David Chapman on Twitter: “Any application of formal rationality to the real world is relative to an ontology, which cannot be derived formally. “Paradigm shift” means a large ontological reorganization. Broader understanding of this remodeling is needed now…”




Hospicing The Old – TheFarewellFund – Cassie Robinson

Source: Hospicing The Old – TheFarewellFund – Medium

Hospicing The Old

In 2010 I was introduced to the Berkana Institutes’s Two Loop model, and I come back to it again and again. As I’ve moved across different projects and jobs, it’s still the best way I’ve found to place myself in the system and what kind of role I’m playing. At Government Digital Service and the Co-op I was working in the dominant system trying to do the transition work. At Tech for Good Global, our whole purpose was centred around illuminating the pioneers and trying to build community so that the field grew in coherence. And a lot of the Point People’s work has been about connecting, building and nourishing networks across both systems.

It’s worth watching their short video that I’ve linked to above but I’ve also tried to sketch it out below, as I understand it.

The Berkana Two Loops Model- it’s intentional that the two loops never touch as they are two entirely different paradigms.

In essence it shows a dominant system that is dying, and an emergent system that has the potential to become the system of influence. As the dominant system reaches its peak, new pioneers emerge (1), recognising that the dominant system (however impossible and far away that might seem) is beginning to decline.

The emergent system

It’s important that this new, emergent system is named and that the pioneers, the people and organisations building alternatives are connected together (2), and the work they are doing, illuminated.

Through this illumination and nurturing they form communities of practice (3)and grow more coherence as a field. As they do, more people and organisations join.

Illumination is also necessary to show a path for transition from the dying system to the alternative, emergent system. I also marked on here those people that create an alternative system but remain on the edges or disconnected from the main influence of the system(4). These are the people that take themselves off to build new communities, living in alternative ways, but turn their back on any responsibility for anyone else.

The dominant system — but a system in decline

Of course a lot of what goes on in the dominant system is trying to crush the alternatives that are appearing in the emergent system.

It helps when there are people in the dominant system who work to protect and enable those alternatives as they emerge, whether through funding, new policies, different kinds of commissioning etc — holding the space for pioneers to do their work.

There are people that help keep the dominant system stable as it dies — this is important because there is still a lot that is dependent on that system.

Others work to help people and organisations transition from the existing, dominant system — helping make tangible how to do things in a new way and showing them what is happening in the emergent system. I always picture these people as doing hand-holding work — walking alongside organisations to cross the “transition bridge.” Some make it, others don’t.

But it’s the last role that I’m particularly interested in at the moment. The Hospice Worker role. As the dominant system starts to decline, they provide care and compassion for those that are dying and alleviate the pain.

The need to close things down, dismantle them, end things, is a natural part of change, but I don’t think we do it very well. I don’t think there is a well designed practice around it. And that’s the start of a new enquiry for me — The Farewell Fund — introduced in my next post.

An Introduction to the Viable Systems Model – Robert Lamb

    Nice intro

    Complexity Spectacles – Experiential initiations into complexity thinking – 8-12 April 2019, De Elegast (Nijmegen, Netherlands)

    Source: Complexity Spectacles | Whitemergence


    Complexity Spectacles & You!


    Midweek 8-12 april 2019
    De Elegast (Nijmegen-NL)

    Liesbeth DebruynOscar MeijnSophia van Ruth (animatearts.net) en Maarten Swinkels (changetrek.nl)

    Infopagina Download

    Informatie en inschrijven

    +32 484 133 212

    Complexity Spectacles

    The phenomenon complexity manifests in many appearances. Complex spectacles invites you to interactively meet many of them throughout a five-day immersive experience. You will be challenged to investigate the many meanings in relation to your own situations and interests. This approach asks for a profound commitment and engagement of you as a participant. Throughout this joint endeavour you will learn to look through complexity spectacles. These are glasses that aspire to broaden and enrich the way you envisage the complexity of human organising in relation to the world around and aim to help you navigate complex dilemmas in the future.

    & You!

    The second part of this five-day session starts from you as a person, it aims to give you a new perspective on your personal key questions. You will explore how you want to relate to the complexity of life: how to deal with wicked personal problems and how you want to be meaningful in a complex world.

    Join the first Complexity Spectacles ever! 8-12 April 2019

    Installation artwork Anthony McCall (LaM)

    Program and approach

    • Part 1 – Monday and Tuesday – Spectacles 
      The general approach of the first two days is an organic interplay between experiences, theory and making meaning. Compilations of information, thoughts and activities constitute small modules, each addressing certain topics, phenomena and many interrelated concepts. Profound commitment is asked from the participants, however, the modular approach provides you to dynamically check in and out. The whole is a dynamic and associative interweaving of many theoretical concepts related to real life.
    • Wednesday – Passage to part 2
      Between the two parts of the course, there will be a one-day experimental open space to harvest and share insights, experiences and ideas. There is also the possibility for new participants to join the group for the rest of the week.
      Besides that you will explore, develop and refine your core personal questions. These questions will be taken to the second part.
    • Part 2 – Thursday and Friday – You! 
      What does it mean to act wise in a complex world? Throughout a journey, also outside of the domain, we will search for answers.


    Main concepts that will be addressed

    • Complex, complicated and simple
    • Emergence and self-organisation
    • The edge of chaos
    • Attractors and phase transitions
    • Adaptivity, resilience and evolution
    • Networks


    Working methods

    • Reality games
    • Collective improvisation (InterPlay)
    • All kinds of challenges and assignments
    • Cases and practical experience
    • Conversation and dialogue


    What makes it unique

    • The process taps into the generative and creative power of the participants
    • Care for the organically unfolding process
    • Your own unique experience
    • New perspectives on complex personal issues
    • Reflecting on yourself as a complex human system
    • Topics dynamically interweave
    • Academic reference material
    • Care for the quality of human interactions
    • Maximal use of diversity existent in the group
    • Emergent generativity
    • Dynamically shifting between a focus on yourself and a focus on your meaning in the world
    • “We walk the talk” with a meta-level consciousness on the process


    +32 484 133 212

    CFP | ISTC 2019 | Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy in the 21st Century

    Dr. Steffen Roth

    Call for papers to the 19th International Social Theory Consortium conference ISTC 2019 on “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy in the 21st Century: System as the future of modern society?”


    • Harry F. Dahms, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, USA*
    • Steffen Roth, La Rochelle Business School, France, and Kazimieras Simonavičius University in Vilnius, Lithuania*
    • Ilaria Riccioni, Free University of Bolzano, Italy
    • Frank Welz, University of Innsbruck, Austria

    Date: 5-7 June 2019

    Venue:Inter-University Center Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Paper submission: Per email to the corresponding co-organizers (*). Deadline: 15 March 2019.

    The theme of this year’s conference pertains to affinities and complementarities between systems theory and critical theory for purposes of analyzing modern societies in the twenty-first century as social systems whose stability, functioning and future increasingly is in doubt.  Conventionally, critical theory and systems theory have been regarded and treated as mutually exclusive treatments and modes of analyzing of societies undergoing transitions from premodern to postmodern conditions. …

    View original post 432 more words

    Prisoner of a Heartless Ideology: Part II – Barry Oshry


    Prisoner of a Heartless Ideology: Part II

    Barry Oshry

    Writer, Thought Leader, Presenter

    It can be illuminating to strip nations of the ideological baggage of freedom and totalitarianism, and to see them instead in terms of the interplay between Power and Love. I intend this not in the sentimental meaning of these terms, but rather as the fundamental processes that drive all human systems, from families to organizations, to communities and, in this case, nations.[1]

    Power is the drive of human systems (nations) to individuate, that is, for the system parts – individuals and groups – to function independently of one another, to go their separate ways.  And, as the parts go their separate ways, they tend to differentiate, they become more different from one another. The Power state of systems is characterized by freedom, energy, competition, variety, innovation, and growth.

    Love is the drive of systems (nations) to integrate, for the parts to come together as interacting components of an integrated whole. And, as the parts come together in common effort, they tend to homogenize, developing more commonality with one another. The Love state of systems is characterized by togetherness, cooperation, uniformity, oneness of purpose.

    Nations survive by developing a balance between Power and Love processes, and what differentiates one nation from another is the balance and intensity with which these processes are expressed.

    Systems self-destruct when one process totally drives out the other.

    Anarchy develops when Power completely drives out Love. The welfare of the parts supersedes the welfare of the system. Parts lose their commonality with one another. Competition devolves into warfare and internal struggles for survival. The system as a whole dis-integrates.

    Totalitarianism develops when Love completely drives out Power. Freedom is suppressed in the service of cooperation. Difference is suppressed in the service of uniformity. Individuality, entrepreneurism, and innovation are suppressed, as is the human spirit. The systems collapses under its own weight.

    Ideological struggles. Warfare develops as humans attach values to the neutral processes of Power and Love, seeing one as the good and the other as evil.

    The advocates of Power champion Power as freedom and liberty, and they see Love as all that crushes freedom and liberty.

    The advocates of Love champion Love as equality, community, and unity, and they see Power as all that destroys equality, community, and unity.

    Both advocates are correct in one respect. Power and Love have their creative and destructive properties. Power can and has destroyed community, equality, and unity. (See the hollowed-out cities, the growing inequality, and divisiveness in the US and other western societies.) And Love can and has crushed freedom and liberty. (See the history of communist nations.)

    No system is pain free. Even in balanced societies – systems of Love and Power – Power both liberates individuals and groups and it weakens and destroys community and leads to inequality and divisiveness.

    And Love both creates equality and mutuality and #it suppresses freedom and independence.

    So, for example, both the US and Scandinavian countries are balanced systems; Scandinavian countries are weighted more on Love, resulting in less inequality at a cost of some freedom; the US is weighted more on Power, resulting in more freedom at the cost of inequality and divisiveness.

    That complexity of system life is just how it is.

    Advocates tend to stress the creative aspect of Love or Power while denying or ignoring the destructive consequences.

    It is paradoxical that, in their ideological purity, prisoners of heartless ideologies insist on destroying the very processes that are essential to system balance and survival.

    [1]For those unfamiliar with my work on whole system processes, see Barry Oshry, Context Context Context,Axminster, U.K., Triarchy Press, 2018

    Complex Systems in Transition – Stellenbosch Centre for Complex Systems in Transition


    Source: Complex Systems in Transition – Stellenbosch Centre for Complex Systems in Transition


    compose new post
    go to top
    go to the next post or comment
    go to the previous post or comment
    toggle comment visibility
    cancel edit post or comment