Haniel Spring School: Day 5

by: Thomas Khotso Crankshaw

Friday was less eventful than the rest of the week; most of the day was left available to the students to prepare for Saturday’s panel discussions. There was a single afternoon lecture on the topic of ‘Centre-Region and Region-Region Relationships from the Synergetic Approach Perspective’, delivered by Dr. Sapozhnikov.

This particular lecture was rather esoteric in its approach, as it addressed the idea of institutional formation and interaction from a natural science perspective. The essential premise of the lecture was that order naturally emerges from chaos, exemplified by the common formation of ordered geometric structures in nature. This scientific premise was then extrapolated to explain the formation of human social structures, businesses, religious bodies and so on. The governing forces in these structures are no longer physical or chemical, though, but rather the laws of communication. My favourite part of this lecture was Dr. Sapozhnikov’s promotion of the humanisation of science and knowledge, to prevent it from becoming weaponised.

It was argued that in order to combat the natural forces of entropy which threaten any ordered structure, extensive communication and the intelligent circumscription of the functions and responsibilities of these structures is necessary. Dr. Sapozhnikov also used the Law of Mass Preservation to make projections for Novosibirsk’s future development.

Additionally, some of the motivations behind the establishment of Novosibirsk’s Akademgorodok were elucidated – primarily the development of science, technology (including IT), and the optimisation of management and government more broadly, via innovation. Within this nexus of ideas, there was an underlying emphasis on the role of the individual.

The evening was quiet, as we consolidated the research of our groups and put together the presentations for the following morning.