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Reifying Systems Thinking towards Changes | ST-ON 2022-10-17

The October online meeting of Systems Thinking Ontario presented an opportunity for an update on progress made by the Systems Changes Learning Circle by 2022.  A slide deck had been prepared an in-person seminar at the Universitat de Barcelona Graduate Programmes in Business, organized by Ryan C. Armstrong, one week earlier.  Our regular monthly meeting, centered in Toronto, allowed a more leisurely pace, and a better affordance for capturing the session for playback.

The agenda provided the background history leading to the Systems Changes Learning Circle, and then focused on the practical approach to “doing” on our pilot engagement.

A. Rethinking Systems Thinking
B. Doing: Hub + 4 spokes
C. Thinking: Action learning for facilitators
D. Making: Systematic methods via multiparadigm inquiry
E. Ongoing learning opportunities

The meeting followed our usual practice of having participants introduce themselves. About 10 minutes in, the presentation on Parts A and B then started.  At 47 minutes, we took a pause for questions and comments.  At 1h14m, the presentation on Parts C, D, and E resumed.  At 1h32m, the presentation was completed, and more questions and comments were taken to the meeting ending at 1h51m.

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

Video H.264 MP4
October 17
(1h51m20s)
[20221017_ST-ON_Ing_ReifyingSystemsThinkingTowardsChanges.m4v]
(HDPlus 1920×900 643kbps 616MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A standalone audio was also created during the meeting.… Read more (in a new tab)

The October online meeting of Systems Thinking Ontario presented an opportunity for an update on progress made by the Systems Changes Learning Circle by 2022.  A slide deck had been prepared an in-person seminar at the Universitat de Barcelona Graduate Programmes in Business, organized by Ryan C. Armstrong, one week earlier.  Our regular monthly meeting, centered in Toronto, allowed a more leisurely pace, and a better affordance for capturing the session for playback.

The agenda provided the background history leading to the Systems Changes Learning Circle, and then focused on the practical approach to “doing” on our pilot engagement.

A. Rethinking Systems Thinking
B. Doing: Hub + 4 spokes
C. Thinking: Action learning for facilitators
D. Making: Systematic methods via multiparadigm inquiry
E. Ongoing learning opportunities

The meeting followed our usual practice of having participants introduce themselves. About 10 minutes in, the presentation on Parts A and B then started.  At 47 minutes, we took a pause for questions and comments.  At 1h14m, the presentation on Parts C, D, and E resumed.  At 1h32m, the presentation was completed, and more questions and comments were taken to the meeting ending at 1h51m.

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

Video H.264 MP4
October 17
(1h51m20s)
[20221017_ST-ON_Ing_ReifyingSystemsThinkingTowardsChanges.m4v]
(HDPlus 1920×900 643kbps 616MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A standalone audio was also created during the meeting.… Read more (in a new tab)

Appreciating Systems Changes via Multiparadigm Inquiry: Architectural Design, Ecological Anthropology, Classical Chinese Medicine, Systems Rhythms | ISSS plenary 2022-07-08

On the path towards a publication in 2023, this plenary talk for the International Society for the Systems Sciences 66th Annual Meeting came with a preamble. Slides were provided in advance at http://coevolving.com/commons/2022-07-08-appreciating-systems-changes, so that details might be later perused at leisure.

Here is the agenda for the presentation:

A. Rising interest in System(s) Change(s)
B. Appreciative Systems (Vickers)
C1.
Philosophy of Architectural Design
C2.
Philosophy of Ecological Anthropology
C3.
Philosophy of Classical Chinese Medicine
C4.
Philosophy of Rhythms
D. Methods: Multiparadigm Inquiry, Open Theorizing
E. Systems Changes via Three Philosophies → Systems Rhythms
F. Contributions that Systems Rhythms Offer to Systems Changes

A key aim of the presentation was to elevate systems rhythms as central to understanding. With a 60-minute time slot, an expectation was set that progress towards the table on slide 43 (Part E) would be expedited. Flipping rapidly through philosophies of architectural design, ecological anthropology, and Classical Chinese Medicine, slide 43 was reached at 25 minutes. At 44 minutes, questions and comments were welcomed. While other presentations orient more towards theory and pratice (that the audience may not have already encountered), the emphasis for this session was more methodological.

This video available on Youtube has also been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
July 8
(1h12m)
[20220708_ISSS_plenary Ing_AppreciatingSystemsChanges.m4v]
(HD 1536×720 325kbps 237MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
July 8
(1h12m)
[20220708_ISSS_plenary_Ing_AppreciatingSystemsChanges.mp3
Read more (in a new tab)

On the path towards a publication in 2023, this plenary talk for the International Society for the Systems Sciences 66th Annual Meeting came with a preamble. Slides were provided in advance at http://coevolving.com/commons/2022-07-08-appreciating-systems-changes, so that details might be later perused at leisure.

Here is the agenda for the presentation:

A. Rising interest in System(s) Change(s)
B. Appreciative Systems (Vickers)
C1.
Philosophy of Architectural Design
C2.
Philosophy of Ecological Anthropology
C3.
Philosophy of Classical Chinese Medicine
C4.
Philosophy of Rhythms
D. Methods: Multiparadigm Inquiry, Open Theorizing
E. Systems Changes via Three Philosophies → Systems Rhythms
F. Contributions that Systems Rhythms Offer to Systems Changes

A key aim of the presentation was to elevate systems rhythms as central to understanding. With a 60-minute time slot, an expectation was set that progress towards the table on slide 43 (Part E) would be expedited. Flipping rapidly through philosophies of architectural design, ecological anthropology, and Classical Chinese Medicine, slide 43 was reached at 25 minutes. At 44 minutes, questions and comments were welcomed. While other presentations orient more towards theory and pratice (that the audience may not have already encountered), the emphasis for this session was more methodological.

This video available on Youtube has also been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
July 8
(1h12m)
[20220708_ISSS_plenary Ing_AppreciatingSystemsChanges.m4v]
(HD 1536×720 325kbps 237MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
July 8
(1h12m)
[20220708_ISSS_plenary_Ing_AppreciatingSystemsChanges.mp3
Read more (in a new tab)

Systems Changes Learning: Recasting and reifying rhythmic shifts for doing, alongside thinking and making (preprint)

In which ways are systems changes different from changes? Extending the deep body of knowledge in the systems sciences, rhythmic shifts serve as a gateway for exploration. In a rigourous coevolving of inquiries into (i) doing (praxis), (ii) thinking (theoria), and (iii) making (theoria), a coherent systems approach is being recast and reified.

An article tracing 4 years of action learning by the Systems Changes Learning Circle has been accepted for publication. A special issue of the Journal of Sustainable Smart Behavior is forthcoming, delayed slightly by a pandemic issue amongst the authors. A preprint version is now posted on the Coevolving Commons, to be eventually updated with the final publication.

The issue editors are to be thanked, especially, for permitting the article to run long. The extra space allows expositions on multiple philosophies of sciences, for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with the breadth of reference materials cited.

Here’s an abstract and a view of the article preprint.


Abstract

In 2022, the Systems Changes Learning Circle is in its fourth year of 10-year journey on “Rethinking Systems Thinking”. In a contextural action learning approach, the Circle has elevated rhythmic shifts as the feature that both resonates with practitioners in the field, and fits with a post-colonial philosophy of science bridging classical Chinese thought with Western professional practices. This multiparadigm inquiry recasts and reifies the activities of doing (praxis), thinking (theoria) and making (poiesis). The facility with this approach is deepened through three levels: (i) educating of attention, orienting novices towards contrasting modes of thought; (ii) learning for co-relating, lending a way for practitioners to critically appreciate their situations, and (iii) learning for articulating, aiding mentors to guide groups productively through mutual learning.… Read more (in a new tab)

In which ways are systems changes different from changes? Extending the deep body of knowledge in the systems sciences, rhythmic shifts serve as a gateway for exploration. In a rigourous coevolving of inquiries into (i) doing (praxis), (ii) thinking (theoria), and (iii) making (theoria), a coherent systems approach is being recast and reified.

An article tracing 4 years of action learning by the Systems Changes Learning Circle has been accepted for publication. A special issue of the Journal of Sustainable Smart Behavior is forthcoming, delayed slightly by a pandemic issue amongst the authors. A preprint version is now posted on the Coevolving Commons, to be eventually updated with the final publication.

The issue editors are to be thanked, especially, for permitting the article to run long. The extra space allows expositions on multiple philosophies of sciences, for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with the breadth of reference materials cited.

Here’s an abstract and a view of the article preprint.


Abstract

In 2022, the Systems Changes Learning Circle is in its fourth year of 10-year journey on “Rethinking Systems Thinking”. In a contextural action learning approach, the Circle has elevated rhythmic shifts as the feature that both resonates with practitioners in the field, and fits with a post-colonial philosophy of science bridging classical Chinese thought with Western professional practices. This multiparadigm inquiry recasts and reifies the activities of doing (praxis), thinking (theoria) and making (poiesis). The facility with this approach is deepened through three levels: (i) educating of attention, orienting novices towards contrasting modes of thought; (ii) learning for co-relating, lending a way for practitioners to critically appreciate their situations, and (iii) learning for articulating, aiding mentors to guide groups productively through mutual learning.… Read more (in a new tab)

Intention or Attention? Humbling Design through Systems Changes Learning | Zaid Khan | ST-ON 2022-05-09

System thinking, starting from graduate studies, can be a continuing (if not lifelong) journey. In parallel to a professional career in strategic communications, Zaid Khan has the distinction having studyied systemic design in the OCADU SFI program (2016-2020), under the supervision of Peter Jones. He became a cofounder of the Systems Changes Learning Circle in 2019, under a premise that our collective journey might take up to 10 years.

For the May 2022 session of Systems Thinking Ontario, Zaid reflected on the overlay of the rhythmic shifts primacy from collaborating in the Circle, following his formal educational activities.

After reviewing the trajectory of his thinking, Zaid invited open conversation.

This video available on Youtube has also been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
May 9
(1h42m)
[20220509_ST-ON IntentionAttentionDesignSystemsChangesLearning Khan.m4v]
(FHD 815kbps 718MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
May 9
(1h42m)
[20220509_ST-ON IntentionAttentionDesignSystemsChangesLearning Khan.mp3]
(94.6MB)

With some core ideas now having coalesced amongst Systems Changes Learning Circle cofounders, we welcome the systemic design community to explore new directions in mutual development.

The original description for the Systems Thinking Ontario session follows.


Systems Changes Learning (SCL) is a body of work that offers an updated way of thinking about and responding to change. The three premises of SCL dramatically reposition how we look and understand changes: as rhythms over time that might shift, in accord with the natures of the systems involved.… Read more (in a new tab)

System thinking, starting from graduate studies, can be a continuing (if not lifelong) journey. In parallel to a professional career in strategic communications, Zaid Khan has the distinction having studyied systemic design in the OCADU SFI program (2016-2020), under the supervision of Peter Jones. He became a cofounder of the Systems Changes Learning Circle in 2019, under a premise that our collective journey might take up to 10 years.

For the May 2022 session of Systems Thinking Ontario, Zaid reflected on the overlay of the rhythmic shifts primacy from collaborating in the Circle, following his formal educational activities.

After reviewing the trajectory of his thinking, Zaid invited open conversation.

This video available on Youtube has also been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
May 9
(1h42m)
[20220509_ST-ON IntentionAttentionDesignSystemsChangesLearning Khan.m4v]
(FHD 815kbps 718MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
May 9
(1h42m)
[20220509_ST-ON IntentionAttentionDesignSystemsChangesLearning Khan.mp3]
(94.6MB)

With some core ideas now having coalesced amongst Systems Changes Learning Circle cofounders, we welcome the systemic design community to explore new directions in mutual development.

The original description for the Systems Thinking Ontario session follows.


Systems Changes Learning (SCL) is a body of work that offers an updated way of thinking about and responding to change. The three premises of SCL dramatically reposition how we look and understand changes: as rhythms over time that might shift, in accord with the natures of the systems involved.… Read more (in a new tab)

Systems Thinking through Changes: An action learning guide | Canadian Digital Service | 2022-03-04

In the 4th year of an espoused 10-year journey, the Systems Changes Learning Circle reached a major milestone.  With Code for Canada, the team conducted its first educational workshop based on the contextural action learning approach currently under review for publication.  The client was the Canadian Digital Service .

The presentation outlining the basic ideas and guiding questions was scheduled for a quick 60 minutes. After lunch, the participants convened for 3 hours in three parallel breakout groups, discussions guided by templates provided in the workbook.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
March 4
(58m25s)
[20220304_CodeForCanada SystemsThinkingThroughChanges CC-BY-SA_1920x912.m4v]
(1920×912 169kbps 127MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
March 4
(58m25s)
[20220304_CodeForCanada SystemsThinkingThroughChanges CC-BY-SA.mp3]
(22.9MB)

Here is a description of the session.

There are a variety of approaches to systems thinking in practice.

Systems Changes Learning takes a view of living systems over time. As individuals, groups and organizations, we are lines (lifelines) co-responding alongside each other. Our lines have rhythms. Sometimes, the lines weave together in synchrony. At other times, the lines might clash, or get tangled up.

Interest in systems thinking arises when people feel “stuck”. A system could be trapped in a rut, or struggling through an abrupt transformational change. We look into dysfunctions as rhythmic shifts in the primary system of interest, and/or in co-related systems of influence.… Read more (in a new tab)

In the 4th year of an espoused 10-year journey, the Systems Changes Learning Circle reached a major milestone.  With Code for Canada, the team conducted its first educational workshop based on the contextural action learning approach currently under review for publication.  The client was the Canadian Digital Service .

The presentation outlining the basic ideas and guiding questions was scheduled for a quick 60 minutes. After lunch, the participants convened for 3 hours in three parallel breakout groups, discussions guided by templates provided in the workbook.

This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
March 4
(58m25s)
[20220304_CodeForCanada SystemsThinkingThroughChanges CC-BY-SA_1920x912.m4v]
(1920×912 169kbps 127MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Audio downloadable onto mobile devices was transcoded from the video into MP3.

Audio
March 4
(58m25s)
[20220304_CodeForCanada SystemsThinkingThroughChanges CC-BY-SA.mp3]
(22.9MB)

Here is a description of the session.

There are a variety of approaches to systems thinking in practice.

Systems Changes Learning takes a view of living systems over time. As individuals, groups and organizations, we are lines (lifelines) co-responding alongside each other. Our lines have rhythms. Sometimes, the lines weave together in synchrony. At other times, the lines might clash, or get tangled up.

Interest in systems thinking arises when people feel “stuck”. A system could be trapped in a rut, or struggling through an abrupt transformational change. We look into dysfunctions as rhythmic shifts in the primary system of interest, and/or in co-related systems of influence.… Read more (in a new tab)

Learning With Humility: Systems Thinking and Reordering Priorities (Global Change Days, 2020/10/22)

For the third of three workshops by the Systems Changes Learning Circle in October 2020, Kelly Okamura, Dan Eng and Joanne Dong led a Beacon Event for Global Change Days.

This session was one in a series for global changemakers.  Our expectation was that they would be hands-on practitioners, with relatively low familiarity with systems thinking methods and theory.

The workshop orientations were relatively short, with most of the time dedicated to two breakout periods.   In the web video, the plenary discussions and group readouts are included, with the parallel breakout conversations omitted.

The video file is accessible on the Internet Archive, should viewers want a downloadable version.

Video H.264 MP4
October 22
(58m20s)
[20201022_GCD_LearningWithHumilityReorderingOurPriorities.m4v]
(FWVGA 515kbps 298MB) [on the Internet Archive]

The digital audio is available as MP3 for those with mobile players.

Audio
October 22
(58m20s)
[20201022_GCD_LearningWithHumilityReorderingOurPriorities.mp3]
(54MB)

Here is the original description for the session.

— begin paste —

This interactive beacon session will engage change makers to think differently, to explore their relationship to learning.

The breakout sessions will provide participants an opportunity to explore the Systems Thinking questions: the urgent vs the important, the local vs. the distant, problem solving vs history-making. Finally the audience will be invited to review their self-reflections and the potential re-ordering of their priorities, to make a difference.

— end paste —

Workshop attendees were quite engaged with the challenge of making distinctions that we’ve been discussing within the Systems Changes Learning Circle. … Read more (in a new tab)

For the third of three workshops by the Systems Changes Learning Circle in October 2020, Kelly Okamura, Dan Eng and Joanne Dong led a Beacon Event for Global Change Days.

This session was one in a series for global changemakers.  Our expectation was that they would be hands-on practitioners, with relatively low familiarity with systems thinking methods and theory.

The workshop orientations were relatively short, with most of the time dedicated to two breakout periods.   In the web video, the plenary discussions and group readouts are included, with the parallel breakout conversations omitted.

The video file is accessible on the Internet Archive, should viewers want a downloadable version.

Video H.264 MP4
October 22
(58m20s)
[20201022_GCD_LearningWithHumilityReorderingOurPriorities.m4v]
(FWVGA 515kbps 298MB) [on the Internet Archive]

The digital audio is available as MP3 for those with mobile players.

Audio
October 22
(58m20s)
[20201022_GCD_LearningWithHumilityReorderingOurPriorities.mp3]
(54MB)

Here is the original description for the session.

— begin paste —

This interactive beacon session will engage change makers to think differently, to explore their relationship to learning.

The breakout sessions will provide participants an opportunity to explore the Systems Thinking questions: the urgent vs the important, the local vs. the distant, problem solving vs history-making. Finally the audience will be invited to review their self-reflections and the potential re-ordering of their priorities, to make a difference.

— end paste —

Workshop attendees were quite engaged with the challenge of making distinctions that we’ve been discussing within the Systems Changes Learning Circle. … Read more (in a new tab)

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