Bob Horn is a political scientist with a special interest in public policy, organizational strategy, and knowledge management. These days, he deals mostly with social messes. Social messes are more than complicated problems. I define them as tightly interconnected clusters of wicked problems and other messes. They are very complex; ambiguous; highly constrained; seen differently from different ideologies and worldviews; and contain many value conflicts.
They usually contain major entanglements of economic, social, and political, cultural, and psychological factors. Bob is a pioneer in dealing with messes through interactive visual analysis with task groups. Recently, he has been helping major government agencies and businesses in the U.S. and U.K. to develop large info-murals and leading mess mapping (TM) processes and workshops to enable decision-making groups to get their minds around larger contexts for strategic discussions. These projects range from global climate change, energy security, nuclear waste disposal, NASA’s research programs, to planning for a potential mega-flu pandemic.
He has conducted mess mapping processes on public mental health delivery and long term care of the elderly and disabled for county level task forces in Portland OR and Alameda County CA. Other mess mapping processes he has worked on include the PanDefense 1.0 (the initiative that put avian flu on the national agenda), the Methodist Church and the UK National Health Service.
For the past few years, Bob has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, where he wrote Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century. Bob has also taught at Harvard and Columbia, American, and Sheffield (U.K.) universities. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of Information Mapping, Inc., an international consulting and software company.
He is also a member of the International Futures Forum, a policy think tank, and president of the Meridian International Institute on Governance, Leadership Learning and the Future.
Bob helped innovate the new field of argumentation analysis, that is beginning to change the way critical thinking is taught. (See www.macrovu.com, for the largest instance of this visual methodology and www.austhink.com for critical thinking applications.)
Recently, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on the Information Mapping method from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and another lifetime achievement award, the Thomas Gilbert Award, from the International Society for Performance and Instruction. He is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.
Robert E. Horn
2819 Jackson St. # 101
San Francisco, CA 94115
URL: www.macrovu.com (publisher)
URL: www.xplane.com/visuallanguage (publisher)
URL: www.stanford.edu/~rhorn (personal)