Social innovation is doing something different with what we know for the benefit of our society. Design is a process of seeing and creating those different things. Systems thinking is a means of contemplating what the potential impact of our designs are and what unintended consequences and benefits might come from that. Evaluation is a systematic and often participatory process of gathering and distributing feedback to support all three of these. Sense-making is when we mindfully devote ourselves to understanding what the meaning of all of this is for each context we apply our learning to.
These are the domains in which I work.
In pursuit of understanding these fields and learning from others in the process, I stumble upon a lot of resources that I happily share with you here. I also occasionally write up stories on these resources at my other Censemaking blog on Tumblr.
Most of the resources listed are intended to be accessible to educated readers at different levels. I see much value in those that are directed at the public rather than academics: it forces writers to be clear and often encourages a level of integration across fields that purely academic works do not.
Resources for “Censemaking”
Blog post on network theory and natural systems:
Societies and Organizations:
Complexity & Systems Thinking
Ball, P. (2004). Critical mass: How one thing leads to another. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Benkler, Y. (2006). The wealth of networks. Available in print or electronically here: http://www.benkler.org/Benkler_Wealth_Of_Networks.pdf
Booth Sweeney, L. & Meadows, D. (2009). The systems thinking playbook. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishers ** A practical guide to using systems thinking in action. Games and activities for group problem solving.
Buchanan, M. (2002). Nexus: Small worlds and the groundbreaking science of networks. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
Capra, F. (2002). The hidden connections: integrating the biological, cognitive, and social dimensions of life into a science of sustainability. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Christakis, N.A. & Fowler, J.H. (2009). Connected: The surprising power of social networks and how they shape our lives. New York, NY: Little Brown.
Gunderson, L.H. & Holling, C.S. (eds) (2002). Panarchy: understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Washington, DC: Island Press
Kernick, D. (2004) (Ed). Complexity and healthcare organization: a view from the street. Oxford, UK: Radcliffe Medical Press
Kriz, J. (2008). Self-actualization: person-centred approach and systems theory. Ross-on-Wye, UK: PCCS Books.
McMillan, E. (2004). Complexity, organizations and change. London, UK: Routledge.
McMillan, E. (2008). Complexity, management and the dynamics of change. New York, NY: Routledge.
Mitchell, M. (2009). Complexity: A guided tour. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Monge, P. R., & Contractor, N. S. (2003). Theories of communication networks. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
National Cancer Institute (2007). Greater than the sum: systems thinking in tobacco control. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. Available in print or here.
Orrell, D. (2007). Apollo’s Arrow: The science of prediction and the future of everything. Toronto, ON: Harper Collins.
Page, S. E. (2007). The difference: how the power of diversity creates better groups, firms, schools and societies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Richardson, G. P. (1999). Feedback thought in social science and systems theory. Waltham. MA: Pegasus Communications.
Rowitz, L. (2006). Public health for the 21st century: The prepared leader. Sudbury, MA: Bartlett & Jones.
Sanders, T. (1998). Strategic thinking and the New Science. New York, NY: Free Press.
Sawyer, R.K. (2008). Group genius: The creative power of collaboration. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Stacey, R. D. (2001). Complex responsive processed in organizations: learning and knowledge creation. London, UK: Routledge.
Sterman, J. D. (2000). Business dynamics: Systems thinking and modeling for a complex world. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Surowiecki, J. (2004). The wisdom of crowds. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Walter, B., & Salt, D. (2006). Resilience thinking: Sustaining ecosystems and people in a changing world. Washington, DC: Island Press.
Watts, D. J. (1999). Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks Between Order and Randomness. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Watts, D. J. (2003). Six degrees: The science of a connected age. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
Westley, F., Zimmerman, B., & Patton, M. (2006). Getting to maybe: How the world is changed. Toronto, ON: Random House Canada.
Williams, B. & Hummelbrunner, R. (2010). Systems concepts in action: a practitioners’ toolkit. Stanford University Press
Williams, B., & Imam, I. (Eds.). (2007). Systems concepts in evaluation: An expert anthology. Point Reyes, CA: EdgePress of Inverness.
Design, Design Thinking & Strategic Foresight
A great annotated bibliography on design and the social sector is located at Design Observer:
Berger, W. (2010). Glimmer: How design can transform your life and maybe save the world. New York, NY: Penguin.
Carlopio, J. (2010). Strategy by design: A process of strategy innovation. New York, NY: Palgrave McMillan.
Farson, R. (2008). The power of design: a force for transforming everything. Norcross, GA: Greenway Communications.
Laurel, B. (Ed.) (2003). Design research: methods and perspectives. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Lockwood, T. (Ed.) (2010). Design thinking: Integrating innovation, customer experience, and brand value. New York, NY: Allworth Press.
Lockwood, T. & Walton, T. (Eds.) (2008). Building design strategy: Using design to achieve key business objectives. New York, NY: Alworth Press.
Maeda, J. (2006). The Laws of Simplicity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Martin, R. (2008). The opposable mind. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Martin, R. (2009). The design of business. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
NBBJ (2009). Change design: conversations about architecture as the ultimate business tool. Atlanta, GA: Greenway Communications.
Simmons, C. (2011). Just design: socially conscious design for critical causes. Cincinnati, OH: HOW Books.
Stickdorn, M. & Schneider, J. (2010). This is service design thinking: basics-cases-tools. Amsterdam, NL: BIS publishers.
van Abel, B., Evers, L., Klaassen, R., & Troxler, P. (2011). Open design now: why design cannot remain exclusive. Amsterdam, NL: BIS Publishers.
Knowledge Translation, Information Theories & Learning Communities
Brown, J. S., & Duguid, P. (2000). The social life of information. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Gilchrist, A. (2004). The Well-Connected Community: A Networking Approach To Community Development. Bristol, UK: Polity Press.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Social Media & Marketing
Brogan, C., & Smith, J. (2009). Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust. New York, NY: Wiley.
Joel, M. (2009). Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. Boston, MA: Grand Central Publishing.
Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody: the power of organizing without organizations. New York, NY: Penguin.
Solis, B. (2009). Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press.
Solis, B. (2010). Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web. New York, NY: Wiley.
Dozois, E., Langlois, M. and Blancher-Cohen, N (2010). DE 201: A practitioner’s Guide to Developmental Evaluation. Montreal: The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.
Gamble, J.A.A (2008). A Developmental Evaluation Primer. Montreal: The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.
Patton, M.Q. (2008). Utilization focused evaluation, 4th Edition. Sage.
Patton, M.Q. (2009). Developmental Evaluation. Canadian Evaluation Society presentation.
Patton, M.Q. (2010). Developmental Evaluation: Applying complexity concepts to enhance innovation and use. The Guilford Press.
Innovation and Discovery
Gladwell, M. (2009). Outliers. New York, NY: Little Brown and Company
See Malcolm Gladwell’s talk on culture and innovation from TED
Johnson, S.B. (2010). Where good ideas come from: the natural history of innovation. New York, NY: Riverhead Press.
Sawyer, R. K. (2006). Explaining creativity: The science of human innovation. Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press.
Sawyer, R. K. (2008). Group genius: The creative power of collaboration. New York, NY, Basic Books.