New Books Network Interview

Peter JonesMedia Ecology, Systemic Design

Kristel and I held a wonderful interview with Kevin Lindsay of New Books Network last year, and after editing and staging other interviews, it was recently released. New Books in Systems and Cybernetics As I slowly settle into 2023 — reflecting on the blur that was 2022 — I can’t help but think about the complex problems (aka big messes!) we face at every turn: from increasingly devastating manifestations of the climate emergency, to the ubiquitous homelessness crisis, to the perplexing challenge of accessing a family physician in prosperous regions such as British Columbia, Canada. At the same time I am buoyed by the promise of Systems Thinking. Systems practices can take many forms and have the potential to inform — and guide us through — sensible, comprehensive and creative problem-solving. Here on this channel, we have explored some of the origins of systems and cybernetics by talking to knowledgeable …

Shifting Mindsets for Managing Complexity

Peter JonesGovernance, Social Systems Design, Systemic Design

A “Macro” Argument – The Paradigm Shift happening The era of so-called New Public Management is slowly shifting. NPM has seen a significant, worldwide trend in public sector governance, has held the current paradigm since at least 1991, and arguably has survived, or absorbed several emerging movements in public management. Yet I see no academic agreement on what comes next. Recent developments in public management have included sectoral innovation (e.g. De Vries, et al., 2018) and relational public services (Complexity Outcomes, 2023), and these might evolve toward the practices we are calling, for now, complexity management. Yet digital governance, collaborative leadership, and e-governance are more frequently represented in the literature.  Yet these are more techniques with new management, not management innovation. We are looking for the adoption of new structural forms of management, or innovations that address the purposes of strategic leadership.  Digital governance changes the interface between stakeholders and …

Contexts – The Systemic Design Journal

Peter JonesMedia Ecology, Research innovation, Systemic Design

The board of the Systemic Design Association and our Publications team have published Volume 1 of Contexts – The Systemic Design Journal. Now available online. Executive editor Cheryl May and I have finished our build and test sufficiently to soft launch the journal and maybe get some early feedback. We have a small collection of five articles and an editorial, in online and PDF formats – which is not huge, but the very first set on a new platform does take some work.We first announced the journal project at RSD10 and showed the first articles in press at RSD11, and its live as of this week. The following titles and authors are included: Find the journal site page on the SDA platform, and the articles at the Volume 1 Table of Contents. The journal was a system design from the beginning, and has taken us until the first month of …

Design Journeys – A Systemic Design Tourbook

Peter JonesService Design, Social Systems Design, Systemic Design

We have completed updates for a second printing of Design Journeys through Complex Systems, the first practitioner handbook for systemic design practice, based on the Systemic Design Toolkit. The tools are largely the same, with some updated cases or images. We have edited throughout to improve clarity, especially for the instructions for use of the tools, some of which were completely new in 2022 when BIS Publishers printed the first run. The feature image now shows our first translation, a Japanese edition translated by service design professor Masanao Takeyama of Keio University who works with the design firm ACTANT. The Japanese edition is beautifully composed and published, and with this quality of production we have a high bar set for the next translation. We are exploring translations now in Spanish, Italian, and Korean. Design Journeys was written as an accessible tourbook style, a handbook for the journeys and many destinations …