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The Cold Dark Path

The Cold Dark Path | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
Two Competing Loops


This week at the first meeting of the League of Social Intrapreneurs in Melbourne I was introduced to the Berkana Institute two loops theory of change. The model of change in complex systems resonated immediately.


When a system nears its peak, change agents identify the need for alternatives and drop out.  They connect and begin to explore alternatives nourishing a new system through experimentation. Eventually the stories of their success illuminates the change to those who remain in the old declining system.


A four step model with four simple verbs seems clear and straightforward. Why is it that the path of change is such a cold dark path?


Nobody Warns You about the Dip


Stepping out of a warm and comfortable ongoing system with its present day rewards is a daunting uncertain choice however bleak the future of that system may look. Those with most to gain will oppose the agents of change who name the issues and start to work on alternatives. Opposition will not always be fair or balanced.




Sign you made it as a change agent: someone misapplies a political label, impugns your integrity or questions your sanity. #caww


— Simon Terry (@simongterry)

July 3, 2014






Most difficult of all is that dip in the diagram above. The uncertainty and the need to build a new complex future means the alternative system starts along way back and with a great deal more risk. Selling another path even to yourself can be a challenge in this scenario.


All the discussions about collaboration, requests for advice and stories shared among change agents at the League of Social Entrepreneurs, in Responsive Organisation, in Change Agents Worldwide or in other conversations that I have with unreasonable people belong at the bottom of the loop where people struggle nourishing new alternatives.


We must embrace the fact that the road to change is a road with dips and uncertainties. Proceeding any other way does not prepare people for the work ahead.


Nourishing Change Takes Hard Work


Most change fails after the connect stage.  Declaring a need for change is initially easy and exhilarating. Manifestos are thrilling. Connecting with other like minded people has a wonderful effect for the spirits and is a great way to reinforce the need for change.


Then nothing happens for a really long time. It grows cold and dark on the path of change.


Lots of drudgery dogs those walking the cold dark path of change. Meetings need to be organised and venues found. Compromises need to be negotiated between people who are 99% aligned. Factions and fragmentation occurs and saps the energy of everyone. More change agents need to be recruited, especially for the work. Experiments need to be agreed, funded and run. Failed experiments need to be cleaned up. New experiments agreed, funded and implemented. Success needs to be found. Someone needs to find money or work out the details of the new model. Communication materials don’t write themselves. Just when success seems inevitable the dying system finds a way to set you back.


Change falls apart when the connected agents of change won’t work the experiments long or hard enough to nourish the success of the new system. If they won’t invest the time to build new connections, share successes, to solve the daily issues and to innovate a path forward then the nourish stage will never offer an opportunity to others to join in the change.


If the organisers of the first meet up about a change end up with all the actions, then a change initiative has work to do to find others to nourish the change. Engaging others in the work matters more than engaging them in the idea of the change.


Join in the Work


Lots of people want to join change at the exhilarating beginning and again at the celebratory end. Traditional management focus only on the beginnings and the endings but leadership is found in realising the collective potential of the journey.


The question is who is willing to walk the cold dark road. Those change agents who do the leadership work of nourishing new experiments shape the future. That path is hard but the work is the most purposeful and rewarding. 

Via Anne Landreat
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Anne Landreat's curator insight, July 8, 2014 7:11 PM

Ardu, le chemin de la transformation réelle, incarnée, du passage grandeur nature d'un système à un autre, l'est certainement.

Décourageant, déstabilisant, submergeant parfois aussi. Mais froid et sombre ? Non, pas si la transformation est effectivement accompagnée et nourrie, avec bienveillance et savoir-faire. Et que l'effet boule de neige, engagement d'un nombre toujours croissant de participants actifs dans le projet de changement est recherché et facilité sans relâche.

Alors, tout est possible.

networks and network weaving
How networks can transform our world
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Learning & Transformative Networks to Address Wicked Problems: A Golden Invitation

Learning & Transformative Networks to Address Wicked Problems: A Golden Invitation | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
AN NPQ CLASSIC:
NPQ has done a number of articles on how businesses should be accountable to society. This particular article explores that notion in a unique way. NPQ would like to thank the Barr Foundation for its support of our work on the emergence of networks as a primary driver of successful social impact.
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Users Polarization on Facebook and Youtube

On social media algorithms for content promotion, accounting for users preferences, might limit the exposure to unsolicited contents. In this work, we study how the same contents (videos) are consumed on different platforms -- i.e. Facebook and YouTube -- over a sample of 12M of users. Our findings show that the same content lead to the formation of echo chambers, irrespective of the online social network and thus of the algorithm for content promotion. Finally, we show that the users' commenting patterns are accurate early predictors for the formation of echo-chambers.

 

Users Polarization on Facebook and Youtube
Alessandro Bessi, Fabiana Zollo, Michela Del Vicario, Michelangelo Puliga, Antonio Scala, Guido Caldarelli, Brian Uzzi, Walter Quattrociocchi

http://arxiv.org/abs/1604.02705


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Inaugural lecture Tine De Moor available online — European Rural History Organisation

Inaugural lecture Tine De Moor available online — European Rural History Organisation | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
RHN 150/2013 | Publication
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Durably reducing transphobia: A field experiment on door-to-door canvassing

It's about building relationships!

 

Existing research depicts intergroup prejudices as deeply ingrained, requiring intense intervention to lastingly reduce. Here, we show that a single approximately 10-minute conversation encouraging actively taking the perspective of others can markedly reduce prejudice for at least 3 months. We illustrate this potential with a door-to-door canvassing intervention in South Florida targeting antitransgender prejudice. Despite declines in homophobia, transphobia remains pervasive. For the intervention, 56 canvassers went door to door encouraging active perspective-taking with 501 voters at voters’ doorsteps. A randomized trial found that these conversations substantially reduced transphobia, with decreases greater than Americans’ average decrease in homophobia from 1998 to 2012. These effects persisted for 3 months, and both transgender and nontransgender canvassers were effective. The intervention also increased support for a nondiscrimination law, even after exposing voters to counterarguments.

 

Durably reducing transphobia: A field experiment on door-to-door canvassing
David Broockman, Joshua Kalla

Science  08 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6282, pp. 220-224
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aad9713


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How Do You Change Voters’ Minds? Have a Conversation

How Do You Change Voters’ Minds? Have a Conversation | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
Going door to door, a Los Angeles-based activist group tries to reduce prejudice against transgender people. A new study finds that it works.
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The Value of Systems and Complexity Sciences for Healthcare (by Joachim P. Sturmberg)

This visionary reframing of health and healthcare uses a complexity science approach to building healthcare systems that are accessible, effective, and prepared for change and challenges. Its holistic map for understanding the human organism emphasizes the interconnectedness of the individual’s physical, psychological, cognitive, and sociocultural functioning. Applications of this approach are described in primary, specialist, and emergency care and at the organizational and policy levels, from translating findings to practice, to problem solving and evaluation. In this model, the differences between disease and illness and treating illness and restoring health are not mere wordplay, but instead are robust concepts reflecting real-world issues and their solutions. Topics covered include:


• Coping with complexity and uncertainty: insights from studying epidemiology in family medicine 
• Anticipation in complex systems: potential implications for improving safety and quality in healthcare 
• Monitoring variability and complexity at the bedside 
• Viewing mental health through the lens of complexity science 
• Ethical complexities in systems healthcare: what care and for whom? 
• The value of systems and complexity thinking to enable change in adaptive healthcare organizations supported by informatics 
• If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory: implications for health system reform


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Do jobs run in families?

Do jobs run in families? | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it

How much of our choice of profession depends on who our parents are? Parents pass on their genes, set an example, provide opportunities, and give advice to either aim for or steer clear of their own lines of work. In the end, do their children end up in the same type of job? Do siblings choose the same occupation? And is this more or less true for different professions?
To study these questions, we analyzed in aggregate two related sets of de-identified Facebook data: one a sample of siblings' choices of profession, and the other of parent-child choices. The sample included those pairs of individuals in English-speaking locales who specified a sibling or parent-child relationship on Facebook, along with filling in their occupations. The occupations were mapped to major occupation categories 1. The military occupation category is over-represented because it is mapped based on both employer and stated occupation and past military service, whereas other job categories were mapped based on stated occupation only. Since the data excludes those not specifying an occupation on Facebook, it may not be representative of the population overall, but is interesting to study nonetheless.

 

Do jobs run in families?
Ismail Onur Filiz, Lada Adamic

https://research.facebook.com/blog/do-jobs-run-in-families-/


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Why Events Don't Build Communities & Networks

Why Events Don't Build Communities & Networks | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
Until conveners and organizers discover what it means to design gatherings
for building communities and networks, they naively believe speaker or
entertainment based events can do so. They don't because they can't. People
congregate with familiar people talking about familiar things. The worst
scenario is when people don't interact with each other at all because
they're all passively listening to or watching others talk or entertain.

Existing connections don't deepen and new connections don't emerge.  This
only happens when gatherings are specifically structured to make these
possible. This happens when we invite people to name new conversations and
invite others present into them. It happens when we have network weavers
present actively connecting people who don't know each other, making rich
introductions and inviting connecting conversations. It takes a whole
different kind of social architecture.

 
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For Vulnerable Teenagers, a Web of Support

For Vulnerable Teenagers, a Web of Support | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
poverty should be defined as a condition of isolation, not just a lack of money. “Relationships are the key things that bring about real changes,”
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Brief for GSDR - Refugee Camps as a Spatial Phenomenon of Self-Organization .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

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Network Earth

The world is a complicated place. Our planet is made up of millions of networks from microscopic ecosystems to global migration. How can we ever hope to unde...
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Divided Despite Our Best Intentions: Racism, Globalism, and the Polarizing of our “National… — Medium

Divided Despite Our Best Intentions: Racism, Globalism, and the Polarizing of our “National… — Medium | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
I recently read a fascinating piece on Medium, “My BlackLivesMatter and AltRight Experiences,” in which Amy Stephen desc…
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Parasites Are Us

Parasites Are Us | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it

But if the mitochondria are me, doesn’t this mean I have two sets of genes? Aren’t I a mosaic of both my own cellular DNA and that of my mitochondria? The fact is that all of the “others”—whether they are parasitic or mutualistic, cheaters or straight-shooters, long-term residents or one-night stands—have a significant characteristic in common: They each carry their own DNA. And this means that, for however long they are inside their host’s body, two genetically distinct organisms are living under the same skin and, to one extent or another, are biologically intertwined. Deep down, at the core of our tissue, we are a gigantic, symbiotic array, a ragtag assortment of organisms. All of these are to some degree us.

 

http://nautil.us/issue/35/boundaries/parasites-are-us


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Calling Dunbar's Numbers

The social brain hypothesis predicts that humans have an average of about 150 relationships at any given time. Within this 150, there are layers of friends of an ego, where the number of friends in a layer increases as the emotional closeness decreases. Here we analyse a mobile phone dataset, firstly, to ascertain whether layers of friends can be identified based on call frequency. We then apply different clustering algorithms to break the call frequency of egos into clusters and compare the number of alters in each cluster with the layer size predicted by the social brain hypothesis. In this dataset we find strong evidence for the existence of a layered structure. The clustering yields results that match well with previous studies for the innermost and outermost layers, but for layers in between we observe large variability.

 

Calling Dunbar's Numbers
Pádraig MacCarron, Kimmo Kaski, Robin Dunbar

http://arxiv.org/abs/1604.02400


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Complexity and Grace - Saybrook University

Complexity and Grace - Saybrook University | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
I have been teaching systems thinking as an approach to deal with complexity for many years. Complexity has become a catch word, something that is recognized as a part of modern life, something that should not be ignored or simplified. We have too many examples of reductionist approaches that tried to solve a problem through... Read more »
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Nuit debout protesters occupy French cities in revolutionary call for change

Nuit debout protesters occupy French cities in revolutionary call for change | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
For more than a week, vast nocturnal gatherings have spread across France in a citizen-led movement that has rattled the government
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Knowing the Network and Knitting the Network

Knowing the Network and Knitting the Network | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
Lack of outside information, and dense cohesion within the network, removes all possibility for new ideas and innovations. We see this in isolated rural communities that are resistant to change, or…
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Design as Participation

The hypothesis is that most designers that are deliberately working with complex adaptive systems cannot help but be humbled by them. Maybe those who really design systems-interacting-with-systems approach their relationships to said systems with the daunting complexity of influence, rather than the hubris of definition or control.
The designers of complex adaptive systems are not strictly designing systems themselves. They are hinting those systems towards anticipated outcomes, from an array of existing interrelated systems. These are designers that do not understand themselves to be in the center of the system. Rather, they understand themselves to be participants, shaping the systems that interact with other forces, ideas, events and other designers. This essay is an exploration of what it means to participate.

 

Design as Participation
By Kevin Slavin

Journal of Design and Science

http://jods.mitpress.mit.edu/pub/design-as-participation


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From Consumerism to Relationships

Lots of good stuff in here about network mindset."

 

"This is the presentation I gave at GEC2016 in Medellín, Colombia. Its major theme is trust, particularly Design from Trust.

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The REAL Neuroscience of Creativity

The REAL Neuroscience of Creativity | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
So yea, you know how the left brain is really realistic, analytical, practical, organized, and logical, and th
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Researchers find the tipping point between resilience and collapse in complex systems

Researchers find the tipping point between resilience and collapse in complex systems | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
Using statistical physics, network scientist Albert-László Barabási and his colleagues have developed the first-ever tool to identify whether systems—be they technological, ecological, or biologica…
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Going Slow and Going Farther: Collective Impact and Building Networks for System Change

Going Slow and Going Farther: Collective Impact and Building Networks for System Change | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
A recent report out of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University highlights a number of food systems change efforts that have adopted a collective impact approach. Two of these are i…
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Former Occupiers Are Building a Network for Liberation | Civicist

Former Occupiers Are Building a Network for Liberation | Civicist | networks and network weaving | Scoop.it
The group Movement Netlab says Liberation.Network, which is being built on the open-source Activist Network Platform, will solve a big problem in decentralized movements: group-to-group communication.
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Networks of plants: how to measure similarity in vegetable species

Despite the common misconception of nearly static organisms, plants do interact continuously with the environment and with each other. It is fair to assume that during their evolution they developed particular features to overcome problems and to exploit possibilities from environment. In this paper we introduce various quantitative measures based on recent advancements in complex network theory that allow to measure the effective similarities of various species. By using this approach on the similarity in fruit-typology ecological traits we obtain a clear plant classification in a way similar to traditional taxonomic classification. This result is not trivial, since a similar analysis done on the basis of diaspore morphological properties do not provide any clear parameter to classify plants species. Complex network theory can then be used in order to determine which feature amongst many can be used to distinguish scope and possibly evolution of plants. Future uses of this approach range from functional classification to quantitative determination of plant communities in nature.


Networks of plants: how to measure similarity in vegetable species
Gianna Vivaldo, Elisa Masi, Camilla Pandolfi, Stefano Mancuso, Guido Caldarelli

http://arxiv.org/abs/1602.05887


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