Challenges to Comprehension Implied by the Logo
of Laetus in Praesens
Laetus in Praesens

11 September 2007

Biography: Anthony Judge

E-mail: anthony.judge @

Summary version | Extended version | Institution-related initiatives | UIA-related initiatives

Summary: Anthony Judge (Australia) is the instigator of the Union of Imaginative Associations ( -- following his retirement in May 2007 as Director of Communications and Research at the Union of International Associations (UIA) ( He had held this operational position since the 1970s in addition to his formal role as Assistant Secretary-General. Based in Brussels for the century since its founding in 1907, the UIA has been a self-financed, international, nonprofit, research clearinghouse for information on all international nonprofit organizations and their preoccupations.

His continuing responsibility, dating from 1972, had been the development of interlinked databases on: these international organizations, their meetings, their strategies, the problems on which these focus, and their values, together with associated databases on modes of human development, bibliographical data, and biographical profiles -- and on the networks linking these various kinds of entity. Over that period he was specifically responsible for publication of this information in a range of reference media -- including the Yearbook of International Organizations, the International Congress Calendar -- and on enabling web access to their hyperlinked content. In particular, with the financial assistance of Mankind 2000 ( of which he became Executive Director, he developed the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential for the UIA from 1972 through to its current online integration with these other databases.

As a development of these knowledge management initiatives, and their associated learnings, he has authored a collection of over 1,600 documents on information and knowledge organization of relevance to governance and strategy-making -- including challenges to configuration, comprehension, credibility, communication, and related software possibilities, especially in conferencing dialogue contexts. Specific interests have included futures research and transdisciplinarity with particular interest in exploring user-controlled visual representations of complex knowledge networks over the web (see also Richer Metaphors for Our Future Survival: Narrative autobiography as a futurist, 1996). Other series of papers explore issues relating to governance through metaphor, electronic implications for organization network operation, and the future of dialogue and sustainable community.

These interests, whether professional or personal, have been enriched by involvement with a wide range of international bodies and meetings, whether as organizer, speaker, panelist, contributor or facilitator.

Within the new context of the Union of Imaginative Associations and its associated initiatives, he is continuing this research -- now more specifically focused on the challenges of eliciting new insights, and making more effective use of any relevant knowledge, in response to the urgent challenges of governance and meaningful lifestyles in an increasingly complex environment.

--- Extended Version ---

Nationality: Australian. Resident: Belgium (since 1968). Born: 21 January 1940, Port Said (Egypt). Married to German national. Languages: English, French; some working knowledge of Italian, Spanish, German and Dutch.

Activities (current): Union of Imaginative Associations. Through this context and related initiatives, he is continuing to develop past research. Current work now focuses more specifically on the challenges of eliciting new insights, and making more effective use of any relevant knowledge, in response to the urgent challenges of governance and meaningful lifestyles in an increasingly complex environment. Examples of themes explored in 2007 (see complete list) include:

Activities (1961 to May 2007): Union of International Associations (Brussels, Belgium). Initially as Special Assistant to the Secretary-General, and from June 1969 as Assistant Secretary-General. In the period 2004-5, during a period of financial crisis, this role was extended to that of Secretary-General (ad interim).

Functions within UIA:

Institutional, conference and group associations (see separately Conference-, Organization- and Publication-related Initiatives), notably including:

Papers and reports: Production of papers (whether commissioned or as a professional interest) relevant in various ways to the strategic position of international organizations and the organized response to world problems. This has included work on organization and community design, transformative conferencing and dialogue, information system design, relevance of metaphor for governance and communication, transdisciplinarity, and concepts of human development. A special interest is in issues of comprehension at the interface of problem networks, human development, appropriately organized response, information systems, and conceptual frameworks reflecting different "ways of knowing".

Checklists of some 1,600 papers are available via the following clusters on

Select list of most recent documents

Chronological index: 2000 + | 1990-99 | 1980-89 | 1970-79 | 1962-69 | ALL years

Thematic overview in the following groups



Distinguishing Emergent Conceptual Polarities
experimental ordering of the (above) collection of research papers (comment)
Diversity -- Unity
Agreement -- Disagreement
Organization -- Chaos
Configuration -- Relationships
Strategy -- Lifestyle
Static -- Dynamic
Conventional -- Radical
Future -- Present
Global -- Personal
Information systems -- Communication
Comprehension -- Incomprehension
Facts -- Aesthetics
Balance -- Imbalance
Problems -- Potential
Configuring Conceptual Polarities in Questing
metaphoric pointers to self-reflexive coherence

A special concern in relation to the Encyclopedia strategic initiative, best framed as the Union of Intelligible Associations (, is the use of metaphor in reframing policy-making dilemmas in response to world problems, including the possibility of a "marriage" between policy-making and the arts, notably poetry-making, through which more organic, rhythm-based understanding could refresh the sterility of modern policies - especially for musically oriented developing countries. This has involved exploration of many new possibilities of visualization to catalyze new approaches to social organization. In the case of meetings, this has taken the form of an interest in transformative conferencing and new approaches to dialogue (notably as explored with colleagues in a School of Ignorance over a period of 7 years).

Many of the papers are also exploratory and speculative -- as part of a search for more creative ways to present complex arguments and challenges. Some are also highly controversial. Specific studies frequently explore complex relationships between the above themes. Many of those focusing specifically on international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were in the past published in the UIA journal Transnational Associations. Where appropriate, portions of other studies have also been reprinted in the extensive commentaries sections of the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential.

Projects: General responsibility for the articulation of research proposals submitted for funding by the UIA (often as lead agency) in the past decade:

Educational background: Schooling in England, Australia and Zimbabwe; Imperial College of Science and Technology (University of London) 1958-1961: B.Sc Engineering (Chemical Engineering) programme at Imperial College, London (not completed); Graduate School of Business (University of Cape Town) 1967-1968: MBA programme.

Overview of Initiatives

Union of International Associations -- Virtual Organization: Paul Otlet's 100-year Hypertext Conundrum?

Simulating a Global Brain: using networks of international organizations, world problems, strategies, and values (contribution to workshop of Global Brain Group) (2001)

Sharing a Documentary Pilgrimage: UIA -- Saur Relations 1982-2000

Exploring Intelligible Associations: ontological issues, integrative metaphors and knowledge organization (2005)

Movie (2000) Interactive database project overview for EU (QuickTime; RealPlayer)
Movie (1971) Visualization of organization (RealPlayer)

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