Complex Systems Change
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The Self-Organizing Society: The Role of Institutions

Is it possible to constrain a human society in such a way that self-organization will thereafter tend to produce outcomes that advance the goals of the society? Such a society would be self-organizing in the sense that individuals who pursue only their own interests would none-the-less act in the interests of the society as a whole, irrespective of any intention to do so. I sketch an agent-based model that identifies the conditions that must be met if such a self-organizing society is to emerge. The model draws heavily on an understanding of how self-organizing societies have emerged repeatedly during the evolution of life on Earth (e.g. evolution has produced societies of molecular processes, of simple cells, of eukaryote cells and of multicellular organisms). The model demonstrates that the key enabling requirement for a self-organizing society is ‘consequence-capture’. Broadly this means that all agents in the society must capture sufficient of the benefits (and harms) that are produced by the impact of their actions on the goals of the society. If this condition is not met, agents that invest resources in actions that produce societal benefits will tend to be out-competed by those that do not. This ‘consequence-capture’ condition can be met where a society is managed by appropriate systems of evolvable constraints that suppress free riders and support pro-social actions. In human societies these constraints include institutions such as systems of governance and social norms. If a self-organizing society is to emerge, consequence-capture must occur for all agents in the society, including those involved in the establishment and adaptation of institutions. By implementing consequence-capture, appropriate institutions can produce a self-organizing society in which the interests of all agents (including individuals, associations, firms, multi-national corporations, political organizations, institutions and governments) are aligned with those of the society as a whole.

 

The Self-Organizing Society: The Role of Institutions
John E. Stewart


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How Does Cooperation Evolve?

If you find this animation helpful, consider supporting our work at http://statedclearly.com/contribute/ Lichen is a combination of algae and fungus livin
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A Camel Is a Horse Designed in a Meeting

A Camel Is a Horse Designed in a Meeting | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
Meetings are held to get work done with a group. You may need the wisdom of the whole group to develop insights and arrive at a conclusion. But often, the subsequent discussion is not very productive.
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Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning

Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
The search for scientific bases for confronting problems of social policy is bound to fail, because of the nature of these problems. They are "wicked" problems, whereas science has developed to deal with "tame" problems. Policy problems cannot be definitively described. Moreover, in a pluralistic society there is nothing like the undisputable public good; there is no objective definition of equity; policies that respond to social problems cannot be meaningfully correct or false; and it makes no sense to talk about "optimal solutions" to social problems unless severe qualifications are imposed first. Even worse, there are no "solutions" in the sense of definitive and objective answers.
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Teaching Smart People How To Learn

Teaching Smart People How To Learn | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

Ay company that aspires to succeed in the tougher business environment of the 1990s must first resolve a basic dilemma: success in the marketplace increasingly depends on learning, yet most people don’t know how to learn. What’s more, those members of the organization that many assume to be the best at learning are, in fact, not very good at it. I am talking about the well-educated, high-powered, high-commitment professionals who occupy key leadership positions in the modern corporation.

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Leadership & Management: A Structural Perspective

Leadership & Management: A Structural Perspective | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last responsibility is to say, "thank you." In between the leader should be a servant. As I thought about the traditional definition of management as, planning, organizing, directing, and controlling, in conjunction with hierarchical structure it seemed there was a characteristic result associated with the structure I had not previously considered or seen described.

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The Limiting Belief of Either/Or

The Limiting Belief of Either/Or | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

The Personal Mastery chapter of Senge's Fifth Discipline [1990] presents a very faithful representation of Robert Fritz's [1984] concepts regarding creating the future. The point being that the difference between what we have and what we want sets up a Creative Tension. And...

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Leadership & Management: A Systemic Perspective

Leadership & Management: A Systemic Perspective | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

In Leadership & Management: A Structural Perspective I offered some thoughts regarding what happens when typical management and leadership approaches are applied to a hierarchical organization structure. Having continued to consider the nature of these two activities I would now like to offer what I consider to be a systemic perspective. A perspective which differentiates the two based on the structures they foster rather than the particular activities they promote. Webinars

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Simplifying complexity

Simplifying complexity | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
Ecologist Eric Berlow doesn't feel overwhelmed when faced with complex systems. He knows that more information can lead to a better, simpler solution. Illustrating the tips and tricks for breaking down big issues, he distills an overwhelming infographic on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan to a few elementary points.
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Marc Rabaey's curator insight, February 13, 2016 6:42 PM

Simplicity in complexity

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Back To Work with a Flying Start - 8 Ways to Supercharge your Performance in 2016

Back To Work with a Flying Start - 8 Ways to Supercharge your Performance in 2016 | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
These inspirational Infographics by Tanmay Vora capture key enablers invaluable for any leader looking to transform results and performance. The challenge for us all is to commit and role-model these
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The Complexity of Complexity

The Complexity of Complexity | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
It’s not enough to say your organization is simple or complicated—you must also understand what kind of complexity you’re dealing with.
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Purpose as a Collective Practice (SSIR)

Purpose as a Collective Practice (SSIR) | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

nBuilding purpose-driven organizations through engaging the power of the collective.

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Engaging the power of the collective

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Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work (SSIR)

Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work (SSIR) | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
This follow-up on the popular "Collective Impact" article provides updated, in-depth guidance.
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Guide to Trend Mapping

Guide to Trend Mapping | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
Visually depict relevant trends influencing the system of your topic.

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The Rise of a Cooperatively Owned Internet

The Rise of a Cooperatively Owned Internet | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
In late August, British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn—the United Kingdom’s counterpart to Bernie Sanders, except more victorious—announced that he had a plan for the Internet. His “Digital Democracy Manifesto” included planks like an “open knowledge library” and the protection of “digital liberty rights.” One of its more surprising proposals is the call for “platform cooperatives.

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How to Apply the Design Thinking Process to Your Business

How to Apply the Design Thinking Process to Your Business | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

“Going wide… is about making connections between what you already know and what you’re curious about discovering.

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Archetypes

Archetypes | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

In 1937 Ludwig von Bertalanffy proposed that there were fundamental structures which existed and operated across all branches of science. Bertalanffy believed that if one learned how these structures operated one could carry much of their learning from one discipline to another. In the new discipline one would just have to learn which structures were operating. And, based on this, Bertalanffy conceived of an approach to general systems teaching.

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Marketing Myopia

Marketing Myopia | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

Peter Senge, The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, claimed that one of our learning disabilities is that we become what we do. I can think of no better set of examples of this than in Theodore Levitt's "Marketing Myopia." Levitt provides numerous examples of of companies getting in trouble because they focused on what they did.

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Change Management: The Columbo Approach

Change Management: The Columbo Approach | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

I repeatedly find myself in discussions with individuals who seem most frustrated by their apparent inability to effect change they believe is so dearly needed. Only too well can I relate to their frustration. For years I experienced the same frustration. And...

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Belief and Choice

We choose what to believe based on our beliefs and then our beliefs are limited by the choices we've made. Sound self-limiting? It is! This structure is cons...
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Systems Thinking Resources

Systems Thinking Resources | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

Within Systems KeLE we maintain a set of reference links to Blogs, Forums, Newsletters, Software, etc., related to Systems Thinking. We know it's impossible to keep then completely up to date, though we work at it. If you notice any glaring absences please post a note to the embedded discussion and we'll get it added.

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Systems Thinking Demystified

Systems Thinking Demystified | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it

It often claimed that only a small percent of the population is capable of doing Systems Thinking. And then there are those who claim that Systems Thinking is too hard, takes too long, is too esoteric, etc. Join us for a session that will demonstrate how simple and straightforward Systems Thinking can be by simply asking one single question. This session will demonstrate how essential Systems Thinking is to improving the likelihood of success in almost any situation.

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Bricoleur's curator insight, March 4, 2016 1:03 AM

Because you understand one, you think you understand two, because one and one is two. But first you have to understand AND!

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Iceberg Model - Systems Thinking - Business Leadership - Education series. Chancellor University

Learn the Iceberg model for systems thinking to improve your leadership skills and business. Business Studies. For more Visit http:www.chancelloru.edu and le...
Virginia Lacayo's insight:

La Teoría del Iceberg ayuda a líderes a entender los problema sistémico (recurrentes o que permean toda la organización) más allá de los eventos observables y les sugiere en cambio abordar las estructuras y los modelos mentales de la organización. En mi experiencia, cuando cambiamos las estructuras y las microestructuras (espacios y mecanismos que determinan la forma en que interactuamos entre nosotros y con el entorno) se cambian los patrones de interacción de un sistema y con el tiempo, los modelos mentales de los individuos que lo componen. He visto organizaciones y empresas transformarse de esta forma.

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The Dawn of System Leadership (SSIR)

The Dawn of System Leadership (SSIR) | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
To solve society's most pressing problems requires a system leader who can catalyze collective leadership. Includes magazine extras.
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A true leader catalyzes collective leadership 

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Leading Change Through Adaptive Design (SSIR)

Leading Change Through Adaptive Design (SSIR) | Complex Systems Change | Scoop.it
By integrating two practices—design thinking and adaptive leadership—social innovators can manage projects in a way that’s both creatively confident and relentlessly realistic.
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