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Social Ecosystem Model (SEM) Version 2

The transition from SEM 1 to a Social Ecosystem Model Version 2 (SEM 2) was assisted by my participation in the University of Witwatersrand Workshop on Skills Ecosystems (November 2023).  As a result of the workshop discussions involving colleagues from South Africa, the UK and Brazil the model has been developed along several lines.

Strengthening the 45-degree framework and improving analytical capacity

The overall political economy 45-degree framework has been strengthened by recognising that the three dimensions – verticalities, horizontalities and 45-degree mediation - can exist in regressive and progressive forms.  This has addressed the apparent normative approach of the framework for SEM 1 which, in retrospect could be characterised as an exploration of the progressive model with its 'facilitating verticalities' and 'collaborative horizontalities'.  Now the 45-degree change model can be used more analytically to understand two competing political processes.  First, the strategy of Passive Revolution of the dominant regressive bloc in order to maintain its hegemony.  Second, to appraise the challenges faced by the subaltern progressive bloc in undertaking economic and ecological transitioning as part of a counter-hegemonic approach. 


Developing Gramsci's concept of the historical bloc

The conc

In this sense, both types of 45-degree frameworks can be seen as constituting a historical bloc.

The vertical and horizontal axes have become more multi-layeredContaining a range of factors

This broad political-economy-ecology framework could, under certain conditions, also be seen to function as an overall political-economy ecosystem.  This has allowed the SEM (Learning and Skills variant) to be conceptualised as a sub-system within this primary framework. With this has come the possibility of understanding how several different sub-systems (e.g. learning/skills; ideological/political; economic/technological; and nature/ecological) might be developed in the future.   In the progerssi

  • One SEM sub-framework – two stages. a. Purpose-led social ecosystem building (social collaborative), b. Analytical questioning of ecosystem dynamics and outcomes.

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