I live and work in Toronto, as an associate professor at OCAD University, in the MDes Strategic Foresight and Innovation and the Design for Health programs. I connect advanced studies to practice, with an aim to integrate services and systemic design for organizations and studies in:
- Healthcare system/service design
- Systemic design theory, method, and disciplinary foundations
- Flourishing (strongly sustainable) business and polices to achieve flourishing societies and cultural sustainability
- Innovations in learning media and scholarly publishing
- Dialogic design and collaborative foresight process.
Through my teaching and research at OCADU and the synergy of practice networks, I demonstrated the potential of systemic design of social systems. I have had the amazing privilege granted to co-found and steward numerous organizations, programs and practice communities, including:
- The RSD Symposia series (with Birger Sevaldson) and the Systemic Design Association (2018), as part of a continuing program to advance knowledge and design practices in the interdiscipline thriving in the fusion of design for complexity and systems theory and methods.
- The Systemic Design Toolkit project, and the associated book Design Journeys, in collaboration with Kristel Van Ael.
- The Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) associated with the SFI program since 2008 (Greg van Alstyne), developing advanced practices in foresight and systemic design for socially-informed innovation.
- Design with Dialogue (launched in 2008 with Greg Judelman) a community of practice for developing facilitation capacity for the purpose of convening civic Agoras.
- The Flourishing Enterprise Institute (2019, with Antony Upward and Randy Sa’d) and the Strongly Sustainable Business Models research group (2012, with Antony and others).
- Drawdown Toronto and Unify Toronto Dialogues,including the Friends of the 7th Generation (convened with Kevin Best and Unify members)
- Institute for 21st Century Agoras (with Alexander Christakis) and a continuing network to advance inclusive, multi-stakeholder participation for policy co-creation and civil society engagement.
Redesign Network was founded in 2001, an innovation research design firm with a network of associates in the US and Toronto. Redesign specializes in systemic design for complex services, with a sector focus on professional practice and electronic publishing, including clinical informatics, medical and higher education, and other complex work systems. Redesign, and its US-partner Dialogic Design International, convened SDD and other meta-planning engagements for long-horizon foresight planning, and innovation research for new governance and organizational transformation.
Design Journeys through Complex Systems, co-authored with Kristel Van Ael and published by BIS in May 2022. Following extensive healthcare design researcher, Design for Care was published in 2013. I develop and promote effective practices for designing better service experiences in healthcare. Design for Care seeks to establish roles for information, service, and system designers as critical team members in the health professions, as necessary as other traditional roles in the healthcare system.
My Union Institute doctorate (2000) examined the relationship of organizational values embedded in innovation processes to the maintenance of power and decision control. This work inspired continuing research into the organizational dynamics of innovation, collaborative information practices, and how people think with and use information in cognitive work. My current management research involves changing organizational practices to enable reflective renewal to improve innovation and facilitate transformation.
My lifelong professional and social interests are to humanize systems and institutions, enabling harmonious futures co-created through collective wisdom. You can read more on my Publications page.