Addressing the challenge of complexity is, ironically or perhaps appropriately, complex. But the challenge of dealing with the negative outcomes resulting from overly simple approaches to dealing with complexity will ultimately be far more so.
The social challenges from chronic disease, environmental threats, social migration, aging populations, economic disparities, and a more globalized, multicultural world require strategies that bring the best ideas to the table, strategies to realize them, and values that make these actions more equitable for everyone. Health promotion + design is one way to achieve this.
Metaphors and analogies are commonly used in systems thinking and complexity science to illustrate concepts that are, on their own, relatively complex and awkward to describe literally. A campfire provides both a metaphor for bringing people together, but also a literal tool that could be used more effectively in work with groups struggling to innovate, collaborate and contemplate together. From a design perspective, campfires and the social system that they create around them provide an opportunity to enhance intimacy quickly, allowing for the potential to explore issues in ways that are more difficult to do in other settings.
Some readers might be wondering what happened to the 30-day challenge with the CENSEmaking blog. After a run of a more than 7 posts in one week I realized that I was effectively creating a firehose of content for people who were accustomed to drinking from a water fountain, so I decided to take a …
The “core competencies” for DE already include qualities like people skills, knowledge of complexity, and communication skills (in addition to fundamental skills in evaluation methods and process implementation), but now we are adding additional ones. Motivation, behaviour change, program planning and design are all reasonable skills that would assist an evaluator in doing this work. Nice in theory, but how about in practice? Can we reasonably expect that there are enough people out there with these skills to do it well? Or is this a call for more of a team-science (or rather, team evaluation) approach to evaluation?
Yesterday I attended the Cure4Kids Global Health Summit at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The three day event (continuing for the next two days) aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, and clinicians working on issues of importance to child and youth health — including an emphasis on the role of engaging young people. …
It’s exciting to see what can be done for health when you run a study under ideal conditions, but rarely are those conditions present in everyday life. Are we really advancing science when we do this or just creating a larger gap between evidence and practice?
Identifying boundaries and setting them in moving forward with modeling and planning is a critical step in systems thinking practice so much so that it may be time to consider seeing boundaries as a core skill or competency for work in complex systems.
Of the many persistent myths about innovation, the lone genius is about the most sticky. Continued research shows how untrue this is.
The similarities between good wine and good knowledge might be worth considering as one imagines the type, quantity and pairing issues in parallel with practice. Imagine if we treated knowledge like wine in our work? Consider the role of the sommelier in picking the right knowledge to go with the right circumstance (a pairing). Recall …