Welcome to summer!
For those of you in the Bay Area, I’ll be giving a workshop on October 22nd at the San Mateo community college workshop from 900 AM to 330 PM. “Strategic Planning for Small and Medium Sized Organizations.” Participants will build a strategic knowledge map (SKM) using a new table-top “gamified” approach and learn how to use that map to engage people more collaboratively, evaluate their plans to predict their success, and improve their changes for reaching their goals.
Also, Vladislav Valentinov and I had a paper accepted for publication in Systemic Practice and Action Research: “A limit to our thinking and some unanticipated moral consequences: A science of conceptual systems perspective with some potential solutions.” DOI: 10.1007/s11213-016-9394-3 Available… of course… on request!
One paradox of modern society is the widespread use of highly complex mechanisms of economic and social self-regulation which produce a large number of unintended and often undesirable side-effects. Human conceptual systems (theories, policies, and mental models which support our thinking) are good enough to keep the self-regulatory mechanisms in operation; yet they are not good enough to prevent and control the undesirable contingencies. Systems thinking, and complexity science are growing in their usefulness for understanding our social systems as well as our conceptual systems. The present paper examines and explains this paradox by combining the ideas from the burgeoning science of conceptual systems and Niklas Luhmann’s social systems theory. Drawing on Luhmann’s argument that social systems build up their internal complexity by disregarding the complexity of the environment, we propose to differentiate between those conceptual systems that reflect the intra-systemic complexity and those that put the intra-systemic complexity in relation to the environmental complexity. Thus it comes about that the former conceptual systems, exemplified by physics, are much more effective and successful than the latter ones, often corresponding to social sciences. The chasm between the qualities of these systems can be overcome by using the tools of integrative propositional analysis.
Have a fun Summer!