July 17 is the eighteenth meeting for Systems Thinking Ontario. The registration is on Eventbrite .

Theme: Systems Thinking and the Socio-Ecological Perspective

July 17 represents the third in a series of three sessions reviewing developments in systems thinking associated with the history of theTavistock Institute for Human Relations. It is preceded by:

with none of the sessions required as a prerequisite. Each meeting focuses on the reading for that month.

Suggested pre-reading:

The Socio-Ecological Systems perspective rose from the world changing faster than than the containing systems (e.g. organizations, businesses, governments) or the workgroups within them. This led to the recognition of "turbulent environments" in causal texture theory. The concepts were developed in action research projects with operating companies, such as reported in:

In the "Introduction to Volume III", Fred Emery wrote about the evolution of this perspective:

  • The Tavistock Institute's socio-ecological perspective did not emerge as an almost solitary product of genius as did the socio-technical perspective, which seemed to emerge almost full grown with the case study that Trist and Bamforth (1951 1/ Vol I. II) published in Human Relations. [....]

  • The socio-ecological perspective was announced publicly in a paper that Trist and I published in Human Relations (1965a/Vol.III), "The Causal Texture of Organizational Environments." That was not born from a single case study, a single mind in a single year. It was born of a series of overlapping case studies, took five years to birth and had the attention of many midwives, not least of whom was the "invisible college" of 10 to 12 European social scientists that Jaap Kookebaaker and Hans van Beinum had brought into existence in 1962. [....]

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.


Post-meeting artifacts

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