From Complexity to Wisdom
4.8K views | +0 today
Follow
From Complexity to Wisdom
Mobilizing Knowledge Through Complex Systems
Curated by Erika Harrison
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Erika Harrison from Media Shifting Culture
Scoop.it!

What does a theory of change look like?

What does a theory of change look like? | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

I’ve been working on ‘how change happens’ for a few years now, as regulars to this blog will know, but in the last few months, ‘theories of change’ has gone viral as a new development fuzzword. In meetings and documents, people earnestly enquire ‘what’s your theory of change?’ and you’re in trouble if you don’t have an answer. (Quite a good answer is ‘could you just explain what you mean by theory of change?’ – people often have no idea).

 

So it’s time to ride the wave and speed up the ‘theories of change’ work programme, and last week I spent some time at IDS and with Oxfam big cheeses thinking through what a joint IDS-Oxfam work programme might look like. Here’s what I’m currently thinking, with a plea to others to comment, send sources and otherwise give me a hand. Hat tips to Thalia Kidder and Jo Rowlands for their suggestions.

Firstly it’s ‘theories’ not ‘theory’. When people talk about a single ‘theory of change’ (ToC from now on), alarm bells should ring – in the worst case it’s just a new jargon for old-school linear change, impact chains, logframes etc. Instead of a deluded search for a single grand theory of everything, we need to learn to recognize and manage a range of theories, throw them at a problem, and see which ones are helpful (see my recent experience of doing this in Tanzania). Yes folks, we’re talking practical post modernism….. Surfacing our deeper, buried assumptions about the motors of change can also help us understand why we keep disagreeing with each other, a crucial skill in coalition-building.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

RSA - The pseudo-Darwinist conspiracy

Society would collapse if it weren’t for the uniquely human impulse to cooperate and collaborate. So why, asks Mary Midgley, do we persist in believing that competition is the only way forward?

 

The term Darwinism has, in recent times, come to suggest that savage, unbridled competition is the ruling principle of life in nature and must therefore rule in human society, too. Darwin’s views have, as neurobiology professor Steven Rose remarks, been seen as “justifying imperialism, racism, capitalism and patriarchy”. Today, he adds, “journalists refer to boardroom struggles and takeover battles for companies as Darwinian”.

 

All this is actually the opposite of what Darwin wrote when he discussed human and animal societies in The Descent of Man. There, he traced the origins of sociability in animals and pointed out how many kinds of creature show a direct concern for one another. He showed how, as we go up the evolutionary scale and the creatures’ lives become more complex, mutual concern increases and cooperation becomes as noticeable as competition. In humans, the development of intelligence has deepened these social tendencies, making us more aware of one another’s feelings than are most other species. This has also made us notice conflicts between our various motivations towards others – conflicts that distress us so much that we are constantly inventing ethical systems to try to sort them out. That human need for morality is, Darwin said, a central characteristic of the species.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

Attention blindness is the fundamental structuring principle of the brain, and I believe that it presents us with a tremendous opportunity. My take is different from that of many neuroscientists: Where they perceive the shortcomings of the individual, I sense an opportunity for collaboration. Fortunately, given the interactive nature of most of our lives in the digital age, we have the tools to harness our different forms of attention and take advantage of them.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Social Media and the UK Riots: “Twitter Mobs”, “Facebook Mobs”, “Blackberry Mobs” and the Structural Violence of Neoliberalism | Christian Fuchs

Social Media and the UK Riots: “Twitter Mobs”, “Facebook Mobs”, “Blackberry Mobs” and the Structural Violence of Neoliberalism | Christian Fuchs | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
The UK riots are not a Blackberry mob, not a Facebook mob and not a Twitter mob; they are the effects of the structure violence of neoliberalism. Capitalism, crisis and class are the main contexts of unrests, uproar and social media today.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Erika Harrison from The Filter Bubble
Scoop.it!

The Filter Bubble: Algorithm Vs. Curator and the Value of Serendipity

The Filter Bubble: Algorithm Vs. Curator and the Value of Serendipity | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

I met Eli in March at TED, where he introduced the concepts from the book in one of this year’s best TED talks. Today, I sit down with him to chat about what exactly “the filter bubble” is, how much we should worry about Google, and what our responsibility is as content consumers and curators — exclusive Q&A follows his excellent TED talk:


Via DanieleBazzano
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Rheingold on Network Literacy (Part Two)

The second in a series about network literacy.The value of networks shifts as they scale, and as the networks accomodate human social activity as well as interconnection of machines.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

J. Stephen Lansing: A Thousand Years in Bali

Perfect Order: A Thousand Years in Bali

With lucid exposition and gorgeous graphics, anthropologist Stephen Lansing exposed the hidden structure and profound health of the traditional Balinese rice growing practices. The intensely productive terraced rice paddies of Bali are a thousand years old. So are the democratic subaks (irrigation cooperatives) that manage them, and so is the water temple system that links the subaks in a nested hierarchy.
more...
Charles van der Haegen's comment, July 16, 2011 5:44 AM
Balinese culture and social system is also known to have resisted the massive influx of Western style Tourism. this is explained by some to be due to the currency systems in use...see http://ow.ly/5FZIU
Erika Harrison's comment, July 16, 2011 1:03 PM
Thanks Charles. I'll have a look.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Egypt: The First Internet Revolt?

Egypt: The First Internet Revolt? | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Peace Magasine | Barry Wellman: Egypt: The First Internet Revolt?
The Egyptian Revolt was both the old story and a new story
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Manuel Castells | Keynote address at Oxford for book release: Communication Power

Castells' keynote at oxford for the release of his book, "Communication Power"...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

So who is Anonymous? Interview with Gabriella Coleman about Anonymous - republica 2011 (english)

Interview with Gabriella Coleman about Anonymous - republica 2011 (english) Article: http://www.golem.de/1104/82808.html

Gabriella Coleman has been following the actions of Anonymous for some time and offers an insight into the motivations an internal structure of the activist-group.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Steven Pinker | Language as a Window into Human Nature | RSA Animate

'Explicit language is an excellent way of creating Mutual Knowledge'
In this RSA Animate, Steven Pinker shows us how the mind turns the finite building blocks of language into infinite meanings. The complete lecture is also available at the RSA Animate site:
http://www.thersa.org/events/video/archive/steven-pinker
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Getting over the barriers to wiki adoption

Getting over the barriers to wiki adoption | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
So, you tried using a wiki, and it didn't work. Funky markup, neglect, one or two people doing all the work—these are just a few of the reasons you might have for why your wiki project failed. But maybe it's time to try again?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

On Twitter, mindcasting is the new lifecasting

On Twitter, mindcasting is the new lifecasting | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Twitter has gotten a bad rap lately for being a font of narcissism and self-promotion. But that's old news--what's new is the way information mavens are using it share news and analysis -- a human powered information network.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

The Cultural Cognition Projet at Yale Law School

The Cultural Cognition Projet at Yale Law School | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

The Cultural Cognition Project is a group of scholars interested in studying how cultural values shape public risk perceptions and related policy beliefs. Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat; whether the death penalty deters murder; whether gun control makes society more safe or less) to values that define their cultural identities. Project members are using the methods of various disciplines -- including social psychology, anthropology, communications, and political science -- to chart the impact of this phenomenon and to identify the mechanisms through which it operates. The Project also has an explicit normative objective: to identify processes of democratic decisionmaking by which society can resolve culturally grounded differences in belief in a manner that is both congenial to persons of diverse cultural outlooks and consistent with sound public policymaking.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

What is Gamification, Really? - Lithosphere Community

What is Gamification, Really? - Lithosphere Community | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Michael Wu, Ph.D. is Lithium's Principal Scientist of Analytics, digging into the complex dynamics of social interaction and group behavior in online communities and social networks.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Stowe Boyd · The Architecture Of Cooperation

Stowe Boyd · The Architecture Of Cooperation | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
The Architecture Of Cooperation The world of business is being re-contoured by the new realities, like ubiquitous connectivity, genius phones, Air/iPad, and the rethinking of ‘offices’. “ Alison...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Cutting social media no answer to flash mobs

Cutting social media no answer to flash mobs | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

"The answer is not to limit access to social media or even to sacrifice what little privacy we may have left using them, but rather to educate ourselves and our children about the underlying biases of these technologies: how they influence the way we think and act".

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

A documentary on networks, social and otherwise_Part 1

This looks at network dynamics. The objective is to understand the common themes that different networks have both in the physical and social world. Some of the big hitters like Duncan Watts and Barabasi are featured here. Popular ideas like six degrees of separation is also investigated
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Rheingold on Network Literacy (Part One)

I've become convinced that understanding how networks work is an essential 21st century literacy. This is the first in a series of short videos about how the structure and dynamics of networks influences political freedom, economic wealth creation, and participation in the creation of culture. The first video introduces the importance of understanding networks and explains how the underlying technical architecture of the Internet specifically supports the freedom of network users to innovate.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Don Tapscott: Networked Intelligence

Don Tapscott: Networked Intelligence | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
TVO.org provides scheduling and enhanced content information about TVO's quality programming and useful educational resources to the people of Ontario.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Social Networks: Beyond the Numbers « Censemaking

Social Networks: Beyond the Numbers « Censemaking | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
There's More to Connections Than Lines
Social networking research is becoming a hot topic as people discover the potential that mapping has for guiding policy and practice, however like many other “hot” research methods, there is a need to go beyond the numbers to make sense of what they really mean lest we create beautiful maps and have no place to go with them.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

Cyber Anthropology: A Unified View of Communities and Social Networks - Lithosphere Community

Cyber Anthropology: A Unified View of Communities and Social Networks - Lithosphere Community | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Michael Wu, Ph.D. is Lithium's Principal Scientist of Analytics, digging into the complex dynamics of social interaction and group behavior in online communities and social networks.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

The knowledge-bubble trap worsens | Nick Milton

The knowledge-bubble trap worsens | Nick Milton | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Nick Milton, KM specialist, explains that the search engines for example create bubbles knowledge dangerous to our organizations.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

The Power of Twitter in Information Discovery | AlwaysOn

The Power of Twitter in Information Discovery | AlwaysOn | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
GRP Partners' Mark Suster is always surprised by how many really smart people still doubt the power of Twitter.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Erika Harrison
Scoop.it!

George Whitesides: Toward a science of simplicity | Video on TED.com

TED Talks Simplicity: We know it when we see it -- but what is it, exactly? In this funny, philosophical talk, George Whitesides chisels out an answer.
more...
No comment yet.