Societal Change Systems Versus Production Systems

Networking Action

Distinguishing between Societal Change Systems (SCSs) and Production Systems (PSs) is the new frontier in large systems change work. The distinction provides enormous operational advantages to address scale.

2016 48

Systems Change Funding

Networking Action

Wondering how grantmaking can be more systemic and transformative? A great Systems Grantmaking Resource Guide helps answer that question. Although aimed for grantmakers, it’s also valuable for donor agencies and those applying for funding. The guide is the product of … Net Dev

2017 35

Trending Sources

Networks as Learning Systems

Networking Action

Most networks have “learning” as an important activity, but I’ve seen no impressive examples of systemic network learning strategies. The International Land Coalition (ILC) has made a big step forward to develop just that, described as its Systematic Knowledge and … Learning ILC

2015 64

Systems Thinking for Social Change

Networking Action

Whenever I sink myself into systems thinking, I realize it should be called systems being. As David Stroh describes in his new book Systems Thinking and Social Change integrating systems awareness has spiritual, emotional, and physical as well as mental … Net Dev

2015 53

Realizing Large Systems Change

Networking Action

Creating large change systems. Large system change, sometimes called transformation science, is a growing field of knowledge and … Blog Webinars Friday, February 27 & March 6. Friday, Feb. 27 1-2 PM Eastern Time (New York). Guests: Steve Waddell and Tom Bigda-Peyton.

2015 48

From Change Initiatives to Change Systems

Networking Action

Global change systems are evolving all around us. But is there a way to strengthen them and speed the pace of transformation to address critical issues of health, climate and poverty? In Milan last week a dozen people met for … Net Dev

2014 73

Systems Thinking and Complexity 101

How to Save the World

T here are four main purposes for learning about complexity and systems thinking: To appreciate how organic (complex) systems (bodies, organizations, cultures, ecosystems) really work. Why don’t the existing IT systems have a mechanism to capture knowledge?

2014 45

Collaboration Systems and Wearables

Michael Sampson - Currents

The Apple and Android options allow the installation of apps, meaning these have the potential to be used in conjunction with collaboration systems. – add notes to note-taking systems, like OneNote and Evernote. Some systems allow you to read notes too.

2015 39

The inevitable instability of systems

Bas Rues

Sometimes we tend to believe in the stability of systems. Systems are sometimes designed, think about road- or rail systems, or sometimes they are discovered, like stellar systems or the behavior of ant colonies. Without energy a system is dead (maybe stable?),

Large Systems Change: an emerging field of transformation and transitions

Networking Action

What is meant by “large systems change (LSC)?” How can we “do it” much better? What must change and what are the strategies to realize it? What does a comprehensive picture of the field of LSC knowledge and methods look … Net Dev

2015 57

Wicked Problems, Governance as Learning Systems

Networking Action

Wicked Problems, Governance as Learning Systems. Anyone working on multi-stakeholder issues is probably working with a “wicked problem”. That is actually a technical, academic term that has spurred some valuable work on how to take action in such a situation, … Net Dev

2013 60

Part 2: From Change Initiatives to Change Systems

Networking Action

Part 1 described global energy as a change system with five subsystems. The question was then asked: “What makes a (sub) system successful?” and “What must it do well, in order to realize its change goal?” Academically, these questions lead … Change

2014 61

Large Systems Change: An Emerging Field of Transformation and Transitions

Networking Action

Large Systems Change: An Emerging Field of Transformation and Transitions. In this paper we put forward a theory of large systems … Published ArticlesWaddell, S., Waddock, S., Cornell, S., Dentoni, D., McLachlan, M., & Meszoely, G. 2015). Journal of Corporate Citizenship(58).

2015 49

Governance and Large Systems Change: the case of financial inclusion

Networking Action

What are the implications of large systems change for traditional governance structures and public goods production? I recently dived into the question looking at the impact of financial inclusion on finance governance, including central banks. The was done in collaboration … Net Dev

2016 39

New publication: “It’s the Conversation, Stupid!” – Social Media Systems Design for Open Innovation Communities

Making CommunitySense

” Social Media Systems Design for Open Innovation Communities was just published in J.E. A fundamental challenge for open innovation lies in the successful crafting of the social media systems supporting the community conversations.

2013 62

Societal Change Systems: A Framework to Address Wicked Problems

Networking Action

Issues such as climate change, poverty, sustainable agriculture, and health care are described as wicked, messy, complex, and multi-level: they involve many hundreds of o rganizations at a national level; at a global level this easily increases to many thousands. … Net Dev

2016 42

Labs as a Large Systems Change Strategy

Networking Action

The concept of “labs” as a way to address complex issues is a relatively new concept. Zaid Hassan, in the Social Labs Revolution, estimates it to be about 20 years old. His intimate involvement in developing a number of them … Net Dev

Webinar: Peace-building as large systems change

Networking Action

This is part of a webinar series on large systems complex change. Date: Tuesday, Sept. Time: 9am PT/ noon ET/ 5pm UK/ 6pm CET/ 7pm Amman. Topic: Peace building. Place: j/260856719 ; or +1 408 638 0968 (US … Net Dev

2015 35

Competencies for Effective Societal Change Systems

Networking Action

To be effective, Societal Change Systems (SCSs) develop seven roles that require distinct competencies. This conclusion arises from a large amount of research by many people, including work that I’ve done with Global Action Networks. Academically these roles are usually … Net Dev

2016 27

Cultivating System Change Webinar Changed

Networking Action

Thursday, March 27: Cultivating system change – a practitioners companion. NOTE: The day has been changed to Thursday, and times are different for US/Canada because of daylight savings irregularities: 8am PT/ 11am ET/ 3pm UK/ 4pm CET (1 hour). Presenter: … Net Dev

2014 31

Large Systems Change Monday, Wednesday webinars

Networking Action

This are two of a free series of webinars on Large Systems Change. Click here for the series information, including past recordings. Register by sending an email to with “Webinar Registration” in the subject line. Date: Monday, Oct. 26… Net Dev

2015 27

Thinking about Large Scale System Change

Networking Action

This is part of a series of guest blogs on large systems change. Large scale systems change (LSSC) involves multiple organizations, systems, and groups, often from two or more sectors, that take actions to deliberately … Change Net Dev Sandra Waddock – Boston College.

2013 31

The Array of Tools for Large Systems Change

Networking Action

The early stage of development of the field of large systems change (LSC) knowledge and practice is reflected in the fragmentation of knowledge, tools, and methods amongst pioneer innovators and their specialties: collective impact is associated with FSG, David Cooperrider … Net Dev

2016 27

Part 3: From Change Initiatives to Change Systems

Networking Action

Part 1 introduced the concept of change system and five subsystems through a project on the global change system for electricity; Part 2 described the seven functions necessary for these systems to be effective. In this blog, these are integrated … Change

2014 35

The Many Sources of Transformation and Large Systems Change Knowledge

Networking Action

This is a webinar recording drawing from work with a World Bank project to create a framework for describing large systems change knowledge. I draw from streams of practice and study arising from four historic focii: (1) business and sustainable … Net Dev

2014 42

A Big System Organizing Method

Networking Action

We need new methodologies to develop networks. Our usual tools of interviews, mapping, dialogues and the growing range of meeting processes can’t deliver the scale and handle the complexity that characterize many of the pressing issues of today. And they’re … Net Dev GFI mapping

Large Systems Change and Action Research: Thursday Webinar

Networking Action

Topic: Action Research and Large Systems Change. Date: Thursday, Nov. Time: 9am PT/noon ET/5pm UK/ 6pm CET. Place: j/6821486123 +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) Meeting ID: 287 567 877 International numbers … Net Dev

2015 27

Call for Papers: Large Systems Change, Transformations and Transitions: An emerging field

Networking Action

Special Issue: Large Systems Change, Transformations and Transitions: An emerging field. Call For Papers: The Journal of Corporate Citizenship. NOTE: THERE IS A VERY TIGHT PRODUCTION SCHEDULE. The Editorial Team. This issue is being developed by the GOLDEN Ecosystems Lab … Net Dev

2014 56

Developing Large Systems Change Leadership

Networking Action

For a recording of the webinar described below, go here. Slides are available here. For more information about the Academy, go here. For access to the toolbox described in the webinar, go here. Presenter: Klaus Althoff … Net Dev

2014 21

Big Data and Large Systems Change: free webinar Thursday

Networking Action

Topic: Big Data and Large Systems Change. Date: Thursday, Oct. Time: 9am PT/noon ET/5pm UK/ 6pm CET Free, no registration required. Place: j/172922477 or audio +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) Meeting … Net Dev

2015 27

Mapping Systemic Change Processes

Networking Action

Joe Hsueh is a GOLDEN Ecosystems Labs Steward along with me, who works on large system change issues by applying system dynamics modeling. Drawing from these experiences, he has developed a system dynamics map that describes generic systemic change processes … Blog Change

2014 13

Barriers to Knowledge Sharing: The Biggest One Isn't Systems

Michael Sampson - Currents

The Future of High-Performance Work Systems – Towards Meaningful Work


2011 55

Why you should apply Living Systems Theory to Social Network Design

The Bumble Bee

With the explosion in social software and the recognition that these types of systems need to reach critical mass to survive and prosper it is amazing that so few people are applying the well-established philosophical principles of living systems ( autopoiesis ) to design for sustainability.

2012 61

exploring systemic cognition empirically

Taming the spaces

learning layers systemic cognition Activity description: We have in theory camp the need to combine some theoretical aspects for developing a theory framework for social semantic server, action design approach. We can use wordpress with KB widget for discovering collectively created resources. Every participant uses in the first stage KB to search and tag suitable resources. Each resource gets […].

Managing Three Time Horizons in Large System Change

Networking Action

As we struggle with issues that require transformational change such as climate change, the financial crises and water usage, we need better transition management tools. Some great work clarifies the need to work with three time Horizons that map nicely … Net Dev

2012 44

Let The Next Adventure Begin – The What Next (The System of Me)


A system of me , Luis Suarez, a.k.a. Before I go on and explain what I mean with that system of me, please do allow me to share a story over here that would help explain why I am choosing those words carefully in terms of what I will be doing next. Well, that’s where the system of me idea kicks in. Unleashing the system of w e! After yesterday’s blog post, I guess today’s the one everyone has been waiting for. Myself included.

2014 48

Systems Thinking is Awesome and a Trap Series: Quote #3I Was Thrown Out of NYU

Evolving Web

Systems thinking allows us to make sense of this turmoil and create structures to both harness and liberate our knowledge workers. Systems Thinking is Awesome and a Trap Because It Can Smooth Out the Rough Edges Human beings are chaotic. Quote #3 - I was thrown out of N.Y.U.

2011 56

Rio+20: Large systems change experience reflection

Networking Action

What does Rio +20 have to do with global change? It presents itself all about “change” and “transformation”…but what’s the strategy with the event? Consider the way things are organized. The NGOs are in tents on the beautiful Flamengo Beach; … Net Dev

2012 27

Why Systems Thinking is Awesome and a Trap in Five Quotes: Post 1: There Is No Spoon

Evolving Web

A few weeks ago, I awoke to a string of tweets by people on the other side of the world discussing what I would say about Systems Thinking’s limitations. Systems thinking is a major tool in my toolkit when working with teams and organizations.

2011 64