Foresight Playback: Cyclic Models in Foresight Research

Peter Jones Cultural innovation, Innovation, Strategic Foresight

In a series of posts here, I’m continuing to discuss our Strategic Foresight & Innovation research after student graduation. Neal Halvorsen completed his MRP Foresight Playback (Mapping the Future of Industrial Regions by Learning from Historical Cycles of Innovation) after conducting field research in my hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Dayton is almost 500 miles south of Toronto, following the 401 to I-75 South to  Detroit, Toledo, Lima, and then Dayton (a string of cities connected on I-75 to the auto industry). Neal’s MRP on learning from historical cycles of innovation is at: Notably he draws on the mix of cyclic anticipatory models “Kondratieff, Schumpeter, Elliot waves and the Fourth Turning generational cycles are brought together to show how cycles of innovation and decline can be mapped over long periods, adding to the insights that other foresight methodologies can bring to cluster planning.” Uniquely. He integrates these to synthesize their complementary relationships over time, to examine historical patterns into contemporary era, and to suggest this model as a long-horizon planning system for innovation cluster foresight, strategic formation, and investment. Neal’s Medium …

Synthesis Maps: Making Complex Systems Tangible

Peter Jones Media Ecology, Strategic Foresight, Systemic Design

Gigamaps and synthesis maps look very similar as finished products. However they differ in their developmental processes. Both are rich images that visualize complex system problems, and both are used as design artifacts in similar domains (from health to public policy, from service experiences to social change). Both are used with stakeholders for advising, planning, and designing for social and systemic challenges (wicked problems). Gigamaps are more “direct engagement in the relations of a system.” Sevaldson explains Gigamaps in a well-regarded paper and in RSD proceedings. Gigamaps employ a research through design (RTD) practice of engaging directly with a system problem and following the contours of the complexity as expressed in a design space. Synthesis maps evolved from the SFI pedagogy necessary to train students in systems thinking and to learn both system formalisms and systemic design for complex multistakeholder problems. Synthesis maps are typically designed as communicative artifacts that translate multiple knowledge perspectives about social systems to illustrate the dilemmas and challenges within a complex system scenario. Due to the coursework setting in which these are trained, often without …

Anticipatory Factors in Dialogic Design

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Social Systems Design, Strategic Foresight

Presented at ISSS 2016, Boulder CO  July 28, 2016 Applications of the systemic practices of dialogic design (Structured Dialogic Design and it variants) have recently developed and integrated futures and foresight models as anticipatory frameworks for policy and long-term planning situations (Weigand, et al, 2014). We have identified this model of practice as collaborative foresight, reflecting the perspective from practice that futures literacy must be considered an essential complement to multi-stakeholder deliberation where complex and competing interests are considered in planning and decision making. This study proposes approaches to advancement in science and practice that integrate essential properties of collective anticipatory modelling for design decisions. Scientific principles for dialogic design have been developed and practiced over the course of nearly 50 years of developmental evolution, following Warfield’s (1986) Domain of Science Model (DoSM) and Christakis’ (2006, 2008) research extending the DoSM. One of the key principles in the DoSM refers to the recursive learning necessary to develop systemic practices, a second-order (deutero) learning process as noted in Warfield’s DoSM cycle. The standard model requires warranted claims to be evaluated from …

Future Evolution of Canadian Governance in the Digital Era

Peter Jones Civil media, Governance, Strategic Foresight, Systemic Design

A team of faculty and grad students with the OCAD U Strategic Innovation Lab facilitated a series of civic and expert engagements for an ongoing SSHRC research project on futures of governance, led by PI Evert Lindquist of U Victoria.  The sLab contribution was to iteratively develop a Gigamap, a snapshot of which is shown here. A Gigamap is a large-scale visualization of the systemic relationships in the domain, in this variation of the technique, revealing participant’s understanding of the spectrum of changes influencing and transforming governance in the digital era.  The issue is not one of “digital governance,” instead our focus is on the systemic shifts anticipated within federal, provincial and local governance and citizen experience driven by the rapid alterations brought on by digital cultures. The March issue of Canadian Government Executive printed and posted a story about the evolving Gigamap our team developed to reflect the contributions from policy experts, innovators, and interested citizens over three invitational workshops. The brief version of the story is available online: Systems evolution: A Gigamap by Greg van Alstyne.         …