Learning from the Global Community of Dialogic Design

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Systemic Design, Transformation Design

Co-Evolving SDD Practice In several short years, many leaders and institutions now openly acknowledge the necessity for inclusive social transformation. We also now find stakeholders raising the concern that social change must be driven by participatory and democratic processes. We recognize the fact that our third millennium world needs new methodologies and new tools capable of harnessing the collective wisdom of people from all walks of life in order to protect its sustainability and foster up harmony into its evolution. The practice of Structured Dialogic Design is positioned as a powerful tool in this context. A group of nearly 30 practitioners and scholars met in Limassol Cyprus for May’s international meeting not to revisit the history of the past 40+ years but to “create the history of the future.” The community of scientists and practitioners of the science of dialogic design has now expanded to include people from all parts of the world and a variety of languages …

Co-designing for power balance in social systems

Peter Jones Design for Practice, Dialogic Design, Social Systems Design, Transformation Design

Power remains a hugely unresolved issue in strategic design, “systems change,” OD, and progressive management. Healthcare, like other public and social sector institutions (education, social welfare, government) is organized by what Jane Jacobs in Systems of Survival calls Guardian systems, the moral syndrome of ruling.  As in government, the values of authority, prowess, rank, restraints on trading, and “deceit for the task” are important in these sectors, though we don’t like to admit it. Even democratic governments are not democratic in values or style, they inherit the mantle of the warrior class, which makes a living by “taking”. In some ways, business – even corporate America – is fairer and more open. In Jacobs’ model, business (or merchant systems) tends to care about collaboration, honesty, results and of course customers – this leads to power toward winning joint ends and achievement, rather than winning process (or means) struggles. Power manifests …

Designing for Emergence – Monitoring Collective Network Intelligence

Peter Jones Civil media, Dialogic Design, Social Systems Design

Alberto Cottica presents the story of emergence in large, specialized social networks as the social technology necessary to address the wicked complexity of today’s societal problems. Alberto’s analysis recognizes that citizen level participation could intervene as a powerful social force is guided (even “tweaked” as he says) by monitoring and reinforcing leverage points int he network subsystems. His recommendation for technological design is quite close to what Structured Dialogic Design accomplishes in its smaller organizational scale. But as in most discussions of the kind, the analysis falls short in the implementation. There are no operational real examples of the theory in action (at least in the talk). Alberto doesn’t address stakeholder interaction and the formation intention, or group pathologies in any event. I agree that we should work toward the broader scale of citizen intelligence and engagement possible in web-enabled networks. We can also reach the goal of fine-tuning critical …

Imagining Canada’s Future

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Strategic Foresight

Canada’s research council for social science and humanities, SSHRC, funded six regional panels to understand and imagine possible futures for the country in a global context through the next two decades.  Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) at OCAD University led a panel for the Southern Ontario region, in partnership with University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Ryerson, Windsor and York universities and our combined intellectual communities. The panels were charged with defining their Top 10 challenge areas for which future research strategies would be applied. Each regional panel employed a different methodology, some of them grounded in public engagement to explore the futures question, some (like  OCADU’s) were based on a foresight method. This week SSHRC research leads and panel leaders attended a two-day scenario workshop in Ottawa led by Scenarios to Strategy on the same focal question. The workshop employed the classical scenario method for a large group of …