Weaving the Streams of Systemic Change
Sahlan Momo’s invitation to guest edit the June 2015 issue of the Spanda Journal is an honour. I chose the topic of systemic change to explore further, from a systemic perspective, with a variety of talented thinkers and doers, the theory and practice of collective intelligence and transformative action towards generating abundance of commons, which I had written about in the two previous issues.
“How and where does systemic change manifest? How does it unfold? What are the leverage points, the forces and dynamics at play? What are the conditions for its empowerment and enablement? How do agency and structure come into the picture? We would like to look at the subject from various perspectives and disciplines, in research and praxis, exploring the visible and the invisible, space and time, unity and diversity, level and scale, movement and rhythm.”
This is the brief the authors received, with the mission to provide change agents working on the ground to make our world a better place with new practical insights.
There are three critical dimensions when considering systemic change. First the actual systemic behaviors, dynamics and effects: ‘what’ changes or requires change, as the produce of interactions between human action, the structures in place and natural phenomena. Second the purpose of the system and the intention of its actors: ‘why’, ‘what for’ things change, which may or not influence dynamics and outcomes. And third the human interactions in relation to the system and the processes by which intentional change is driven or influenced: how we share, discuss, compare and assess practices and possibilities, and ultimately decide on courses of action, and our language, communication, preferences and attitudes towards change. All dimensions are addressed here in their theoretical and practical aspects, with strategies, tools and methodologies that can help.
- Rasigan Maharajh, The Metabolic Rift. Anachronistic Institutions and the Anthropocene | Pages 1-10.
- Christiaan Weiler, The Return of the Real Space: Co-Authoring Space Planning for Community Resilience | Pages 11-20.
- Michel Bauwens, P2P Revolution and Commons Phase Transition. Notes on the Nature of the Revolution in the P2P Commons Epoch | Pages 21-24.
- R.c. Smith, Crisis, Social Transformation and the Frankfurt School: Toward a critical Social System Theory and the Alternative Philosophy of the Systemic Change | Pages 25-33.
- Anthony Judge, Requisite Meta-Reflection on Engagement in Systemic Change? Fiat, Fatwa and World Making in a Period of Existential Radicalisation | Pages 35-42.
- Douglas Schuler, How we May Think – The Next Chapter, Civic Intelligence and Metacognition | Pages 43-52.
- Jack Harich, Solving Difficult Large-Scale Social System Problems with Root Cause Analysis | Pages 53-66.
- Joe Brewer, Tools for Culture Design – Toward a Science of Social Change? | Pages 67-73.
- Bernard Stiegler, System and Technics, interview by Helene Finidori | Pages 75-81.
- Simone Cicero, On the Role of Platform Based Peer Production and the Commons in the Dynamic of Innovation | Pages 83-90
- Brett Reginald Scott, Open Source Finance Hacking: The Potentials and Problems | Pages 91-99.
- Jenny Quillien, Parsing Systemic Change | Pages 101-109.
- Ashwani Vasishth, Reconceptualizing Systemic Change Using an Ecosystem Approach from process-Function Ecology | Pages 111-118.
- William E. Smith, Making the Invisible Visible. The Dynamic Interplay between Purpose, Power and Leadership in Organizing Complexity | Pages 119-128.
- Carol Sanford, Language as Clue: The Effect of Paradigms in Creating Systemic Change in Business | Pages 129-135.
- Denis Postle, Systemic Change: The Role of 'Creativity Style' | Pages 137-145.
- Mimi Stokes-Katzenbach, Ensemble of Dramatic Systemic Change from Planetary Tragedy to Global Thriving in Three Stages | Pages 147-154.
- Michelle Holliday ~ Michael Jones, Living Systems. Theory and Practice of Stewarding Change | Pages 155-163.
- Alexander Laszlo, Living Systems, Seeing Systems, Being Systems: Learning to be the System we Wish to See in the World | Pages 165-173.
- Larry Victor, Uplifting Humankind to Create Humanity via Social Metamorphosis | Pages 175-183.
- Tom Atlee, Conversation in the Conscious Evolution of Social Systems | Pages 185-193.
- Lilian Ricaud, Permaculture Patterning, a Design Framework for Systemic Transformation | Pages 195-203.
- The Plast Collective, Pattern Languages for Systemic Transformation | Pages 205-218.