October 19 (the third Monday of the month, due to Thanksgiving) was the 84th meeting for Systems Thinking Ontario. The registration will be on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/theoretical-grounds-pragmatic-grounds-methods-systems-changes-learning-registration-125102505963.

Theoretical Grounds, Pragmatic Grounds:  Methods for Reordering our Priorities through Systems Changes Learning

In October, members of the Systems Changes Learning Circle have been leading workshops at RSD9 (Oct. 14) and Global Change Days Beacon Events (Oct. 22).  We are collectively evolving a core knowledge set under Creative Commons licensing, being deployed in different styles for different audiences.

Methods development has progressed with two interacting teams with contrasting emphases:

For this Systems Thinking Ontario meeting, David Ing will review the introductory framing on which the circle has converged, and outline the sequence of activities expected ahead.

Here's a description of the abstract for the RSD9 workshop:

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The idea of “systems change” has risen in popularity over the past few years. To make this more than just another buzzword, how might we approach it? In what ways does “systems change” mean more than just “change”? Does “systems change” build on the large legacy of “systems thinking”?

The Systems Changes Learning Circle is now in year 2 of 10 year journey. Our aim is to reify systems changes as a first-class concept. This extends prior published research on social and organizational change, based in the systems sciences. At RSD8, the Khan and Ing (2019) presentation reflected the early explorations coming from the core group. For 2020, at RSD9, we propose a workshop to share some methods in early stages of development for initiating deeper deliberations into systems changes.

Systems changes may involve:

Living systems may respond through:

Degrees of systems changes may be judged as:

The multi-day, iterative workshop still under development takes a multi-paradigm approach based on learnings grounded in five philosophies:

To convene working groups in advance of iterations on the five learnings, we now propose a Question Zero conversation for orientation, on Reordering Priorities. This workshop on Reordering Priorities can be conducted within 90 minutes, in-person or online, with parallel breakout groups.

The workshop will be structured as multiple steps:

Artifacts and comments from the group reports will be collected for summarization, possibly for publication in the proceedings. This knowledge-creating exercise will be used to refine methods for groups engaging in action learning.

The Systems Changes Learning Circle (founded 2019) is a group convening at the Centre for Social Innovation (Toronto) emerging from Systems Thinking Ontario (founded 2012). We include postgraduates and instructors from the Strategic Foresight and Innovation Program at OCADU in Toronto. Our content at licensed as Creative Commons at http://systemschanges.com . We cooperate with the Open Learning Commons at http://openlearning.cc , and the Digital Life Collective at http://diglife.com .

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The scholarly team has been David Ing and Zaid Khan.  The field team is Dan Eng, Kelly Okamura and Zemina Meghji.


Suggested pre-reading: 

Pre-reading is not required.  A list of references includes:


Post-meeting artifacts

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