Resources

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Systeemidynamiikan työkalut auttavat organisaatiota ymmärtämään monimutkaisia yhteyksiä ja riippuvuuksia toimintaympäristössään sekä ennakoimaan päätösten ja toimintamallien pitkän aikavälin vaikutuksia. Auttamalla tunnistamaan ja ymmärtämään takaisinkytkentöjä ja niiden vaikutuksia organisaation toimintaan, ne tukevat tulevaisuuden eri mahdollisuuksien hahmottamista ja valmistautumista niihin. Työkalut voivat auttaa organisaatioita parantamaan s... Read more
Russ presents the findings from his doctoral research into managers as agents of change across large organisations. Essentially, the five behaviours that update the role of the manager from guardian of a resource (project, team, or department) to transformer of the system. How would their bosses measure that, you may ask. The answer is ‘ambidexterity’ – being good at both exploring new knowledge andrunning the business as usual (BA... Read more
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Forming alternatives to established economic, technological or political systems, whatever their composition of organisations or institutions, can be difficult, and such alternatives can be susceptible or vulnerable to the 'establishment'. This presentation explores how we can use the Viable System Model as a diagnostic, from data gathered about a number of outsider organisations through dialogue, insider research, or remote research, to evaluate... Read more
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As a new systems practitioner, designing and running a systemic intervention requires not just new knowledge, but also a broad skill set. Using a worked example, this talk will explore how the intervention was designed and implemented, what felt really important in that work, and what impact this all has on the viability of the organisation.
Abstract: The “Relocalize Creativity" initiative aims to empower citizens to use causal loop diagrams to see the system that is their community. This enables them to have more meaningful conversations, identify leverage points, make informed choices and act together to become more creative and resilient learning communities. Our aim is to take this one idea to one million neighbourhoods - one neighbourhood at a time -  via an expon... Read more
Als drijvende kracht achter het Sustainability Program binnen Sweco heeft Kathleen Van de Werf een uniek coaching weefsel opgezet. Het is erop gericht om de verschillende projecten binnen Sweco te koppelen aan een meer omvattende ambitie: Transforming Society Together.Sweco is Europa’s grootste ingenieurs- en advies- en ontwerpbureau dat vorm geeft aan de duurzame gemeenschappen en steden van de toekomst. Samen met haar klanten en de collectieve ... Read more
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The session explores the discovery of organisational systems, how we can see submerged patterns of co-creation and interdependence, as well as models and paradigms for change, and how those can be challenged. It touches on the difficulties leaders have in solving problems; those they think they have, rather than those they actually have, and how leaders miss systemic patterns within their organisations, including those they are involved in creati... Read more
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Being able to understanding how to 'change' a system, be it organisational, institutional or social, is vital for anyone involved in a systemic inquiry or intervention. The session will outline how this can be achieved, from a practical perspective. 
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Recording of the SCiO 2023 Annual General Meeting - for members.
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Socially, we see a trend in organizations toward being more conscious and sustainable. The number of companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint to zero is growing. To achieve this, new business and operational models are emerging, often focused on ecosystemic collaboration. Often a broad common ground is lacking, and one must cooperate in diversity. The leadership required for this requires significantly better assessing the parties' pos... Read more
In this light-hearted talk Ed van der Winden will share some of his experiences in trying to help IT departments move to a better place. A lot of systems models have played a role in this: the talk will focus on examples of their practical use. Some of the more well-known models that will be discussed in this talk will be: The Viable System Model, causal loop diagrams and Fernando Flores’ conversations-for-action model. But also lesser known mode... Read more
In this talk, Simon will share some of his experiences in working with government-linked bodies in Asia and the Middle East seeking to harness new opportunities: to do new things or to do things differently. And yes: systems thinking can provide a solid basis for shaping and harnessing positive change, not just serve its traditional purpose of addressing the negative effects of ‘problematic situations’. As Donella Meadows wrote in the late 1990s,... Read more
There is a split within Systems in both thinking and practice around purpose. Is it about ‘intention’ or is it about effects – the POSIWID position. This split is not limited to the field of systems, as an example it also splits the field of ethics, but for us in our discipline it has had enormous consequences. This talk will explore this from several angles – why the split exists, how different approaches are grouped either side of the split, ho... Read more
When it is time for relationships in the professional realm, switching from an individualistic or interventionist approach to one with a systemic posture is a great support in professional life as well as a “life rule” for any relationship in a healthy, truthful, harmonious and effective and productive, creative way. Lucia's workshop took participants through a number of thoughts about inter-relationship, which were used to guide dialogue and ac... Read more
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Epistemology (theory of knowledge) addresses several questions which are pertinent to Systems Thinking practice. For example, social epistemology is concerned with epistemic communities of practice, including the formation and crossing of disciplinary boundaries, the development of localised epistemic standards relating to the purpose of the discipline, and the relationship between consensus, dissensus, and political power. Meanwhile,&n... Read more
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Methods such as Critical Systems Heuristics and Boundary Critique use the idea of evaluation and assessment in specific ways, within those approaches. However, what does critique mean, why do we use it, and how is critical thinking useful or important for Systems Thinking practitioners?
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Standard Causal Loop Diagrams from systems dynamics are very effective tools for describing and structuring complex problems. It enables conversations and brings different perspectives into the analysis for improving the decision-making process. However, Causal Loop Diagrams have three main limitations, i) The nature of the relationships prevents integrating people into the model effectively, ii) Navigation complexity increases exponentially as ... Read more
Video Presentation
Al decennialang zijn er discussies hoe veranderingen succesvoller kunnen zijn als het om taaie vraagstukken gaat. Veranderprojecten schieten te kort als de verandering fundamenteel is, mensen betreft en duurzaam moet verankerd worden. 'De mensen zijn niet mee', zegt men dan. Directies en bestuurders voelen zich vaak onmachtig. Fusies, reorganisaties, digitalisering, retentiebeleid, wachtlijsten, het zijn allemaal vraagstukken waar directies hulp ... Read more
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Gioia (pron. Joya) Caminada will illustrate a model for leading transformative change based on the human dimensions of acting, feeling, being and thinking she designed drawing from psychologist Paul Watzlawick’s theory of transformative change. She will use the case study of Colombia’s Escuela Nueva (new school) system as an example of transformation within a complex system. Paul Watzlawick was a family therapist, communication theorist, Stanfo... Read more
A case study, using the Viable Systems Model, exploring management problems of increasing complexity in a merger of several municipal hospitals. After a short introduction of VSM, different management structures and tools of hospital management (senior management, risk, quality, controlling, etc.) are mapped to the VSM systems. Special emphasis is placed on the interaction of different systems as well as the influence of environmental changes s... Read more
The global food system suffers from some of the same vulnerabilities as the global finance system in the approach to 2008. Policy makers have ignored repeated warnings in the scientific literature that it is losing its resilience. The amplification of shocks to the system is likely to explain one of the most disturbing of all global trends: following decades in which chronic hunger declined, since 2015 it has been rising. A systems approach is es... Read more
Video Book
Organisations looking to follow strategies for social or environmental sustainable operation need to make sure that their people have the necessary knowledge and skills to enable this to happen. The complexity of the sustainability challenge makes systems thinking a powerful tool to use in developing learning and development strategies. Drawing on his recently published book, "Learning strategies for sustainable organisations", Bryan Hopkins will... Read more
Vortrag von Matvei Tobman, Chirung und Risikomanager im Krankenhaus. Nach einer kurzen Vorstellung des VSM als zentrale Struktur des Vortrags, werden verschiedene Führungsstrukturen und Tools des Krankenhausmana-gements (GF, Risikomanagement, QM, Controlling usw.) den VSM-Systemen zugeordnet. Besonderer Schwerpunkt liegt hierbei auf dem Zusammenspiel verschiedener Systeme sowie dem Einfluss von Umweltveränderungen wie Gesetzgebung, Änderungen der... Read more
Speakers: Anne Pender, University College Dublin; and Dr. Tadhg O’Mahoney,  Research Fellow at  Dublin City University Centre for Climate & Society, and an expert advisor at the Finland Futures Research Centre.
Viability beyond survivalIn deze sessie zal Jan samen met de deelnemers stilstaan bij vier vragen.(1) Is ‘survival’ het algemene doel van organisaties?Deze vraag is relevant, want ze stelt het waarom van organisaties ter discussie (of dat nu profit, not-for-profit of overheidsorganisaties zijn). Meestal wordt op de vraag naar het algemene doel van organisaties als antwoord gegeven: ‘survival’. Op basis van dit doel wordt dan de ‘viability’ van or... Read more
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The talk will be in two sections, the first on the emerging organization of systems as they grow. The second will be on ways of a) leaving them alone or b) helping them steer. So far, science has given less attention to how nature works by itself, giving much more to how people can make rules for controlling it, and that seems to be a principal reason for our current global crisis. Part 1. The science. Natural systems emerge from some energizing... Read more
Systems + Design + Data. Is this the formula to develop solutions that respond to the complex problems we face? Nur Karadeniz, in our second international session, will talk to us about how she uses systems thinking in the design process. Activate subtitles and automatic translation to see them in Spanish.
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The terms ‘Accident’ and ‘Incident’, while in general accepted usage, are not helpful to professional in-company investigators. The proposition is that it is more useful to consider such events as failures of ‘Human Activity Systems’. This methodology, Kelvin TOP-SET, was initially developed to give offshore oil managers a means of investigation that was relatively easy to learn and apply. Practical and reliable in its outcome it is now used in... Read more
This session presents how the reality of informal networks within organisations and across collaborating entities can be presented visually.  Also, using case study material, how these dynamic maps are able to generate insights that enable groups and teams to overcome challenges and realise opportunities that hitherto would be invisible to them. We hope this session will stimulate an interesting discussion, and aim to leave plenty of time ... Read more
Bárbara López nos acerca a la construcción de mapas sistémicos como herramienta para describir la realidad, facilitar conversaciones y construir una visión compartida sobre situaciones complejas. Comenzará acercándonos al trabajo de Donella Meadows y la dinámica de sistemas, como marco del que nacen los diagramas causales, para pasar la parte práctica de la sesión donde construiremos paso a paso un diagrama causal. Finalmente, trabajaremos en u... Read more
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Value conflicts can become entrenched in destructive patterns of mutual stigmatization, which inhibit the emergence of new understandings of the situation and actions for improvement. In extreme cases, such patterns can even lead to violence. This presentation offers a new systems theory of value conflict, which suggests the possibility of three different strategies for intervention: supporting people in transcending overly narrow value judgeme... Read more
I have a particular interest in the human aspect of systems, and the presentation is around the theme of what might serve as a map to help us navigate systems. The session will be based on the Map of Meaningful Work, a well validated tool for such purposes.
Video Presentation
Dividimos esta sesión en 4 capítulos para flexibilizar su consulta. Puedes acceder a la traducción automática de Yotube. Te pedimos disculpas de antemano por los pequeños errores que se puedan producir en la interpretación del contenido. ¿Cómo pueden las personas dar sentido a la complejidad a la que se enfrentan en sus organizaciones?¿hay alguna forma mejor de organizar el trabajo que la división funcional de tareas?¿es la autoorganización de l... Read more
I have yet to find the word ‘cybernetics’ in mainstream writing on government and yet the comparison to steering a ship appears in the writing of Plato 2,500 years ago on government, and the word itself in the writing of Ampere 300 years ago. Beer’s cybernetic approach to systems thinking upon which he based his VSM gives a foundation from which I explore the purpose and structure of democracy.
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Practitioners always need to be alive to the tension between “paralysis through analysis” and JFDI.  This talk is a personal retrospective on Niki’s experience of supporting a government policy lead take the first steps in establishing a national operational capability and seeking to get that balance right.  She will describe the approach she took, weaving a variety of systems thinking methods together to help her stakeholders tackle t... Read more
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In recent decades, many people perceive that changes in professional life are accelerating. The world is becoming more and more interconnected and complex. Everything seems to be connected to everything else. Because of these changes, decisions are becoming increasingly decentralized. Employees are being given entrepreneurial responsibility. Companies expect their employees to demonstrate the same level of self-organization as self-employed peopl... Read more
Social learning is a set of principles, activities and behaviours, relating to how people collaborate and co-operate to learn in a variety of situations within institutional and organisational structures. This presentation explores its principles and methods, as well as providing an illustration of how it has been applied in a micro-enterprise environment, where individuals or small organisations often interact in informal ways.
When Unfreeze-Move-Refreeze Isn’t Working: Doing, Thinking and Making Via Systems Changes Learning Practitioners coming to the systems sciences and/or systems thinking have an interest in “systems change(s)”.  Many come from premise that that change occurs as “unfreeze-move-refreeze”, misattributed to Kurt Lewin.  A more reflective view of systems changes not only sees distinctions between the intended and emergent recognized by Henry ... Read more
Systems Leadership and Systems Change are very popular phrases at the moment - search the web for a sense (and Medium.com if you really want to boggle your mind). Some of it is really good, some of it is risible, and much has little to do with systems thinking or systems practice.  This session will explore some of the existing territory and dimensions and sketch out Benjamin's approach, drawing on two of his articl... Read more
Antoni Oliva Quesada nos habla de cómo usar modelos de simulación para comprender cuáles son los factores que hacen que un problema complejo se comporte como lo hace. Para mí, el propio concepto de que los sistemas son dinámicos ya es profundo y retador en sí mismo, porque sugiere que éstos cambian y evoluciona con el tiempo. Esto implica que hay factores que pueden hacerlos cambiar más rápido o mas lento y que, por extensión, puede que tengamos ... Read more
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This presentation charts the journey of Public Health's engagement with systems thinking, initially via Theory U and later through Community Operational Research methods. The practical application, pitfalls, considerations of using these methods in community settings brings this, sometimes conceptual focus, into the "real" world.  The emergence of Adult Development as a seam of research that helps to bring a sense of movement to seemingly i... Read more
Nobody really understands their business....but how well does the business understand itself? In this talk will use a case study to demonstrate how a zombie organisation can transform itself into conscious collective and become the compute function for its own operation.
Patrick talks about his new book ‘The Grammar of Systems’ which is in two parts: the ‘Grammar’ describing 33 Systems Laws and Principles and how to use them; and ‘How to think like a Systems Thinker’ which goes through 9 thought patterns involved in systems thinking. In the session he looks at the overall picture that the laws make when taken as a whole and then focuses on the 9 thought patterns, why each is important in systems, how they... Read more
Roger Duck and Jane Searles share their recent experience of creating conditions to enable exploration of transformational systemic change. The work involved the collaborative development of a visionary whole system transition architecture. The specific context was regional transport, but the systemic methodology is of more general application, and they are keen to discuss with others in the interest of mutual learning. This work was originally... Read more
In deze sessie vertrekken we vanuit de socio-technische systeemtheorie (STS). Seth heeft een lange academische opleiding en loopbaan genoten in deze wetenschap, en heeft deze benadering vervolgens met veel vallen en bijna even veel opstaan naar de praktijk gebracht in het afgelopen decennium. Een korte inleiding schetst STS als een theorie van zelfsturende teams. Aan de hand van praktijkvoorbeelden komen de mogelijkheden en beperkingen van deze t... Read more
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Einführung in das Viable System Model durch Michael Frahm. Der Termin richtet sich an „VSM-Neulinge“, aber auch an alle Interessierten, welche sich eingehend mit den Basics des Models beschäftigen wollen. Nach der Präsentation und einigen Beispielen aus der Praxis besteht die Möglichkeit, Fragen zu stellen und zur allgemeinen Diskussion.
Introducing scenario planning modified for quick deployment and iteration, adding a dimension to finding solutions for business with complicated or complex systems. Julio introduces the 7 phases of the matrix: identify, classify, articulate, numbers, systems, engage and evaluate, and offers examples for how this approach can be used in real-life situations. We can prepare for an ‘unknown’ future!  Presenter: Julio Graham: Managing... Read more
We describe the work of people who take a systems convening approach, whether they know it or not. We articulate the mindset with which they approach the work and the different dimensions of that work.It’s a context-based, non-prescriptive conceptualisation based on people’s experiences. Presenters: Bev and Etienne Wenger-Trayner; Social Learning Theorists & Consultants 
In this talk, Gerald Midgley will present the systems theory of marginalization that he has been developing and applying in systemic interventions for almost 30 years. This theory offers a generic model of marginalization processes that is equally relevant to relationships between people in small groups, organizations, communities and international relations. Both people and the issues that concern them can become marginalized. Gerald ... Read more
Video Presentation
Humans developed the capacity to walk x years ago. But without feedback we’d still be crawling. We would not have learnt from our stumbling mistakes. Can modern government work without feedback? Can any system? This session is a combined presentation and co-production.Cybernetics is its theoretical basis and circular causality or feedback—that is, where the outcomes of actions are taken as inputs for further action. The gaping hole at the centre... Read more
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