This dialogue-oriented workshop will be framed by two short position papers (< 30 minutes each) towards energizing a discussion on the prospects for systems thinking and ecological economics.
(1) Systems Changes research program
Shifting the emphasis from stable states to a fluid world, what patterns describe shifts due to (i) human will, and (ii) nature? The Systems Changes program aims to extend research from the 1970s (e.g. West Churchman systems approach; Horst Rittel wicked problems; Christopher Alexander pattern language; Eric Trist and Cal Pava action learning) with 21st century advances (e.g. holons and hierarchy theory; resilience science; ecological anthropology; open sourcing).
(2) Environmental Deterioration: What have we learned about systems change(s) over the past 50 years?
Since the 1960s, nations have enacted regulations towards environment issues, sustainability of resources and stewardship of the environment: USA EPA (1969); Canadian EPA (1988/1999); EU Treaty of Maastricht (1993). Yet in 2009, the Stockholm Resilience Centre declared that human activity has exceeded two thresholds of nine planetary boundaries. Is it too late for the human race to act, or even to try? The 1979 Ph.D. dissertation on “Regulation of Environmental Deterioration” from the University of Pennsylvania will be considered retrospectively.
(3) Dialectic: Group Discussion
In an open group discussion, in what ways might a shift from “systems thinking” towards “systems changes” make a difference (or not)?
At the conference, we had a relaxed and wide-ranging conversation
In synthesizing some appreciation of the discussion from that workshop, we decided that I would take the lead on trying to capture some of the ideas. Final revisions were accepted in October, and magazine production was completed by December. Here’s a rendering of the preprint. Read more...(2936 words, 1 image, estimated 11:45 mins reading time)
Joining these online platforms may not be as convenient as having a commercial enterprise “take care” of communications amongst individuals. While I personally participate (and am named in groups of administrators) on most major social platforms involving systems thinking, my depth of involvement is consciously selective based on terms and conditions. On a Dec. 23 thread on The Ecology of Systems Thinking group on Facebook, I responded to some questions, and have permission to repost the exchange publicly. Read more...(2044 words, 2 images, estimated 8:11 mins reading time)
From the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, methods for organizing for service engagements at scale were developed at IBM. Although this investment in knowledge management was huge, changes in the organization by the late-2000s saw this rich body of intellectual capital practically disappear. Appreciation for the framework remains in the memories of practitioners in the IBM Global Services organization — particularly the methodologists — immersed during that period. Some foundational historical artifacts can be rediscovered on the open Internet:
The resemblance to pattern language, as prescribed by Christoper Alexander, is not accidental. Excerpts from these three sources are provided here, to entice readers who might seek out the full articles.
1. Configurable Development Processes (2002)
The Work Product based methods started in IBM at the rise of object-oriented methods. With OO as a new paradigm, incompatibilities across the variety of approaches frustrated clients trying to get work done. The end results seemed pretty much the same. The resolution for IBM came through centering on ends (work products) first, and means (techniques) second. The methods originating in software development became cross-appropriated into services engagement for other domain offerings (e.g. business strategy, organizational change). Read more...(2556 words, 7 images, estimated 10:13 mins reading time)
One of my millennial sons has framed IBM as “the Google of my generation”. My career path included assignments and visits to the IBM Advanced Business Institute, in Palisades, NY. Mentions of that team, and the Palisades Executive Conference Center where it was located, have mostly disappeared from the Internet. As one of the younger IBM professionals to have known the ABI, I can provide some history. (If friends want to correct me, I welcome that!)
1. The Palisades Executive Conference Center opened in 1989
2. The Executive Consulting Institute from 1993 was instrumental in education for IBM Consulting Group
3. The Advanced Business Institute offered courses for customer executives 1989-2004
1. The Palisades Executive Conference Center opened in 1989
IBM Palisades is not to be confused with the IBM Learning Centre in Armonk, that was opened in 1979, a facility primarily for the (internal) management development of IBM executives. IBM Palisades is also not the Thornwood Conference Center in Westchester County, opened in 1985, that was more often used for customer technical briefings. Read more...(2857 words, 10 images, estimated 11:26 mins reading time)
In what ways might the generation of wholeness through pattern language be strengthened, through an appreciation of advances in the systems sciences? A workshop at the 2018 International PUARL Conference was an opportunity to review linkages and discuss some details.
An outline to frame the conversation was written in three parts.
1. Communicative Framing
1.1 Form and synthesis
1.2 Organization as semi-lattice
1.3 Systems generating systems
1.4 Generative patterns and non-generative patterns in software development
1.5 System-A and system-B, as two ways of shaping and building living environments
1.6 Holons (from systems ecology)
2. Dialectical Sensemaking
2.1 Types of systems and models
2.2 Autopoiesis and allopoiesis
2.3 Economies as agricultural, industrial and services (coproduction)
3. Narrative Synthesizing
In full, the abstract read:
Does a pattern language generate into (a) whole(s)? This workshop will discuss the meaning of architecting a system, complemented with recent research from the systems sciences.
In 1967, at the formation for Center for Environmental Structure, Pattern Manual specified that (sub)systems are fewer in number (and implicitly larger) than patterns: Read more...(571 words, 1 image, estimated 2:17 mins reading time)
Does “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the second best time is now” date back further than 1988? It is time to look long and hard at the value of the urban forest and create the broad-based efforts — in research, funding and citizen participation — needed to improve […]
Workshop led by @RohanAlexander and @prof_lyons at #CASCONxEvoke on "Barriers to Data Science Adoption: Why Existing Frameworks Aren't Working". For discussion purposes the challenges are grouped within three themes: regulatory; investment; and workforce.
“You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts” by #DanielPatrickMoynihan is predated on @Freakonomics by #BernardMBaruch 1950 “Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts”. Source: “There Are Opinions, And Then There Are Facts” | Fred Shapiro […]
Satire can be an antidote, says Prof. #PaulBabbitt @muleriders , to #bullshit (c.f. rhetoric; hypocrisy; crocodile tears; propaganda; intellectual dishonesty; politeness, etiquette and civility; commonsense and conventional wisdom; symbolic votes; platitudes and valence issues).
If we don’t first know “what is system is”, how do we approach an intervention? #MichaelCJackson OBE and Dr. #LuisGSambo appreciate the difference between “systems thinking” (plural) and “system dynamics” (singular), and suggest expanding theory with Critical #SystemThinking in Health Systems Research. An ignorance of history is, if anything, even more pronounced among those authors […]
Social ecology and environmental psychology described @dstokols @Social_Ecology , interviewed by @katiepatrick . References #WilliamsJames on attention. Book on Social Ecology in the Digital Age released in 2018.Read more ›
Concerns on #personaldata should be reframed as interpersonal, says @sheldrake , less the nodes and more the edge connections. “I want to take back control” superficial, @hartzog says control doesn’t scale. Agency is about negotiation in the world, more rhizomatic…Read more ›
Doing science should be wayfinding (pathfinding), says #TimIngold , gaining grounding in the art of paying attention, towards research as the pursuit of truth. Truth is more than objective facts, where science and art are embraced with materials, so that we can see the quality inside the natural world as it forms, rather than as […]
We should be more vigourous, says @MazzucatoM , in debating differences between value extraction and value creation, and between profits and rents. Lecture at Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford U., January 2019Read more ›
Most destructive analogy last 100 years @DavidGelernter @econtalker : Post-Turing thinkers decided that brains were organic computers, that computation was a perfect model of what minds do ... and that mind relates to brain as software relates to computer Read more ›
Before judging democratic systems over authoritarian, examine the functioning of governments through its diplomats, where plutocracy has an alternative in meritocracy, says @mahbubani_k @longnow @asiasocietysfx. [1:19:30] … when people compare the American government with the Chinese government, they say: “This…Read more ›