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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This video has been archived on the Internet Archive .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. When the path from action to outcome is linear, a solution is straightforward. When a system of problems is a complex mess, building a deeper appreciation as a group may open a route to getting unstuck.

The presentation will introduce learners to this perspective.

All materials are distibuted under a Creative Commons Sharealike license.

Systems Changes Learning centeres on a hub of knowing from within, appreciated through a cycle of learning along four spoke


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