Handbook of Systems Sciences

Peter JonesCybernetics, Systemic Design, Systems Thinking

A Massive Tome – Too Big for Home? The Springer Handbook of Systems Sciences, at nearly 1500 pages, isn’t the desk reference for everybody. Today the major science publishing platforms provide references and edited books as independent, searchable chapters, so a web search should find most of these. The Handbook has 9 sections and 49 chapters, ranging from systemic design. The Handbook included mainly what I would call second and third generation systems science. The volume is co-edited by two past-presidents of ISSS, and maybe 7 others wrote chapters, as well as Michael Lissack, recent president of ASC. Unlike an Encyclopedia, the Handbook did not aim to index the field or update the popular topics in systems thinking. These are largely works from 21st century systems theory, relevant to applied research and practice. The section areas included: Systems modeling and methodology Management and organizations Systems practice Complex systems modeling Systems …

Evolutionary Stakeholder Discovery

Peter JonesCo-Creation, Cybernetics, Dialogic Design, Systemic Design

A significant source of both power and error in social system design originates from the distribution mix of participants in design and planning engagements. Designers rely significantly on the lived experience of participants in such sessions, but rarely qualify the distribution of that experience as a form of knowledge translation. The unqualified inclusion of “any or all” participants leads to socialized forms of sampling error, one which cannot be corrected within a given session. Stakeholder selection can be significantly biased by default and unreflective practices common in design engagements. When stakeholders are selected to participate in sessions conceived as co-creation practices, where participants are the “designers of the system,” the onus of group design decisions relies solely on their knowledge base. A discovery process of evolutionary stakeholder sampling resolves this concern by adapting multiple dimensions of ontological and social identification. Sampling can be defined as commensurate with the requisite variety …

The Systemic Turn – RSD5 Theme Issue of She Ji

Peter JonesCybernetics, Social Systems Design, Systemic Design

The RSD5 theme issue of She Ji featuring studies presented at the RSD5 Symposium (2016) was published within a year after the proceedings (thanks to editors Ken Friedman and Jin Ma, and great reviewers for diligence). This issue offers five contributions to the discipline of systemic design from leading scholars in the discourse community. Get the whole issue for free  My opening editorial discusses the systemic turn recently emerging in design practice across disciplines. Connecting the Social, Technological, Ecological, and Practical The twenty-first century challenges human societies, settlements, and economies. This era confronts us with continuous wicked problems on a planetary scale, and it has done so since the tumultuous century began. Since at least 2005, we have seen a series of new approaches to design, from transformation design to service design, from transition design to DesignX. Each approach addresses a range of critical challenges oriented to a point of view. Each …

Remembering our friend Ranulph Glanville

Peter JonesCybernetics, Systemic Design

Ranulph Glanville presented his last major talk as our keynote speaker at RSD3 in Oslo, October 16, 2014 – the talk, and Ranulph, was historically rich, colourful, inspirational, intimate and witty. Dr. Glanville passed away Dec 20 after a brief stay in hospital following a rapid turn in the progression his cancer.  Although he studied under Gordon Pask for his first Brunel doctorate in 1975, I think of Ranulph as a first-generation systems thinker, since he was doing relevant work in the 1960’s.  He was an architect, cybernetics scholar, professor, and designer.  He was very active in the cybernetics community, the 5-year term President of the American Society for Cybernetics and a lifelong researcher and brilliant raconteur in the scholarly worlds he participated in. Ranulph wrote at least 170 published papers (other accounts suggest over 300), and was a significant influence on the new generation of systems and cybernetics scholars. His posted CV is …