IFSR Conversations: European Bauhaus/Systems Design 30. Oct. 2020, 16:00 to 17:00 CET
Pamela Buckle (IFSR) and Louis Klein (IFSR) are going to host the kick-off of our regular IFSR Conversations on Zoom. They picked Von der Leyen’s call to the European Bauhaus as the main topic for this first gathering. Von der Leyen links systemic change, sciences and design as the promising lead to meet the challenges of the Anthropocene in the 21st century. At the IFSR we believe that the systems community has more to offer than the community itself knows. So, let’s find out about our collective potential and the aesthetics of systemic solutions.
IFSR Conversations at the WCSA conference 4. Nov. 2020, 18:30 to 19:30 CET
The World Complexity Science Academy (WCSA) is hosting an IFSR Conversation on The strategic Value of the Complex System Approach to Global Governance and Policy Modeling.
The WCSA had to go online with its annual conference which was initially scheduled to be on the island of Ischia in the south of Italy. More information about the entire conference, which is free of charge for the systems community, you find at the WCSA website and you may request the current programme at the WCSA conference office.
project maplesyncan open-source initiative that requires feedbackMenu
The “kernel” of the idea is project maplesync: an inclusive, open-source distributed economic decision making system for Canada. (plain language summary to follow below)
Maplesync is a proposal for open-source national level accounting and strategic indicative planning systems that anyone can contribute to. The idea is that by providing better baseline information to entrepreneurs (and more) we can build capacity for greater prosperity in terms of economic, social and environmental wealth.
Indicative planning simply means to draw attention to strategic options via collective intelligence design techniques.
Access the (under development) Github and Wiki by clicking on these links.
plain language summary: (shareable Google Doc link available on main page)
MAPLESYNC: a collaborative strategic planning process for Canada
How might we share strategic information to improve economic, social and environmental prosperity?
We have the opportunity to participate in economic decisions every day, including selling, renting and, mostly, buying products and services. From the micro level, these decisions contribute to the collective use of knowledge in society. Our decisions shape other decisions, from the bottom up, for the rest of the economy.
But what about the big, macro decisions? The strategies and plans? People aren’t normally involved, on a daily basis, in the strategic planning of companies or governments – let alone of an entire country.
But what if they were involved, in real time?
What if regular people on a mass scale had the chance to collectively indicate, or point attention to, opportunities and directions which a national economy could rally around and make happen?
This is exactly what maplesync intends to make possible as a grand project.
Overview: 5 W’s:
What is maplesync?
Project maplesync is a blueprint to lay the foundations for systems that answer the above “how might we” question: How might we share strategic information to improve economic, social and environmental prosperity?
Maplesync lays out the possibilities of crowdsourcing strategic plans, plans that provide a roadmap into the future, at the national level. These strategic plans will point attention to areas of economic concern and generate ideas for addressing these concerns.
In other words, a large group of Canadians could collaborate online to co-create a plan that helps meet the needs of Canadians by identifying opportunities, collecting and filtering ideas. This gives participants the ability to pool their collective intelligence to co-create plans from a great variety of different vantage points.
These plans would not be binding, but will act as more than a petition as they lay stepwise, integrative directions that concentrate attention and action. Individuals, entrepreneurs, innovators, companies, nonprofits and governments would be able to coordinate action around these plans as the benchmark.
Together with Thompson Organisations in Australia,we’re running some training on Patterns of Strategy online, starting in November 2020.
Normally we’d deliver this face to face, but for obvious reasons we’re doing it remotely using our Strategy War Room. You can sign up for a 4 session introduction to the approach (equivalent to one full day in total) or for a 12 session certification course (three full day equivalents in total) which will prepare you to develop strategy using the Patterns of Strategy approach for your organisation or clients.
The purpose of strategy is to build advantage for the organisation to ensure its success and survival, so that it can survive and thrive in a changing business environment. The challenge today is that the rate of change in the environment is so much faster than in previous decades – how do you develop and execute strategy at a higher tempo, to avoid your strategy being obsolete by the time you are implementing it? That means you need different ways to develop strategy. Those need to handle the turbulent trading conditions you encounter, and ideally make it possible for you to exploit them as well. Patterns of Strategyis effective in the challenging conditions which are so common today, as it helps you develop strategy which will enable your organisation to survive and be successful.
Patterns of Strategyis a revolutionary approach to strategy development that reveals and utilises the hidden drivers of emergent strategy. We develop strategy as a series of manoeuvres between all the actors, from competitors to partners, from the regulator to the marketplace. It gives you a framework and new vocabulary to understand the underlying strategic forces in your environment, so that you can tap into them and use them to your advantage. It’s effective and simple to use, yet extremely powerful and very fast.
Who is it for?
Anyone who needs to develop strategy, whether a fulltime strategist, a manager of a unit or a consultant. The approach works equally well for small or large organisations, or units within an organisation, and has been used successfully across all sectors and types of organisation, including public and third sector organisations. You can see more about the approach here.
What do you get?
The training mixes input with lots of practice. You’ll be working in a group to apply the approach to a live strategic issue you are facing. Allowing for confidentiality, group work will allow you to support others on their strategic issue, and of course there’s valuable learning for you in being exposed to a range of strategic situations besides your own. The training may also include case material. On the one-day course you’ll also get a copy of the Patterns of Strategy book which describes the theory and the practice and gives you 80 proven strategies covering a wide variety of strategic situations.
On the introduction course (four 2 hour sessions) you’ll:
master the six elements in Patterns of Strategy which drive the dynamics of your position in your ecosystem or market
be attuned to how your strategic situation is likely to evolve, if you don’t intervene strategically
use the Patterns of Strategy to develop strategy
accelerate the speed at which you can develop strategy
you’ll leave having learnt the approach and having made substantial progress on your own strategic situation.
If you sign up for the full (three-day equivalent) certification workshop, we’ll go into the theory and practice in more depth and you’ll:
explore a range of strategic options, not just one, and learn how to assess them using different criteria, to grasp which gives you the best advantage
understand how to anticipate and counter moves by competitors
understand how to ensure your organisation has the capabilities to formulate and execute strategy
learn how to move from formulation to execution
use the 80 Patternsto accelerate your strategy development and extend your strategic repertoire
understand how to use your position in your ecosystem to your advantage
develop strategies for a range of strategic contexts including strategies for growth, defence, competition & collaboration
So you’ll leave the sessions with a much deeper understanding of the Patterns of Strategy approach, and a really well worked through strategy for the strategic context and issue which you brought to the sessions.
At the end of the full certification workshop you will get:
Certification as a Patterns of Strategy practitioner, assuming that we can see you handing strategic situations adroitly
Presentations you can use with clients or your organisation
Beta version of Patterns of Strategy software
We’ll also make the full Patterns of Strategy toolkit available.
In this second of a two-part essay (see Starr (2020a1) for part 1) a systems-informed discussion of learning leadership is presented. I review the components of a system which consist of inputs, transformation, outputs, feedback and contextual environment, and argue that from a system perspective learning leadership emerges from interactions among elements particularly contextual variables. The concept of context is expanded to include the theory of learning applied, i.e., pedagogy, andragogy or heutagogy, and the communication channel used, i.e., face-to-face, virtual/online, or hybrid/blended. Learning leadership is also influenced by environmental context variables such as threats to health and safety, financial and economic losses, political polarization, and cultural characteristics. The paper concludes with examples of how a systems approach can be used to select leadership content followed with examples for prototypical undergraduate, master and doctoral leadership courses.
Starr, PhD, Larry M., “Leadership, Contexts, and Learning – Part 2. Theories of Learning, Channels, and Curricula” (2020). School of Continuing and Professional Studies Faculty Papers. Paper 7. https://jdc.jefferson.edu/jscpsfp/7
This article builds on a previous contribution to this blog identifying a set of complex adaptive systems that are particularly useful in the formulation of theories of change (TOCs), find the link to the blog here. These include the concepts of the Social-Ecological Systems, boundaries, domains, scales, agents, adaptive behavior, and emergence and system development trajectory in the formulation of theories of change. This article briefly explains how to use these concepts and presents some aspects of an the article Development trajectories and complex systems-informed theories of change which was published in September 2020 in the American Journal of evaluation (Zazueta et al., 2020). A non-edited version of the article is available here. The article illustrates the use of the approach in the evaluation of the UNIDO /SECO project SMART- Fish in Indonesia (UNIDO, 2019)…
Since early cybernetics studies by Wiener, Pask, and Ashby, the properties of living systems are subject to deep investigations. The goals of this endeavour are both understanding and building: abstract models and general principles are sought for describing organisms, their dynamics and their ability to produce adaptive behavior. This research has achieved prominent results in fields such as artificial intelligence and artificial life. For example, today we have robots capable of exploring hostile environments with high level of self-sufficiency, planning capabilities and able to learn. Nevertheless, the discrepancy between the emergence and evolution of life and artificial systems is still huge. In this paper, we identify the fundamental elements that characterize the evolution of the biosphere and open-ended evolution, and we illustrate their implications for the evolution of artificial systems. Subsequently, we discuss the most relevant issues and questions that this viewpoint poses both for biological and artificial systems. View Full-Text
Online Hacks for the Systems Thinking Playbook Games: A Community Conversation Thursday, November 12, 11 am New York, 4 pm London Friday, November 13th, 12 am Beijing
Linda Booth Sweeney, co-author of The Systems Thinking Playbook and The Climate Change Playbook, will share ways to adapt short gaming exercises that illustrate the subtleties of systems thinking to a new online world. Participants are encouraged to share their methods for bringing these games and others online.Corporate consultants, K–12 teachers, non-profit leaders, and university faculty have widely used the more than thirty games classified by these areas of learning: Systems Thinking, Mental Models, Team Learning, Shared Vision, and Personal Mastery. This seminar is intended as an opportunity to convene the community of ST Playbook users to share innovative ideas, best practices, and questions. Special guests to be announced the first week of November.
FREE for members, and just $25 for non-members! Save your seat. Spaces are limited.
SCiO – systems and complexity in organisation – is the international systems practitioner body.
All our events are listed at www.systemspractice.org/events
We are running regular virtual networking and social events along with our open events (excellent systems speakers at a low fee), and our development events (members only but membership only £30 per year – open agendas for shared systems learning). The events include community building and open-space Zoom room discussions.
Nov 23, 2020 06:30-08:30PM London
Jan 25, 2021 06:30 PM London
We also have a SCiO Slack channel (open, unlike our members-only LinkedIn group) – join at https://bit.ly/SCIOSLACK
The Story of Requisite Variety for Reflective Practitioners
It is a real pity that the idea of Requisite Variety is almost unknown. From my perspective, it is astonishing that almost no one with a degree in business has heard about it, not to talk about many Agile or Lean folks. It is insofar unbelievable, as the whole concept of Requisite Variety offers fundamental insights about systems and how „goal achievement“ can be understood. Actually, it should be part of every human being’s repertoire that is involved in an organization (so basically everyone). The whole idea of Requisite Variety could be compared to the insights of the Laws of Motion from Isaac Newton. Therefore I dare to claim that the knowledge of Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety is for a business person of the same importance as Newton’s insights about Gravity for a physics researcher. I still do not understand why this relatively simple concept is not part of every business or economics school in the world – from Harvard to Frankfurt?!
First things first, therefore, let us start with an examination, what variety means. After this introduction, I’ll dive into the concept of Requisite Variety.
Virtual meeting (zoom) where we each time zoom in on one topic brought by an inspiring speech and zoom in from an in-depth dialogue.
About this Event
SCiO Belgium – Virtual Meeting – October 2020
Virtual meeting (zoom) where we zoom in on one topic brought by an inspiring speaker, after which we hold an in-depth dialogue.
SCiO is a network of professionals in organizational development and organization design, both within and outside the corporate world. The central objectives are (1) developing system practices, (2) sharing and scaling knowledge, (3) providing support.
This meeting will take place from 7 to 9.30 pm. Details for this meeting will be shared shortly before the event upon registration.
The program of October 28, 2020
19:00 Welcome & introduction
19:20 Network moment SCiO style
19:30 ‘Patterns of Strategy’ – Patrick Hoverstadt – Fractal Consulting/ President SCiO (Eng)
20:30 In-depth dialogue
21:15 Conclusions & word of thanks
The Belgian network is a Dutch-speaking network, this meeting will take place in English given the speaker.
Patrick will introduce us to how the strategic fit between organizations drives their strategic direction. His work, which he developed together with Lucy Loh, is the first significant new approach to strategy in a long time. He unfolds a vital perspective for those who wish to understand how to maneuver their organization to change its strategic fit to their advantage.
The framework allows one to examine both your own and your competitor’s strategy and explore different patterns, allowing you to adapt successfully in your changing business environment.
After registration, we will provide you with supporting documentation
Those who have followed this podcast in the past, and those who follow developments in cybernetics in the present, will be no strangers to the name Ranulph Glanville. This brilliant, multiple-PhD holding polymath who co-mingled cybernetics with ethics, pedagogy, and, above all, design, has, through his voluminous body of ground-breaking papers, had a greater influence upon the field than, arguably, any scholar since Heinz von Foerster.
At the 2015 Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences in Berlin, a group of self-proclaimed “Glanvillians” made up largely of former students and collaborators of Glanville, and a few interlopers like myself, met over a breakfast table at the Scandic Hotel, Potzdammer Platz, Berlin and, at the prompting of Thomas Fischer and Candy Herr, committed themselves to consolidating Glanville’s legacy and pointing the way to future extensions and investigations of his central claim that design is the practice of cybernetics and cybernetics is theory for design.
The result is Design Cybernetics: Navigating the New (Springer) edited by Fischer and Herr. Featuring an eclectic blend of mid-career and senior scholars, the assembled chapters probe the vital relationship between conversation and design, the commitments of a radical constructivist epistemology, the virtues of being “out of control”, the embracing of error, and the seemingly paradoxical notion of getting “lost with rigour” across a wide array of artistic and scientific domains.
As both the interviewer and a contributor to the book, I have, in the sprit of “walking our talk”, eschewed the erasure of error by editing and left, in full view, the meandering trail of a wandering and, at times, stumbling conversational journey featuring prolonged gaps in thinking, confusion between different articles by the same author, technical miscues, and even a pitched battle between my two cats, in order to model our commitment to process over perfection and personify Glanville’s favourite Samuel Beckett quote: “Try again, fail again, fail better.” I hope you find the stops along the way of this meandering journey as stimulating as I did.
Thomas Fischer is a design researcher, epistemologist and cybernetician. He is a Professor and Director of Research at the Department of Architecture at XJTLU in Suzhou, China. Thomas is also a Visiting Associate Professor at the School of Design at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Christiane M. Herr is an architectural researcher and educator focusing on the areas of structural design, digitally supported design, radical constructivism, design pedagogy and traditional Chinese approaches to creative thinking. Christiane is a Senior Associate Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in China, where she directs the Master of Architectural Design as well as the Bachelor of Architectural Engineering programmes.