Transduction – leading transformation – Issue #79

Here’s our update of interesting and relevant links – for those interested in systems|cybernetics|complexity, public|service|transformation, deep history, environmental and social justice, beautiful interludes, commissioning, the metamodern, organisational development and transformation, ethics in public service, and brain food in general.. starting with a heart-felt question from me: are there any appreciative theories of why our organisations, as bad as they are from so many perspectives, still continue – and why some of the worst of them are some of the most successful?

Link collection:

My weekly blog piece: Despite calls for change, many organizations continue to operate destructively due to outdated management practices, egotistical leadership, and misaligned incentives. The persistence of these issues begs for an appreciative theory to explain why they persist in otherwise successful organizations. Check the link to read in more detail.

In 1989, a workshop hosted by the Santa Fe Institute brought together researchers who shared a common interest in the centrality of information. The workshop was a turning point for the field of information theory and led to the publication of a set of proceedings that are still relevant today. Check the link to read in more detail.

SFI Press reissues Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information

CrowdDoing is a social innovation organization that addresses issues related to sustainability, anti-poverty, public health, education, and research, with a focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals. It leverages under-utilized capacities and skilled volunteering to achieve operating leverage for systems change. CrowdDoing’s initiatives include Nature Counter, Zero Subsidy Affordable Housing, Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention, Relational Capital, Ikigai, and more. Its #SystemsChange initiative hosts public conversations about achieving agency in collective challenges, while service learning helps bridge skill and social innovation gaps to achieve sustainable development goals. Check the link to read in more detail.

Bobby Fishkin’s CrowdDoing

Club of Remy – Really-relevant Emergency Mindfully-minding You

Humor results from an incongruity-resolving sequence, modeled by a phase transition in complexity science. Two attractors with different minimum potentials create free energy, which is released during resolution, resulting in funniness. An empirical study on visual puns supports the model, showing a positive correlation between incongruity, abruptness of resolution, and funniness. The findings can be applied to decision processes and mental change dynamics in psychotherapy. Check the link to read in more detail.

A Complexity Science Account of Humor

There are seven different approaches to creating participatory system maps: Bayesian Belief Networks, Causal Loop Diagrams, Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping, Participatory Systems Mapping, Rich Pictures, System Dynamics, and Theory of Change Maps. Each approach varies in terms of its structure, level of formality, and suitability for different contexts. System maps can be useful for identifying key variables, analyzing causal relationships, and informing decision-making processes. Check the link to read in more detail.

Seven methods for mapping systems – Barbrooke-Johnson and Penn – Integration and Implementation Insights

Implementation of Systems Thinking in Public Policy: A Systematic Review – Nguyen et al (2023)

Frontiers in Complex Systems, San Miguel (2023)Frontiers in Complex Systems, San Miguel (2023)

InFusion Space is a novel approach to understanding human systems and networks, based on attention and meaning rather than language. It draws on indigenous approaches to space, place, and land, which differ from the fragmented role-based ways of living in the modern world. Check the link to read in more detail.

InFusion Labs – Creating Flexible Spaces for Practitioners to Explore and Learn

The article explores the similarities in the thinking of Alexander Bogdanov, a Russian social theorist, and Stafford Beer, a British management scientist, who both developed foundational ideas for systems thinking. Both were pioneers in their fields and had visions of post-capitalist societies, although their work was cut short by political events. Check the link to read in more detail.

Alexander Bogdanov, Stafford Beer and intimations of a post-capitalist future, Prof Mike Jackson online, March 15th, 5:00-6:30 pm Metaphorum’s Webinar Series

Gregory Bateson was a transdisciplinary theorist who contributed to cybernetics and biosemiotics. He proposed the concept of bioentropy, defined information as “the difference that makes a difference,” and promoted the idea of an ecological aesthetics for meta-dualism. Bateson drew inspiration from the aesthetics of R.G. Collingwood to create his conception of mediated ‘thirdness’. Check the link to read in more detail.

Bioentropy, Aesthetics and Meta-dualism: The Transdisciplinary Ecology of Gregory Bateson, Harries-Jones

Gregory Bateson’s biography and accomplishments are detailed in his own writing, including his interest in pattern and mysticism, and his move towards more abstract concepts. He rejected dualism and argued that information rules, producing order and absorbing change. His transdisciplinary approach and epistemology focused on holistic patterns and communication transforms. His legacy includes unpublished articles, notebook entries, letters, and published works. Check the link to read in more detail.

“From Anthropology to Epistemology”: Extensions to an Autobiography of Gregory Bateson, Harries-Jones

The chapter explores the disappointment and deadening effects of contemporary technics, suggesting a need to move towards other kinds of relations between technics and the world that affirm mutual care and powers. The term “technics” encompasses technologies, techniques, and technical systems, as well as materials, physical forces, abstractions, and organizational modes. The tension between tendencies towards lifeless and alive technics is discussed, with a focus on media and interactive technics. Check the link to read in more detail.

IMBRICATE! Technics Lifeless and Technics Alive: Activity Without and With Content – Andrew Murphie

The paper proposes the concept of “bridging systems” as a way to address the increasing divisiveness in the world. Bridging systems increase mutual understanding and trust across divides, creating space for productive conflict, deliberation, or cooperation. The paper gives examples of bridging systems and develops a framework to explore similarities and opportunities for bridging across seemingly disparate domains. The focus is on the potential of bridging-based ranking to bring offline bridging into algorithm-governed spaces. Check the link to read in more detail.

Home | Bridging Systems

The modeling norm assumes a “sweet spot” where a model is both tractable and informative. However, there may be phenomena where a complex model is necessary for adequate representation, and assuming that a simple model is always possible is a strong assumption. Check the link to read in more detail.

The inevitable “layering” of models to extend the reach of our understanding

10 Years of LAST Conference Reflections Information:

The Evolution of the Shewhart Cycle — Dr. O:

How to Throw A Company Offsite In A Post-COVID World:

Citizen science initiatives increase pollinator activity in private gardens and green spaces:

Council Plans to Add “Rainscapes” in Five Places in the City to Sop up Heavy Rainfall:

Big Oil allies outspent clean energy groups by 27 times on ads and lobbying to kill climate policies:

Improvisation Blog: AI, Technical Architecture and the Future of Education:

The late arrival of Tipping Points (in climate change) – by Peter Harries-Jones (Sep. 2013):

Noble Prize and Pavlov’s Stimulus:

The Unbearable Sameness of the Modern Web:

Levelling up director appointed amid recruitment uncertainty:

What is Dan Harmon’s Story Circle? And How to Use It (with Examples):

Why everyone is wrong about English devolution:

All the numbers account for years:

Teaching Others: The Ultimate Learning Hack:

One feature I want to highlight in this story is that business (and people, and society) need basic *stability*. We’ve had precious litle of that in the UK since 2016.

‘Brits are suffering but for us it’s boom time’: how “Brexit” boosted French and Irish ports:

Chaos could hit English local elections because of ‘too strict’ photo ID for voters:

Civil Service Reform 1942 … or 2022?

Authentic listening to real individuals:

Rebooting digital government to (finally) bring it into the 21st century | Computer Weekly:

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