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What Can Systems Thinkers Learn From an Evaluation Mindset? | Cameron D. Norman + Tara Campbell | Systems Thinking Ontario 2024-02-12

At the 118th meeting of Systems Thinking Ontario in February 2024, behavioral scientist Cameron D. Norman and design strategist Tara Campbell were invitied for a conversation guided by Zaid Khan.  The panelists are both alumni of the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program at OCADU.  Some time ago, they had conducted a research project on evaluation together, so this event was an opportunity for them to catch up at a relaxed pace.

As usual, participants had a round of self-introductions.   The panelists were guided through a conversation in three parts with focus questions, and participants were invited to offer their reflections and insights.  One linkage to modes of systems thinking was the distinction in approach by interest, e.g. Principles-Focused Evaluation, c.f. Developmental Evaluation.

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

Video H.264 MP4
February 12
(1h53m)
[20240212_ST-ON_EvaluationMindset CameronDNorman_TaraCampbell.m4v
(1920×1080 1333kbps 1.16GB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A standalone audio was also created during the meeting.

Audio
February 12
(1h53m)
[20240212_ST-ON_EvaluationMindset CameronDNorman_TaraCampbell.m4a]
(126kbps, 103 MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

The gist of the description is below, with pre-readings linked on the original abstract.


— begin excerpt —

Systems thinkers often seek to affect systems through their ideas and actions, but how do we know we’ve made a difference? How might we measure what matters in ways that respect the various dynamics at play in often complicated and complex systems?… Read more (in a new tab)

At the 118th meeting of Systems Thinking Ontario in February 2024, behavioral scientist Cameron D. Norman and design strategist Tara Campbell were invitied for a conversation guided by Zaid Khan.  The panelists are both alumni of the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program at OCADU.  Some time ago, they had conducted a research project on evaluation together, so this event was an opportunity for them to catch up at a relaxed pace.

As usual, participants had a round of self-introductions.   The panelists were guided through a conversation in three parts with focus questions, and participants were invited to offer their reflections and insights.  One linkage to modes of systems thinking was the distinction in approach by interest, e.g. Principles-Focused Evaluation, c.f. Developmental Evaluation.

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

Video H.264 MP4
February 12
(1h53m)
[20240212_ST-ON_EvaluationMindset CameronDNorman_TaraCampbell.m4v
(1920×1080 1333kbps 1.16GB)
[on the Internet Archive]

A standalone audio was also created during the meeting.

Audio
February 12
(1h53m)
[20240212_ST-ON_EvaluationMindset CameronDNorman_TaraCampbell.m4a]
(126kbps, 103 MB)
[on the Internet Archive]

The gist of the description is below, with pre-readings linked on the original abstract.


— begin excerpt —

Systems thinkers often seek to affect systems through their ideas and actions, but how do we know we’ve made a difference? How might we measure what matters in ways that respect the various dynamics at play in often complicated and complex systems?… 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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Strategic Communications + The Brand Stack, Zaid Khan + David Akermanis (ST-ON 2020/09/14)

Two Major Research Projects (MRPs) — they might be called master’s theses elsewhere — by Zaid Khan and David Akermanis reflect the Systemic Design agenda within the OCADU program on Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI).    To graduate, all SFI students complete an MRP.  With many subjects and techniques covered during SFI studies, only a few exercise Systemic Design at their core.

The September session of Systems Thinking Ontario came shortly after the defence of the two MRPs in August.  As we had suspended convening in person during 2020, our monthly meeting was conducted online.  This afforded recordings to be shared more widely.

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

Video H.264 MP4
September 14
(1h27m)
[20200914_ST-ON_Khan_Akermanis.mp4]
(FHD 785kbps 293MB) [on archive.org]

The digital audio originally in M4A format has also been transcoded to MP3.

Audio
September 14
(1h27m)
[20200914_ST-ON_Khan_Akermanis.m4a]
(43MB)
20200914_ST-ON_Khan_Akermanis.mp3]
(38MB)

Here is the original description for the Systems Thinking Ontario September 14, 2020, session.

— begin paste —

Strategic Communications + The Brand Stack

A Major Research Project at OCADU is roughly equivalent to a Master’s Degree thesis (with some administrative differences). To start off the new academic year, we will have fresh presentations following the successful defences in the Strategic Foresight & Innovation Program at OCADU over the last month, by Zaid Khan and David Akermanis.

(1) A Systems-Oriented Approach to Strategic Communications — Zaid Khan

Systemic Design has emerged as both a theory and a practice that integrates design thinking and systems thinking to help designers cope with complex social systems.… Read more (in a new tab)

Two Major Research Projects (MRPs) — they might be called master’s theses elsewhere — by Zaid Khan and David Akermanis reflect the Systemic Design agenda within the OCADU program on Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI).    To graduate, all SFI students complete an MRP.  With many subjects and techniques covered during SFI studies, only a few exercise Systemic Design at their core.

The September session of Systems Thinking Ontario came shortly after the defence of the two MRPs in August.  As we had suspended convening in person during 2020, our monthly meeting was conducted online.  This afforded recordings to be shared more widely.

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

Video H.264 MP4
September 14
(1h27m)
[20200914_ST-ON_Khan_Akermanis.mp4]
(FHD 785kbps 293MB) [on archive.org]

The digital audio originally in M4A format has also been transcoded to MP3.

Audio
September 14
(1h27m)
[20200914_ST-ON_Khan_Akermanis.m4a]
(43MB)
20200914_ST-ON_Khan_Akermanis.mp3]
(38MB)

Here is the original description for the Systems Thinking Ontario September 14, 2020, session.

— begin paste —

Strategic Communications + The Brand Stack

A Major Research Project at OCADU is roughly equivalent to a Master’s Degree thesis (with some administrative differences). To start off the new academic year, we will have fresh presentations following the successful defences in the Strategic Foresight & Innovation Program at OCADU over the last month, by Zaid Khan and David Akermanis.

(1) A Systems-Oriented Approach to Strategic Communications — Zaid Khan

Systemic Design has emerged as both a theory and a practice that integrates design thinking and systems thinking to help designers cope with complex social systems.… Read more (in a new tab)

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