Generative Systems Design
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"A city is not a tree" by Christopher Alexander (pdf)

"At a time of increasing concern over the adequacy of design methods, "A City is not a Tree" broke open and reoriented the debate. It also represented a fundamental change in Christopher Alexander's thinking. While retaining the mathematical foundation underlying his Notes on the Synthesis of Form, "A City is not a Tree" takes it in a very different direction. Where the one seeks a crystalline logic to arrive at the notion of "fitness" between form and programme, the other points to a fundamental ambiguity and overlap in the relation of form to its uses. The one is an extreme extension of Modernist rationalism, the other a reaction against it." Charles Jencks and Karl Kropf

 

"The tree of my title is not a green tree with leaves. It is the name of an abstract structure. I shall contrast it with another, more complex abstract structure called a semi-lattice. The city is a semi-lattice, but it is not a tree. In order to relate these abstract structures to the nature of the city, I must first make a simple distinction..." Christopher Alexander (1965)


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Landscape MASLA ETH Zurich's curator insight, January 26, 2013 9:02 AM

Great, thanks for sharing the pdf with us - the texts of Christopher Alexander are always very inspiring!

Generative Systems Design
Complex Adaptive Systems, Process Design, Adaptive Push Back, Self Organization, Emergence
Curated by Anne Caspari
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Dave Snowden: Humans are neither ants nor data processors [Keynote]

Murray Gell-Mann is an American physicist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics famously said : “The only valid model of a human system is the system…
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How system thinking is killing your creativity – Our Future at Work

How system thinking is killing your creativity – Our Future at Work | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
an organization is not a system
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Change through small actions in the present - Cognitive Edge

Change through small actions in the present - Cognitive Edge | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
I wrote my first post Towards a new theory of change some weeks ago, but…
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Design as Participation

Design as Participation | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
A consideration of design as a form of participation in complex adaptive systems.
Anne Caspari's insight:
"When the methodologies of design and science infect one another, however, design is not just a framework for participants, but something that is also, itself, participating."
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Shooting the Sacred Cows of OD - Cognitive Edge

Shooting the Sacred Cows of OD - Cognitive Edge | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
Yesterday I referenced a tweet from the Welsh Academy session at which I was a…
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Emergent Themes In Organizational Life

Emergent Themes In Organizational Life | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
RELEASING COMPLEXITY November 4 - 6, 2016; Germany  3- DAYS with BONNITTA ROY  - An invitation to step into a new way of understanding organizational life and to think and do from a whole new mind IN THIS COURSE, WE PRACTICE NEW WAYS OF THINKING BEYOND SYSTEMS THINKING INTO THE DOMAIN OF COMPLEX RESPONSIVE PROCESSES, AND CRITICAL VIEWS…
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A Manifesto for Open Participation — Open Participatory Organization

A Manifesto for Open Participation - Open Participatory Organization - Medium
principles for the future of work
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An Open Architecture for Self-Organization — Open Participatory Organization

An Open Architecture for Self-Organization - Open Participatory Organization - Medium
and… what happens to managers in a self-organized environment?
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Leading by Omission | MIT Video

Leading by Omission | MIT Video | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
If successful business depends on innovation, wonders Ricardo Semler, why are automobiles made essentially the same way today as they were in Ford's first assembly line 100 years ago? ...
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Lean, Agile & Scrum Conference - Keynote Dave Snowden - Making Sense of Complexity - YouTube

A recent Gartner report identified the importance of the Cynefin framework for IT departments as a sense-making methodology, suggesting a significant market ...
Anne Caspari's insight:

worth listening to, many many nuggets; including the differences between systems thinking and working with complex adaptive systems, creating architectures for allowing for emergent properties.  

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Anne Caspari's comment, October 27, 2015 4:22 AM
thanks Bonnie Roy for posting this.
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Eric Berlow: Simplifying complexity | TED Talk | TED.com

Eric Berlow: Simplifying complexity | TED Talk | TED.com | Generative Systems Design | 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.
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Freedom through constraints - Cognitive Edge

Freedom through constraints - Cognitive Edge | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about constraints in the…
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Patterns that Connect: Exploring the concept of pattern in the face of growing complexity

The first part of the talk examines the challenges brought about by the exponential growth of information and dynamic complexity, and the types of responses ne…
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Dave Snowden - How leaders change culture through small actions

Summer School 2016 Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge and Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at Bangor University @snowded His work i
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Anne Caspari's curator insight, August 16, 2016 9:52 AM
This is a brilliant talk by Dave Snowden. He clears up some fallacies very common in our change community. He delivers distinctions between complex adaptive thinking and systems thinking and their implication for dealing with systems. With his sense making approach he delivers a actual, realistic, and powerful application of how to go about systemic change that includes real time feed back loops with unfiltered data (stories) that indeed, makes so much sense. While we are still trying to make a one-consciousness-at-the-time approach fit to be scaled to collectives, and bring people "up to speed" or up some developmental ladder. Nothing against leadership training, awareness and capacity building around complexity thinking when working with individuals and leaders, but it hardly works for large collectives, and most of the time involves a developmental bias and quite a patronizing/arrogant stand. Scharmer's approach from "Ego-System to Eco-System" can only be an idealist position. Some governance models, such as Holacracy or Sociocracy try to provide a governance system that induces systems' change to organization but with a rather rigid exoskeleton and not working so much with enabling constraints. Holacracy / Sociocracy seemed to understand this, but didn't work with people as complex adaptive systems and tries to put an exosceletron over an organization - often killing people's value streams (https://medium.com/…/how-self-organization-happens-f622f656…), self-organizing capacities, stories and weak signals in a good endeavour. This is much more generative and seems to work. I wish he would be hired by our Angela Merkel to deal with the interface of refugees and the local population. Dave Snowden
pdeppisch's comment, October 27, 2016 1:23 PM
Thanks!
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Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet

Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it

Cognitive biases are just tools, useful in the right contexts, harmful in others. They’re the only tools we’ve got, and they’re even pretty good at what they’re meant to do. We might as well get familiar with them and even appreciate that we at least have some ability to process the universe with our mysterious brains.

 


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen, Dave Wood
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Kenneth Mikkelsen's curator insight, September 18, 2016 4:12 PM

Four problems that biases help us address:

 

Problem 1: Too much information.

There is just too much information in the world, we have no choice but to filter almost all of it out. Our brain uses a few simple tricks to pick out the bits of information that are most likely going to be useful in some way.

 

Problem 2: Not enough meaning.

The world is very confusing, and we end up only seeing a tiny sliver of it, but we need to make some sense of it in order to survive. Once the reduced stream of information comes in, we connect the dots, fill in the gaps with stuff we already think we know, and update our mental models of the world.

 

Problem 3: Need to act fast.

We’re constrained by time and information, and yet we can’t let that paralyze us. Without the ability to act fast in the face of uncertainty, we surely would have perished as a species long ago. With every piece of new information, we need to do our best to assess our ability to affect the situation, apply it to decisions, simulate the future to predict what might happen next, and otherwise act on our new insight.

 

Problem 4: What should we remember?

There’s too much information in the universe. We can only afford to keep around the bits that are most likely to prove useful in the future. We need to make constant bets and trade-offs around what we try to remember and what we forget. For example, we prefer generalizations over specifics because they take up less space. When there are lots of irreducible details, we pick out a few standout items to save and discard the rest. What we save here is what is most likely to inform our filters related to problem 1’s information overload, as well as inform what comes to mind during the processes mentioned in problem 2 around filling in incomplete information. It’s all self-reinforcing.

Dave Wood's curator insight, September 18, 2016 6:39 PM
Fascinating article that culminated in a summary  of the range of cognitive biases that underlie flawed thinking (our own and others).  Good coaching surfaces assumptions and biases and tests them.
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Dispositionality (i) - Cognitive Edge

Dispositionality (i) - Cognitive Edge | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
I’m finally getting on top of the backlog of email and writing after the Annapurna…
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Dave Snowden on complexity theory and astrology - Boss Level Podcast

Dave Snowden on complexity theory and astrology - Boss Level Podcast | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
Today’s guest is Dave Snowden. Dave is the man behind Cynefin, a decision support framework that’s based on complexity theory and cognitive science.
Anne Caspari's insight:
 I recently wrote about this big feeling of relief and elation when coming across a meta-theory that delivers such a powerful perspective that it 'reorganizes' your current world-view of things into a much simpler and more elegant way? So it releases a lot of built up energy or effort that world-view was holding? For me, about 12 years ago, that was Ken Wilber's AQAL framework. It freed me up from reductionisms in my thinking and unreferenced data suddenly had a place to go. In the last 5 or 6 years I have noted being very impatient or sometimes even rebuked around this framework, also about Scharmer's U-Theory and other change frameworks. Tonight, while listening a talk by Dave Snowden I realized what this impatience and resistance was: When you collect data and then organize it through a framework, this helps to see patterns like constraints, blind spots, resistances to change, attractors and detractors, and your knowledge and your next steps are being organized. NB: The data comes before the framework. When a framework becomes the lens you are seeing things through it becomes a categorization framework which "produces a very different psychology" (Snowden) It leads to all kinds of hidden biases; confirmation, developmental and otherwise. What's more, it becomes a tool of subtle and gross reductionism once more - all in the name of a cutting edge super tool (teal??). That is a fake. This is what has been triggering me as I saw the frameworks being applied as prescriptive categorization frameworks over and over again in the last years. I now have a name for it. Like Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry CommentShare
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self-organization is the future

self-organization is the future | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
RT @lilien101: #selforganization in teams: great for #innovation
@hjarche https://t.co/Rdnv2qHCVQ #futureofwork #sketchnote https://t.co/q9…
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Dave Snowden - How leaders change culture through small actions

Summer School 2016 Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge and Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at Bangor University @snowded His work i
more...
Anne Caspari's curator insight, August 16, 2016 9:52 AM
This is a brilliant talk by Dave Snowden. He clears up some fallacies very common in our change community. He delivers distinctions between complex adaptive thinking and systems thinking and their implication for dealing with systems. With his sense making approach he delivers a actual, realistic, and powerful application of how to go about systemic change that includes real time feed back loops with unfiltered data (stories) that indeed, makes so much sense. While we are still trying to make a one-consciousness-at-the-time approach fit to be scaled to collectives, and bring people "up to speed" or up some developmental ladder. Nothing against leadership training, awareness and capacity building around complexity thinking when working with individuals and leaders, but it hardly works for large collectives, and most of the time involves a developmental bias and quite a patronizing/arrogant stand. Scharmer's approach from "Ego-System to Eco-System" can only be an idealist position. Some governance models, such as Holacracy or Sociocracy try to provide a governance system that induces systems' change to organization but with a rather rigid exoskeleton and not working so much with enabling constraints. Holacracy / Sociocracy seemed to understand this, but didn't work with people as complex adaptive systems and tries to put an exosceletron over an organization - often killing people's value streams (https://medium.com/…/how-self-organization-happens-f622f656…), self-organizing capacities, stories and weak signals in a good endeavour. This is much more generative and seems to work. I wish he would be hired by our Angela Merkel to deal with the interface of refugees and the local population. Dave Snowden
pdeppisch's comment, October 27, 2016 1:23 PM
Thanks!
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Think Tank with Bonnitta Roy

Think Tank with Bonnitta Roy | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
FACING ORGANIZATIONAL CHALLENGES  April 1 - 3, 2016 in Germany 3- DAYS with BONNITTA ROY  - An invitation to step into a new way of understanding organizational life, based on principles of open, authentic participation, which we find quite ingenious. This is for you if you are into the kind of organizational development that deals…
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Anne Caspari's curator insight, February 7, 2016 5:51 AM

not to be missed, new paradigm of organizational development in action. 

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Sync and the Teleological Swimming Pool

Sync and the Teleological Swimming Pool | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
* The following essay was recently featured on Episode 84 of Sync Book Press' Always Record. If interested, the audio version can be found here. In 1945 the incomparable George Orwell composed an illuminating essay titled What is Science? At first glance the answer to this question seems obvious enough. Whether learned through explicit instruction or absorbed via…
Anne Caspari's insight:

.....and now for something a bit different :-). Thanks Mushin Schilling for pointing to this article. 

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Christopher Alexander on living structure | Solving for Pattern

Christopher Alexander on living structure | Solving for Pattern | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
Video of the famous 1996 OOPSLA talk on the origins of pattern theory and the generation of a living world.
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Nassim Taleb explains how fragile economies crumble under stress - FinBuzz (press release) (blog)

Nassim Taleb explains how fragile economies crumble under stress - FinBuzz (press release) (blog) | Generative Systems Design | Scoop.it
FinBuzz (press release) (blog) Nassim Taleb explains how fragile economies crumble under stress FinBuzz (press release) (blog) The author of The Black Swan explains his latest 'antifragile' theory, which divides the world economy into three...
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