Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

Incremental Adaptation or Generational Shift? | Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0 | 2024-04

As the book on Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0 was taking shape in March 2023, I was invited not only to serve as an editor, but also to contribute as an author. The edited volume is the final deliverable for the In4act project centered at the  KTU School of Economics and Business in Kaunas, Lithuania that completed in December 2023.  As the project was winding down, a roundtable discussion with some of the researchers was released.

Industry 4.0 was announced by the European Parliament in 2015, with the funding for research into the impact on management practices and economics following in October 2018.  The EU announcement of Industry 5.0 during 2020 raised questions amongst researchers about how to handle the increased emphasis on human centricity.  Then in fall 2022, the rise of Generative AI with the release of ChatGPT captured the attention of leaders, worldwide.

As a contributor coming from Canada, outside the EU, my research in systems changes provoked a question as to the meaning of 4.0 and 5.0.  While the Industrial Revolution is conventionally regarded as 1.0, there’s a divergence on numberings used around the world. This led me to ask:  what might we learn if we framed a transition from Industry 0.0 to Industry 1.0 and compared to that?  Here’s the abstract.

As Industry 4.0 matures, what’s next? A generational shift to 5.0? Or an incremental adaptation to 4.x? Systems changes may involve both Socio-Technical Systems (STS) changes and Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) changes.

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What Can Systems Thinkers Learn From Music City-making? | Adam Hogan + Ziyan Hossein | Systems Thinking Ontario 2024-03-18

Beyond city-building as urban planning is the idea of a Music City.  This sees development of cultural life across a wide variety of arts, alongside economic benefits brought to the region.  At the 119th meeting of Systems Thinking Ontario in March 2024, socio-cultural designer Adam Hogan and musician-designer Ziyan Hossain joined moderator Zaid Khan in conversation.  Both panelists are alumni of the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program at OCADU.

After short self-introductions by participants, the panelists were lightly guided through some focus questions.  How does a music city relate to urban communities?  What encourages or discourages a music city?  What systems are associated with a music city?  Between focus questions, participants were invited to offer reflections and insights.

This recording of the session is available on Youtube, as well as on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
March 18
[20240318_ST-ON_MusicCityMaking AdamHogan_ZiyanHossein.m4v
(1920×1080 1156kbps 908MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A standalone audio was also created during the meeting.

March 18
[20240318_ST-ON_MusicCityMaking AdamHogan_ZiyanHossein.m4a]
(126kbps, 91 MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A short description of the session follows below, with pre-readings linked on the original abstract.

— begin excerpt —

Music and urbanization. Two aspects of life that together form the concept of a “music city”. Music cities have typically been framed as vehicles for economic development. But what else do music cities provide? What can systems thinkers learn from the the dynamics of music cities?… Read more (in a new tab)

Systems Changes Dialogues on Social Innovation | Centre for Social Innovation | 2024-03-18

Having reached year 6 of an espoused 10-year journey, the Systems Changes Learning Circle is (again) convening monthly Dialogues on Social Innovation at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto.

Starting up in 2019, the Circle was convening regularly in the Climate Ventures space at 192 Spadina Avenue. The pandemic interrupted in-person meetings, and the core group continued philoosophical and theoretical development.

A return to normalcy encourages the Circle to serve as mentors on thinking through systems echanges.

As an introduction, an online Lunch and Learn was scheduled. Dialogues can be free-flowing, with a light guidance along three questions:

  • 1. Which differences make a difference in your social innovation? Which rhythms are normal, and which are shifts?
  • 2. What influences advance or block the rhythmic shifts of your social innovation?
  • 3. Where can the pacing of systems changes, as faster or slower, favour your social innovation?

To better describe these questions, very short (5-minute) presentations were provided as orientation.

A. Welcome :05
B. Rhythms: Normal or Shift? Presentation One :05
Dialogue One :10
C. Influences: Advancing or Bocking? Presentation Two :05
Dialogue Two :10
D.Pacing that favours: Faster or Slower? Presentation Three :05
Dialogue Three :10
E. Next Meeting (poll)
Better Questions?

With only an hour scheduled for the Lunch and Learn session, participants only got a brief taste of the way a dialogue would run.

Brief animations served as metaphors on which dialogues could be built. Oriented towards an audience of practitioners, the presentation defers more rigourous theoretical explanations into later mentoring.… Read more (in a new tab)

From Unfreezing-Refreezing, to Systems Changes Learning | EQ Lab Dialogic Drinks | 2024-03-14/15

EQ Lab runs Dialogic Drinks, “the kind of philosophical discussion you have in a coffee shop or bar”, twice per week.  Wtih this group interested loosely in questions on leadership, I was invited to host an online session on March 12 (evening in Hong Kong and Singapore, really early in Toronto) and on March 14-15 (evening in Toronto, morning in Hong Kong and Singapore).

The majority of the organizational change approaches presume the “unfreeze-move-refreeze” metaphor attributed to Kurt Lewin. Taking a different approach has resulted in the converging of a comprehensive alternative with Systems Changes Learning, after 5 years of development.

These Dialogic Drinks sessions are weighted less on presentation, and more on discussions and reflections.

A. Welcome Introduction :05
Ice-breaker :05
B. Rethinking Systems Presentation One :07
Dialogue One :20
Reflection One :10
C. Rethinking Systems Changes Presentation Two :07
Dialogue Two :20
Reflection Two :10
D.Rethinking Systems Changes Learning Presentation Three :07
Dialogue Three :20
Reflection Three :10
E. After Hours :30

With a condensed schedule for presentations, the imagery of short movies can express ideas more readily than the vector lineart that I usually use.  I recorded my voice (without the discussion of participants) and resynchonrized the slides and movies into a package.  The result was about 36 minutes of presentation, while the full Dialogic Drinks sessions each ran for more than 2.5 hours.

This recording of the presentation segments is available on Youtube , as well as on the Internet Archive .… Read more (in a new tab)

What Can Systems Thinkers Learn From an Evaluation Mindset? | Cameron D. Norman + Tara Campbell | Systems Thinking Ontario 2024-02-12

At the 118th meeting of Systems Thinking Ontario in February 2024, behavioral scientist Cameron D. Norman and design strategist Tara Campbell were invitied for a conversation guided by Zaid Khan.  The panelists are both alumni of the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program at OCADU.  Some time ago, they had conducted a research project on evaluation together, so this event was an opportunity for them to catch up at a relaxed pace.

As usual, participants had a round of self-introductions.   The panelists were guided through a conversation in three parts with focus questions, and participants were invited to offer their reflections and insights.  One linkage to modes of systems thinking was the distinction in approach by interest, e.g. Principles-Focused Evaluation, c.f. Developmental Evaluation.

This recording of the session is available on Youtube, as well as on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
February 12
[20240212_ST-ON_EvaluationMindset CameronDNorman_TaraCampbell.m4v
(1920×1080 1333kbps 1.16GB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A standalone audio was also created during the meeting.

February 12
[20240212_ST-ON_EvaluationMindset CameronDNorman_TaraCampbell.m4a]
(126kbps, 103 MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

The gist of the description is below, with pre-readings linked on the original abstract.

— begin excerpt —

Systems thinkers often seek to affect systems through their ideas and actions, but how do we know we’ve made a difference? How might we measure what matters in ways that respect the various dynamics at play in often complicated and complex systems?… Read more (in a new tab)

Reframing Systems Thinking for Systems Changes: Sciencing and Philosophizing from Pragmatism towards Processes as Rhythms | JISSS

An article on “sciencing and philosophizing”, coauthored by Gary S. Metcalf and myself, has been published in the Journal of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, following the ISSS 2023 Kruger Park conference in South Africa, last July.  There’s a version cacned on  the Coevolving Commons.

This article started in a series of conversations with Gary in early 2023, as he was listening to the history of Pragrmatism as an audiobook of The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas by Louis Menand, written in 2002.  Key figures in the development of this philosophy includes William James (1842—1910) and Charles Sanders Peirce (1839—1914).  My interests have taken me backwards in time, with C. West Churchman and Russell Ackoff both students of Edgar A. Singer, Jr., who was a student of William James.  A thread looking into Stephen C. Pepper, also a student of William James and Ralph Barton Perry, was encouraged by online comments from Michael C. Jackson, OBE.  This led to a tracing of philosophical influences from the 1890s to 2000.

Institutional lineages of key figures in systems sciences and pragmatism

With my current research into Classical Chinese philosophy, I was encouraged by an 1993 interview citing Churchman having a similar interest for in exploring alternatives to classical Western philosophy for sciencing on systems.

In conversations with Churchman on the historical sources of systems thinking, he often identified the Chinese I Ching as the oldest systems approach. As an effort to model dynamic processes of changing relationships between different kinds of elements, the I Ching might be seen as a systemic approach, in contrast with the more systematic approach of rationalist Western thought, rooted in the work of Plato and Aristotle.

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  • RSS (Mastodon)

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      Is it only deep systems scientists we would recognize that the finale episode of Star Trek Discovery, titled "Life Itself", is the also the name of the 2005 book by Robert Rosen?Life Itself: A Comprehensive Inquiry Into the Nature, Origin, and Fabrication of Life, Robert Rosen, Columbia University Press at #JudithRosen knows!,_Itself_(episode)
    • daviding: “Pre-announcing April 30 Dialogic Drinks session I'm leading …” April 23, 2024
      Pre-announcing April 30 Dialogic Drinks session I'm leading on "#Yinyang and Daojia into #SystemsThinking through Changes", online 18:30 Singapore, 11:30 London, 6:30am Toronto. Repeating May 2, 8:00pm ET. Official #EQLab notifications
    • daviding: “Diachrony (or diachronic shifts) resurrects a word from 1857…” April 10, 2024
      Diachrony (or diachronic shifts) resurrects a word from 1857, better expressing *changes through time*. A social practice publication in 1998 contrasts synchronic with diachronic.
    • daviding: “Web video introduction of 15 minutes for 1-hour Lunch and Le…” March 22, 2024
      Web video introduction of 15 minutes for 1-hour Lunch and Learn #CentreForSocialInnovationToronto on "Systems Changes Dialogues for Social Innovation" invites practitioners for upcoming monthly meetings. Evocative animated images, details deferred to conversations with mentors.
    • daviding: “Web video of slides from "From Unfreezing-Refreezing, to Sys…” March 21, 2024
      Web video of slides from "From Unfreezing-Refreezing, to Systems Changes Learning" for Dialogic Drinks of #EQLab represents only 1/5 of the time compared to peer-led discussions. Concise hosting called for brevity, and richer presentations. #SystemsThinking
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    • The Nature and Application of the Daodejing | Ames and Hall (2003)
      Ames and Hall (2003) provide some tips for those studyng the DaoDeJing.
    • Diachronic, diachrony
      Finding proper words to express system(s) change(s) can be a challenge. One alternative could be diachrony. The Oxford English dictionary provides two definitions for diachronic, the first one most generally related to time. (The second is linguistic method) diachronic ADJECTIVE Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “diachronic (adj.), sense 1,” July 2023, For completeness, prochronic relates “to […]
    • Introduction, “Systems Thinking: Selected Readings, volume 2”, edited by F. E. Emery (1981)
      The selection of readings in the “Introduction” to Systems Thinking: Selected Readings, volume 2, Penguin (1981), edited by Fred E. Emery, reflects a turn from 1969 when a general systems theory was more fully entertained, towards an urgency towards changes in the world that were present in 1981. Systems thinking was again emphasized in contrast […]
    • Introduction, “Systems Thinking: Selected Readings”, edited by F. E. Emery (1969)
      In reviewing the original introduction for Systems Thinking: Selected Readings in the 1969 Penguin paperback, there’s a few threads that I only recognize, many years later. The tables of contents (disambiguating various editions) were previously listed as 1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: Selected Readings. — begin paste — Introduction In the selection of papers for this […]
    • Concerns with the way systems thinking is used in evaluation | Michael C. Jackson, OBE | 2023-02-27
      In a recording of the debate between Michael Quinn Patton and Michael C. Jackson on “Systems Concepts in Evaluation”, Patton referenced four concepts published in the “Principles for effective use of systems thinking in evaluation” (2018) by the Systems in Evaluation Topical Interest Group (SETIG) of the American Evaluation Society. The four concepts are: (i) […]
    • Quality Criteria for Action Research | Herr, Anderson (2015)
      How might the quality of an action research initiative be evaluated? — begin paste — We have linked our five validity criteria (outcome, process, democratic, catalytic, and dialogic) to the goals of action research. Most traditions of action research agree on the following goals: (a) the generation of new knowledge, (b) the achievement of action-oriented […]
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    • 2024/06 Moments June 2024
      Summer jazz at the Distillery District, in Washington DC while at the annual systems conference, and then Toronto Jazz Festival
    • 2024/05 Moments May 2024
      Busy May with art university graduate exhibition, travel to UK seeing Edinburgh, Hull, Manchester, London, returning home for wedding in Lefroy, annual cemetery visits with family, and spending time with extended family in from Chicago.
    • 2024/04 Moments April 2024
      Return from visiting family in Vancouver BC, clan events and eldercare appointments
    • 2024/03 Moments March 2024
      More work than play for first part of month, in anticipation of trip to Vancouver to visit family.
    • 2024/02 Moments February 2024
      Chinese New Year celebrations, both public and family, extended over two weekends, due to busy social schedules.
    • 2024/01 Moments January 2024
      Hibernated with work for most of January, with more activity towards the end of month with warmer termperatures.
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    • What to Do When It’s Too Late | David L. Hawk | 2024
      David L. Hawk (American management theorist, architect, and systems scientist) has been hosting a weekly television show broadcast on Bold Brave Tv from the New York area on Wednesdays 6pm ET, remotely from his home in Iowa. Live, callers can join…Read more ›
    • 2021/06/17 Keekok Lee | Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 2
      Following the first day lecture on Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 1 for the Global University for Sustainability, Keekok Lee continued on a second day on some topics: * Anatomy as structure; physiology as function (and process); * Process ontology, and thing ontology; * Qi ju as qi-in-concentrating mode, and qi san as qi-in-dissipsating mode; and […]
    • 2021/06/16 Keekok Lee | Philosophy of Chinese Medicine 1
      The philosophy of science underlying Classical Chinese Medicine, in this lecture by Keekok Lee, provides insights into ways in which systems change may be approached, in a process ontology in contrast to the thing ontology underlying Western BioMedicine. Read more ›
    • 2021/02/02 To Understand This Era, You Need to Think in Systems | Zeynep Tufekci with Ezra Klein | New York Times
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    • 2019/04/09 Art as a discipline of inquiry | Tim Ingold (web video)
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    • 2019/10/16 | “Bubbles, Golden Ages, and Tech Revolutions” | Carlota Perez
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