lot of it about
With (with, with, with), without
And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about? ...."

"Money, get away
Get a good job with good pay and you're okay
Money, it's a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I'll buy me a football team

Money, get back
I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack
Money, it's a hit
Don't give me that do goody good bullshit
I'm in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet

Money, it's a crime
Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're
Giving none away, away, away"