1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: Selected Readings

Graduate students in Social Systems Science at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (graduating 1975-1988) — the program led by Russell Ackoff — were guided to read a Penguin paperback collection of articles. Across multiple editions, the content changed. Long out of print, the earliest editions are difficult to find.

From the Internet Archive, we can resurrect an entry (circa 2007) on the Collection and Resources section of the Systems Sciences Connections Conversation. This annotated list of tables of contents and excerpts from each edition “Introduction” may be helpful to readers who want a sense of the articles that might otherwise be accessible as journal articles.


There are multiple editions of this book. It’s a bit confusing that the 1969 version was first published as a single volume, and the 1981 version seems to have added a second volume. We should get the table of contents for each.

F. E. Emery (editor), Systems thinking : selected readings, Penguin, 1969.

  • 398 pages
  • ISBN: 0140800719

F. E. Emery (editor), Systems thinking : selected readings, Penguin, 1971.

  • 398 pages

F. E. Emery (editor), Systems thinking : selected readings, Penguin, 1981.

  • ISBN: 0140803955 (v.1) Rev. ed. published with the addition of a second volume.
  • ISBN: 0140803963 (v.2)

Emery 1981, Volume 1

Introduction to Volume 1 and 2

Introduction to Volume 1, First Edition

Introduction to Volume 1, Revised Edition

Part One, Precedents to Systems Theory

1. A. Angyal (1941), “A logic of systems”

  • Excerpt from chapter 8 of A. Angyal, Foundations for a System of Personality, Harvard University Press, 1941, pp. 243-61

The Structure of Wholes
System and Gestalt

2. J. Feibleman and J. W. Friend (1946), “The structure and function of organization”

  • J. Feibleman and J. W. Friend, “The structure and function of organization”, Philosophical Review, vol. 54 (1945), pp. 19-44.

Part Two, Properties of Open Systems

3. W. Koehler (1938) “Closed and open systems”

  • Excerpt from chapter 8 of W. Koehler, The Places of Value in the World of Fact, Liveright, 1938, pp. 314-28.

4. L. von Bertalanffy (1950), “The theory of open systems in physics and biology”

  • L. von Bertalanffy, “The theory of open systems in physics and biology”, Science, vol. 111 (1950), pp. 23-9.

5. W. R. Ashby (1956), “Self-regulation and requisite variety”

  • W. R. Ashby, Introduction to Cybernetics, chapter 11, Wiley, 1956, pp. 202-18.

6. V. I. Kremyanskiy (1958), “Certain peculiarities of organisms as a ‘system’ from the point of view of physics, cybernetics and biology”

  • V. I. Kremyanskiy, “Certain perculiarities of organisms as a ‘system’ form the point of view of physics, cybernetics and biology”, General Systems, vol. 5 (1960), Society for General Systems Research, pp. 231-30. [This paper first appeared in Russian in Voprosy Filosofii, August (1956), pp. 97-107.

7. G. Sommerhoff (1969), “The abstract characteristics of living systems”

  • This paper was first published in the first edition (1969) of this volume.

Part Three, The Environment of a System

8. M. P. Schützenberger (1954), “A tentative classification of goal-seeking behaviours”

  • M. P. Schützenberger, “A tentative classification of goal-seeking behaviours”, Journal of Mental Science, vol. 100 (1954), pp. 97-102.

9. H. A. Simon (1956), “Rational choice and the structure of the environment”

  • H. A. Simon, “Rational choice and the structure of the environment”, Psychological Review, vol. 63 (1956), pp. 129-38

10. W. R. Ashby (1960), “Adaptation in the multistable system”

  • Excerpt from chapter 16 of W. R. Ashby, Design for a Brain, Wiley, 2nd edn, 1960, pp. 205-14

11. F. E. Emery and E. L. Trist (1965), “The causal texture of organizational environments”

  • F. E. Emery and E. L. Trist, “The causal texture of organizational environments”, Human Relations, vol. 18 (1965), pp. 21-32.

12. D. Cartwright and F. Harary (1977), “A graph theoretic approach to the investigation of system-environment relationships”

  • D. Cartwright and F. Harary, “A graph theoretic approach to the investigation of system-environment relationships”, Journal of Mathematical Sociology, vol. 5 (1977), pp. 87-111.

13 F. E. Emery (1976), “Causal path analysis”

  • Excerpt from F. E. Emery and C. Phillips, Living at Work: Australia, Canberra, Australian Government Publishing Services, 1976, Apps. B and C.

Part Four: Human Organizations as Systems

14. P. Selznick (1948), “Foundations of the theory of organizations”

  • P. Selznick, “Foundations of the theory of organizations”, American Sociological Review, vol. 13 (1948), pp. 25-35.

15. F. E. Emery and E. L. Trist (1960), “Socio-technical systems”

  • F. E. Emery and E. L. Trist, “Socio-technical systems”, in C. W. Churchman and M. Verhulst (eds.), Management Science, Models and Techniques, vol. 2, Pergamon, 1960, pp. 83-97.

16. E. Nagel (1956), “A formalization of functionalism”

  • E. Nagel, “A formalization of functionalism”, Logic Without Metaphysics, Free Press, 1956, pp. 247-83.

17. R. L. Ackoff and F. E. Emery (1972), “Structure, function and purpose”

  • R. L. Ackoff and F. E. Emery, On Purposeful Systems, London, Tavistock, 1972, New York, Aldine Atherton, 1972, chap. 2

18. W. M. Sachs (1976), “Toward formal foundations of teleological systems science”

  • W. M. Sachs, “Toward formal foundations of teleological systems science”, General Systems, xxi (1976), pp. 145-54.

Emery 1982, Volume 2

Introduction

Part One, Perspectives on Systems Thinking and Systems Analysis

1. N Jordan (1968), “Some thinking about ‘system'”

  • N. Joradan, Themes in Speculative Psychology, chap. 5, London, Tavistock, 1969 [sic], pp. 44-65.

2. I. R. Hoos (1972), “Methodology, methods and models”

  • Excerpt from chapter 5 of I. R. Hoos, Systems Analysis in Public Policy, University of California Press, 1972, pp. 124-36.

3. F. E. Emery (1973), “Planning for real but different worlds”

  • Excerpt from chapter 12, ‘Educational planning and strategic innovation’, in G. S. Harman and C. Selby Smith (eds.), Designing of a New Education Authority, Education Research Unit, Australian National University, 1973.  Previously reproduced in R. L. Ackoff (ed.), Systems and Management 1974, New York, Petrocelli.

4. H. W. J. Rittel and M. M. Webber (1974), “Dilemmas in a general theory of planning”

  • H. W. J. Rittel and M. M. Webber, “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning”, chapter 12 in R. L. Ackoff (ed.), Systems and Management Annual 1974, New York, Petrocelli, pp. 219-33.

Part Two, Systems Thinking about Individuals and Groups

5. F. Heider (1946), “Attitudes and cognitive organization”

  • F. Heider, “Attitudes and cognitive organization”, The Journal of Psychology, vol. 21 (1946), pp. 107-21.

6. M. C. Greco (1950), “Neurosis as a system property of group life”

  • Excerpts from M. C. Greco, Group Life, New York, Philosophical Library, 1950.

7. S. S. Tomkins (1962), “Image, purpose and affect”

  • Excerpt from S. S. Tomkins, Affect — Imagery — Consciousness, vol. 1, New York, Springer, 1962, pp. 17-24.

8. A. Angyal (1965), “Personality as a hierarchy of systems”

  • Excerpt from A. Angyal, Neurosis and Treatment, New York, Wiley, 1965, pp. 48-58.

9. S. E. Asch (1952), “The individual and the group”

  • Excerpts from S. E. Asch, Social Psychology, New York, Prentice-Hall, 1952, pp. 128-37, 257-63

10. I. Chein (1954), “The environment as a determinant of behavior”

  • I. Chein, “The environment as a determinant of behavior”, The Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 39 (1954), pp. 115-27.

11. M. Selvini Palazzoli, L. Boscolo, G. Cecchin and G. Prata (1975), “Paradox and counterparadox: a new model for the therapy of the family in schizophrenic transaction”

  • M. Selvini Palazzoli, L. Boscolo, G. Cecchin and G. Prata, “Paradox and counterparadox: a new model for the therapy of the family in schizophrenic transaction”, in J. Jørstad and E. Ugelstad (eds.), Schizophrenia 1975, Oslo, Universitetsførlaget.

Part Three, Systems Thinking and the Communicative Act

12. F. Heider (1958), “Language as a conceptual tool”

  • Excerpt from F. Heider, The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations, New York, Wiley, 1958, pp. 7-18

13. J. de Rivera (1969), “The concepts of anger and aggression”

  • J. de Rivera, “The concepts of anger and aggression”, Psychology Department, New York University, 1969, pp. 15-32 and 42-5 (mimeographed paper).

14. W. Labov and D. Fanshel (1977), “Rules of discourse”

  • Excerpt from W. Labov and D. Fanshel, Therapeutic Discourse: Psychotherapy as Conversation, New York, Academic Press, 1977, pp. 74-88.

Part Four, On Hierarchical Systems

15. P. G. Herbst (1976), “Non-hierarchical organizations”

  • Excerpt from P. G. Herbst, Alternatives to Hierarchies, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff, 1976, pp. 29-40

16. S. Beer (1972), “The multinode — Systems Five”

  • Excerpt from S. Beer, Brain of the Firm, London, The Professional Library, 1972, pp. 253-63.

17. G. Sommerhoff (1974), “Hierarchies of goals and subgoals”

  • Excerpt from G. Sommerhoff, Logic of the Living Brain, London, Wiley, 1974, pp. 98-103.

Part Five, Ecosystems

18. C. Geertz (1971), “Two types of ecosystems”

  • Excerpt from C. Geertz, Agricultural Involution: The Processes of Ecological Change in Indonesia, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1971, pp. 15-37.

19. M. Harris (1975), “Mother Cow”

  • Excerpt from M. Harris, Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches, London, Hutchinson, 1975, pp. 11-31.

20. R. R. Curry (1976/77), “Watershed form and process: the elegant balance”

  • R. R. Curry, “Watershed form and process: the elegant balance”, Geology, vol. 480 (1977), pp. 1-27.  Extracted in Co-Evolution Quarterly, winter (1976/77), pp. 14-21.

Part Six, Redesigning Systems

21. R. L. Ackoff (1968), “Toward an idealized university”

  • R. L. Ackoff, “Toward an idealized university”, Management Science, vol. 15, no. 4. (December 1968), pp. B-121-30.

22. J. B. Channon (1976), “Work-settings”

  • J. B. Channon (1976), “Work-settings”, Military Review, May (1976), pp. 74-87.

23. F. E. Emery (1977), “The assembly line: its logic and its future”

  • Excerpt from F. E. Emery, Futures We are In, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff, 1977, pp. 102-15.

Part Seven, System Thinking and Our Future Governance

24. F. E. Emery (1976), “Adaptive systems for our future governance”

  • F. E. Emery, “Adaptive systems for our future governance”, National Labour Institute Bulletin (New Delhi), vol. 2 (1976), pp. 121-9.

25. S. Beer (1975), “On heaping our science together”

  • S. Beer, “On heaping our science together”, in C. W. Churchman (ed.) Systems and Management Annual 1975, New York, Petrocelli/Charter, pp. 469-84.

Part Eight, Ideals and Common Ground

26. F. E. Emery (1977), “The emergence of ideal-seeking systems”

  • Excerpt from F. E. Emery, Futures We are In, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff, 1977, pp. 67-91.

27. F. E. Emery (1976), “Searching for common ground”

  • F. E. Emery, “Searching for common ground”, in M. Emery (ed.), Searching, Canberra, Centre for Continuing Education, A N U, 1976, pp. 45-51.

Introduction to Volume 1 and 2

The last reading in the first edition (1969), by M. Ways, was first published in January 1967 and entitled ‘The Road to 1977’.  [p. 8]

[….]

The original volume or readings has been revised to reflect major theoretical developments and the emergence of promising methdologies.

These, however, have not been the only trends in systems thinking.  It seems to me that there are at least five trends represented in volume 2:

First, a greater concern for planning that is adaptive and participant (Reading 3 and 4 in Part 1; Ackoff, 1974).

Second, a new non-mechanical image of man’s relation to man (Parts 2 and 3; Chein, 1972).

Third, toward the design of organizations that support and encourage greater variety in the pursuits of their members (Parts 4 and 6).

Fourth, a new perception of man in his environment (Part 5).

Fifth, approaching future studies not as a projected state of a closed system but as choices between alternative futures by purposeful people and their institutions (Parts 7 and 8; Mesarovic and Pestel, 1974; Ackoff, 1972).

Merely listing these trends tell us something else:  they are among the broadest trends to be observed in our societies over the past decade or so.

Introduction to Volume 1, First Edition

Introduction to Volume 1, Revised Edition

Some revisions have been made to this set of readings to complement better the new volume of readings, Systems Thinking, Volume 2.

The first two readings that were in Part Five have been dropped.  They served in the first edition to stimulate thought about where the frontiers of systems thinking would move in comparison to where they appeared to be in 1969.  Since then the frontiers have moved, and not in the generally expected directions (see the Introduction to Volume 2).  The frontiers in planning are now better seen in Readings 3 and 4 in Volume 2.  The frontiers in systems thinking about government is now much closer to where Stafford Beer and I see then in our papers at the end of Volume 2.

Reading 5 from Katz and Kahn has been dropped for reasons of space.  It is a very readable analysis of the distinction between open and closed systems.  The distinction is now little questioned, and, in face, in 1977 Prigogine received a Nobel Prize for this many years of work on the thermodynamics of open chemical systems.  [p. 21]

Reading 16, by Ackoff, has been dropped.  It was didactically relevant in 1969, and the state of the art then was still very much as he had described it in 1960.  His 1972 theoretical paper which replaces it (as the new Reading 17) was a significant contribution to the large shifts in systems thinking that took place in the seventies.  The new Reading 18, by Sachs, represents one of the more successful attempts to build on that operational base.  [pp 21-22]

[….]

The new Cartwright and Harary paper (Reading 12) spells out at some length what can be achieved with graph theory.  [….]

#systems-thinking

1968 Buckley, “Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist: A Sourcebook”

One book that I uncovered early in my systems sciences journal (circa 1998-1998) was a 1968 volume by Walter Buckley. In 2007, I had posted the contents of the book in the “Collections and Resources” section of the System Sciences Connections Conversations.

The content has been saved on the Internet Archive. I’m resurfacing it here (and adding some updates), so that search engines might pick up the contents again. It should be noted that the volume is a compendium of works that might be available elsewhere. The table of contents itself is worth browsing. (The original links on the Internet Archive are complemented by contemporary links).

In 2017, it looks like Routledge has republished the volume as an ebook. There’s a downloadable PDF of the table of contents, foreword and the first chapter (by Boulding). Strangely, ebook seems to only go to Chapter 47 … which might be overlooked if not for this transcription from the original 1968 hardcopy.


Walter Buckley (editor), Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist: A Sourcebook, Aldine Publishing Company, 1968.

There’s an entry on Walter F. Buckley on Wikipedia [contemporary link].  There is a “Walter Buckley Memorial Award for Excellence in Presenting Sociocybernetics” [contemporary link] sponsored by the RC51 Research Committee on Sociocybernetics, with a description of his contribution [contemporary link].  He was honoured in 1998 at the World Congress of Sociology [contemporary link].


Contents

Preface

Foreword, by Anatol Rapoport

General Introduction

Part I. General Systems Research: Overview

1. Kenneth E. Boulding, “General Systems Theory — The Skeleton of Science”

  • From Kenneth Boulding, “General Systems Theory — the Skeleton of Science,” Management Science, 2 (1956), 197-208.  Reprinted with the permission of Management Science and the author.

2. Ludwig von Bertalanffy, “General Systems Theory — A Critical Review”

  • From Ludwig von Bertalanffy, “General Systems Theory — A Critical Review,” General Systems, VII (1962) 1-20.  Reprinted with permission of the author and the Society for General Systems Research.

3. Norbert Wiener, “Cybernetics in History”

  • From Norbert Wiener, “Cybernetics in History,” The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Anchor, 1954), Chapter I.  Reprinted with permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

Part II. Parts, Wholes, and Levels of Integration

4. Edward Purcell, “Parts and Wholes in Physics”

  • From Edward Purcell, “Parts and Wholes in Physics.” Reprinted with permission of The Free Press from Parts and Wholes, edited by Daniel S. Lerner.  Copyright 1963 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

5. K. M. Khalilov, “The Problem of Systemic Organization in Theoretical Biology”

  • From K. M. Khailov, “The Problem of Systemic Organization in Theoretical Biology,” translated by Anatol Rapoport from “Problema sistemnoi organizovannosti v teoreticheskoi biologii,” Zhurnal Obschchei Biologii, 24 (1963), 324-332, in General Systems, IX (1964), 151-157.  Reprinted by permission of the translator.

6. R. W. Gerard, “Units and Concepts of Biology”

  • From R. W. Gerard, “Units and Concepts of Biology,” Science, 125 (1957), 429-33.  Reprinted by permission of the author and Science.

7. Robert Redfield, “Levels of Integration in Biological and Social Systems”

  • From Robert Redfield, “Introduction,” in Robert Redfield (Ed.) Levels of Integration in Biological and Social Systems (Lancaster, Pa.: Jacques Catell Press, 1942), pp. 5-26.  Reprinted with permission of Jacques Catell Press.

Part III. Systems, Organization and the Logic of Relations

8. Anatol Rapoport and William J. Horvath, “Thoughts on Organizational Theory”

  • From Anatol Rapoport and Willian J. Horvath, “Thoughts on Organization Theory,” General Systems, 4 (1959), 87-91.  Reprinted by permission of the authors and the Society for General Systems Research.

9. V. I. Kremyanskiy, “Certain Peculiarities of Organisms as a ‘System’ from the Point of View of Physics, Cybernetics, and Biology”

  • From V. I. Kremyanskiy, “Certain Peculiarities of Organisms as a ‘System’ from the Point of View of Physics, Cybernetics, and Biology,” a translation of a Russian article preapred by U.S. Joint Publications Research Service.  Original publications in Voporsy Filosofii (Problems of Philosophy), August, 1958, pp. 97-107.  Translated from the Russian by Anatol Rapoport in General Systems, 5 (1960), 221-24.  Reprinted by permission of the translator and publisher.

10. A. D. Hall and R. E. Fagen, “Definition of System”

  • From A. D. Hall and R. E. Fagen, “Definition of System,” revised introductory chapter of Systems Engineering (New York: Bell Telephone Laboratories), reprinted from General Systems, I (1956), 18-28.  Reprinted by permission of the authors and Bell Telephone Laboratories.

11. Warren S. McCulloch and Walter H. Pitts, “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity”

  • Reprinted from The Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, 5 (1943), 115-33, with permission of the authors and editor.  To conserve space, the tentative mathematical sections II and III have been omitted.  For more recent and precise work in this area, see S. C. Kleene, “Representation of Events in Nerve Nets and Finite Automata,” in C. E. Shannon and J. McCarthy (Eds.), Automata Studies (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1956); and I. M. Copi, C. C, Elgot, and J. B. Wright, “Realization of Events by Logical Nets,” J. Assn Computing Machinery, 5 (1958), 181-96.

12. John von Neumann, “The General and Logical Theory of Automata”

  • From John von Neumann, “The General and Logical Theory of Automata, “in Lloyd A. Jeffress (Ed.), Cerebral Mechanisms in Beahvior: The Hixon Symposium (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1951), pp. 1-2, 15-31.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.  To conserve space, two sections unessential to von Neumann’s theory of automata have been omitted; they are entitled “Discussion of Certain Relevant Traits of Computing Machines” and “Comparisons between Computing Machines and Living Organisms.”  To complete the paper from which this selection is excerpted, the author attached this note:  “This paper is an only slightly edited version of one that was read at the Hixon Symposium on September 20, 1948, in Pasadena, California.  Since it was delivered as a single lecture, it was not feasible to go into as much detail on every point as would have been desirable for a final publication.  In the present write-up it seemed appropriate to follow the dispositions of the talk; therefore this paper, too, is in many places more sketchy than desirable.  It is to be taken only as a general outline of ideas and of tendencies.”

13. W. Ross Ashby, “Principles of the Self-Organizing System”

  • From W. Ross Ashby, “Principles of the Self-Organizing System,” in Heinz von Foerster and George W. Zopf (Eds.), Principles of Self-Organization (New York: Pergamon Press, 1962), pp. 255-78.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

Part IV. Information, Communication, and Meaning

14. George A. Miller, “What is Information Management?”

  • Reprinted from American Psychologist, 8 (1963), 3-11, with permission of the author and publisher.

15. W. Ross Ashby, “Variety, Constraint, and the Law of Requisite Variety”

  • From W. Ross Ashby, An Introduction to Cybernetics (London: Chapman and Hall, 1956), Chapter 7, pp. 123-134, and Chapter 11, pp. 202-209.  Reprinted with permission of the author and publisher.

16. Anatol Rapoport, “The Promise and Pitfalls of Information Theory”

  • From Anatol Rapoport, “The Promise and Pitfalls of Information Theory,” Behavioral Science, I (1956) 303-309.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

A. Entropy and Life

17. Erwin Schrödinger, “Order, Disorder and Entropy”

  • From Erwin Schrödinger, What Is Life? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1945), Chapter VI.  Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

18. L. Brillouin, “Life, Thermodynamics, and Cybernetics”

  • From L. Brillouin, “Life, Thermodynamics, and Cybernetics, ” American Scientist, 37 (October, 1949), 554-68.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

19. Richard C. Raymond, “Communication, Entropy and Life”

  • From Richard C. Raymond, “Communication, Entropy and Life,” American Scientist, 38 (April, 1950), 273-78.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

20. L. Brillouin, “Thermodynamics and Information Theory”

  • L. Brillouin, “Thermodynamics and Information Theory,” American Scientist, 38 (October 1950), 594-99.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

21. Mortimer Ostow, “The Entropy Concept and Psychic Function”

  • From Mortimer Ostow, “The Entropy Concept and Psychic Function,” American Scientist, 39 (1951), 140-44.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

22. Heinz von Foerster, “From Stimulus to Symbol: The Economy of Biological Computation”

  • From Heinz von Foerster, “From Stimulus to Symbol: The Economy of Biological Computation,” in Gyorgy Kepes (Ed.) Sign, Image, Symbol (New York: George Braziller, 1966).  Reprinted with permission from the author and publisher.

B. Behavior and Meaning

23. F. C. Frick, “The Application of Information Theory in Behavioral Studies”

  • Condensed from F. C. Frick, “Information Theory,” in Psychology:  A Study of a Science, Vol. 2, pp. 611-15, 629-36, edited by Sigmund Koch.  Copyright 1959 by McGraw-Hill, Inc.  Used by permission of the author and McGraw-Hill Book Co.

24. Charles E. Osgood, “A Behavioristic Analysis of Perception and Language as Cognitive Phenomena”

  • Reprinted by permission of the author and the publishers from Contemporary Approaches to Cognition: A Symposium Held at the University of Colorado (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press), pp. 75-118.  Copyright, 1957, by the Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College.

25. Donald M. MacKay, “The Informational Analysis of Questions and Commands”

  • From D. M. MacKay, “The Informational Analysis of Questions and Commands,” in Colin Cherry (Ed.), Information Theory: Fourth London Symposium (London: Butterworth’s, 1961).  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

26. Russell L. Ackoff, “Towards a Behavioral Theory of Communications”

  • From Russell L. Ackoff, “Towards a Behavioral Theory of Communications,” Management Science, 4 (1957-58), 218-34.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

Part V. Cybernetics: Purpose, Self-Regulation and Self-Direction

A. Cybernetics and Purpose

27. Arturo Rosenblueth, Norbert Wiener, and Julian Bigelow, “Behavior, Purpose and Teleology”

  • From Arturo Rosenblueth, Norbert Wiener, and Julian Bigelow, “Behavior, Purpose and Teleology,” Philosophy of Science, 10 (1943), 18-24.  Copyright 1943, The Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore, Md. 21202, U.S.A.  Reprinted by permission.

28. Richard Taylor, “Comments on a Mechanistic Conception of Purposefulness”

  • From Richard Taylor, “Comments on a Mechanistic Conception of Purposefulness,” Philosophy of Science, 17 (1950), 310-17.  Copyright 1950, The Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore, Md. 21202, U.S.A.  Reprinted by permission.

29. Arturo Rosenblueth and Norbert Wiener, “Purposeful and Non-Purposeful Behavior”

  • From Arturo Rosenblueth and Norbert Wiener, “Purposeful and Non-Purposeful Behavior,” Philosophy of Science, 17 (1950), 318-26.  Copyright 1950, The Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore, Md. 21202, U.S.A.  Reprinted by permission.

30. Richard Taylor, “Purposeful and Non-Purposeful Behavior: A Rejoinder”

  • From Richard Taylor, “Purposeful and Non-Purposeful Behavior: A Rejoinder,” Philosophy of Science, 17 (1950), 327-32.  Copyright 1950, The Williams and Wilkins Co., Baltimore, Md. 21202, U.S.A.  Reprinted by permission.

31. C. W. Churchman and R. L. Ackoff, “Purposive Behavior and Cybernetics”

  • From C. W. Churchman and R. L. Ackoff, “Purposive Behavior and Cybernetics,” Social Forces, 29, 1 (October, 1950), 32-39.  Reprinted by permission of the authors and The University of North Carolina Press.

32. Omar K. Moore and Donald J. Lewis, “Purpose and Learning Theory”

  • From Omar K. Moore and Donald J. Lewis, “Purpose and Learning Theory,” Psychological Review, 60 (May, 1953), 149-56.  Reprinted with permission of the authors and American Psychological Association.

B. Homeostatis and Evolution

33. Walter B. Cannon, “Self-Regulation of the Body”

  • Reprinted from The Wisdom of the Body by Walter B. Cannon, by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.  Revised and enlarged edition copyright 1939 by Walter B. Cannon.  Copyright renewed 1960 by Cornelia J. Cannon.

34. J. W. S. Pringle, “On the Parallel between Learning and Evolution”

  • From J. W. S. Pringle, “On the Parallel between Learning and Evolution,” Behaviour, 3 (1951), 174-215.  Reprinted by permission of the author and E. J. Brill Ltd., Publishers, Leiden.

35. G. Sommerhoff, “Purpose, Adaptation and ‘Directive Correlation'”

  • From G. Sommerhof, Analytical Biology (London: Oxford University Press, 1950), Chapter II.  Reprinted with permission of the Clarendon Press, Oxford.

36. W. Ross Ashby, “Regulation and Control”

  • From W. Ross Ashby, An Introduction to Cybernetics (London: Chapman and Hall, 1956), Chapter 10, pp. 195-201, and Chapter 11, pp. 209-218.  Reprinted with permission of the author and Chapman & Hall.  The reader should recall Chapter 15 above reprinting earlier sections from this work that are important for the present discussion.

37. Magoroh Maruyama, “The Second Cybernetics: Deviation-Amplifying Mutual Causal Processes”

  • From Magoroh Maruyama, “The Second Cybernetics: Deviation-Amplifying Mutual Causal Processes,” American Scientist, 51 (1963), 164-79.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

Part VI. Self-Regulation and Self-Direction in Psychological Systems

38. Charles W. Slack, “Feedback Theory and the Reflex Arc Concept”

  • From Charles W. Slack, “Feedback Theory and the Reflex Arc Concept,” Psychological Review, 62 (1955), 263-67.  Reprinted by permission of the author and the American Psychological Association.

39. Richard Held and Sanford J. Freedman, “Plasticity in Human Sensorimotor Control”

  • From Richard Held and Sanford J. Freedman, “Plasticity in Human Sensorimotor Control,” Science, 142, (25 October 1963), 455-61.  Copyright 1963 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

40. Tamotsu Shibutani, “A Cybernetic Approach to Motivation”

  • Published originally in this volume.

41. O. H. Mowrer, “Ego Psychology, Cybernetics, and Learning Theory”

  • From O. H. Mowrer, “Ego Psychology, Cybernetics, and Learning Theory,” in Donald K. Adams et al. (Eds.), Learning Theory and Clinical Research (New York: John Wiley, 1954), pp. 81-90.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

42. Gordon W. Allport, “The Open System in Personaltiy Theory”

  • From Gordon W. Allport, “The Open System in Personaltiy Theory,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 61 (1960), 301-11.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

43. Joseph N. Notterman and Richard Trumbull, “Note on Self-Regulating Systems and Stress”

  • From Joseph N. Notterman and Richard Trumbull, “Note on Self-Regulating Systems and Stress”, Behavioral Science, 4 (October, 1950), 324-27.  Reprinted by permission of the authors and publisher.

44. Geoffrey Vickers, “The Concept of Stress in Relation to the Disorganization of Human Behaviour”

  • From Geoffrey Vickers, “The Concept of Stress in Relation to the Disorganization of Human Behaviour,” in J. M. Tanner (Ed.), Stress and Psychiatric Disorder (Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications, Ltd., 1959), pp. 3-10.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

45. Donald M. Mackay, “Towards an Information-Flow Model of Human Behaviour”

  • From Donald M. Mackay, “Towards an Information-Flow Model of Human Behaviour,” British Journal of Psychology, 47 (1956), 30-43.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

46. George A. Miller, Eugene Galanter, and Karl H. Pribram, “Plans and the Structure of Behaviour”

  • From George A. Miller, Eugene Galanter, and Karl H. Pribram, Plans and the Structure of Behaviour (New York: Holt, Reinhart & Winston, 1960), Chapter 2 and 4.  Reprinted by permission of the authors and publisher.

Part VII. Self-Regulation and Self-Direction in Sociocultural Systems

47. Karl W. Deutsch, “Toward a Cybernetic Model of Man and Society”

  • From Karl W. Deutsch, “Some Notes on Research on the Role of Models in the Natural and Social Sciences,”  Synthese, 7 (’48-’49), 506-33.  Reprinted with permission of the author and D. Reidel Publishing Co.

A. Social Control: Internal Variety and Constraints

48. S. F. Nadel, “Social Control and Self-Regulation”

  • From S. F. Nadel, “Social Control and Self-Regulation,” Social Forces, 31 (March, 1953), 265-73.  Reprinted by permission of The University of North Carolina Press.

49. Roger Nett, “Conformity-Deviation and the Social Control Concept”

  • Reprinted from Roger Nett, “Conformity-Deviation and the Social Control Concept,” Ethics, 64 (1953), 38-45, by permission of the author and the University of Chicago Press.  Copyright 1953 by the University of Chicago Press.

50. Roger Owen, “Variety and Constraint in Cultural Adaptation”

  • Revised version of a paper read at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, November 21, 1963, San Francisco, California; originally titled “The Social Demography of Northern Baja California: Non-linguistically Based Patri-local Bands.”  With permission of the author.

51. Leslie T. Wilkins, “A Behavioural Theory of Drug Taking”

  • From Leslie T. Wilkins, “A Behavioural Theory of Drug Taking,” Howard Journal, Vol. XI, No. 4 (1965), pp. 6-17.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

B. Social Control: Organizational Goal Seeking

52. David Easton, “A Systems Analysis of Political Life”

  • From David Easton, A Systems Analysis of Political Life (New York: John Wiley, 1965), Chapter 2, pp. 17-35.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.  Copyright 1965 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

53. Mervyn L. Cadwallader, “The Cybernetic Analysis of Change in Complex Social Organizations”

  • Reprinted from Mervyn L. Cadwallader, “The Cybernetic Analysis of Change in Complex Social Organizations,” American Journal of Sociology, 65 (1959), 154-57, by permission of The University of Chicago Press.  Copyright 1959 by The University of Chicago Press.

54. Kurt Lewin, “Feedback Problems of Social Diagnosis and Action”

  • From Kurt Lewin, “Frontiers in Group Dynamics,” Part II-B, Human Relations, I (1947), pp. 147-53.  Reprinted by permission of Tavistock Publications Ltd.

55. Chadwick J. Haberstroh, “Control as an Organizational Process”

  • Chadwick J. Haberstroh, “Control as an Organizational Process,” Management Science, 6 (January, 1960), 165-71.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

56. Garrett Hardin, “The Cybernetics of Competition: A Biologist’s View of Society”

  • Reprinted from Garrett Hardin, “The Cybernetics of Competition: A Biologist’s View of Society,” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, VII (Autumn, 1963), 61-84, by permission of the University of Chicago Press.  Copyright 1963 by the University of Chicago Press.

57. Geoffrey Vickers, “Is Adaptability Enough?”

  • From Geoffrey Vickers, “Is Adaptability Enough?” Behavioral Science, 4 (1959), 219-34.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

C. Decision Processes and Group Structure

58. Anatol Rapoport, “Critiques of Game Theory”

  • From Anatol Rapoport, “Critiques of Game Theory,” Behavioral Science, Vol. 4 (1959), 49-66.  Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.

59. Walter Buckley, “Society as a Complex Adaptive System”

  • Many of the ideas expressed here appear in more extended form in the author’s Sociology and Modern Systems Theory (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:  Prentice-Hall, 1967).

Selected References

Index

Book cover:  Systems Research for Behavioral Science: A Sourcebook, Walter Buckley, editor

#behavioral-science, #general-systems-theory, #organization-science, #systems-thinking

Systemic Change, Systematic Change, Systems Change (Reynolds, 2011)

It’s been challenging to find sources that specifically define two-word phrases — i.e. “systemic change”, “systematic change”, “systems change” — as opposed to loosely inferring reductively from one-word definitions in recombination. MartinReynolds @OpenUniversity clarifies uses of the phrases, with a critical eye into motives for choosing a specific label, as well as associated risks and traps.

Working from the end of the paper towards the beginning, the conclusion points “towards a critical systems literacy”.

— begin paste —

4.2 Towards a critical systems literacy

[….] Using our own form of systems literacy, systems boundaries (the domain of systems change) are subject to systematic changes invoked by the designers and users of systems, and systemic changes invoked by those subject to the use of systems. There is here a triadic interplay between three perpetual factors –

  • systems with their boundaries,
  • people and their values, and
  • real world entities and events in the factual domain.

The relationship between them can be expressed in terms of either an entrapped vicious circle or a liberating virtuous cycle.

The three types of trap noted above represent responses to particular types of well- founded anxiety and fear with managing complex issues. There is

  • the continual fear of systemic uncertainty in unforeseen events and unintended consequences,
  • the fear of losing or even reinforcing excessive systematic control, and
  • the fear of change in systems; an undue ultimate optimism in old or new systems.

Table 4 summarises these traps in terms of contributing towards a critical literacy of systems thinking in practice.

Type of
change
Location of
change
Primary
intent
Risks or
traps
Some key
vocabulary
SystemicComplex
realities or
situation
Make simple &
manageable the
complex web of
realities for
improving
situations
Seeing a mess as simple
problem-solving i.e.,
reductionist thinking
rather than as
improvement resolution.
Complexity
Feedback
Emergence
Uncertainty
Autonomy
SystematicStakeholdersDeveloping mutual
understanding and
shared practice
Fixing people as objects
for purposive endeavours
rather than as purposeful
subjects.
Perspectives
Praxis
Learning
Stakeholding
SystemsConceptual
worlds
Improvement of
situations
and emancipation
through reflective
practice
Complacency and
obsession with ‘systems’
e.g., as holistic devices,
rather than as temporary
pragmatic constructs
Judgements
Boundaries
Reframing
Critique
Table 4. Features of a critical systems literacy

A key intent of systems thinking associated with systems change is to continually question boundaries of our conceptual constructs with a primary focus on improving the situation. That is, with a focus on steering good systemic change.

— end paste (with editorial paragraphing added) —

Comment: Backing up through the paper gives us some stronger definitions and understanding, gained through applying systems thinking in field research. A challenge with espoused systems thinkers, though, is recognizing those with critical eye, as distinct from those with a hammer looking for a nail.

— begin paste —

4. Implications of a ‘Critical’ Systems Thinking in Practice

[….] If systems thinking in practice provides such a potentially powerful agent of change, what is that may inhibit such change? In the practical domain of engaging with different perspectives, the fear for change is manifest in the traps of uncritical thinking that pervade our everyday practices. Aligned with these traps is an unclear use of language around systems thinking. What precisely is meant by the terms systemic, systematic and system and how might such terms be more meaningfully incorporated in to a critical systems literacy?

— end paste —

Comment: Firstly, let’s understand what’s usually behind systemic change.

— begin paste —

Trap 1: Silo Problem-Solving: Towards Anticipating Systemic Change

[….] The conventional functionalist systems idea of organisation – a whole consisting of related parts contributing to a particular function – has contributed considerably to a reification of this type of silo thinking. Organisations are typically organised with departmental terms of reference carrying clearly defined remits for employees. The idea is neat, easy to work with in terms of providing some assurance of certainty, or at least lack of ambiguity, and most importantly, as suggested above, comfortable. Comfort is conventionally drawn from some basic (mis)understanding about organisations working as self-contained functional systems, the output of which is unquestionably some ‘good’ for the wider community. It pervades many impressions of organisations whether small and simple or large and complex. [….]

A systemic issue comprises complexity, uncertainty, interdependencies and controversy involving a wide range of variables requiring resolution. A technical problem on the other hand bounded by a fixed bounded silo occupies the more comfortable domain, amenable to a solution, usually provided by a traditional ‘expert’. Characteristics of issues are troublesome! They can sometimes distract from getting things done. But can they be ignored?

The trap of silo thinking is based upon the idea that such issues can be ignored. It is associated with reductionism. A critical perspective on systems acknowledges that, to use a famous systems adage, a system is merely a map of a situation or territory, not to be confused with the actual territory. Real world complexities represent something that exists outside of any one conceptualisation of context. The real world complexity provides the site for systemic change. In terms of a systems literacy, the tension between system and situation might be appreciated in terms of a conversation. The distinction between thinking about systems and systems thinking is helpful in clearing ground between systems thinking and related disciplines associated with systems sciences (e.g., complexity and chaos theory). It respects rather than struggles against two different perceptions of ‘systems’: one, as with systems thinking, an epistemological construct; the other, as with systems sciences, more an ontological entity.

A key underplayed intent of systems thinking associated with systemic change is to make simple the complex web of interrelationships and interdependencies in a transparent (and thereby questionable) manner. In short, systems thinking about systemic change involves a continual conversation between ‘systems’ and ‘situations’; a tension expressed through the act of making simple the complex – a tension that invites more an artistic rather than scientific literacy. This is not to deny the importance of a scientific literacy promoting more detailed understanding in terms of, say, evolutionary science, chaos theory and complexity sciences, but the craft of systems thinking is primarily geared towards making manageable the complex. The task involves using a language that is accessible to all stakeholders.

— end paste —

Comment: The the above view on systemic change uses human organization as the system of interest. Is is possible that systemic change might apply to some other types of system? Well, given that it’s human beings that frame the systems of interest, if the system isn’t anthropocentric, we could argue that systems don’t exist in reality. It’s just trying to make sense of ourselves, and nature. (Having nature make sense of nature seems strange, philosophically).

Comment: Secondly, the article turns to systematic change.

— begin paste —

Trap 2: Fixing People: Towards Purposeful Systematic Change

The trap of ‘fixing people’ into pre-designed purposes – ‘purposive management’ – is based upon the misguided behaviourist idea that different purposes from different perspectives can be moulded into a consensual purpose. The story of failure in organizational change projects, […], in contrast, suggests alternative strategies based upon working with people/ stakeholders rather than working on them. The trap here is related to the trap of dogmatism. Systemic failure in many situations can often be associated with the dogmatic disregard of other perspectives that inform the situation.

The literacy called for requires not just simplifying realities for individual comprehension but making sense of realities for mutual understanding amongst stakeholders involved in a situation in order to foster shared practice. This second aspect of a systems literacy speaks to the human dimension of intervention. As such it speaks of systematic change; change directed by human agents. The term ‘systematic’ relates to an inevitable requirement of orderliness. Our means of communication through language and discourse requires levels of systematisation to a greater or lesser extent so as to generate some sense of mutual understanding. [….]

Social learning, like Theory Y, invokes a proactive engagement amongst stakeholders in systematically managing change. The idea moves away from implementation modelled on hierarchical notions of working on people – restructuring, reconfiguring, re-engineering – and then dealing with inevitable subsequent resistance amongst stakeholders, towards a more collective notion of working with people – stakeholding development. [….]

Conventional systematic change is purposive. This involves a linear application of tools to serve a prescribed purpose. In contrast, purposeful systematic change involves use of language, amongst other tools, for iterating on better revised goals based on improved understanding and better practice.

— end paste —

Comment: Systematic change is related to working hierarchically on people/stakeholders rather than socially working with people/stakeholders who might (or might not) otherwise learn by themselves. Orderliness suggests more of a mechanistic view of organizations of human beings, when self-organization is not left to chance.

Comment: The distinction between purposive and purposeful dates back to Russell Ackoff, all the way to his dissertation research. Here’s a brief summary. A group can be purposive, sharing a goal over a planning period (e.g. until a project is done). If the group is purposive, they share an ideal beyond a planing period (e.g. an aesthetic, moral or ethical pursuit).

Comment: In the third of three parts, systems change is seen as a moving to a “new” system, as an alternative to maintaining the old system. This leads to questions about holism (i.e. what is the whole?) as well as pluralism (i.e. who, or how many, get to decide what is real and what isn’t), that leads to boundary critique (i.e. what and who are inside/outside a system).

— begin paste —

Trap 3: Maintaining Systems or ‘Systems’ Obsession: Toward Meaningful Systems Change

[….] Continually adopting ‘new’ systems runs the risk of elevating the notion of ‘system’ to a fetish status; celebrating the very notion of system as being the panacea for crises. Systems are often referred to in association with new developments – miraculous ways of doing things.

The trap of systems maintenance, or being obsessive with the tools we construct, lies in reifying and privileging the ‘system’ – whether it’s old or new – as though it has some existence and worth outside of the user and some status beyond its context of use in enabling change. […]

There are many … ‘systems’ that … entrap our understanding and practice. A generic term for these is ‘business as usual’ (BAU). Examples include the annual cycles of organisational planning, target setting, budgeting, the development of performance indicators and performance related pay incentives etc. BAU models maintain existing ‘systems’ principally because of a fear for change. But the fear is not evenly distributed amongst all stakeholders. Some fear change more than others simply because the system works in a partial manner. The system works for some and not for others.

All systems are partial. They are necessarily partial – or selective – in the dual sense of (i) representing only a section rather than the whole of the total universe of considerations, and (ii) serving some parties – or interests – better than others (Ulrich 2002 p. 41). In other words, no proposal, no decision, no action, no methodology, no approach, no system can get a
total grip on the situation (as a framework for understanding) nor get it right for everyone (as a framework for practice) (Reynolds, 2008a).

[….] the two dimensions of partiality respond to the two transitions implicit in systems thinking about systems change; one, towards holism, and another towards pluralism. Given the partiality of systems a third critical dimension is required where systems boundaries inevitably need to be made and questioned on the inevitable limitations of being holistic and pluralistic.

— end paste —

Comment: Referring to Table 4, the primary intent of systems change can include emancipation, surfacing voices that aren’t heard in the way the current system operates. The risk or trap with systems change could then be potentially “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”, by introducing a “new” system that replaces an “old” systems that may have been dysfunctional (to a greater or lesser degree), but not broken.

Comment: Now having covered most of the article backwards, readers who are unfamiliar with the Critical Systems Thinking literature may want to start from the beginning of the paper for an orientation and summary.

Figure 2. Critical systems framework illustrating systems thinking in practice activities.

The Open University group for Applied Systems Thinking in Practice is one of the most venerable in the systems movement. The resources available online are foundational in their teaching.

References

Reynolds, Martin. 2011. “Critical Thinking and Systems Thinking: Towards a Critical Literacy for Systems Thinking in Practice.” In Critical Thinking, edited by Christopher P. Horvath and James M. Forte, 37–68. New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers. https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=20176. Released on Open Research Online at http://oro.open.ac.uk/30464/

#systematic-change, #systemic-change, #systems-change, #systems-thinking

Health Systems Research and Critical Systems Thinking: The case for partnership | Michael C. Jackson, Luis G. Sambo | 2019/08

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 in [Health Systems Research] influenced by complexity theory and the concept of ‘complex adaptive systems’. [….]

Most authors employing complexity theory in HSR seem to believe that it sprung forth fully formed from nothing or has somehow supplanted other bodies of work in systems thinking.

Such a poor appreciation of the history makes it almost inevitable that HSR will draw upon a restricted part of the systems and complexity tradition in developing its theories. In fact, it is the system dynamics and ‘complex adaptive systems’ strands that have come to dominate HSR at the expense of others. [….]

The problems start because of a lack of clarity in HSR about what type of ‘dynamic entity’, or ‘system’, a health system is. [….]

[Critical Systems Thinking] takes a radically different approach to HSR in the way it responds to the complexity encountered in the health systems domain. Primarily, HSR designates health systems as ‘complex adaptive systems’, and then looks to system dynamics to provide knowledge of their inner workings and supply insights into how they can best be managed. [….]

CST by contrast regards ‘messes’, like those found in public health, as ‘unknowable’. They give rise to what Rittel and Webber call ‘wicked problems’, which are intractable for decision-makers … [….]

CST, therefore, bypasses the issue of what kind of ‘system’ a health system is by stating that we will never know. Far from being a negative strategy, however, this opens up a whole new realm of possibilities, …

CST can assist … by referring to the three commitments of CST – ‘critical awareness’, ‘pluralism’, and ‘improvement’.

Source: Jackson, Michael C. & Sambo, Luis G. (2019). Health systems research and critical systems thinking: the case for partnership. 10.13140/RG.2.2.36160.48648.

#critical-systems-thinking, #systems-thinking

2014/10/17 15:15 Harold G. Nelson, “What is Systemic Design?  A Shared Inquiry”, #RSD3

@HaroldGNelson, second day plenary at #RSD3 Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, at AHO, Oslo, Norway

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/


[Intro by Birger Sevaldson]

Harold is an architect, from which he has recovered

  • Was in the Berkeley bubble of systems thinkers, Rittel, Churchman

[Harold Nelson]

Will do a review / assessment of the symposium, but that would require more ground work than originally thought

This will be some thinking out load of the symposium so far

Trying to move away from polemics

  • Family got him T-shirt:  A graduated from Berkeley, so to save time, let’s assume I’m right

Prediction:  there will be a huge, dramatic change in design

  • People who will want to come into design not from material or experiential design fields
  • We will experience those shifts

Work with some of these people, excited at prospect

True believer of design, has taken over professional life

High hopes, not sure it will take over

Mantra / prejudices:

  • Don’t believe the design is science or art
  • It’s its own way of thinking
  • It’s rational, aesthetic

Can’t divide systems out from design, can’t see it as two things

  • Systems is the logic of design

David Foster Wallace:  Fish asks “how’s the water”?  What the hell is water?

Philip Ball:  No one really understands water. … still a mystery

So, what the hell is systemic design?

  • Interest in finding out what it is
  • What type of inquiry, when you’re immersed in it?

Overview effect:

  • Apollo 7 astronauts taking first picture of earth
  • Transformation experience, not a new paradigm, not a breakthrough
  • Hope we hit a pivot point like this in the field of systemic design

Hear a lot of old habit brought into the conversation

  • Believe we need a different way of looking at inquiry, at seeing what systemic design is

Like water, design is ubiquitous yet a mystery

Systemic design is an enigma

  • Brings humility

Anthropocene:  ought to be the design era

  • Can’t find the natural system, one that doesn’t show influence of human activity
  • It can’t be reversed
  • We have an incredible effect on the planet
  • We have to learn how to be responsible with that, in design

Natural systems come from unintentional consequences from the action of human beings

  • How do we become more intentional?

Design directs evolution

Science requires a change, a difference:  a process

Change of process is evolution

Change of evolution is design

We create reality

  • In this room, what is natural?
  • We live in worlds that people have made
  • Our childhood memories, who we think we are, is all involved with the designed world

How do I discover something in a dark room?

The metaphor of the elephant

  • How difficult it is to describe and explain something that is complex.
  • Trick:  who am I to stand back, and say that those people don’t understand, and see the whole part of it?

How can we see the whole?

  • What kind of inquiry do we need, to see systemic design, in its wholeness

Designs of inquiry:  scientific, spirtual, metaphysical, design, systemic design, individual, collective

Churchman, The Design of Inquiring Systems

  • Human beings designed the scientific method
  • Churchman showed fives ways of knowing the truth, there could be more

In designs, if someone agrees with you, it could be true

Collaborative inquiry:  everyone getting a piece of the action, putting things together

One of usual first steps is to end the inquiry:

  • By Oxford Dictionary says … it ends the inquiry
  • Have to keep the inquiry open and going
  • Defining is getting to the point

Design of scientific inquiry (which is the norm at conferences and academia)

  • Collecting evidence
  • Collecting data
  • Categorizing
  • Theorizing
  • … which is doing research

Research doesn’t work with design

At conferences like this, too many categories or disciplines

  • Difficult to organize

Categories of inquiry, a Venn diagram mixing systemics, design, art

Another first step:  systemic design inquiry

Was head of a graduate program in Whole Systems Design (one organizational, one whole systems design)

  • Pedagogy as a design process
  • Character is learning:  design process is a learning process
  • Students designed their own learning programming
  • Designing stages of own learning progress
  • At some levels, science dominates; at other levels more managerial
  • When programs came up for accreditation, how to explain to academics what you do?
  • Not covering in breadth (like shallow everything programs) or in depth (like science programs)
  • That space created in the matrix, we connect the dots in depth and breadth
  • Accrediting people bought it
  • Ten year period

A play on Plato’s cave

  • When we observe the same thing, we can see it’s casting different shadows in different ways
  • In a symposium, looking for shadows
  • Most people focused:  what can be implied that is casting the shadow

Distinction between collaborative inquiry and shared inquiry

  • (1) Collaborative as seeing the divisions: disciplinary, interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary
  • Challenge:  how to assemble that
  • (2) Shared inquiry as seeing the whole:  multiple perspectdives
  • Linstone pulled out three perspectives from Churchman as technical, organizational and personal, used it in different ways
  • Dominant perspective in organizations tends to be technical; then look at organizational politics; then (not individual) emotional feeling things
  • In space shuttle, the cause of the O-ring only came through from the personal perspective, fear of bosses, withholding information
  • Can expand to economic, political

Suspicion that what I’m looking at is a strange attractor

  • Like a cloud, hear multiple ways that people see
  • Form will begin to appear, as it does with a strange attractor
  • Complex dynamic systems that initially appear chaotic, but over time, hidden form appears
  • Don’t think systemic design is a simple point on a matrix

Shared inquiry, self-organizing behavior

  • Moving away from polemics on what truth is right:  there’s more on values
  • Enjoying sharing inquiry, what that looks like, what does it feel like, how does it work.

Modelling flocking and schooling, 3 simple rules of relationship

  • Coca-Cola took this for simple behavior manual
  • What we want, rules of relationship
  • Got the behaviors they wanted
  • Didn’t have to prescribe everything, just protocols that give rise to complex self-organizing behaviors

What protocols could be in place to allowed self-organizing shared behavior to emerge?

  • What would come out of a self-organizing inquiry, focused on particular designs/

Shared inquiry with three elements:

  • Conversation:  turning together in the same place
  • Dialogue:  letting things be seen through language
  • (Diascenic) Graphologue:  letting things be seen through images

At funeral, found conversations as a way to keep bond in families, not mindless

Can use formal dialogue

Then what would be allowed if we had a graphologue?

An invitation to shared appreciative inquiry, so that we can begin to understand

  • Scholarship and practice
  • Pre-socratic sophia
  • Worse after sophia got split, and then only went for knowledge
  • Doing things went to the bottom
  • Division is alive and well, destructive
  • Blue collar / white collar

Scholarship

  • Ernest Boyer, scholarship reconsidered
  • Scholarship was defined as teaching, research and service
  • For 21st century, need scholarship
  • discovery
  • inegraqtion
  • application
  • teaching

In the design world:

  • Scholarship of discovery –> Inquiry for acdtion
  • Scholarship of integration –> Systemics logic
  • Scholarship of application –> Agency and service
  • Scholarhsip of teaching

Four directdions fo inquiry into systemic design

  • Most think that research is foremost, but assessment is important
  • Not just what is true, but what should be real

Scholarhsip of systemics

  • It’s not about huge systems
  • It means looking between things
  • Could be just 2 things

Scholarship of agency and service

  • Students want to change the world
  • People like to change, they don’t like to be changed
  • Hearing a lot of “be changed” words going on
  • A systemic relationship between people
  • Agency:  did you turn an “is” into an “ought”?
  • Climate scientists are doing this now:  this is the case, therefore you “ought”, which politicizes
  • Being a scientist, but acting like a designer
  • Coercion by fact:  get things that happen by generating numbers, and overwhelming people
  • Learning takes place over time, takes time and maturation
  • From Dreyfus model of field development, capacitation:  novice, capable, competent, proficient, expert, master, guarantor
  • At novice level, need rules; then can challenge rules; at the end, don’t need rules
  • Harvard Business Review has lots of rules, for people who are focused between novice and maybe capable
  • Don’t sit in a class and get filled up with competence
  • Both for formal and information learning

Evidence of supporting and advancing systemic design at RSD3?

  • Understanding systemic design?
  • Collaborative systemic design inquiry?
  • Shared system design inquiry?

Ongoing inquiry?

  • Hope that this will emerge
  • Will be able to make sense of the shadows

Sketchnoting of Harold G. Nelson presentation by Patricia Kambitsch at https://www.flickr.com/photos/shagdora/15532672476
image

#design, #systems-thinking

2014/10/17 14:00 Hugh Dubberly, “A Systems Literacy Manifesto”, #RSD3

Hugh Dubberly, second day plenary at #RSD3 Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, at AHO, Oslo, Norway

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/

Presentation posted at http://presentations.dubberly.com//system_literacy.pdf


[Intro by Peter Jones]

Dubberly was editor of ACM Interactions journal, had series on simplifying and systems

  • Collaborated on language action article

[Hugh Dubberly]

Yesterday’s talk by Ranulph Glanville

Second order cybernetics gives an epistemology for design

  • Moved from a detached pose, into the middle of things, where we must be responsible for actions
  • A rigourous way to learn:  framing design as conversation — and learning together
  • Places design in the realm of subjectivity, politics, and ethics

Churchman:  Citizens has begun to suspect that the people who make major deicsions that affect our lives don’t know what they’re doing

  • … no adequate dat

Reagan 1981:  Government is not he solution to our problems, government is the problem

  • Greek:  the root of government and cybernetics is the same, steering
  • Substitute the word “steering”:  Steering is the not the solution to our problems, steering is the problem.
  • Sold the idea that our government is not us, that it’s something bad
  • Something horrible in the U.S., need to look to Europe to help on this

Alan Greenspan 2008:  self-interest of lending institutions to preotect shareholders’ equity .. are in a state of shocked disbelief

  • Admitting he was wrong about entire life’s work
  • Wrong that markets will regulate themselves
  • Reading Maxwell:  markets can’t regulate themselves, will fall over
  • Via Ayn Rand
  • Recently, he’s been backsliding

Marco Rubio 2014:  do not believe that climate … scientists …

Decision-makers … not stupidity

  • It is a literacy

We need systems literacy in decision-makers, and in the general public

  • Body of knowledge exists
  • Schools ignore it
  • It should be taught in design, management, but also in general education

Almost all of the problems involves systems

Systems are

  • complex
  • evolving
  • probablistic

Diffficult, because systems may not appear as wholes

  • Hard to see all at once

Issue:  systems often dispersed in space

  • May only be experienced over time
  • Or we may live in systems, seeing only parts:  hidden, gossamer systems

Natural system, information system, social system, hybrid system

Water cycle

Carbon cycle

How do water cycle and carbon cycle tie together?

Untangling messes (taming wicked problems)

  • They are observed

Humberto Maturana, Theorem #1, 1970:  Anything said is said by an observer

Stafford Beer:  a system is not something given in nature

Heinz von Foerster:  What the observer says is a decription said to another observer in a language they share, creating a connection that forms the basis for a society.

  • A system with two observers.

How should we describe systems that are complex, evolving, hidden and observed?

Churchman outlines four approaches to systems

  • efficeincy expert
  • scientist
  • humanist
  • anti-planner

Consider adding a fifth approach, a designer

Basic systems literacy:

  • vocabulary (content)
  • reading (skills of analysis)
  • writing (skills of synthesis)

Systems literacy is enriched with:

  • literature
  • history
  • connections

A vocabulary of systems (less than 150 terms, on the complexity of baseball)

Reading systems means recognizing common patterns in specific situations

  • e.g. resource flows and cycles, transform functions (processes), feedback loops, …

Consider the toilet and the thermostat, different in form and strucxture

  • They’re the same in function, both are governors

Writing systems means describing the function of systems to others, in text and diagrams

  • Text requires gymnastics
  • Pictures can help

Formalisms:

  • Donella Meadows
  • Otto Mayr

In many cases, simple concept maps are all the formalism require

  • Gowan and Novak, Learning How to Learn
  • Helping the education process
  • Evaluating what students knew, ask them to draw a diagram
  • Small formalism:  nodes (nous), links (verbs), then have subject-predicate-object

Netscape search concept map:

  • Netscape circa 1999
  • Were invited to have someone on staff work with a new group of engineers to redesign Netscape’s search service
  • Had best guy Matt, meet with engineers, came back hangdog
  • They almost threw him out, but he thought he could sit in the corner and watch
  • No one else knew anything about search, either
  • Make it a learning process, try out a concept map, interview the engineers
  • Interviewed 25 engineers
  • Sketches
  • Presented to group:  a fight broke out between groups’ engineers on how search worked
  • Matt had moved from being someone who knew nothing to someone that knew everything

As went on in practice, after leaving Netscape and setting up own business, had an engagement with Sun Microsystems to redesign the Java web site

  • Had a passing knowledge of Java
  • 150,000 pages
  • Though should know something about Java
  • Interviewed about 40 people
  • Then Lisa, the people who started the web site, said ready to meet with the distinguished engineers
  • Met with Gosling, showed messy map (same content as shown, but different form)

Heart attack concept map

Weight control concept map (which was hard to do)

Drug delivery device map:  How to create a system to allow product planners to understand the tradeoff in the building of a device that will deliver a drug

  • If the drug is more viscous, the needle needs to be wider … which means the needle needs to be thicker

Email concept map based on Henderson and Johnson

  • What a user needs to know, to use the software

These concepts are rare in the commercial practice of design

Was doing a map for company working in diabetes

  • Might have thought that they had a shared mental model:  not true

Idea isn’t new:  Model from Disney

How to acheive systems literacy?

History: HfG Ulm had courses in operations research and cybernetics in the 1960s

  • Collection of books on systems there is greater than in most design programs today

Believe that all graduate design programs should have courses in systems

Coals to Newcastle, we already do this?

  • We need to be more rigourous about this.
  • One course on systems, while we’re trying to something else, is just a drive-by.
  • Should be at least 3 semesters
  • 1. Introduction to systems including systems dynamics, regulation, requisite variety
  • 2. Second-order cybernetics:  observing systems, autopoesis, learning, ethics
  • 3. Systems for conversation:  coevolution, coordination and collaboration

Where’s the time for this?

  • Hear this from places that that have 4 or 5 courses of typography
  • … and from places that teach Verbeek and Latour

Not enough to read courses

  • Have to discuss
  • In addition, need to appreciate multiple religions

1. Capro, Meados, Ashby

2. Glanville, von Foerster, Maturila and Davila

3. …

Recommend format as seminar + studio

  • Reading and sicussion
  • Review of common patterns

Need fluency with common language

  • Immersion, practice and time
  • Reward, practice becomes habit, habit becomes a way of thinking

Conclusions:  Implications of and for observing systems

Nelson and Stolterman:  Designer need to be able to observe, describe …

Heinz von Voerster 1979:  Pask … distinguishes two orders of analysi

  • System’s purpose
  • Own purpose

Maturana 1997:  emotioning

  • Become respoinsible for what we do
  • We do not have to do all that we can imagine, we can choose

We have a responsibility to make things better

A Systems Literacy Manifesto

Presentation posted at http://presentations.dubberly.com//system_literacy.pdf

#design, #systems-thinking

2014/10/17 12:30 Peter Jones and Antony Upward, “Caring for the Future: The Systemic Design of Flourishing Enterprises”, #RSD3

@redesign @aupward second day #RSD3 “Business and Enterprise Design, Sustainability and Economic Policy” track at Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, at AHO, Oslo, Norway

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/


Sustainability as a concept has been around 30 years

  • Bruntland Commission (1987)
  • Sustainable Development
  • Ecological Modernization

Time to change these, problem of the status quo

John Ehrenfeld, around flourishing

  • Sustainable development, which is meant at a moment, so that future generations can enjoy the same benefits of our middle class society
  • Can we say our current world is flourishing?
  • Others may call it thriving
  • Flourishing is not yet scientifically defined:  human and all live on the world, ideally

Ayres (1998) strong versus weak sustainability

  • Strong is close to flourishing, hard to achieve with Bruntland definition, non-substitutability of natural capital with other types of capital
  • This has created either-or, which we want to get away from
  • Want to rename away from “strongly sustainable”, which was the research title

Aim for a new business model as flourishing

  • Aim for compatibility with The Natural Step
  • Living systems theory with supply side sustainability from Timothy F.H. Allen, Joseph Tainter and Hoekstra

The Flourishing Enterprise, sketched in the car

  • Need a new word for stakeholders, could use some help:  community of participants and/or advocates
  • People who have a stake in flourishing

There are plenty of more sustainable and less sustainable business models

  • Sustainable product-service systems (Vezzoli)
  • Dematerialized product-services
  • Circular economy / Supply-waste ecosystems
  • Collaborative consumption
  • Public-private incentive models
  • Regional mutualism

Best:  Unilever, Patagonia, Interface Carpets

Osterwalder and Pigneur, Business model canvas

  • Ontology in dissertation
  • Then design work
  • Big hit in startups
  • But no environmental impact model, no supply chain impacts

Antony Upward’s research:

  • 1. Understand natural and social science of sustainability
  • 2. Ontology of Strong Sustnaable business models
  • 3. Codesigned a Strong Sustainable Business Model Canvas:  tested in workshops

Revise definition of business model

  • Necessary but not sufficient:  rationale of how an org creates, delivers and captures value [in monetary terms]
  • Value is created with satisfiers align with recipient’s world view, and destroyed when they don’t

First version:  14 questions, 9 consistent with Osterwalder

A shared value business model using the Osterwalder canvas

  • Healthcare system, patient-centered, value-oriented

Business model as a formative concept (as Claudio Ciborra might have said)

  • Robert Rosen:  Business model as an anticipatory system, works on encoding and decoding

This is being presented at the Flourish & Prosper conference this week at Case Western http://globalforumbawb.com/agenda/


Sketchnoting of Peter Jones presentation by Patricia Kambitsch at https://www.flickr.com/photos/shagdora/15369534318

image

#design, #systems-thinking

2014/10/17 12:00 Merlina Missimer, Karl-Henrik Robèrt and Göran Broman, “Lessons from the field: A first evaluation of working with the elaborated social dimension of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development”, #RSD3

Merlina Missimer second day #RSD3 “Business and Enterprise Design, Sustainability and Economic Policy” track at Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, at AHO, Oslo, Norway

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/


Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development, Karlskrona, Sweden

Conceptual framework around social sustainability, and first feedback from prototype

Wicked problems

  • Unsustainable behavior is deeply embedded in systems
  • Sustainability science as a science of design (Miller 2011)

Framework for strategic sustainable development

  • Created 20 years ago
  • Moving from silos to wider perspective
  • 20-year consensus and peer review

To plan in complex systems, 5 levels:

  • System:  overall functioning
  • Success: definition of objectives
  • Strategic guidelines:  logical guidlines
  • Action: concrete
  • Tools

Can use purpose to guide system boundaries:

  • There’s a lot of information, can use robust definition and purpose

Can also use backcasting, start with the end in mind

Sustainability is only relevant as a result humanity’s unsustainability

Sustainability == not systematically degrading ecological and social system

  • Identify mechanisms of degradation / destruction
  • Cluster with “nots”
  • Create sustainability priciples as constraints for re-design

Principles create boundary conditions that enable the space on the inside

Two systems are ecological and social:

  • Believe that we can use science to undermine

Version of sustainability principles:  3 ecological, 1 social

Approach has been tested in many companies and municipalities

Focus in this research is on social dimension, which has been underdeveloped

Design research methodology to understand current state and see what’s happeningx

  • Phase 1:  Gathering
  • Phase 2:  Try to build theory for social sustainability principles
  • Phase 3:  Evaluation

Success:  level of scientific rigor, and viability of use/usefulness

Workshops in three countries

  • Present
  • Apply
  • Reflect

Prototype:

  • Social system as complex adaptive systems
  • Functioning around self-organization, learning, diversity, trust, common meaning

How to translate into principles?

Started with trust

  • How to undermine trust?
  • Then check against other principles

Integrity:  not doing harm to others

Systemic barriers to influence:  being able to shape systems that individuals are part of

  • Link between individual and collective

Competence:  safeguarding of individuals

  • Themes around trust and trustworthiness

Impartiality

Meaning:  systems need to have a purpose

5 years of research lead to 5 years of social sustainability principles

Evaluation with prototypes:  how do practitioners respond to this?

  • 2 practitioners had already used the new approach, thought that new principles were intuitive, although some unease with new
  • Question:  how to work with it?
  • Non-seniors less comfortable, not easy, too complex, wanted a clearer narrative

Elaboration of Sustainability PrinciplesElaboration of Sustainability Principles at http://www.alliance-ssd.org/elaboration-of-sustainability-principles/

#design, #systems-thinking

2014/10/17 11:30 Alex Ryan and Michael Dila, “Disruptive Innovation Reframed: Insurgent Design for Systemic Transformation”, #RSD3

@DrAlexRyan @michaeldila second day #RSD3 “Business and Enterprise Design, Sustainability and Economic Policy” track at Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, at AHO, Oslo, Norway

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/


Start with disruptive innovations and sustaining innovations, from Clayton Christensen

Disruption of the music industry

  • IXI prototype 1979, 3.5 minutes of digital music storage, compared to Sony Discman
  • But later, we now the story

Design thinking is different from traditional management

  • Traditional management –> design thinking
  • Rationality, objectivity –> subjective experience

(Disruptions from Michael Dila)

[Michael Dila]

21st century bookended by 2 events 10 years apart

  • September 11
  • Occupy Wall Street

Think of both as successful designs

  • Relationship beteween design and insurgency

Roger Martin:  Design Thinking comes to the U.S. Army

  • Then business should take it seriously?

U.S. Army taking design thinking, to deal with things that hadn’t dealt with before

  • Introduced to Alex Ryan

Sacred cows:

  • Michael Porter (Harvard)
  • Clayton Christensen (Harvard)

Five forces is a bankrupt model

The study of disk drives isn’t disruptive

  • Open source software movement is disruptive
  • Not that it disrupts the cost structure, but that it enables new relations of power, it makes new behaviours possible, and ways of doing things differently

Music industry is a well-used example

  • Napster as the beginning, file sharing as a certain kind of insurgency
  • But Napster is eventually framed by the establishment as hooligans
  • An industry effort to criminalize
  • Then Bittorrent comes along, with a less critical agenda
  • Don’t think of this as file sharing, think of it as arming
  • The Pirate Bay, as equivalent to the African National Congress, an organized insurgency
  • Disruption is more than economics
  • At the end, a legitimate vendor coming in
  • iTunes as the reconstituted ANC, post-insurgency

Growth and drive by Google

What kinds of new behaviours are possible?

Uber:  controversial example of a business that is disrupting unwelcomed change in politics of cities, as well as economic relations in business

  • Inescapable that users who are responsible for growth want something that Uber enables
  • Need to grapple with collective behaviour, and not simply the new framework that is the disruptive force

Similarly with AirBnB

Next:  Bitcoin

Systemic implications:

  • Current theory of disruptive innovation doesn’t have ideas of power, narrow view
  • We don’t see the fuller implications

Disruption as irreversible, can’t unring a bell

Killer business models: profit model at scale, changing over time, leading to be harmful to own customers

  • Tobacco an easy model
  • Others becoming parasitic

Need to disrupt some systems

  • How to use design to disrupt the scale?

Disruption could emerge between customers, between societies, insurgents coming along

Want to design for healthy ecosystems, at that scale

  • There’s a role for insurgents, to catalyze

Sketchnoting of Alex Ryan and Michael Dila presentation by Patricia Kambitsch at https://www.flickr.com/photos/shagdora/14934910614
image

#design, #systems-thinking

2014/10/17 10:45 Carolin Kowollik and Wolfgang Jonas, “Clashing cultures – a systemic examination of onboard and destination cultures in cruise tourism”, #RSD3

Carolin Kowollik and Wolfgang Jonas, second day #RSD3 “Business and Enterprise Design, Sustainability and Economic Policy” track at Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, at AHO, Oslo, Norway

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker’s presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted by David Ing.

Program is at http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-2014/program/


Institut fur Transportation Design

  • Background in user centered design, and futures

In Venice, tourism a big issue

  • Lots of cruise ships in port
  • Passenger carrying capacity:  buses, trash, toilets
  • Venetians have to move out of town if don’t work in hotel, etc.
  • Venice turning into a Disneyland

Venetian protests:  No Grandi Navi, movement against cruise ships in Venice

  • Not socially sustainable

Other possibilities?

Sensitivity modelling:  Frederic Vester 2002, The Art of Interconnected Thinking

  • Mathematical
  • Doesn’t produce solutions, provides understanding

Systems thinking, defining variables

  • 1. Stakeholders
  • 2. Actions
  • 3. Space
  • 4. Conditions

Cross-impact analysis

  • Strength of influence across variables (0 == none; 3 == strong)
  • Active sum, passive sum
  • Plot:  active, critical, reactive, buffering

Interest in active and critical variables

  • Experience of cruise tourists can be bad or good
  • Respective of cruise tourists can be low or high
  • Size and number of cruise ships can be small and few, or big and many
  • Share of local economy
  • Local policy strength
  • Consumer culture

Effect system:

  • Strong influences shown, with reinforcing effects

Analyzing cultural identity of a cruise

  • Ways of traveling, ways of socializing, ways of housing, ways of working and learning, ways of dining, ways of recreation
  • Methods:  cultural probes, with log books

Sketchnoting of Carolin Kowollik presentation by Patricia Kambitsch at https://www.flickr.com/photos/shagdora/15556508662/
image

#design, #systems-thinking