Resources

Please search or filter the resources to find those of interest to you. If you are a non-member, you will not be able to see all the videos and presentations from past SCiO Open Meetings.

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In the age of the Anthropocene the need for new ways of thinking and acting has become urgent. But patterns of obstacles are apparent in any action, be they corporate interests, lobbyists, or outdated political and government systems. In this presentation Professor Ray Ison and Ed Straw will show how and why systemic failure in governance is at the heart of the collective incapacity to tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies. They will go... Read more
Book
Language is often a problem in complex organisational change, with different departments and stakeholder groups using the same words to mean different things, and using different words to mean the same thing. As systems practitioners, we are constantly building models of organisations and their environments, but we too bring our own language and assumptions, and it’s often apparent that the models we create to tame complexity make little sense t... Read more
...- the high and low co-operate in the general system of unavoidable concatenation: People I talk to often seem a little wary of the term “systems thinking” – a bit abstract, perhaps, and far too intellectual. On other hand, anyone who can appreciate complex drama, from Shakespeare to modern TV shows like The Wire, is arguably already doing it, that is thinking, to some degree, systemically. These complex and involved dramas invariably reflect... Read more
...The Hyperobjective Media and Agency in Co-creative Design Processes: The session by Marie Davidova will focus on Systemic Approach to Architectural Performance (SAAP) design field and hyperobjectivity of its prototypes. The field discusses the question of cities’ adaptation to climate change and biodiversity loss. Current environmental ecology research shows that species that have adapted to agricultural land hundreds of years ago are recentl... Read more
In common with all living human systems, organisations need differences to develop and transform. And yet, in organisations, as in all living human systems, we often dismiss, attack or try to convert differences. Indeed, we are primed neurologically to do this – our Flight, Fight, Freeze responses. Agazarian’s systems-centered method of functional subgrouping offers a way to lower our reactivity to differences, and to increase our capacity to sta... Read more
The talk will look at the underlying concepts, design and practice of War Rooms as decision environments for dealing with complex and fast moving situations. Starting with Blackett’s invention of the War Room, through Beer’s Cybersyn to the work we are currently engaged on and its use with client in tackling complex strategic issues. We’ll talk through the difference current technology offers and the different ways our modern War Rooms can be use... Read more
Video
The Viable System Model is one of the key capabilities that SCiO has focused on. It’s an implementation of cybernetics. “Viable system” suggests living system — and vibrant systems feel alive. Are they? Can organisations be organisms? And what difference would that make? This questions our questions and stimulates provocations. At a time when science is regenerating, does management need to as the same? If we start thinking organically, how many ... Read more
Presentation
In this highly interactive session, participants will get to experience the five behavioural axioms for a successful co-operative system. The method is that of heuristic learning as the exercise comprises 10 rounds of decision-making in small teams. The decisions made by any team affect every team and the levels of trust. The experience will illustrate the five axioms below are necessary: 1. Be clear, on the nature of the relationship you expect... Read more
This session will show how John Dewey's general theory of inquiry (1938) can be used to understand the inquiry system of Peter Checkland's Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) and will suggest some practical opportunities that might flow from this for systems thinking practitioners. It will also show how Dewey's theory of inquiry helps to clarify the essential difference between 'hard' and 'soft' systems thinking which is not yet commonly undertstood i... Read more
Training is an investment, much like introducing new technologies or processes, that organisations make in order to improve their performance. However, it is harder to evaluate the success of training than of 'hard' changes like technology or process. Since the 1970s the training profession has largely drawn on variants of the so-called 'Kirkpatrick framework' to evaluate training, even though there is a general agreement in the profession that i... Read more