Game theory looks at the design and outcomes of games where people act to maximize self interest. One of the interesting things that comes out of game theory analysis is that you can design games where people are more likely to ‘cooperate’ even though they are acting from self-interest.
This has implications for sociology, economics and political science. It means that the social architecture i.e. the rules of social engagement i.e. game design – a society uses can result in quite different behaviors even if people are coming from the same motivation. This is quite a powerful insight!
What game theory misses out on though is that people can also act from other types of motivation. People can also act from a place where they care about others. People empathise, love, and have compassion for one another.
When people act from love, the social architecture is still very important. Changing the social architecture with the same amount of love in the system will result in quite different behavior in a society. This again is a very powerful insight. This is the insight that selfish game theory can shed by way of analogy onto the non-selfish case. There are two variables (and probably more) one can play with if one wants to change a society/organization/community/team – social architecture & motivation.
This means that when people say that changing a society than is just about getting people to love each other more, they miss the part of the picture. And it means that when people say that changing a society is about fixing the rules of a system, they miss part of the picture. Its both.
What is the social architecture that works best when most of the people are pretty loving and compassionate. I would argue that the open collaboration social architectures I describe in this blog are best for when people become more loving. These open collaboration architectures are based on qualities of non-hierarchy, openness, sharing, emergence, participation and transparency.