Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

What Can Systems Thinkers Learn from Educational Game Studies | Scott DeJong + Geoff Evamy-Hill | Systems Thinking Ontario 2024-01-15

For the January 2024 Systems Thinking Ontario session, educational game designer Scott DeJong and innovation designer Geoff Evamy Hill joined a conversation moderated by Zaid Khan.  Mutual interests in the new field of educational design and games were at the core of the discussion.  This was an opportunity for systems thinkers to expand their knowledge on developments that were not in present in the 20th century.

After the usual round of self-introduction by web conference participants, Scott and Geoff described their experiences in the field, and ongoing research questions.  The conversation was segmented into three parts, so that participants had the opportunity to inject questions and comments.

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

Video H.264 MP4
January 15
(1h48m)
[20240115_ST-ON_EducationalGameStudies ScottDeJong_GeoffEvamyHill.m4v
(1920×1080 921kbps 814MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A standalone audio was also created during the meeting.

Audio
January 14
(1h48m)
[20240115_ST-ON_EducationalGameStudies ScottDeJong_GeoffEvamyHill.m4a]
(126kbps, 99 MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

Here is the core of original abstract sent in advance.


— begin excerpt —

‘Learning’ is a central focus for systems thinkers. Whether it’s an attitude, a feature of a system, or an outcome. ‘Learning’ runs through systems thinking. So what might systems thinkers learn from games that are designed for, well, learning?

Enter “Educational Game Studies”, an emerging field that focuses on how games and their systems can inform the public about various issues.… Read more (in a new tab)

What Systems Thinkers Can Learn From Historical Synthesis | Dr. Michael Bonner | Systems Thinking Ontario 2023-11-13

For the November 2023 Systems Thinking Ontario session, historian and policy advisor Dr. Michael Bonner was invited for an interview by Zaid Khan.  In organizing the sessions, we’re trying to avoid the trap of systems thinking becoming a discipline, through learning with a sweeping-in process.

The session opened on a map of The Sassanid Empire c. 620 CE, also known as Second Persian Empire, a high point for the Iranian civilizations before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th–8th centuries.

As the web conference participants introduced themselves, the number of responses with a strong background in history was low.  Zaid led the interview of Michael with some probing questions:

  • How did you come to the study of history and its overlap with your work?
  • Can you draw on the methods that help historians to ask the right questions when historians are dealing with multiple worldviews?
  • How do you relate between the two modes of analytical and synthetic thinking?
  • How do historians grapple with drawing boundaries around the areas/topics of study that they look at?
  • In historical synthesis, at what point does the author may form a narrative that captures their analysis and synthesis?
  • How did you approach the narratives – clarity, beauty, order – that you form in your latest book In Defense of Civilization?

Further into the meeting, others were invited to join in with their questions and comments.

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

The Sweep-In Process of Systems Science (Churchman)

It the systems sciences are an open system, then learning more and more about systems of interest are foundational.  This was called a sweep-in process by C. West Churchman, in the heritage of Edgar A. Singer. Jr.  A concise definition is found in the entry on “Experimentalism” in the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics:

EXPERIMENTALISM

A methodology of inquiry that assumes the indissoluble interconnection between facts and scientific laws.

Experimentalism has been proposed by E.A. SINGER Jr. and developed by C.W. CHURCHMAN and R.L. ACKOFF. [….]

According to C.W. CHURCHMAN, the “original question becomes more and more complicated, not simpler and simpler. This learning “more and more” is what, following SINGER, I call the “sweep-in process” of systems science” (1981, p.1-2).

  • CHURCHMAN, C. West.  “An Appreciation of E.A. Singer Jr: the first Singer lecture”. Soc. Syst. Science. Dpt, Univ. Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1981.

There’s a more detailed exposition on sweeping-in from the last chapter in the 1982 book, Thought and Wisdom.  This hard-to-find source is fortunately available on the Internet Archive.  An excerpt is provided here, for convenience.


CHAPTER 10: AN APPRECIATION OF EDGAR ARTHUR SINGER, JR.

* Given 12 September 1981 as the First Edgar Arthur Singer, Jr., Lecture of the Busch Center at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. This paper was completed in April 1982.

I have selected the title of this chapter rather carefully. An appreciation of someone’s lifetime work is not just an evaluation; it is also a process of adding to and adjusting the results of that lifetime of creation of ideas and a system of philosophy.… Read more (in a new tab)

Explaining Systems Changes Learning | RSD12 | 2023-10-14

For the Relating Systems and Design RSD12 symposium on October 14, 2023, members of the Explainers subgroup of the Systems Changes Learning Circle conducted an in-person workshop on “Explaining Systems Changes Learning: Metaphors and translations” at OCADU in Toronto.

RSD12 included both in-person sessions and online sessions. In the planning phase for the symposium, our group outlined the approach we would take.

In the abstract, we opened up the challenge of explaining systems thinking as a general topic, with Systems Changes Learning as one (of many) approaches to systems thinking.

Abstract

Have you ever found difficulty in explaining systems or design concepts to possible collaborators? While the general public has arguably picked up on the idea of ‘a system’, moving that understanding to a working dialogue is often harder than it sounds.

In this workshop, we’ll explore how to engage with difficult systems concepts with a variety of audiences, using ‘Systems Changes Learning’ as a backdrop.

This workshop topic is informed by the Systems Changes Learning Circle, which originated in 2019 on a 10-year year discovery journey to investigate the idea of system(s) and their associated change(s). In particular, the workshop will focus on the current ‘hub and spoke’ process of systems changes, and will dive into the idea of rhythmic shifts within systems (Ing, 2022b). This topic provides an introduction to Systems Changes in general, as well as a compelling element of systems changes that truly requires better ‘explanation’.

In this workshop, participants will engage with the subtlety and difficulty of sharing systems and design concepts when faced with a wide variation in ‘systems literacy’.

Read more (in a new tab)

Anticipatory Systems, Evolution, and Extinction Cascades | Judith Rosen | ST-ON 2023-10-16

Judith Rosen agreed to give an online presentation for the Systems Thinking Ontario meeting in October 2023, after we converted her in-person meeting at OCADU in August into a discussion circle.  Channelling the anticipatory systems approach of her father, mathematical biologist Robert Rosen, Judith has been extended those ideas in her own continuing observation of living systems.

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

Video H.264 MP4
October 16
(1h53m)
[20231016_ST-ON_Rosen AnticipatorySystems 925kbps_1760x900.m4v]
(1760×900 925kbps 883MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

An audio has been extracted from the video.

Audio
October 16
(1h53m)
[20231016_ST-ON Rosen_AnticipatorySystems.mp3]
(110 MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A copy of the research article is posted on the wiki.st-on.org .  Here’s the original abstract.


When we think about evolution — specifically the entailment underlying the process of change in species of living organisms, over eons of time, which we call “evolution” — and as we seek to increase our scientific understanding of it, one glaring omission is that there is no mention of the fact that living organisms manifest patterns of behavior that are radically different from non-living systems. Life does not just react, the way all non-living systems do; life also Anticipates. Therefore, we need to factor in the Anticipatory nature of all life into our models (both our mental models and scientific models) and see where that leads us in our understanding.… Read more (in a new tab)

Appreciating systems changes via multiparadigm inquiry (SRBS)

An article related to the ISSS plenary talk of July 2022 has now passed the peer review process, and is published in early view for Systems Research and Behavioral Science.  It should shortly be printed in the November issue of SRBS that serves as the General Systems Yearbook.

Update on Nov. 22, 2023: A full-text, read-only version is available via the author on Article Share https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/share/author/YEVWGPGURZ5IVE7AWQRM?target=10.1002/sres.2973

Those without institutional access to journals can contact me, and I’ll send you a copy.  The article is otherwise embargoed until September 2025, at which point it can be self-archived with open access on the Coevolving Commons publications website.

The process of review, with a helpful editor, sharpens and shortens the content.  This formally published version is about 5,000 words.  The original manuscript that appears in the 2022 proceedings is about 15,000 words.  Since I cite a lot of published works of others, I prefer to embed long quotations from the original sources, so that I can keep the original meanings clear.  The extra details enable a diligent reader to not have to cross-reference and look up extended research sources, at the risk of being tedious for researchers who are familiar with that territory.

The article concludes with the following acknowledgement;

This research has been guided since 2019 by the core members of the Systems Changes Learning Circle: Zaid Khan, Dan Eng and Kelly Okamura. We have benefitted by the largess offered on the Open Learning Commons and Digital Life Collective by Robert Best.

Read more (in a new tab)
  • RSS qoto.org/@daviding (Mastodon)

    • 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 https://www.eqlab.co/newsletter-signup
    • 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. https://ingbrief.wordpress.com/2024/04/10/diachronic-diachrony/
    • 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. https://coevolving.com/blogs/index.php/archive/systems-changes-dialogues-csi/#SystemsThinking
    • 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. https://coevolving.com/blogs/index.php/archive/from-unfreezing-refreezing-eq-lab/ #SystemsThinking
    • daviding: “Hosting multiple Dialogic Drinks on "From Unfreezing-Refreez…” March 8, 2024
      Hosting multiple Dialogic Drinks on "From Unfreezing-Refreezing, to Systems Changes Learning" online, March 12 (Europe), March 14 (Americas), March 15 (Australia). #Leadership meets #SystemsThinking . Short presentations, longer discussions https://www.eqlab.co/from-unfreezing-refreezing-to-systems-changes-learning-david-ing
  • RSS on IngBrief

    • 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, https://doi.org/10.1093/OED/3691792233. 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 […]
  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on daviding.com

  • RSS on Media Queue

    • 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
      In conversation, @zeynep with @ezraklein reveal authentic #SystemsThinking in (i) appreciating that “science” is constructed by human collectives, (ii) the west orients towards individual outcomes rather than population levels; and (iii) there’s an over-emphasis on problems of the moment, and…Read more ›
    • 2019/04/09 Art as a discipline of inquiry | Tim Ingold (web video)
      In the question-answer period after the lecture, #TimIngold proposes art as a discipline of inquiry, rather than ethnography. This refers to his thinking On Human Correspondence. — begin paste — [75m26s question] I am curious to know what art, or…Read more ›
    • 2019/10/16 | “Bubbles, Golden Ages, and Tech Revolutions” | Carlota Perez
      How might our society show value for the long term, over the short term? Could we think about taxation over time, asks @carlotaprzperez in an interview: 92% for 1 day; 80% within 1 month; 50%-60% tax for 1 year; zero tax for 10 years.Read more ›
  • 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