Trust in Governance

We aim to open a discussion regarding the issue of developing a new social architecture of trust for the future of governance.  

We define trust in terms of a qualitative emotional relation that is built and maintained across time through resonance and reciprocity. This qualitative emotional relation can emerge between free individuals spontaneously aiming for (or tending towards) a higher order collective interdependence due to desire for mutual benefits. Mutual benefits here represent positive-sum interactions maintained in a feedback loop directed against or away from zero-sum interactions.

The main challenge with building a social architecture of trust in governance is that the qualitative experience of trust is extremely fragile. This makes maintaining robust ‘trust-filled events’ across time difficult in many pragmatic contexts where a multiplicity of external disturbances probabilistically reduce its emergence and stability. As a consequence of the fundamental fragility of developing trust between individuals social systems have developed ‘non-existential’ and ‘non-emotional’ mechanisms (money, reputation) for stabilizing order across time.   

Thus working towards building a new social architecture of trust for the future of governance will involve developing the ecosystem within which synergies of trust can be developed and maintained with the minimum of friction or conflict that lead to the erosion of trust. In constructing a social architecture of trust measurement and evaluation of the success of the network can be studied on the basis of the collective subjective perceptions of the individuals in the network. Here positive emotions would represent emergent synergies caused by resonance and reciprocity; and negative emotions would represent emergent friction caused by dissonance and self-centered behaviour.  

In constructing a social ecosystem facilitating the development of an architecture of trust in governance would be to transcend traditional institutional boundaries and organizational modalities. Traditional institutional organizations knowledge and synergy is maintained within static hierarchical confines regulated by non-existential and non-emotional control mechanisms. In contrast a social ecosystem with a robust trust architecture would allow for dynamical boundaries and heterarchical organization capable of tracking value with first-hand knowledge. As a result this would allow for governance forms where emergent bottom up control mechanisms based on existential and emotional resonance and reciprocity are capable of accurately capturing value.

- Cadell Last