March 18 was the twenty-fourth meeting for Systems Thinking Ontario. The registration was on Eventbrite.

Theme: Systems and Resilience Redux:  Deciphering Panarchy (Some More)

The content from February was so rich, that everyone didn't have an opportunity to voice their ideas and questions.  For March, we'll continue the discussion as a group sense-making activity.

Panachy is a theory of adaptive change that is cross-scale and dynamic.  Amongst systems thinkers, the 2002 book Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems by Lance H. Gunderson andC. S. Holling is well known as a classic work.  However, many readers of the text have found the concepts and diagrams difficult to grasp.

The short 90-minute duration of our sessions will favour individuals who have done the pre-reading.


Required pre-reading: 

We will again be discussing this comprehensive article:

Additionally, here's a video that introduces the idea of resilience without the adaptive loop in 3D:

"The best explanation to resilience" | Brian Walker | April 2009 | Stockholm Resilience TV

Our featured reviewer from February, Marta Berbés-Blázquez, suggested some additional resources:

Here is the link for the Resilience Assessment Workbook: http://www.resalliance.org/index.php/resilience_assessment

The Resilience Alliance website offers a lot of materials (http://www.resalliance.org/), including a link to Garry Peterson’s blog (http://rs.resalliance.org/).

The Stockholm Resilience Centre also does a lot of dissemination: http://www.stockholmresilience.org/ I particularly like their white board seminars: http://www.stockholmresilience.org/21/news--events/latest-videos/whiteboard-seminars.html

Finally, there are a couple of books that might be nice to read along with Panarchy:

Frances Westley’s "Getting to Maybe" http://www.randomhouse.com/book/189202/getting-to-maybe-by-frances-westley-brenda-zimmerman-and-michael-patton Brian Walker’s “Resilience Thinking” http://islandpress.org/resilience-thinking and “Resilience Practice” http://islandpress.org/resilience-practice


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?
Convenor:  David Ing
6:30 The pre-reading (as an entry point)
  • What did the original author say?
Reviewer: any volunteers?
Observer(s):  TBD
7:45 Double loop learning: Revisions in meeting format? Suggestions welcomed
8:00 Adjourn
  • Walk to Baldwin Street (north on McCaul Street, 0.5 km, (the pattern has been for Hana Korea  or Noodle Face, both of which are quiet enough to talk)
  • Continue discussion over dinner and/or drinks.
No host

Post-meeting artifacts

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