Research is a fundamental act of citizenry in our society of knowledge. In this case, citizenship does not indicate a passive belonging to a country or community but it means a way of thinking and acting that puts subjects in a position to contribute actively, creatively, and freely to the conception, continuous planning and realization of the communities in which one chooses to be a part.
In a reality which is ever more socially, economically and culturally complex and where digitalization and the process of globalization are making everyone and everything connect and connectable, with the social, economic and political consequences of which we are all aware, the relationships among knowledge, advanced, technical and specialized research, experiences, and daily activities are destined to change radically.
Our reality is, in fact, in constant transformation and often against our will. This is because Man has put in movement systems and processes of transformation which are more powerful than any created before. The problem we are having to face is that our ability to predict the effects of these transformations seems increasingly weak and unreliable, much like our ability to plan and control them.
As a result, we have the sensation of socio-economically, culturally, and existentially drifting: a criticality that can only be contained through a fostering of collaboration and cooperation and, above all, by reinforcing everyone as group, with each individual moving in their own usual environments. This is a way of thinking and working that gives value to knowledge of the natural and artificial worlds in which we are immersed. Thus we can analyze and evaluate how these instruments of ours are able to bring about immense transformations, how they interact with us, and how we can interact with them.
Generative communication is a model of analysis and planning of communicative processes which is currently widely sought by businesses, enterprises, institutions, and organizations in general. While it is based on an advanced use of automatic elaboration of “in-formation” (from social media to robots, from augmented reality to artificial intelligence, from IoT to IoE), but it places value on the people and communities at the center of every activity.
If we have begun to understand that research and experimentation are an essential part of life for everyone, on all levels and in all socio-economic contexts, we must be equally aware that important elements of knowledge, which are fundamental for our need for research, are present in every manifestation of daily life: from the simplest sort of work that seems the most distant from research, to work that institutionally is identified as professional research activity. Research is the job of scientists but the intelligence and experience of common people is a fountain of knowledge and experimentation that is no less important. Knowledge needs continuous collaboration between these two groups–research professionals and everyday people–in order to write a common and freely shared story.
This outlook is destined to radically and definitively upset the old idea by which science–with its aim of broadening knowledge–was an area reserved for a restricted group of individuals, old- and new-generation wizards, and a recognized élite that was socially rewarded.
If we want to avoid the sense of being adrift, we have to deeply analyze what is knowledge and what is research, what is their relationship with practice and daily needs, and who are the aware and unaware actors.
From this point of view, it becomes essential to begin reflecting on the current destruction of popular culture, the culture of the last in line and the weakest; on the disattention to cultural and gender differences; and on the need to rethink education.
We must elaborate a new research paradigm that can be discovered–keeping in mind the great diversity in terms of roles, objectives, and responsibilities–in every human activity, in every enterprise, and in every organization.
It’s enough to think of the relationships among researchers, experts and the companies that seek out collaborations; among those who have the task of managing and planning strategies and those who interpret and apply the strategic directives. The generative communication paradigm offers an essential contribution to building this web of continuous interactions between what we know about the world and what we do, within a context of community building, sharing, and participation.