Proceedings of the IFSR Conversation 2012, St. Magdalena, Linz, Austria
Alexander Laszlo (USA) firstname.lastname@example.org, and
Stefan Blachfellner (Austria) email@example.com (team leaders)
Ockie Bosch (Australia) firstname.lastname@example.org
Nam Nguyen (Australia and Vietnam) email@example.com
Violeta Bulc (Slovenia) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Edson (USA) email@example.com
Jennifer Wilby (UK) firstname.lastname@example.org
George Pór – virtually (UK) email@example.com
Abstract: Our team worked on the practical design challenge of creating a series of related international events that address issues of livability and thrivability in terms of systemic socioecological innovation. To do this, we focused at two systemic levels of intervention: at one level (which became the meta-level), we focused on curating the conditions for a thrivable planet. This was the larger vision – the idealized design objective that allowed us to contemplate a variety of pathways to address this objective. In this sense, it served as a design attractor for our work. We then chose to focus upon one feasible and realizable pathway that could serve as a functional prototype for addressing the meta-level objective. The 57th 16th IFSR Conversation 2012 41 Meeting and Conference of the ISSS, set for Viet Nam in July of 2013, was selected to serve as the systemic case for our specific contextual design initiative. This became our system in focus, and our design efforts were then concentrated on setting an actionable agenda for the realization of this event.
Given that there are numerous pathways to address the metalevel design objective, we set the system level objective for the ISSS Conference based on the theme of Systemic Leverage Points for Emerging a Global Eco-Civilization. By setting this focus we intended for ISSS 2013 to provide both a platform for other contextual designs framed within the meta-level objective of curating the conditions for a thrivable planet, as well as to catalyze the emergence of a network of such initiatives through the specific system level focus chosen for this event. We
considered that the selected conference theme would attract living cases of systemic sustainability – those which demonstrate socio-ecological innovations that span social, technological, economic, agricultural, and infrastructural domains. By focusing ISSS 2013 on the exploration of both real-world cases of systemic sustainability and theoretical models dedicated to their promotion, this event will serve to seed the emergence of a Global Living Laboratory network of such initiatives. The result of this event would therefore be the emergence of an auto-catalytic socio-technical system focused on individual projects of systemic sustainability that collectively contribute to the creation of conditions for a thrivable planet.
The design we worked out for ISSS 2013 was based on the four ways of knowing described by Heron and Reason in 19971, moving from experiential knowing to presentational knowing to propositional knowing to practical knowing. Through both local and virtual conversation-based systemic inquiry, our design offers a key example of systemic socio-ecological innovation aided by collective intelligence.2
Keywords: Thrivability, systemic leverage points, eco-civilization, conscious evolution, curated emergence, systemic sustainability, ISSS 2013, Viet Nam.
1. The ‘why’ of what we are doing
- We know we cannot solve the problems in a meeting. so we create living laboratories
where people learn simply systems tools to help them change their mindset from linear to
more holistic thinking…
- We can change society through the type of work we are doing. Co-creation is a main aspect of this work – of the why.
- To prevent wars
- To ways design of bridging civilizations, to bring cross-civilization wisdom.
- To find ways of honestly engaging in societal change that addresses the common good of the broader society.
- To move toward a society that acknowledges through learning that the complexities we are facing in the world are multi-dimensional, multi-scaled, and interconnected and that there is therefore a need for a new way of thinking and acting in dealing with issues of governance at all levels of human interaction.
- To work towards a society, then it should be about a society where the full development of the whole supports the full development of all of its members
1.1 Sharing experiences that provide tools for us to draw upon
The Change The Game initiative is an inter-personal network. It seeks to bring together the people who are the leaders in paradigm change around innovation, ethics and leadership. The goal is to have people engage in ways that multiply the resources available to them. It is focused on a process of self-organization around common interests.
InCo – innovation communication, a movement founded by Violeta – has to do with promoting mass innovation as a driver for society. We cultivated the emergence of leadership from within by having individuals being just very active nodes, not pushing or pulling anyone anywhere… We created for the corporate environment a horizontal infrastructure to support mass innovation. It works for any organization. We also started the case of innovative local communities. It was important that all the participants had a common experience and common language to help emerge common projects. The cohesion through activating the base of the pyramid creates the platform for innovative thinkers and doers to really get things going — see http://www.incomovement.eu/ for more on InCo.
The Living Laboratory for Managing Complex Issues offers a methodology for creating informal learning spaces or platforms. We also offer a mechanism for creating effective future systems thinking/acting leaders through the Eco-Policy Game, which is part of the Eco-Policy Aid project.
The Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University offers a platform for engaging a broad crosssection of humanity that both has and does not have access to opportunities for higher education in a learning process that provides both their local and global conditions. Its R&D branch provides relevant learning content and processes for emerging a thrivable planet. It produces a huge pool of students who are in search of systemic sustainability projects in which to engage. It offers a rich and extensive network of content developers and luminaries.
Collective Intelligence initiatives (via George Por).
For details see:
Chaordic Chat Practice
2. Salient Points
2.1 The framework has to be normative
We ought to be trying to create the ‘fuzzy guiding principles’ that provide a framework/structure within which people can contribute their gifts to an emergent (but directional) process. (The directionality relates to the issue of emerging a global learning society for a new eco-civilization.)
2.2 We need to start with the young, as a major leverage point
Engaging in inter-generational learning processes are essential for the future of all.
2.3 The evolutionary process as a tendency
We can think of evolutionary process as a tendency toward greater structural complexity and organizational simplicity, more efficient modes of operation, and greater dynamic harmony.
2.4 Eco-civilization’s built-in values replace morality
If we show people how they gain value for themselves as well as for their systemic environment, they can see that there is real value creation. Then you don’t have to talk about morality any more. This is what I call the normal living of an eco-civilization. You don’t have to imply any other values to it, because it is already there.
2.5 The importance of ensuring that ideas/information travel through systems seamlessly
To make sure that the ideas and information are traveling through seamlessly. Making sure that there are coherent flows and processes that empower and enable the people in the associated networks and all the information is moving fluidly throughout such systems as meetings, sessions, conferences, media, etc.
We are witnessing the awakening of a global subjectivity, a global consciousness, at the same time as a global heart awakening, that is facilitated to these information flows which help break down all the barriers to their emergence.
2.6 Systemic Leverage Points to Intervene in a System
For details see:
3 Parking lot (highlights for future consideration and processing
If one of the conditions for Designing Learning Systems for Global Sustainability is creating a Global Knowledge Pool, then wouldn’t it be useful for modeling it in a very small scale, by prototyping a pool of our group’s relevant knowledge?
What can we do so that we have access to and can rely on each other’s knowledge to deal with the challenge of important pieces of contribution from different people being overlooked because we are so focused on a sequential conversation.
If we want to be part of the narrative, it could be useful to take a systemic look at these narratives articulated by Duane Elgin here: http://www.integralrevolution.com/integral-activism-inthe-social-commons . These narratives are of universal concern, simple and relatively easy to understand, emotionally powerful, and able to call forth our higher potentials; and all involve a time of profound initiation and deep transformation:
3.1 Humanity is Growing Up
Over tens of thousands of years, the human species has been learning and maturing. We have moved from our childhood as awakening hunter-gatherers to our late adolescence as a species on the edge of a planetary civilization. We are now moving collectively through a rite of passage, toward our early adulthood as a human community.3.2 A Global Brain is Awakening An unprecedented revolution in global communications is underway, integrating powerful technologies ranging from wireless networks to Internet connections, cell-phones, televisions, and much more. Combined, these technologies are rapidly wiring the global brain and supporting the awakening of collective consciousness from a local to a global scale.
3.3 Humanity is on a Heroic Journey
The Hero’s Journey has three, major stages: separation, initiation, and return. Over the past 45,000 years or so, the human community has moved from a long stage of separation from nature and one another, and we are now moving into a time of initiation, from which may come the insight to begin our journey of return to living in harmony with Earth, one another, and the living universe.
3.4 Choosing Conscious Evolution:
Consciousness is the knowing faculty. Our capacity for reflective or witnessing consciousness – to know that we know – enables us to take greater responsibility for our actions and their consequences. Unprecedented global crises are pressuring human consciousness to develop further, and we are poised to awaken to a collective knowing that we can choose consciously to evolve our capacities for living in harmony with the rest of life.
4 Designing ISSS 2013
Next, we turned to the case issue of how to design and structure the upcoming international conference of the ISSS – the International Society for the Systems Sciences, which is the premier systems society founded in 1954 by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Ralph Gerard, and Anatol Rapoport. It will hold it’s 57th annual meeting and conference from 14-19 July 2013, and this provides an excellent vehicle for us to focus our interests upon.
4.1 Naming convention
The title we chose pertains to the meta-design objective and the sub-title pertains to the specific project of ISSS 2013. Other project and learning spaces in service of the title will be integrated as other sub-titles.
systemic leverage points for emerging a global eco-civilization
4.2 The contribution of the Global Evolutionary Learning Laboratory (GELL) approach
GELL links biosphere reserves that are managed sustainably, in a way that allows to learn with and from each other. These places are living laboratories. They are not conservation areas (by and large), and people live there and there are businesses there, etc. They come together once a year to share – through their own cultural, political lenses –and experiment with different ways of managing these areas.
4.3 We are interested in finding the systemic interventions (not the ‘management
strategies’) to achieve the goal of systemic sustainability
UNESCO has promised to fund some of the potential participant funders to come to the conference and learn about the GELL. In combination with the ISSS, we would like the SIGs to showcase their knowledge and experience in systemic sustainability to the GELL membership, and we want the GELL membership to showcase their projects and models to the SIGs.
- getting potential funders by grabbing their imagination
- creating informal co-learning about systemic interventions (for thrivability)
- supporting different ‘small’ communities (Cat Ba, a project in Cambodia, etc.) contributing to the global knowledge pool about sustainability
- extension of the Llab concept to other parts of the world
- getting R&D involvement by inviting systems thinkers from around the world to become involved in the Global Evolutionary Learning Labs meta-project and specific systemic interventions.
- getting youth involved with the Eco-Policy game
Let’s take that framework and enrich it with the involvement of as many “show case” projects in systemic sustainability from around the world. We could spotlight the inspirational cases from around the world and give them the opportunity to share with each other and learn from each other.
4.4 Other contribution of cases offered to take to the conference
CTG – the Change The Game initiative founded by Stefan – is really a connector of initiatives rather than a project generator, itself. As such, it can help identify the players in the field, contact them, and also work on it so that they feel they want to come.
The School of Commoning (George Pór, Director) offers its now-forming network, the Convergence for Commons-based Economy, as yet another connector of initiatives, akin to the concepts outlined in “Full Spectrum Economics: Toward an Inclusive and Emancipatory Social Science”. (See related overview of the 12-seminar launch program in London, May 7-18, 2012.)
Global Commons work as promoted both by George (above) and by Stefan through CTG activates in the Salzburg Seminar Series – http://www.world-commons-forum.org/ and http://www.changethegame.org/news/3-event-news/19-global-commons-dialog.
The Input Paper written by Mary Edson for this IFSR Meeting here in Linz serves as an excellent background document and reference work for the what we are doing together here.3
We have catalysts, such as CTG, and attractors, such as the actionable vision of curating the conditions for a thrivable planet through systemic leverage points for emerging a global ecocivilization.
4.5 Stakeholders of ISSS 2013
- systems scientists
- systems practitioners
- legal entities
- R&D institutes
- ISSS members
- Children and youth
- Affiliate Networks
- Salzburg Global Seminars
- Change The Game
- Giordano Bruno GlobalShift Universities
- InCo network
- China and Japan systems interests
- business people
- social entrepreneurs
- Clinton Initiative
There is no systems approach to addressing the need for facilitating the boundary interactions of the various stakeholders. We have a great opportunity here!
It is also an opportunity to learn from such para-systemic, multi-stakeholder collaboration management approaches as the U Process, developed by Otto Scharmer, MIT. An example of that is ELIAS that stands for Emerging Leaders Innovate Across Sectors. It’s about creating platforms for leading and innovating on the scale of the whole system.
Another multi-stakeholder boundary management approach is Spiral Dynamics’ Meshworks to Thrive and Help Thrive, developed by Dr. Don Beck. George offers to be a resource person for both approaches if need be.
Also Gerald Midgley and Critical Thinking and Boundary Technique as resources and aspects to be included and involved.
4.6 Needs & Contents
- systems scientists
- venue to present their work
- updates from the field
- support of their networks
- seeking and discovering collaboration
- enlightened by different perspectives
- academic career development
- systems practitioners
- to get theoretical background in one’s area
- to meet inspirational, like-minded, insightful people
- learning from others
- life examples
- business credibility
- institutional thrivability
- relevant themes
- voting and participating in the future of ISSS
- identification with SIGs
- to be understood and recharged/appreciated
- belonging to a tribe
- having an intellectual home
- Affiliate Network Members
- present work
- network with affiliate projects
- to initiate joint projects
- exchange of speakers/membership
- reduction in rates for participation
- sharing resources/infrastructure
- co-planning events (places and time schedules)
- public credibility
- public relations
- political agendas
- meeting requirements for CSR
- charisma building
- opportunity for ‘doing good’ in the world
- meaningful investment opportunities
- awareness of emerging trends
- new project evaluation parameters
- successful cases
- linking old paradigms to new paradigm perspectives
(Potential funders need to be educated about the fact that we are looking for systemic
intervention points and not for quick fixes.)
- to have a voice and to be heard
- to have an influence
- access to new ways of thinking
- to participate in the learning, design and application process, and in particular, mutual,
- to have systems/systemic experiences
- eco-policy type games
- legal entities (associated with the ISSS)
- obligation to hold members meeting
- SIG sessions to report work (May-September)
- Council + membership, board, trustees meetings
- Office and VP (admin): only person who can sign for ISSS resources
- Board-agreed conference budget
! include interests/needs of the list from Funders & Supporters, above
4.7 Value Proposition
4.7.1 connect with people and ideas who hold a new paradigm
4.7.2 connect with people who carry out real projects that make a difference and can be used in other parts of the world
188.8.131.52 match making systemic needs with systemic solutions
184.108.40.206 supporting practice with theory and enriching theory with practical lessons
4.7.1 learn how to identify systemic interventions points / learn how to perceive systemic
sustainability / learn how to utilize systemic leverage points
4.8 Common themes among the needs identified, above
4.8.7 Communication platforms
4.8.2 Living case and successful examples
4.8.3 Relevant themes
4.8.4 Intellectual home base: the need to be understood and appreciated
4.8.5 Funders and supporters who emerge and appreciate new paradigms
4.8.6 Starting with the youth
Be part of the creation of a new paradigm. Based on living cases and successful examples and the creation and application of theoretical foundations. Individuals will be acknowledged for their contributions.
– measuring and evaluating methods appropriate to the new paradigm
– first session presents a case for the WHY of needing to curate the conditions for a thrivable planet
+ deals with what people are going to see
• here is where you are going to see these real-life things – on Cat Ba, and here in Hai Phong, etc.
– video-brainstorming (e.g. World Economic Forum)
– linking up remote stakeholder groups via hybrid (on-site/online) World Café
16th IFSR Conversation 2012 49
– to get really motivating speakers for the plenary sessions
– to create nodes where the theory people and the practice people meet to improve their process, foundations, models, etc.
– expanding existing projects and moving them into new areas through matching project in
the Global LLab Network sort of thing…
– to offer an exhibition option through posters that allow for the show-casing of theory and practice
+ visits – Cat Ba biosphere
+ games – eco-policy game
+ break-out sessions – information technology
– workshops – systems primer
– proceedings (now entirely online), enhanced by hyper-trails that reflects patterns that connect content across papers, thus laying foundations for an ISSS knowledge base
– presentations of living cases
– PARTNERS in the offer of ISSS 2013:
- ISSS (Jennifer)
- Hai Phong (Lien in collaboration with Nam)
- one bus per day from Ha Noi to Hai Phong City (approx. 100 by train or coach)
- at least half a dozen flights from Ho Chi Ming City to Hai Phong City
o continuous bus service from Hai Phong City airport to conference venue
- lots of hotels conveniently located within walking distance of the City Convention Center (built last year). If you have to take a taxi, it’s just 1 or 2 dollars.
o on Hoang Dieu Street
- welcome reception, conference dinner, all lunches, tea, rooms and equipment provided free of charge
- day trip to Cat Ba island provided as well
[See Appendix 2 for further details on the design of the conference flow]
5. Perspectives and dimensions to consider in the design
5.1 Four ways of knowing
We want to have the design of ISSS2013 thoroughly informed by a balanced distribution of 4 ways learning/knowing described by Heron4, and Heron and Reason in 19975. The indented line under each definition refers to data from Heron’s 1996 book chapter.
- Experiential knowing – learning through online forums, interactive chats, observation, reflection on personal experience.
o knowing by acquaintance is manifest as imaging and feeling the presence of some energy, entity, person, place, process or thing.
- Presentational knowing – learning through movies, graphics and diagrammatic presentations, animations, expressive arts.
o intuitive knowing of significant pattern is expressed in graphic, plastic, moving, musical and verbal art-forms.
- Propositional knowing – learning through readings, lectures, writing.
o knowing that is expressed in statements.
- Practical knowing – learning through doing, participating, designing different types of projects (e.g., research inquiry, problem-based learning, project oriented learning, service learning).
o knowing how is expressed in the exercise of a skill.
5.2 Design dimensions to consider
- inclusive frames of relational awareness (male/female, yin/yang, etc.)
5.3 Value propositions continued from previous day (completing entries from section 4.5, above)
- legal entities
– finding people, providing resources, and creating space to fulfill formal obligations
- the idea of belonging to a ‘tribe’ relates to the notion of celebrating one’s community of interest
+ also thinking about this within a domain of practice
+ include and highlight greater relational awareness
- shaping and having a void in the organization
- emerging and constituting the tribe
- the idea of belonging to a ‘tribe’ relates to the notion of celebrating one’s community of interest
- systems scientists
- to have a voice and to create an impact in the field of systems science
- situating oneself at the leading edge of the field
- systems practitioners
- to improve and enhance my own services
- seeking to form strategic alliances
- push the boundaries of my own practice
- affiliate networks/members
- gain wider exposure and recognition
- situating yourself in your professional value web
- to build confidence
- to be heard
- to be part of the society and feel like a member of the tribe
- to identify role models and mentors
- to have a fun engagement that increases my social capital
- to be part of a prestigious
- to flaunt my awesomeness and have it recognized
- opportunity build confidence AND be provocative heralds of change: rock the system – awesome!
+ to maximize that value, it will be essential to open pre-conference conversations with youth groups that have already embraced an evolutionary perspective, e.g. Generation Waking Up
5.4 Virtual participation and collective intelligence processes
If we applied state-of-the-art thinking, tools, and methods for augmenting collective intelligence (CI) to the CI of ISSS2013 attendees and stakeholders, then we could create a huge breakthrough in advancing the theory and practice of global learning systems!
5.5 Use cases may include
Building on the global nature of GELL, we’re seeking to emerge a web of nodal relationships, as a show-case for the ISSS. We could take one of the ISSS sessions and send it around the world through different time-zones for others to work on between days of the conference, and send us back their input available next morning.
For example, we could have Planetary Speakers enriching the output from one day to the next from other parts of the world, and they could offer asynchronous and virtual counter-parts to the Plenary Speakers at the conference each morning.
George offers to add a few more use-case scenarios based on today’s work on the layout of the conference.
5.6 Funding opportunities for the “collective intelligence” aspect of ISSS2013
Virtual teams in global businesses work around the clock. We could offer our moving the edge of CI experiments to potential sponsors, as their low-cost R&D lab in pushing the envelop of what is possible in hybrid (on-site/online) CI augmentation.
In addition, to technology companies we could offer the benefit from well-designed, high profile, trailblazing application using their collaboration technologies.
The third and more immediate source of funding can come from an energetic, concerted crowd funding campaign that needs to be managed by a team, not one person.
5.7 Software tools
Resource for collaborative and participatory creative design work (like we’re doing here), in a way that includes local and distant people: http://www.comapping.com/
George offers to develop this section into the technology layer of his event design Innovation Architecture that involves the artful integration of virtual and face-to-face events, supported by an online environment optimized for that integration.
5.7.1 TEDx Viet Nam – to be part of the one major evening event at Vietnam2013? (The TED talk series focus on Technology, Education and Development – http://www.ted.com)
That would require close collaboration with one of the number of current Vietnamese TEDx organizers or open conversation with a new one eligible to get the TEDx franchise.
5.8 Meta-thoughts for later processing
George noted the following: Through this type of interaction between the group in Linz and me in London, we are also building/contributing to a field of collaboration practices that engage groups at multiple location, using both synch and asynch modes of communication, different modalities (audio, video, text), multiple media channels and software tools. If feels like I’m dipping into the ocean of wisdom expressing itself in the experiences that each participant brings to the group. Then I’m diving for a gem and surfacing back to this screen, where I’m jotting down ideas/inspirations that it evokes. It’s like being in a jazz band and enjoying ensemble playing.
6 Taking stock of where we have been
6.1 The big goal is the Thrivable Planet.
6.2 We have identified the needs related to this goal, and the people most likely to be involved in addressing them.
6.3 We have then decided that we are going to do one thing to do this, ourselves: we are going to have an ISSS2013 event.
6.4 From this, we considered what the value propositions are that we can offer toward the toward the Thrivable Planet objective.
7. Three aspects of the emerging guidelines
7.1 documenting the guidelines of a global interactive initiative for an ecology of institutions and initiatives, from which a thrivable planet can emerge
7.2 providing an experiential basis for feeling what it would be like to be a part of an nitiative like that
7.3 pointing to (in very pragmatic ways) a living model of an eco-system of initiatives for collaboration around systemic sustainability.
8. Required initial conditions
- Emergence only works if/when there are individuals responsible for making things happen.
- Push: setting ‘initial conditions’ for the self-organization of a global, systemic process of project collaboration
- Pull: seeding ‘attractors’ for engagement in the process of weaving together new ways and best practices for shifting the paradigm toward a thrivable planet.
- Having the ISSS Council make an ongoing commitment of the ISSS to promote global action systems for sustaining and advocating a systemic thrivability agenda.
- We need to set up a knowledge repository, where we can read and share all that we are doing and coming up with.
- We also need to have an annual meeting of this group (even if it were in direct conjunction with the annual ISSS meeting).
- One of the things on the program that I would like to see is an inter-generational learning event.
9. The Collective Intelligence (CI) Initiative of ISSS2013
10.1.1 To create a breakthrough in advancing the theory and practice of global learning systems, while benefiting all (individual and collective) participants from its evolutionary
10.1.2 To form a “collective intelligence” community of practice, a global network of CI researches and students that can provide an ongoing link to upcoming systems conferences and their funders/supporters, in diverse regions of the world, after ISSS 2013.
10.2 Core idea
10.2.1 The core idea of this initiative is to prototype a CI-enhancement platform that integrates social, electronic, and cognitive technologies and processes for augmenting the collective intelligence of participants in a series of global-scale learning events.
10.2.2 The prototype should be scalable and capable to support an expanding web of co-creative, nodal relationships among individuals and groups, forming a social innovation ecosystem ptimized for augmenting the CI of all nodes, and the ecosystem as a whole.
George’s document called “Augmenting the Collective intelligence of ISSS2013” (see Appendix 1) outlines five prototyping case opportunities, as examples, building on some of our current projects. Once we become clear on which of the prototypes can get funded and how, then we will overlay Collective Intelligence Initiative on the design we have already made for the conference.
George accepted our invitation to be the Chief Architect for the CI Initiative of ISSS2013, and outlined what he offers to do in the “Augmenting the Collective intelligence of ISSS2013” section of this report that follows.
If you are interested in seeing the raw transcript with all the diagrams and graphic material generated by Team 3, please refer to the full length 46 page report from which this current report was excerpted.6
11. Augmenting the Collective intelligence of ISSS2013
Collective Intelligence (CI) is a shared or distributed intelligence that defines the capacity of groups, organizations, and social systems to evolve towards higher order complexity and harmony. It is an emergent property resulting from the operations of such evolutionary mechanisms as variation-feedback-selection and differentiation-integration-transformation of insights, knowledge and inspiration. Collective Intelligence is related to the central theme of the 2013 conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) through the notion of Relational Intelligence (RI). As presented in the Incoming Presidential Address for this year, RI is an integral non-siloed systemic intelligence that conveys “the capacity to engage a higher consciousness that synergizes the various forms of intelligence exemplified by recent studies in consciousness and related fields into one holistic engagement with experience.”7
The challenges of increasing complexity facing the human community at every scale cannot be solved without learning how to connect and bring into play the higher knowing and deeper sensing faculties of all of us. The good news is that evolution tends to make whole what was previously partial. Therefore, the emergence of collective minds from individual ones – without loss of identity but only gaining of synergy – is as natural as the emergence of molecules from atoms. The Collective Intelligence Enhancement Lab (CIEL) will serve as a prototype for enabling this type of learning and emergence on the scale of the 2013 conference of ISSS. The CIEL social learning system (the platform and the processes for making use of it) will be made available to project supporters and other interested stakeholders.
11.1 WHY — The Collective Intelligence Initiative
The 57th ISSS Meeting and Conference of 2013 “will be designed so as to be a key example of systemic socio-ecological innovation aided by collective intelligence. As a systemic design experiment in and of itself, the objective of the 57th ISSS Conference is to accelerate, richly connect, and increase the diversity of the processes by which all those who participate in the conference – either in person at the time of the conference, or virtually before, during and after the conference – are able to share, create, and innovate theories, methods, and practices that foster new paradigms in planetary thrivability and systemic conviviality.”8
The CI Initiative will lay the foundations for an inter-disciplinary community of “collective intelligence” practice, comprised of researchers, students, designers, social innovation leaders, artists, etc., which will have ongoing links to ISSS, IFSR, INCOSE, and other professional communities in the systems sciences field and beyond. A collaborative relationship with INCOSE will play a particularly important role in reaching one of the key objectives of the CI Initiative: identifying the systemic leverage points for the mega-project of transition an ego-civilization to an eco-civilization.
To enable those possibilities, we launch a Collective Intelligence Initiative, the core idea of which is to prototype a CI-boosting platform that integrates social, electronic, cognitive, and inner technologies and processes for augmenting the relational and collective intelligence of the
participants and their communities of practice or communities of interest. The working name of the platform is the Collective Intelligence Enhancement Lab (CIEL).
11.2 WHAT — The Collective Intelligence Enhancement Lab
CIEL will be “an auto-catalytic socio-technical system focused on individual projects of systemic sustainability that collectively contribute to the creation of conditions for a thrivable planet.”9 It will be a vehicle for enabling dialogue and collaboration among diverse and geographically dispersed individuals and institutions with a shared focus, built on the Innovation Architecture design framework and centered on an innovation ethic.
We use the Innovation Architecture framework to optimize CIEL for creating the best conditions for its users to discover and practice how to collaboratively identify systemic leverage points for evolutionary transformation in organizational and social systems. That framework will also allow the design team to:
- Foster the co-evolution of self-organizing “emergence” and deliberative “design.”
- Focus attention, first, on the high-leverage segments of the design’s critical path.
- Evaluate choices and tradeoffs among numerous design options, guided by a small set of generative design principles.
- Use the architectural layers as headings of a checklist for achieving the coherence and completeness of the design, by cycling through them in multiple, re-iterative loops.
The Innovation Architecture itself is an innovation in “socio-technical systems” design, which has built-in fractal patterns of isomorphism that facilitate the replication and scaling of systems created with it.
The knowledge and learning layer of the CIEL Innovation Architecture is concerned with (a) how we create/acquire, organize, portray, and share knowledge, and (b) how we enhance existing and develop new, individual and collective capabilities.
The primary concerns of the social layer are how we maintain and nourish co-creative stakeholder relations, foster high levels of participation, and promote the most favorable conditions for self-organization and co-governance. The scope of the “we” (system-in-focus) will change, as the circle of involvement expands throughout the three consequent cycles of the action research for prototyping CIEL.
The technology layer is concerned with (a) defining the optimal mix of features, configuration options, and modes of usage for powering up the social, knowledge/learning, and value creation architectures, and (b) embedding in the platform the technical conditions for its co-evolution with the individual and collective needs and aspirations of its users.
The value creation layer is about creating measurable value for the user community and its stakeholders, attracting the support needed for developing CIEL, including funding and making the project self-sustaining over time.
In the center, we hold the needs and aspirations of the stakeholder groups that are the systemin-
focus of the Innovation Architecture, which can be a community, a team, company, country, region, interest group, or as in our case: a design team -> a professional conference -> the social field of evolutionary emergence.
When the propeller blades start turning, the wind picks up and creates a vortex of innovation running through the four architectures. Each stream of innovation is strengthened by the combined power of the others. They interact, cross-fertilize and co-evolve with each other and the community. Each of them needs to receive expert attention, and much of it is needed simultaneously.10
11.3 WHO — The Players
The people and groups involved in the projects are:
A. CIEL Design Community
This international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational group of professionals is comprised of the main actors, who will carry out the work of prototyping and popularizing the CIEL platform, products and processes. More than a project team, this group us also a learning community, the seed of the “collective intelligence” community of practice, where people enjoy combining their talents to contribute together to the emergence of sustainable and evolutionary futures.
B. CIEL User Communities
- Evolutionary Learning Lab for Systems Education at the University of Adelaide, for which CIEL will galvanize its 7-stage learning cycle
- ISSS Systems Education SIG, where the Evolutionary Learning Lab for Systems Education at the other universities will meet to launch the Global Evolutionary Learning Lab (GELL) sketched out in the next section
- Global Learning Lab Network (GLL Net), whose annual meetings will be supplemented by CIEL, as a collaboration platform, thus enabling it to morph into GELL
- Related systemic thrivability, mass innovation, and collective intelligence initiatives around the world, which will benefit from the shared resources of the CIEL platform, including their combined knowledge and relational capital
- ISSS Evolutionary Development SIG, for which collaborating with the CIEL community will provide a live case, a self-running demo of the emergence of a Designing Community, to be presented at the 2013 conference
- ISSS 2013 attendees (in person and virtual)
- International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), with which we’re in conversation about developing an application of CIEL that uses Big Data for affecting the systemic leverage points for emerging a global eco-civilization.
C. Sponsoring organizations
- Universities that sponsor the development of CIEL will not only see their systems education programs galvanized GELL, but also have a chance to re-purpose our advanced, virtual learning environment to their other departments as well.
- Corporate sponsors will benefit from the Thrivable Planet theme of ISSS, as an enabler of Blue Ocean strategies, and from CIEL as their low-cost R&D lab in augmenting collective intelligence.
- Foundations that support discovering ways to shift global breakdowns into global breakthroughs, will have an opportunity to leverage the impact of their funds with the globally connected minds of systems scientist empowered by CIEL.
11.4 Creating the Design Space for a Global Evolutionary Learning Laboratory (GELL)
One of the main functions of CIEL will be to create a platform upon which to consolidate a series of initiatives already begun around the world in the form of Evolutionary Learning Laboratories (ELLabs).11 CIEL will provide an operational holding container in the form of the ISSS 2013 Conference in Vietnam during which the various ELLabs , along with similar systemic sustainability initiatives from around the world, will be brought into relationship to form a Global Evolutionary Learning Laboratory (GELL).
11.5 HOW — Methodology
The functional operation of CIEL as a dynamic system in its own right will be accomplished through the application of a modified and enhanced version of Participatory Action Research, known as GAR – Generative Action Research.
GAR methodology is a cyclic, emergent, participative and normative direction generating approach to the co-creation of meaning, knowledge, capabilities, or prototypes, by groups and organizations at increasing scale. Those four characteristics turn the circles presented below into sequences of an expanding spiral.
The diagram above illustrates our integration of the Generative Action Research methodology (developed by George Pór) with the Theory U process design within each cycle, which puts the synergy of two epistemic schools of thought in service of achieving greater results even with limited resources.
Cyclic — Action and understanding go through cycles of deliberate intervention and reflection.
Emergent — GAR design is not fully specified in advance of the inquiry, thereby allowing its cycles to respond to relevant knowledge emerging from the previous cycle. By way of such a guiding process, GAR remains flexible, yet robust, capable to adjust to changes in the emergent process of knowledge creation.
Participative — Those whose action are likely to affect or be affected by the intended systemic change are involved in designing the actions to be taken in the subsequent cycle.
This action research is “generative,” which means, it has the properties of self-sustaining, selfimproving, co-evolving, and self-propagating. It means that its results can:
- Sustain themselves after the completion of the initial cycle
- Enhance their value continually, by becoming target for ongoing improvement
- Co-evolve with their environment and grow into patterns of higher complexity and syntony
- Inspire partners and other stakeholders to re-use and replicate them
11.5.1 Normative Direction Generating — Rather than being either a matter of micromanagement and control or of aleatory and random processes, a process that is direction generation can arise from fuzzy guiding principles of dynamic self-organization. By agreeing that all the products and outcomes of our design efforts must be life-affirming, future-creating, and opportunity increasing, we establish the basis for collective ethical decision taking. This, in turn, has a “feed forward” function that evolves the system in certain directions, even though the specifics of that direction are not previously determined.12
11.6 The Four Fields of Coherence
The concept of “fields of coherence” rounds out the GAR methodology with a “spatial” dimension, i.e. within each phases of the three cycles, the process design will attend the observation to the criteria, enablers, and hindrances of coherence described as follows.
“1. At the first coherence domain – conviviality with oneself; personal or internal thrivability – the practices involve centering, quieting the monkey-mind, listening with every cell of our
being. These practices cultivate intuition, empathy, compassion, insight that matches
outsight, and a willingness to explore and follow our deepest calling.
2. At the second coherence domain – conviviality with others; community or interpersonal
– the practice involves deep dialogue and collaboration. Coming together to learn with and from each other and to engage in coordinated action with considerateness, openness, and joy in order to enable collective wisdom.
3. At the third coherence domain – conviviality with nature; ecosystemic or transpersonal sustainability – the practices involve communing; listening to the messages of all beings (whether they be waterfalls, animals, mountains or galaxies) and acknowledging our interdependence and ultimate unity.
4. At the fourth coherence domain – conviviality with the flows of being and becoming; evolutionary or integral thrivability – the practices involve learning to read the patterns of change of which we are a part; learning to hear the rhythms of life and becoming familiar with the improvisational jam session that nature has been playing since time immemorial.”13
11.7 The Challenge
CIEL will function as the design engine of the 2013 Conference. It will address both the bootstrapping of the design of the process of designing all the steps that lead up to the conference in July of 2013, as well as the operational design of the week-long conference, itself. The main focus of this design will be primarily two-fold: first, to provide a lived experience of systemic sustainability based on relational intelligence and augmented by collective intelligence, and second, to create the support system for the GELL to be introduced and accelerated onto the global scene at the conference, itself. CIEL is an unprecedented and challenging undertaking. To succeed will require the collaboration of many of us.
12. ISSS 2013 Conference Flow (continued from 4.11 and 4.12)
12.1 Plenary Sessions – one per day for four days (Mon-Thurs) + Friday closing plenary
12.2 Pre-conference activities
a. workshops and special offers
b. opening reception (Alexander, Ockie, Jennifer, Nam)
12.3 Day 1 – focus on Presentational Knowledge
a. Wednesday Plenary showcasing systemic sustainability projects from around the work
i. the idea would be to do a Progressive Plenary with both local and international
project presentations as we move through the different areas of Cat Ba (much
like what was done at the Salzburg Innovation Seminar of CTG in 2010)
b. Opening Plenary and Welcoming Ceremony – Monday 9am
i. Dr. Thanh + ministers (10 mins – Nam & Alexander)
1. Address (formal)
a. Dr. Thanh (90 mins – Ockie & Nam)
b. Alexander (90 mins)
ii. leverage points
iii. systemic sustainability
iv. tie to 2012 focus (service systs/nat systs)
c. Tea Break – 10:30am (30 mins)
i. Two (2) speakers (40 mins + 5 mins Q&A each)
1. Ockie Bosch (Ockie & Alexander)
a. on how this conference does what Alexander says
2. Speaker on how Systems Scientists can meet this challenge (possibly
c. inclusive of many points of view
d. SS2 orientation
e. Call to participation/action
d. Lunch (12:30 – 60 mins)
e. Break-out session (1:30 – 90 mins)
i. Intergenerational Challenge Game (youth) (Nam, Ockie, Violeta)
ii. Meet the Youth – organize the session with the youth
1. explore the issue of Thrivable Planet, etc.
iii. give each student a copy of Eco-Policy
f. Break (3:30)
g. Break-out session (4:00 – 120 mins)
i. SIG and paper streams (Jennifer, Mary, Alexander, SIG Chairs)
h. Break (6:00)
i. Evening Session – Intergenerational Challenge (game) (7:30-9:00pm – Ockie, Nam,
Violeta – with Stefan)
i. students play game
ii. ISSS Board Meeting
iii. Improvisational Participatory Arts event (Alexander, Lien, Judith)
12.4 Day 2 – focus on Practical Knowledge
a. Plenary (9am – 90 minutes)
i. Systems Scientist who addresses gaming need and power
ii. Malik who addresses specific example (Ockie)
b. Break (10:30)
c. Eco-Policy Game contest (11:00 – 90 mins – Malik, Ockie, Nam)
e. Break-out session (1:30)
62 16th IFSR Conversation 2012
i. SIGS & Paper Presentations plus Posters
1. track for systems basics (Jennifer, Alexander, SIG Chairs)
f. Break (6:00 pm)
g. Cultural Evening
i. Music + Fun
ii. ISSS Council Meeting
12.5 Day 3 – focus on Experiential Knowledge
a. Cat Ba progressive plenary process (Nam & Ockie)
i. Gathering – details about the day
ii. Journey throughout the island
1. Content nodes – 4 nodes
a. local presenters
b. global presenters
iii. Wrap-up session
iv. Return to conference site and hotels
12.6 Day 4 – Focus on Propositional Knowledge
a. Opening Presentation – Key Official (9am – Alexander)
i. who understands what we’re doing
ii. who can present/discuss leverage points
iii. who are successful
1. E.g., Bill Gates/Gates Foundation, Georg Soros, Richard Branson,
CEO STAR Alliance
2. always plan with back options
b. Roundtable with Funders, Supporters, Investors
c. Break (10:30)
d. Case Examples from Funders and Supporters
i. VINNOVA (proactive investment sort of orgs) (Violeta)
ii. STAR Alliance (Ockie)
e. Break-Out Sessions (1:30pm)
i. SIGs, papers, Systems Basics track(s) (Jennifer, Alexander, SIG Chairs)
f. Break (3:30)
g. Evolutionary World Café – focus on propositional interaction (4:00 – Alexander)
a. conversations that matter
b. about futures that matter
c. at leverage points that matter
ii. George notes: All that will matter only if the output form the World Café will be
recorded, and text and images organized digitally in a way optimized for
participants who are provided with structures of engagement for follow-up
iii. Alex&er comments: Ideally, we will have a “report back” session for sharing of
results and outcomes from each table…
h. Banquet and Awards
i. ISSS Vickers and Rapoport awards
ii. Eco-Policy award
iii. Host (Viet Nam) award
1. present(s) for Dr. Thanh (Ockie, Nam, Alexander)
i. Past Presidents and Student SIG reflection and visioning dialogue
12.7 Day 5 – closing and launching
i. Student Presentations (Vickers and Rapoport winners) (9am – Mary,
ii. SIG reports (Violeta, Mary, Alexander)
iii. Host Appreciation – formal thanks
iv. President’s Wrap-up (Alexander)
b. Break (10:30)
16th IFSR Conversation 2012 63
c. Incoming President’s Address (11:00am)
d. Membership Meeting (12noon)
13. Conference Preparation activities
Guideline paper (Alexander and Ockie)
Tourism options (see Post Conference activities, below)
14. Post Conference activities
Paper for proceedings (Alexander and Ockie)
Tourism activities – especially with a week between ISSS & ASC in China (Ockie and
o make a presentation about tourism options at ISSS2012
possibly on Friday
at lunch time
AV presentation in the Registration area running on a loop
designed and set up by 15 July 2012
o design packages from Viet Nam Office of Tourism
for pre-conference (long and short tours)
for post-conference (long and short tours)
o STAR Alliance discount (Ockie)
setting them up as “the Official Airline of ISSS ‘57”
15. Functional Domains of Responsibility of this team
Executive Actions + ISSS Admin issues Jennifer
Project Workflow Mary (plus ISSS Head Office through Jennifer)
Logistics (esp. in Vietnam) Nam
Executive Decisions and Thematic orientations Alexander (with Jennifer)
Marketing strategy Stefan and Violeta – but only in terms of what coordination of others
Web presence Stefan – but only with ideas and coordination others
16. Cross-checking outcomes
visits and tours
World Café, expert panels
Lab (set now as one full day)
Nodes (with meetings of different network stakeholders)
Moderators – session chairs
Rapporteurs – synthesizing and distilling key points from each session
TEDx Viet Nam – more appropriate for the Guidelines than for ISSS2013
16.1 Value propositions check
64 16th IFSR Conversation 2012
members – to shape and have a voice about future dev
affiliate networks/members – wider exposure to share
systems scientists – to have a voice and create impact
systems practitioners – to push boundaries and create alliances
funders and supporters – connect with people of leverage
youth – to connect with mentors and role and rock the world
legal entities – to have space to fulfill obligations
16.2 Pending tasks to be put into our project work-flow (Mary)
Sub-themes for each of the days of the event – Alexander
Trans-cultural activities and experiences – Nam and Ockie
Letter that describes what this conference is about – Alexander
17. Collective and Individual “To Do List” (Mary)
[continued from ‘Conference Preparation activities’ and ‘Post Conference activities’ above]
Test the model for the Viet Nam 2013 Conf at the San Jose 2012 Conf – Alex&er
List of affiliate networks with contact people – Stefan
Find and Obtain Sponsorships – Jennifer (with Michael Singer)
o Finance Officer for ISSS to be taken on by Michael (most likely) at ISSS2012
o STAR Alliance connection – Ockie
Challenge Future connection with Eco-Policy game – Violeta (CF) E-P (Ockie/Nam)
Championing “crow funding” pitch – George
Definition of the node topics/spots on Cat Ba – Ockie, Nam, Violeta and Stefan
Gaming Resources/Speaker – Stefan with Alexander
Find an engaging keynote speaker from business – Stefan with Alexander
Enhance affiliate networks – Stefan, Ockie and Alexander
Project workflow and planning – Mary
Communication facilitation – Mary
Introduction of local (Viet Nam) organizing committee to the ISSS Office – Nam
Formal establishment of the International Organizing Committee – Alex&er
o all team members propose their own official titles – EVERYONE
Preparation of Tourism Presentation for San Jose – Nam
Arrange and organize photo-gift for Dr. Thanh – Nam with Lien
Systems set-up for ISSS (papers, registration, etc.) – Jennifer
Hand-off of Vickers/Rapoport awards at ISSS2012 – Alexander with Jennifer
Award for Eco-Policy game – Ockie
1 Heron, John and Reason, Peter (1997). A participatory inquiry paradigm. Qualitative Inquiry, 3(3), p. 274- 294.
2 For a general overview of the four teams that met in Linz, Austria, for the 16th IFSR Conversation Event, see: Chroust, G. (ed.), IFSR Newsletter, Vol. 29 (2012), No. 1. IFSR – International Federation for Systems Research, Linz, Austria, Sept. 2012 [http://ifsr.ocg.at/world/files/NL29_1.pdf].
3 Edson, Mary. Developing Resilience in Project Teams – A Path to Enabling Organizations for Thrivability. In Chroust, G. , G. Metcalf (eds.), Systems and Science at Crossroads – Sixteenth IFSR Conversation Inst. f. Systems Engineering and Automation, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, SEA-SR-32, Sept. 2012. [http://ifsr.ocg.at/world/files/$12e$Magdalena-2012-proc.pdf]
4 Heron, John (1996) Bulleted definition of co-operative inquiry. Adapted from Chapter 3 of Co-operative Inquiry, London, Sage, 1996.
5 Heron, John and Reason, Peter (1997). A participatory inquiry paradigm. Qualitative Inquiry, 3(3), p. 274- 294.
6 Laszlo, Alexander. IFSR Conversation Event at Linz – 14-19 April 2012. In Chroust, G., G. Metcalf (eds.), Systems and Science at Crossroads – Sixteenth IFSR Conversation – Supplement. Inst. f. Systems Engineering and Automation, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria, SEA-SR-32, Nov. 2012. [http://ifsr.ocg.at/world/files/$12f$Magdalena-2012-supp.pdf]
7 Incoming Presidential Address for the 57th Meeting & Conference of the ISSS; see also de Quincey, Christian (2005), Radical Knowing: Understanding Consciousness through Relationship, Park Street Press.
8 Ibid. Incoming Presidential Address.
10 “Liberating the Innovation Value of Communities of Emerging Principles, Practices and Policies” (2005) Practice” by George Pór, in the textbook on “Knowledge Economics: Principles, Practices and Policies” — George Pór, the Chief Architect of the CI Initiative, introduced and successfully used the Innovation Architecture framework in the European Commission, INSEAD, and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, among other organizations and events.
11 Bosch, Ockie (2012). “Creating a Platform of Systems Interdependencies on which to Build Good Policy and Investment Decisions.” A publication of the Systems Design and Complexity Management Group of the Business School of the University of Adelaide, Australia.
12 See the concept of ‘macrodetermination’ in The Systems View of the World: A Holistic Vision for Our Time, by Ervin Laszlo.
13 Op. cit. Incoming Presidential Address.