An ecology for systemic change. How to foster and empower disruptive innovation and the ongoing...

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Looking at how to embed into the system the code for its renewal. Fostering factors of opportunity and renewal as commons. A draft presentation, work in progress. The full paper is available here:

Transcript of An ecology for systemic change. How to foster and empower disruptive innovation and the ongoing...

  • An Ecology for Transforma0ve Ac0on & Systemic Change Helene Finidori May 2014
  • By Our System I mean the interac2ons between the mul2ple human and natural systems that make up our world, and the ows and accumula2ons they generate. We are currently in a situa0on where self-reinforcing feedback loops are pervasive, reinforcing the mechanisms in play and making them more powerful, and at the same 0me, making the system increasingly fragile. The widening inequality gap documented by PikeMy is a result of this phenomenon, power and opportunity is increasingly concentrated in fewer hands. Cumula0ve advantage and network eects resul0ng from preferen0al aMachment, herd mentality and winner takes all models, as well as the short term oriented nancialisa0on of the economy, and the speed, intensity and scope of informa0on ows, all reinforce each other and the nal outcomes in self-mul0plying ways. Our reward systems and the over applica0on of winning macro and micro economic models that end up overdosing keep us stuck in vicious circles as the remedy is believed to be more of the same. See Appendix for details on Feedback Our System is stuck in self-reinforcing feedback loops
  • We end up with resources aMracted, captured and extracted by a few 'winners, cumula0ng advantage (opportunity, success, power, credit, capital) in a reinforcing feedback loop, dedicated to reinforce the mechanisms that maintain the status quo or enclose opportunity and innova0on (to exploit or s0e it), crea0ng monopolies and dependencies. Centralized groups set the rules, which are not free market rules, giving way for manipula0on. Investment concentrates on eciency innova0on and nancial instruments that yield larger returns. Disrup0ve empowering innova0on as called for by Clayton Christensen can't really occur, or only empowers a few. The crea0ve destruc0on described by Schumpeter can't operate eec0vely, and the system is destroying itself as he predicted. Diversity shrinks and the seeds of opportunity for the renewal of the system, that ensure the thrivability of its interconnected economic, social and natural components, have diculty to sprout out. What happens to innova;on and opportunity?
  • Overshoot We are stuck here in accumula0ve self- reinforcing self-mul0plying feedback loops (r to K) with liMle renewal of the system The invisible hand (Adam Smith) does not operate Crea0ve destruc0on (Schumpeter) does not operate The system accumulates risk and fragility Release is increasingly violent and long to get over Adap;ve Cycles of Complex Adap;ve Systems Panarchy - Gunderson & Holling 2002
  • We need to embed the reproduc0on of distributed factors of opportunity & renewal in the code of the system at all levels and scales for the system to become genera0ve rather than extrac0ve. Secure ongoing Crea0ve Destruc0on at all levels and scales. Empower and enable the variety in the Long Tail and not only the few that operate in monoculture at the Head Avoid centralized or decentralized monopoly and accumula0on of fragility Leverage and ac0vate the forces of opportunity and innova0on already exis0ng in the system in the persons of change agents to this eect. Variety Popularity Power Distribu0on Graph What can we do as innovators, change agents or ac;vists? Head
  • The process of social change is a uid ongoing mul0-direc0onal and many-sided human transforma0on process that operates at many levels (R.C. Smith). Symbio0c Peer-to-peer Ins0tu0onal Technological Rela0onal Systemic Integra0ve More here: hMp:// Agency is distributed Change agents have dierent views of what to change and how, and they engage through dierent logics of change
  • Symbio0c Peer-to-Peer Ins0tu0onal Technological Rela0onal Systemic Integra0ve The engagement and ac;on logics : how people see change Return to the source and essen;als, and Mother Earth. Change as replenishment, harmony, aMunement of people with each other and nature, honoring all beings and life. Distributed livelihoods gh;ng the system as survivors or heroes. Change through empowerment, autonomy and resilience. The distributed nature of change and innova0on opera0ng outside of ins0tu0ons. Crea;ng legi;macy & stewardship through governance & ins;tu;ons. Change through law & policy, ethics & governance, limits and boundaries, applied within exis0ng ins0tu0ons. Seeking eciencies via new strategies & mechanisms. Change through sciences, technologies and tools, new organiza0onal, management and conserva0on/ preserva0on models, new indicators and metrics. Fostering emo;onal rela;onships: Change through social prac0ce, community, social responsibility, learning, collabora0ve and sharing prac0ces, prac0ces of wellbeing. Understanding systems & complexity linking theory & prac;ce: Change through systemic, dynamic and polycentric approaches, interweaving contexts and development, and the cultural, natural and technological aspects. Transforming self & others integra;ng the material, spiritual, societal. Change through experience of wholeness of existence through mind and spirit, deep sense making and awareness of systems interac0ons and dynamic processes.
  • archetype [ahr-ki-tahyp] n. 1. the original paMern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or rst form; prototype. 2. (in Jungian psychology) a collec0vely inherited unconscious idea, paMern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches. How can the dots connect? What is the underlying logic, the archetype, that can act as scaold to aggregate the diversity of disparate eorts for change, and work eec0vely toward the renewal of distributed opportuni0es in the system? How can distributed agency be leveraged?
  • The Commons How about the Commons as archetype? Dened as the distributed factors of opportunity & renewal, health & thrivability of the system that need to be protected, nurtured, and (re) produced? Encompassing: Objects of care and aQen;on: the resources and other material and immaterial factors of opportunity and enablement that people care for and take care of for the renewal and thrivability of the system. Processes: how people take care of the objects in distributed par0cipatory ways, the prac0ces, cultures, rela0onships, which are objects of care and aMen0on themselves. Outcomes: what results from the prac0ces, which become in turn objects of care
  • The commons The distributed factors of opportunity & renewal, health & thrivability of the system which ensure the on-going thrivability and renewal of the system as a whole and its individual agents at various levels and scales. Factors of Opportunity The seeds in the long tail Factors of Renewal The capacity to challenge & (re)invent Thrivability The capacity for frui0on & matura0on Health Distributed diversity & variety
  • A commons based Mul;-dimensional Mul;-faceted Systemic Change Working Model We need a mul0dimensional mul0faceted prac0cal approach to leverage agency in its dierent contexts and converge the eects of disparate eorts. We need a model genera0ve of commons, that operates on a wide array of leverage points at all levels of the system. This is not exclusively about crea0ng commons forms, but rather to embed the commons renewal code in the system, i.e. the elements that can ensure the protec0on and reproduc0on of the commons as an emergent outcome of human ac0vity. This presenta0on is conceptual, but the elements that cons0tute the model will be found in experience of genera0ve models and ac0vi0es and grounded in praxis.
  • Infrastructure & Parameters Behavior & Feedback Mechanisms Form Cultur