social systems Category

Lost together

Doing new things to create social value means going into the great unknown, yet our fear of being lost need not prevent us from innovating, wisely and sustainably. Instead of being lost alone, we can be lost together.  I’ve heard it all so many times before It’s all a dream to me now A dream to […]

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The healing power of curiosity

  It has been a heavy few weeks in the world. In times like this we often raise our voice to speak when perhaps we ought to listen more, for it is in listening and asking questions that we may be better positioned not only to understand what’s happening around us, but resist having these events […]

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Culture and heritage: Social systems in four dimensions

International sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics provide intriguing examples of the complexity and situated-nature of culture and heritage as people from all walks of life reveal, (re) create, adopt and adapt to some form of unique and shared identity, even if temporarily. This situated-ness is what illustrates one of the most substantial […]

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Ethics and Systemic Change

Systems change is a goal for many social advocates — whether aimed at politics, climate change, social norms or beyond — because often it’s only through changes to the interrelationships and boundaries that contain a system can lasting shifts be noticed. With great potential and power comes a responsibility to ensure that change yields more […]

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(Re) Making our World

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union is a nod to the future and the past and both perspectives illustrate how citizens everywhere are struggling with how to best make their world – and to what extent that’s possible. These are design choices with systems implications that will be felt far beyond those who are […]

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Decoding the change genome

Would we invest in something if we had little hard data to suggest what we could expect to gain from that investment? This is often the case with social programs, yet its a domain that has resisted the kind of data-driven approaches to investment that we’ve seen in other sectors and one theory is that we […]

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My troubled relationship with social media

Do you care about donuts? I did, once. I’m not so sure anymore. I used to love donuts, was passionate about donuts and spent the better part of my early career looking at the power of social media to transform our understanding of and engagement with donuts. Just this week, I had a paper published that […]

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Collective action, impact, intelligence & stupidity

Collective impact is based largely on the concept that we can do more together than apart, which holds true under the assumption that we can coordinate, organize and execute as a unit. This assumption doesn’t always hold true and the implications for getting it wrong require serious attention.  Anyone interested in social change knows that […]

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Mental health: talking and listening

Innovation might be doing things different to produce value, but there’s little value if we as a society are not able to embrace change because we’re hiding from mental illness either as individuals, organizations or communities. Without wellbeing and the space to acknowledge when we don’t have it any new product, idea or opportunity will […]

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Systems thinking and collective impact

When we seek change the temptation is looking for ‘the key’ component of a problem or situation that, if changed, is expected to lead to profound transformation. Too frequently these type of solutions fail not because the change to the component is poor, but that the thinking is not aligned to the system that contributes […]

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