Systems Change for New(s) Media

Peter Jones Civil media, Media Ecology, Systemic Design

(First posted on Medium) We have credible understanding to suggest that news media, and the journalism supposedly informing the news, no longer contributes to a meaningful shared public reality. With the arrest of Julian Assange, and Big Media’s denouncement of him as a publisher/journalist and as a person, society suffers another major blow from officialdom in the ongoing struggle to locate responsibility in public reporting. Assange built Wikileaks into a self-organizing publishing system, the newsroom of the future. If Western media actually cared about access to truth via “certified authentic documents” there might be less distrust of the content, process, and intentions of news organizations. But instead, when the Guardian (of all outlets) and New York Times actually cheer on the framing and takedown of an influential independent publisher, who has arguably put his life on the line, it serves the function of a political gang hit on a rival content producer. Albeit, a producer whose work embarrasses the state-conformity of the mainstream newsies. I mean, the Guardian wants you to believe he’s culpable for rape — when there is …

Systemic Design Toolkit

Peter Jones Co-Creation, RSD, Systemic Design

The Systemic Design Toolkit was developed by Namahn’s Kristel van Ael and her team for initial workshopping at RSD5 in Toronto. We launched the Toolkit at Relating Systems and Design 7, October 2018, after a year or so of partnering with Phillipe Vandenbroeck from ShiftN, Alex Ryan of MaRS Solutions Lab, and myself with Systemic Design Association. Civilian and educational versions of the Toolkit are now in process and used in training. The Toolkit encompasses the progression of knowledge building over the course of 7 RSD conferences, with the methods tested in workshops and now graduate coursework, at OCADU’s Strategic Foresight and Innovation and at U Antwerp, Belgium. The Systemic Design Toolkit is based on design principles and original systems science foundations. to show how methods cannot replace the evolution of one’s own systems thinking competencies in social and systemic design. I recently presented a brief workshop on the SD Toolkit at Systems Innovation 2019 in Barcelona and a Toronto public discussion at Systems Thinking Ontario. The Barcelona workshop was very well attended, which is always a challenge then to …

Evolutionary Stakeholder Discovery

Peter Jones Co-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 in problems as framed, or social system of interest to participating stakeholders. This process provides a justified basis for democratic engagement of multiple stakeholders associated with a social system, with …

Systemic Design: Theory, Methods & Practice

Peter Jones Social Systems Design, Systemic Design

Taking Stock and Flow of Systemic Design The book is the latest edition in the Springer Translational Systems Sciences series, and its intention is to develop research-based applications of systems theory and methods to complex design contexts. Systemic design has emerged to address this interdisciplinary area of research and practice, growing from leadership within design studies and its intersection with system sciences. The nine chapters published in this collection were developed by authors from the proceedings of RSD4, the fourth Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD) Symposium. The Big Fields of (capital) Design and Systems both deal with approaches to general purpose problem-solving, with domain-independent methodologies based on design rationale or scientific principles for holistic problem solving. As “thinking” modes, both design thinking and systems thinking promise cross-disciplinary resolution of complex problems. Systemic design embraces these traditions, so as not to lose the value of timeless knowledge, but also challenges the growth-as-progress problem drivers of our modernist technological era. These challenges are not at all new. The systems science origins of systemic design can be traced to the influential operations …