Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

Systems Thinking 2 course, Aalto University, February 2016

As part of the Master’s Program in Creative Sustainability at Aalto University, I’ll be in Finland for 3 weeks in February, as an instructor.  I’m doing this as a favour for Katri Pulkkinen, who has been teaching the course since 2010, and felt that she needed some extra time to work on her Ph.D. dissertation.

Systems Thinking 2 follows in a series of compulsory courses, each with specified learning outcomes:

  • Creative Teamwork: “The course focuses on working methods co-operation practices within the studies and the professional field of sustainability”.
  • Creating the Mindset of Sustainable Societies: “To create the common ground of sustainability studies and to learn to deal with different scopes of sustainability concept in complex environments. Understanding mindsets and sustainable societies: what this means in political, governmental, business, organizational, individual and groups/community levels”.
  • Systems Thinking 1: “Learning the basics of the systems thinking approach in the context of sustainability. The students who have participated actively in the intensive course will be able to use the basic vocabulary and concepts of the systems thinking approach. The students also develop their skills in working and presenting ideas in multi-disciplinary teams”.
  • Systems Thinking 2: “Learning how systems thinking can be applied in questions of sustainability in different fields. During this intensive course, the students familiarize themselves with different ways of using the systems approach to tackle problematic situations. The aim is to understand both the versatility of the systems approach and the importance of choosing the right systems tools for each case. The students learn to interpret and present systems thinking ideas and to apply them to their own field”.

The official content of the course is delivered in intensive sessions:

  • During this intensive course, the students study materials from different sources and make presentations to the course, using a peer learning method. The reading materials cover several ideas of systems thinking applications. The intensive course consists of 4-5 days of lectures, team work and presentations, and individual learning diary and a final essay.

On January 12, my colleagues Susu Nousala and Glen Forde launched the course in a 2-hour session with orientation materials.  The course content is available on the open Internet at http://coevolving.com/aalto/201602-st2-muo-e8004/, and has been evolving over the past week.

Map 00: Course content

The 25 students have been organized into 8 groups.  Each group is preparing to stake a position on a research reference cluster, to lead an hour discussion for the class.  The systems concepts have been specified as:

  • Cluster 1:  Appreciative systems, futures
  • Cluster 2:  Boundary, inquiry, perspectives
  • Cluster 3:  Learning categories, postnormal science
  • Cluster 4:  Dialogue, engagement, intervention
  • Cluster 5:  Ecosystems, collapse, resilience
  • Cluster 6:  Coevolution, turbulence, anticipatory systems
  • Cluster 7:  Living systems, viable systems, metabolism
  • Cluster 8:  Social-ecological systems, regime shifts

After the lead group has staked its position, the discussion will continue with two additional groups challenging the presentation that they’ve just seen.

The list of research references is large.  The intent of the course is not that everyone should read everything, but instead that much of the sensemaking will occur during the intensive sessions as students think together.   As an aid for students who aren’t leading the discussion, I’ve prepared some basic outlines as maps, based on the systems thinking courses delivered at Aalto University in 2010-2011, plus some new references.

The students in the Creative Sustainability program are diverse, coming from disciplinary undergraduate training in architecture, business, design and/or real estate.  As groups, they’ll be working together to make sense of each of the research clusters.  As individuals, we’ll see their blogs showing up on the open Internet, each reflecting their progress on evolving his or her unique perspective.

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS qoto.org/@daviding (Mastodon)

    • New status by daviding April 1, 2019
      Afternoon break in 200-year-old mid-lake pavilion included zhong, quail eggs, kumquats, sesame peanut blocks, preserved plums. Following afternoon visiting two art museums, the snack re-energized us into discussing philosophy, following the tradition of those frequenting Chinese teahouses. (Yuyuan Tea House, Yu Garden, Shanghai, PR China) 20190331 @marcocataffo
    • New status by daviding April 1, 2019
      Here in Shanghai, @marcocataffo has a Thinkpad T430 , which I've now brought up to date with Manjaro Linux (and Kubuntu LTS as a backup) alongside Windows 7. He's now 2 days jet lagged from Italy. Eventually, maybe @antlerboy will meet somewhere.
    • daviding shared a status by antlerboy@mastodon.social February 9, 2019
      @daviding Wittgenstein:"6.54 My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)"
    • New status by daviding February 9, 2019
      Dinner with @rms @fsf inviting the activists #CivicTechTO to gain some insight into discussions on privacy concerns #QuaysideToronto. We outlined but didn't delved into the complexity of three levels of government involved in #WaterfrontTO. (Royal Myanmar, Homer Avenue, Etobicoke, Ontario) 20190208
    • New status by daviding January 24, 2019
      Each of us can find different meaning from the same words. > The poetic prose of ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi, for example, is a stunning piece of compressed thought and meaning with a deft touch of humour: ”The fish trap exists because of the fish; once you’ve gotten the fish, you can forget the trap. […]
  • RSS on IngBrief

    • Contextual dyadic thinking (Lee, 2017)
      Contextual dyadic thinking is proposed by Keekok Lee in her 2017 The Philosophical Foundations of Classical Chinese Medicine. This is as a way of appreciating Chinese implicit logic, as an alternative to dualistic thinking that has developed over centuries in Western philosophy.
    • Dao, de, wei, wuwei (Lai 2003)
      Appreciating wei and wuwei has led to the context of dao and de, in the writings of Karyn L. Lai. The scholarly review acknowledges prior interpretations of de and dao.
    • Engineering Resilience vs. Ecological Resilience (Holling, 1996)
      For @theNASciences in 1996, #CSHolling clarified definitions of resilience, with engineering seeking one equilibrium state, while ecology recognizes many. Those who emphasize the near-equilibrium definition of engineering resilience, for example, draw predominantly from traditions of deductive mathematical theory (Pimm,. 1984) where simplified, untouched ecological systems are imagined, or from traditions of engineering, where the motive […]
    • Service coproductions as reciprocal activities
      In addition to extrinsic economic exchange, #JohnMCarroll #JiaweiChen #ChienWenTinaYuan #BenjaminHanrahan @ISTatPENNSTATE say service coproductions relying on all participants to collaborate in both economic exchange and social exchange. Service coproduction is a special case of service provision in which the roles of service provider and service recipient both require active participation. Examples include healthcare, education, and […]
    • Science and Society in East and West | Joseph Needham | 2004
      In researching #SystemsChange, fundamental differences in science and philosophy in the west and the Chinese were surfaced by #JosephNeedham. A useful translation of wéi and wú wéi (i.e. 為 and 無為 , or 为 and 无为) is the ways of "human will" and "nature" as juxtaposed.
    • Wiki as computational platform
      Thinking forward on #federatedwiki, rather than backwards by @wardcunningham. > [Federated wiki] is a computational platform for the collaborative construction of things that work and will continue to work as platform technology evolves underneath it. > Too much thinking about wiki as a note-taking system will just hold it back.
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on daviding.com

    • 2019/03 Moments March 2019
      Month of intensive lectures and research meetings, in Toronto and then in Shanghai, with social breaks on local excursions to clear minds.
    • 2019/02 Moments February 2019
      Reduced exercise outside with a cold and snowy February, with excursions out of the house to warm places with family, friends and colleagues.
    • 2019/01 Moments January 2019
      January in Toronto has lots of intellectual offerings and artistic exhibitions to attract the curious out of warm homes, through cold and snow.
    • 2018/12 Moments December 2018
      Tried to have a normal month, with a busy social calendar of birthdays, a funeral plus Christmas season, while daily temperatures hovered just above freezing.
    • 2018/11 Moments November 2011
      Mentally busy month with a conference coming to town, and maintaining the regular pattern of local meetings, travel around town only by bicycle.
    • 2018/10 Moments October 2018
      October had more bicycling cross-town as fall temperatures declined, plus a 6-day trip to Portland Oregon for pattern language conferences.
  • Meta

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal