June 20 is the sixth meeting for Systems Thinking Ontario.  Register on Eventbrite.

Theme: Systems Thinking and Designing Freedom

The focus question for the evening is:  "What can systems thinking contribute towards designing freedom?"

Suggested pre-reading: 

To provide a minimal shared context, a foundational (i.e. really old!) article can be helpful.

The discussion will focus on:

  • Lecture 1:  The Real Threat to “All We Hold Most Dear”
  • Lecture 2:  The Disregarded Tools of Modern Man
  • Lecture 3:  A Liberty Machine in Prototype
  • Lecture 6:  The Free Man in the Cybernetic World

Here's an abstract contributed by Allenna Leonard:

  • This was Stafford Beer’s effort to introduce the concepts of cybernetics to the intelligent lay audience of the CBC Ideas – and in particular the Massey Lectures.  The notion is that we CAN design our societies to be humane, efficient, sensitive to individual liberties and supportive of the dreams of people all over the world.  But, it will require giving up some sacred cows and rethinking our place in the world.  He was optimistic that this could happen and that people need not be carried along like driftwood in the ocean but could chart our own course on the basis of constantly readjusting our trajectory.

Participants should not feel limited to this suggested pre-reading, but should recognize that other attendees may have not read, or are reading differently, that article.

Agenda, June 20, 2012

Time Activity Role(s)
6:15 Self-introductions (15 seconds each)
  • Who am I?
  • Which affiliations do I have that might be relevant to systems thinking?
  • How did I come to systems thinking?
6:30 The pre-reading (as an entry point)
  • What did the original author say?
Reviewer: Allenna Leonard
6:50 Commentary
  • What have others said since the article was published?
  • How does this article fit in with my thinking on the theme of systems thinking and futures?
Commenter #1: James Caldwell
Commenter #2: (TBD)
7:05 Discussion breakouts
  • Break out in groups of 6 to 10 people, to improve active communications
  • Identify a spokesperson who will summarize the group findings
  • Respond to the question:  What is the relation between Systems Thinking and Futures?"
Parallel breakout groups of 8 to 10 people
7:35 Reports on discussion One designated spokesperson for each group
7:55 Double loop learning: Revisions in meeting format? Suggestions welcomed
8:00 Adjourn
  • Walk to Baldwin Street (north on McCaul Street, 0.5 km, (TBD, to be confirmed)
  • Continue discussion over dinner and/or drinks.
No host

Post-meeting artifacts

Bloogers are encouraged to write about their learning and experiences at the meeting. Links will be added to this page.