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 …

Synthesis Maps from CanIMPACT | Mapping the Clinical Cancer System

Peter Jones Design for Care, Service Design, Systemic Design

The CanIMPACT project (Canadian Team to Improve Community-Based Cancer Care Along the Continuum) is a multidisciplinary pan-Canadian program studying how to improve cancer care to patients in the primary care setting. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for 5 years (2013–2018, Grant no. 128272) the project was led by Dr. Eva Grunfeld, Director of Research at U Toronto’s Dept of Family and Community Medicine.  For the CanIMPACT synthesis map project, our sLab team (Jones, Smriti Shakdher, Prateeksha Singh).  Two synthesis maps were prepared to reflect the discovered insights from the multi-year investigation, a clinical system map and a patient-centred map informed by the CanIMPACT Patient Advisory Council. The resulting maps were published (a first for a system map method) in Current Oncology and presented at the first Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) conference, and MedicineX 2017. Jones, P.H., Shakdher, S. & Singh, P. (2017). Synthesis maps: Visual knowledge translation for the CanIMPACT clinical system and patient cancer journeys. Current Oncology, 24 (2), 129-134. Synthesis mapping produces high-quality representations of insights drawn from research evidence, It presents visual models …

Soft Service Design: Interventions in Complex Social Determinants

Peter Jones Design for Care, Service Design, Social Systems Design

Design for Health (2017) Design for Health – Published by Routledge May 2017,   Edited by Emmanuel Tsekleves and Rachel Cooper (Editorial overview of book and chapters) Chapter 3:  Soft Service Design around the Envelope of Healthcare (Peter Jones) Better alternatives to improving population health have been sought by healthcare policymakers and the front-line clinicians who see patients in everyday care settings. While public health experts and primary care clinicians recognize the significant effects on health from social determinant factors they have limited tools for addressing these causal factors in their patient’s lives. Systemic improvements to a population’s social ecology are considerable challenges from within the “envelope” of a healthcare system. The service design challenge I propose and aim to answer is that of, can we better intervene outside of and around the envelope of the healthcare system? In mental health and primary care contexts, we find that systemic factors and social determinants (such as environment, housing, social lifestyle, food accessibility) account for a significant proportion of presented conditions that are treated as mental illness. The primary care and mental health systems are …

RSD6 Symposium & Keynotes Announced

Peter Jones RSD, Systemic Design

Relating Systems Thinking and Design 6 Held this year again at Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)  October 18-20, 2017 The accepted keynotes for RSD6  promise an inspiring range of perspectives on the changes to design practice and education emerging from the demands of civilizational turbulence and continuous complexity of our services, systems and societies.  RSD6 holds a centre for inquiry into human and ecological flourishing, as relevant to the re-envisioning and redesign of business, policies, organizations and our own methods for design, including those methods for governing ourselves in modern civilization:   Lucy Kimbell John Ehrenfeld Toshiko Mori  Richard Buchanan Sabine Junginger Karl Otto Ellefsen             Following two years in Canada, join us this year in Oslo as RSD returns to its home location for the RSD6 Symposium.  Early registration for the RSD6 symposium is now open. Our theme this year encompasses the contexts for flourishing in democratic societies, and exploring the opportunities for systemic design in: Democratic participation and policy innovation Strongly sustainable business innovation Flourishing communities Design of architectures, settlements and built environments These themes include the …