Artful & Disciplined Dialogue for Today’s Wicked Problems

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Wu Wei

So was the title was published for the C2D2 conference (Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation) just held in Toronto.  While the room was too small for the 15+ participants, and 90 minutes too short for the ideas and activities, we had an energetic and intellectually engaging session. This was the first public presentation of this mix of Art of Hosting and Structured Dialogue concepts. The session was rather unique at C2D2, and served to raise awareness of the need for progressive engagement of stakeholders for complex (Rittel-style) wicked problems. The slides show methods used in the seminar to move stakeholders from an open dialogue to a structured, focused dialogic design. C2D2 Artful & Disciplined Dialogue for Wicked Problems View more presentations from Peter Jones. The session was offered with this description in the proceedings: Effective change leadership requires negotiating both open and disciplined participation, especially when addressing fuzzy situations such as peace or political reform. What if we treated social and policy issues as wicked problems, concerns that are never “solved,” but are satisfied through evolutionary progression? This approach …

Who Transforms in Transformation?

Peter Jones Transformation Design, Wu Wei

In the BusinessWeek blog, Nussbaum on Design packs all the goodies gathered over the years from “innovation” and drops them into “transformation.” This pronouncement led to well over a dozen responses in the Transforming Transformation Google groups, some of them pages in length. Comparing these responses with the replies to the cheerleading or briefer critical bits replied to Nussbaum’s original post, I’d say the value of an in-depth selective social network becomes quite clear. A position I take (though not a definitive one) is that innovation is something we do, a process we have some control over. Innovation can be managed as an organizational process. A person may be innovative in their practices and outlook, but innovation is a process of organizing and designing toward desired outcomes on a repeatable basis. “Big T” Transformation is not something we do, as a repeatable transformation process. But it changes who we are. We, as social human beings, are changed in any transformative outcome. I’m finding very little agreement on definitions of transformation though, so some rambling may follow. We should set the …

Innovation – Not Dead Yet!

Peter Jones Transformation Design, Wu Wei

By now, anyone reading Design Dialogues will have heard that Innovation (as a business concept) died in 2008. Bruce Nussbaum, who gets to decide these things, declares at the New Year: “Innovation” is Dead. Herald The Birth of “Transformation” as The Key Concept for 2009.  Scan among the 61 reader comments, and you’ll see today’s range of design thinkers, firm principals, and advanced students weighing in, mostly against. Hey, even Neil Young says “A perfect storm for innovation is gathering in Washington.” America now has a chance to lead the world in power and fuel efficiency. The Big three will still be looking for help at the end of March. As the major shareholder, the US government would have an opportunity to DEMAND the type of cars that will lead the world toward saving the planet for future generations. January 4th New York Times published TWO articles on the need for innovation (and design) in the current economic mess (are we still calling it a “crisis” now?)  See: Innovation Should Mean More Jobs, Not Less and Design Loves a Depression And …

Elevating the context.

Peter Jones Transformation Design, Wu Wei

Elevating the context. How can design research move from an anthropocentric unit of study to a planetary / ecological focus? (Not entirely of course, but just to try on the question). Relating this Einstein’s famous quote: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Conside the clarity of columnist Saskia Sassen of Princeton who wrote about the global financial crisis: A Bad Idea: Using a Financial Solution to the Financial Crisis “It is almost irrational to give finance the instruments to do more of what has brought us to the brink. The prior bailouts each contributed one more element to the unsustainable leveraging we have now reached. The high level of financializing of our economy is reflected in the relation of financial assets (which is to say, debt) to GDP. It has now reached 450% to GDP, according to the recently released McKinley report. Further, the complexity of this inverted financial pyramid is almost impenetrable. An example is the incapacity of the Treasury to estimate the cost of rescuing AIG — first estimated …