Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

Creative Systemic Research, Susu Nousala + Jelena Sucic (ST-ON 2021-02-08)

The Creative Systemic Research Platform (CSRP) Institute, led by Susu Nousala and Jelena Sucic, is distinctive in approaching systemic design from a bottom-up, longitudinal perspective.  The co-presidents were able to join us in conversation at a Systems Thinking Ontario session, remotely from Finland and Switzerland, at a significant time disadvantage.

Many approaches to systemic design presume a top-down, abstract predisposition of a world that might be.  The Creative Systemic approach emphasizes learning within communities towards the development of resilience.  Scholarly communities are nurtured at a local level, distributed across multiple peri-urban regional geographies.  The work of mapping and investigating emerging economies is informed by activities that include creative expression in social complexity that produces communal well-being.

  • Susu Nousala is a professor with the College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai (People’s Republic of China).  She has previously had research positions at Aalto University (Finland), University of Melbourne (Australia), and Chiang Mai University (Thailand).
  • Jelena Sucic is a researcher in systemic design and sustainable processes based in Switzerland.  She previously led as the field specialist and project manager in the nascent research group, as she completed a double degree in the PoliTong project, completing a Master of Fine Arts in Product Service Service Design at Tongi University, simultaneously with a Master of Science in Systemic Design at Politecnico di Torino.

For brevity, the usual circle of introduction was requested written in chat, rather as verbal self-introductions.  This meant that our featured speakers start just a few minutes into the web video . … Read more (in a new tab)

The Systems Movement: Engaging Communities with Traditions and Diversity, Gary S. Metcalf (ST-ON 2021-01-11)

To appreciate how systemicists worldwide collaborate, Gary S. Metcalf joined Systems Thinking Ontario for a conversation.  Gary served as president of the International Society for the Systems Sciences 2007-2008, and of the International Federation for Sysrtems Research 2010-2016.  From 2003 to 2018, he was a graduate instructor in Organizational Systems and Research on the faculty of Saybrook University.

The Systems Movement “may be characterized as a loose association of people from different disciplines of science, engineering, philosophy, and other areas, who share a common interest in ideas (concepts, principles, methods, etc.) that are applicable to all systems and that, consequently, transcend the boundaries between traditional disciplines.” (George Klir, Facets of Systems Science, 2001).

After the standard round of introductions, the conversation began with Gary speaking a little about his background, and how he came to the systems community after graduate studies in family therapy (in the web video, at about 22m42s in).  Participants were invited to ask questions and make comments freely.

The video file are archived on the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
January 11
(2h04m)
[20210111_ST-ON_GarySMetcalf.m4v]
(nHD 281kbps 366MB) [on the Internet Archive]

For those who prefer digital audio on mobile devices, the audio was extracted as M4A from the video.

Audio
January 11
(2h04m)
[20210111_ST-ON_GarySMetcalf.m4a]
(113MB)

Since this talk, Gary has added to his writing and editing scholarly non-fiction works, with a new direction in science fiction. … Read more (in a new tab)

Redesigning Our Theories of Theories of Change, Peter H Jones + Ryan J A Murphy (ST-ON 2020/11/19)

While the term “theory of change” is often used by funders expecting an outcome of systems change for their investment, is there really a theory there?

The November 2020 Systems Thinking Ontario session was an opportunity for Peter H. Jones (OCADU) and Ryan J. A. Murphy (Memorial U. of Newfoundland) to extend talks that they had given over a few days for the Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD9) Symposium.

The talks covered some early research and conversation on deepening the understanding of “theories of change”.  After our usual round of self-introductions by meeting attendees, the core content starts in the web video recording after 12m45s.

The video file is also viewable and downloadable at the Internet Archive,

Video H.264 MP4
November 9
(1h56m)
[20201109_ST-ON_Jones_Murphy_TheoriesOfTheoriesOfChange.m4v]
(FHD 203kbps 276MB) [on archive.org]

The digital audio was extracted from the video, and transcoded to MP3.

Audio
November 9
(1h56m)
[20201109_ST-ON_Jones_Murphy_TheoriesOfTheoriesOfChange.mp3]
(40MB) [on archive.org]

Here is the original abstract from the Systems Thinking Ontario November 9, 2020, session.

— begin paste —

Redesigning Our Theories of Theories of Change

Peter Jones presents a customized talk from the RSD9 plenary session for ST ON. Ryan Murphy joins with a full presentation of his RSD9 talk.

We often use the model of “theories of change” to argue for the process by which envisioned change programs might achieve their goals. Essentially these are the working theories by which we explain the logic of system change outcomes, and we often include quasi-systemic logic models to communicate them.… 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)

Theoretical Grounds, Pragmatic Grounds: Methods for Reordering our Priorities through Systems Changes Learning (ST-ON 2020/10/19)

For the second of three workshops by the Systems Changes Learning Circle in October 2020, we convened a session for the monthly Systems Thinking Ontario meeting.  The focus of this workshop was a review of progress to date on methods by the scholarly team, informed by the adoption and use by the field team.

The framing of this presentation centered on developing methods that have validity balanced between theoretical grounds (i.e. it seems right based on logic and science) and pragmatic grounds (i.e. it works when applied in practice).

This workshop had more of a “teach-the-teachers” style to it, explaining the deeper choices in concepts, terms and techniques.  Compared to the other two workshops, this audience has a stronger grasp of systems theory.  Many regular attendees have attended meetings over the past 5 years.

In the web video , the presentation slides were mostly covered sequentially.  Attendees clarified their understandings with questions posed towards the end.

The video file are downloadable from the Internet Archive .

Video H.264 MP4
October 19
(1h57m)
[20201019_ST-ON_SystemsChanges.m4v]
(FHD 806kbps 790MB) [on the Internet Archive]

For those who like digital audio on-the-go, the session has been transcoded to MP3 .

Audio
October 19
(1h57m)
[20201019_ST-ON_SystemsChanges.mp3]
(44MB)

This session extended prior presentations on Systems Changes, with the benefit of the RSD9 version oriented towards designers having been completed just a few days earlier.  The freshness of that experience encouraged a reflections on ideas that had gone over over well fort the designers, as well as some examples and metaphors that may need to be rethought.… Read more (in a new tab)

Reordering Our Priorities Through Systems Changes Learning (RSD9, 2020/10/14)

For the first of three workshops by the Systems Changes Learning Circle in October 2020, Zaid Khan led a session for the Relating Systems Thinking and Design RSD9 Symposium.  Our team had developed a set of reference slides for the three workshops, from which content that would most resonate with the audience could be selected.  RSD attracts designers across practitioner and academic communities, with leadership formalized in 2018 as the Systemic Design Association.

Zaid introduced this workshop with a caution as work-in-progress, as 2 years into a 10-year journey.  We orient towards developing practical systems methods well-founded in theoretical depth, better tested in applications with willing participants.  We all learn together.

The flow for the workshops were short orientations on out progress to date, with two breakout sessions for discussions.  In the web video , the plenary discussions are included, and breakout conversations edited out.

The video file is available on the Internet Archive, for those who prefer a downloadable option.

Video H.264 MP4
October 14
(58m52s)
[20201014_RSD9_SystemsChanges.m4v]
(HD 1022kbps 512MB) [on the Internet Archive]

The digital audio has been transcoded to MP3 for those who prefer to just listen.

Audio
October 14
(58m52s)
[20201014_RSD9_SystemsChanges.mp3]
(54MB)

Here is the original description for the session.

— begin paste —

The idea of “systems change” has risen in popularity over the past few years. To make this more than just another buzzword, how might we approach it?

Read more (in a new tab)
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