In Memoriam Prof. dr. Stevan Dedijer
(Volume 3, Number 3-4, Autumn-Winter 2002.)
(June 25, 1911. Sarajevo – June 13, 2004. Dubrovnik)
Professor Stevan Dedijer died in Dubrovnik on 13th June 2004. A physicist, journalist, diplomat, «the father of business intelligence», he was part of the editorial bord of National Security and the Future from its very beginnings. In the present issue we are publishing his article “Development and Intelligence”, about which he himself wrote: “My last intelligence paper.” We are grateful to professor Dedijer for his enthusiasm, his contribution to the editing policy of our journal and for the development of intelligence culture, while being aware of the loss of a great man and advocate of new ideas in intelligence.
A review of his ideas developed over several decades is brought here as published in the foreword to the book Stevan Dedijer “The World Jumper”, written by M. Tuđman.
Panta rhei tachista –
Everything changes very quickly
The old way of thinking within individual disciplines becomes invalid. It is still strongly adhered to by some people at universities,which is crazy. I believe that Intelligence science will be the foundation of everything. It is what I want to develop in Croatia.
S. Dedijer, 1995
Stevan Dedijer is a visionary of a new intelligent society, whose main features are “organized intelligence”, “social intelligence”, “planetary intelligence”, “global intelligence system”, “global mind”. These are just different names representing the same basic idea advocated by Dedijer since 1960s. He believes that global trends – computers and communication technologies being just one of them – lead the human race into a new intelligence revolution. This revolution becomes manifest in an increased demand for intelligent individuals, intelligent products, intelligent materials, intelligent machines and intelligent corporations. It becomes manifest in radical changes forced upon traditional intelligence and security systems (I&S) within government organizations, corporations and other social systems. It also becomes manifest in increasing needs to unite scientific knowledge about all forms of intelligence: biological, human, machine and managemental.
Stevan Dedijer is fascinated with life and the fact that the world changes very quickly (panta rhei tachista). This idea is the foundation of his personal vitality, as well as of his vision of, and strategy for a new intelligent world. He firmly believes that growth and the future of a society always depend on creativity and intelligence. Furthermore, if intelligence is defined as an individual’s capacity to cope with and learn from new situations, it is the society that needs to develop its social intelligence – to develop its own capacity to learn about itself and from its environment. In other words, the society needs to develop the capacity to identify and solve its problems. S. Dedijer is convinced that social intelligence has to be transparent, because “what is good for the world must also be good for my people”. The development of global intelligent and intelligence systems must therefore be based on “global ethics”.
It was as early as 1970s that S. Dedijer advocated the policy of complete openness and access to all information. Such a policy makes the society open and transparent, and promotes “the development of information democracy”. Contemporary “information highways” such as telecommunications and the Internet have made information available to everyone who knows what they are looking for. This fact has brought about a series of changes. For “not every piece of information is good and not every piece of information serves its goals. Information is a resource.” Information is not knowledge. And knowledge which is not goal-directed, and which does not serve vital national, corporational or personal interests, is not sufficient.
It is not sufficient to have access to information. It is not even sufficient to know. Nowadays 90 percent of all data and knowledge is public and available to everyone. To be able to identify, single out and formulate intelligence from a multitude of data, one must be creative and have a clear idea. Intelligence combines and assesses available data and wanted goals, existing problems and wanted solutions, motives and wanted purposes. Intelligence is an assessment of the ways to attain wanted goals at least cost and/or losses.
I & S systems deal with the protection of national interests. Their main task is to gather data and make intelligence assessments. However, the need of national intelligence services to be secretive also keeps diminishing. The ability to gather information and form intelligence data “nowadays depends more on the brains of individuals, rather than on espionage techniques.” It is necessary to demystify the role of intelligence services, since the share of national intelligence services (both military and civil) in the leading countries’ total intelligence efforts is largely decreasing. The developed countries now invest up to 65 percent of their intelligence efforts in economy and technology, with only 35 percent being invested in national intelligence systems.
Professor Dedijer is one of the first advocates of I&S systems in economy. He believes that no corporation or business is able to survive without intelligence data or intelligence operations. Management without intelligence is stupid management, claims S. Dedijer. Intelligence operations are “a special section to be developed in a company, it is a special way of using reason to beat competition.”
Business intelligence does not imply industrial espionage. As a rule, espionage equals theft, rather than search for intelligent solutions. Intelligence operations are used to solve a variety of problems in a company: strategy making, planning and choosing technologies and marketing, evaluating partners and competitors, risk management in foreign investments, etc.
These and other ideas by S. Dedijer are present in this book. They are not systematically presented nor are they explained in a school-like manner. They are often delivered straightforwardly, in order to attain their goal, to achieve success, to debate with their opponents. All these ideas draw their strength and vitality from the vision and want that the world undergoing global changes can and must use reason and intelligence in the name of a new better future.
This is what I find important in Professor Dedijer’s ideas. A firm belief that motivators and bearers of all future changes can and must be looked for in intelligence, creativity and ideas. It is not crucial whether we have correct predictions and realistic expectations. Rather, all visions and visionaries share the following: it is not important to what extent their ideas are precise and their prophecies correct, but to what extent they have helped us get rid of old ideas and excess, useless knowledge.
In the century of “information revolution” and “global village”, we are overwhelmed by data, information and excess knowledge. These are being loaded into our studies and our living rooms as resources which will suffocate us unless we process them. Unless we transform them into intelligence – an intelligent solution combined with our goals and wants by the world of data and information.
This will not make the world easier. “Creativity is hard work,” Dedijer says. But the world is changing. Old problems will be replaced by new ones, old knowledge by new knowledge. We will certainly not be able to use old behaviour in new circumstances. Professor S. Dedijer’s work warns us about the upcoming changes and required preparations. This is a challenge we cannot avoid taking up because the changes are global; it must be faced in order to preserve identity and the future.