2017-10-18

October 18th is the 52nd  meeting of Systems Thinking Ontario. Please RSVP at Eventbrite.

Thinking Systems of Networks of People of Systems – A Seventh Sense?

Interpersonal and institutional networks, mediated by new technology platforms, are proliferating like never before and the capabilities of these systems continue to evolve at an accelerating pace. In his article, The False Prophecy of Hyperconnection, Niall Ferguson, writes:

Never before have so many people been connected together in an instantly responsive network through which memes can spread faster than natural viruses. But the notion that taking the whole world online would create a utopia of netizens, all equal in cyberspace, was always a fantasy—as much a delusion as Luther’s vision of a “priesthood of all believers.” The reality is that the global network has become a transmission mechanism for all kinds of manias and panics, just as the combination of printing and literacy temporarily increased the prevalence of millenarian sects and witch crazes. The cruelties of the Islamic State, or ISIS, seem less idiosyncratic when compared with those of some governments and sects in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The contamination of the public sphere with fake news today is less surprising when one remembers that the printing press disseminated books about magic as well as books about science.”

The new societal challenges, posed by these new kinds of network, call for the cultivation of, what Joshua Cooper Ramo calls, a “Seventh Sense”.  By which he seems to mean a synthesis of wisdom and insight – both ancient and freshly conceived - that equips people to more fully appreciate these changes and better influence the evolution of new, more efficacious technological protections and social norms.

Join us in discussing the impact of hyperconnection in the world, today - and in exploring the insights and wisdom that might be brought to bear on challenges posed by these new sociotechnical systems.

Don Officer is a regular contributor to Systems Thinking Ontario discussions; a writer and thinker deeply interested in the most challenging questions of our day.

Join us in an open discussion. Newcomers always welcomed.

In preparation, please review the following notes:

Suggestions for Further Reading:

Venue:

OCAD University: Room 701B, 205 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON, M5V 1V3

Agenda

Time Activity Role(s)
6:30 Self-introductions (15 seconds each)
  • What's your name? Anything else you'd like to, briefly, offer regarding your background or interests?
  • Why are you interested in systems thinking, generally - or the topic of today's conversations, specifically?
  • How did you learn about this Systems Thinking Ontario session?
All
6:50 Don Officer will introduce some of the main themes of today's topic
Followed by open discussion, expanding on Don's introduction and your own personal experiences - with emphasis on the content and themes highlighted in the suggested readings - for example; Has your use of social networking platforms evolved? How? What changes do you hope for concerning the design and usage of social networking platforms?, etc.

Presenter:
Don Officer
8:30 Adjourn - Optionally, join other attendees to continue discussion over dinner and/or drinks at a nearby restaurant
(ideally, one that's quiet, reasonably priced and spacious enough for our continued conversations).

Post-meeting artifacts:


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