Tag Archive: emergence

February 13, 2013

Design and Emergence

emergence

|Photo by Dawn Huczek|http://www.flickr.com/photos/31064702@N05/3847338602|

Working with numerous multi-stakeholder collaborative change efforts, we at IISC are often invited to help people co-create the structures and processes that will move their complex work and collective development forward.  There is never an easy or readily apparent answer and each case is unique to its particular context and nature.  A quote that I’ve found helpful to quell some of the anxiety that comes up around this work, especially among those who want to rush to adopt a structure that others have used and “get on to the work” (more on this false dichotomy here), comes from Fritjof Capra from the Center for Ecoliteracy.  Capra writes about the importance of recognizing and working the dynamics of life. Read More

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February 12, 2013

Conditions for Emergence

The following comments was posted by Gibran as a response to Curtis Ogden‘s Collective Impact and Emergence blog post.  In it we are challenged to think beyond our institutions and think about how to truly impact the communities we work with. 

This is excellent Curtis. It brings me back to one of our most important inquiries – how do you nurture the conditions for emergence? With this inquiry, we are not just saying that emergence happens; we are saying that our best approach is to nurture it. It is a significant shift from a more top-down technical approach.

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February 6, 2013

Collective Impact and Emergence

I have appreciated the growing literature around what has been called “collective impact.”  These writings from staff at FSG have certainly helped people around the country engaged or aspiring to engage in collaborative multi-organizational change work to develop shared language around some of the important underpinnings of walking this path.  I have also voiced some concerns about what is NOT mentioned in these writings, including some of the critical process elements and experiences that are core to this work.

So I am heartened that in their most recent installment, “Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity,” the authors recognize that Collective Impact is not simply a recipe to be followed and that its unique unfolding is part of its power.   Read More

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January 27, 2013

A Down-to-Earth Economy

The following post has been reblogged from our friends at yes! Magazine. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 

Nature surrounds us with expressions of the organizing principles that make possible life’s exceptional resilience, capacity for adaptation, creative innovation, and vibrant abundance.” Read on as David Korten outlines how paying attention to natural systems can help us develop human systems that will sustain us for the long haul.

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January 22, 2013

Clinton on Creative Networks

I keep making references to Steven Johnson’s book, Future Perfect.  That’s because I find it to be one of the best articulations of what has become possible in this networked world. I am seduced by the idea of peer progressivism.

I have long held the hypothesis that those of us who have committed our lives to social transformation should be able to find a significant competitive advantage in a world of networks.  Our ethos should be one of sharing, one of working together, one of catalyzing our collective power.  Our values resonate with what is possible today.  But the time to step into this opportunity is right now – right as it is emerging.

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January 16, 2013

Living Systems Lessons for Networks

I was recently turned on to the work of Louise Diamond by the Plexus Institute.  Diamond has been bringing insights from the dynamics of complex systems to peace building work for many years.  Her efforts connect to a growing number of practitioners and thinkers who see the need to approach social change with an ecological and evolutionary mindset.  In one of her papers, she extracts some of the “simple rules” that yield core practices for working in this way.  Here I have adapted and adjusted some of them in application to network building for food systems change. Read More

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January 14, 2013

OPEN Summit

I’ve been on a whirlwind.  And it began with my facilitation of OPEN Summit.  The first ever leadership gathering of the world’s leading Online Progressive Engagement Networks.  Think MoveOn.org as replicated in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Germany and Papua New Guinea.  The great (and unbelievably sweet) Ben Brandzel had been dreaming this up for years!

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January 9, 2013

Developmental Facilitation

Another year, more time to hone our practice as facilitators.  As has been previously mentioned in the pages of this blog, the meaning of the term “facilitation” derives from its root “facile,” or easy, so facilitation is intended to make something easy or easier.  This is not to say that the practice of facilitation is or ever should be easy, and in these times of fracture and fear it can be especially challenging.  And it is not about doing work for others, so that they in some sense get off the hook or put the burden on the formally designated facilitator.

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January 4, 2013

Complexity and You

The following post has been reblogged from our friends at Management Assistant Group.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 

Robin Katcher, the new director of the Management Assistance Group, is a friend of the Institute’s and a leader among those of us who work to bring an understanding of networks and complexity to the work of social transformation.  I found these reflections on the more personal aspects of working with complexity to be specially appropriate for the beginning of a new year.

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December 26, 2012

GenFlux Leadership

IISC would like to share our Top 5 most influential post of 2012! Join us until the New Years Eve when we reveal our number 1 blog post!

Fast Company’s has a recent cover story on the new and chaotic frontier of business.

 Despite recession, currency crises, and tremors of financial instability, the pace of disruption is roaring ahead. The frictionless spread of information and the expansion of personal, corporate, and global networks have plenty of room to run. And here’s the conundrum: When businesspeople search for the right forecast–the road map and model that will define the next era–no credible long-term picture emerges. There is one certainty, however. The next decade or two will be defined more by fluidity than by any new, settled paradigm; if there is a pattern to all this, it is that there is no pattern. The most valuable insight is that we are, in a critical sense, in a time of chaos.

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