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 …

Discovery Sampling for Requisite Social Variety

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Governance, Social Systems Design

Stakeholder selection may be the most critical step in the design of fair and inclusive dialogues that reflect a community’s contributions and perspectives. This is a classic social systems problem that we resolve through a stakeholder identification and recruiting process that, in Dialogic Design, is called Evolutionary Stakeholder Discovery. Over the last decade we have been instrumenting, through careful definition of criteria and observation, how stakeholder discovery can be conducted to identify and recruit optimal participants from a theoretical population sample. As a documented case, in 2012 the Strategic Innovation Lab convened a Dialogic Design Co-Laboratory as a multi-stakeholder panel for the SSHRC Imagining Canada’s Future initiative, as one of the six regional cross-Canadian panels. With only 20 stakeholders, we aimed to represent Southern Ontario for the question of future impacts of urbanism in the region for a 20 year horizon. For this project we selected participants by an evolutionary sampling from a matrix mapping the following characteristics: STEEP/CI (Foresight categories): Social, Technological, Ecological, Economic, Political, Cultural/Intellectual Christakis Five I’s: Intelligence, Impact, Implementation, Interest, and Involvement Sector: Public, Academic, Private/commercial, …