Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center (AVIC)

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There is a discussion underway at Systems Community of Inquiry focused on developing the concepts for a network of Ackoff Virtual Inqiry Centers (AVIC) located around the world. Early on, the original vision for AVIC, offered by Dr. John Pourdehnad, was that AVIC serve as a nervous system for the Systems and Design Community in Dr. Russell Ackoff’s name. With this belief, Dr. Pourdehnad also made clear the need for AVIC to be designed Ideally and created by the stakeholders themselves.

While an initial introduction document was developed the evolving state of development is embedded below from Comapping. This is very much a work in progress. If you would like to contribute to this endeavor send email to Gene Bellinger and access will be arranged. Please note the word contribute means actively engaged. There are a limited number of access accounts available so if you're not contributing your access will be provided to someone else. If you would care to submit comments on the outline developing below you can do that on the SCOI AVIC Discussion or simply send an email to Gene Bellinger or Kent Myers.

Note: The following outline was initially developed in Comapping.

AVIC

AVIC
Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center
  • FAQs
    • For participants
      • Who is doing this project, and for whom?
        Persons who had connetions to Ackoff and who have been discussing a new network since the Ackoff memorial service. Names have collected names of those who support the idea in theory. From among those people, designers have volunteered. They are working on behalf of anyone who wants this network to succeed and who qualify by having knowledge of systems and who want to advance the practice globally and virtually.
        • Current Participants w/Access
          Barabba, Vince
          Bellinger, Gene
          Ciccantelli, Susan
          Cherrie, Gavin
          Hawk,David
          Langman, Emma
          Midgley, Gerald
          Myers, Kent
          Pourdehnad, John
          Ziegenfuss, Jim
      • What are the milestones & schedule?
        Starts 1 July 2010 with hard stop on 31 August 2010.
        We will be brief and move through the (overlapping and rentrant) steps of idealized design and concentrate on funding details an on a presentation as well as the main text.
      • Where do I begin?
        Typically, you should find some agreement on what is missing and not working (the mess) but don't dwell there. Then think big about what would really be good, no constraints (ideals). You will have plenty to add elsewhere, but keep in mind that if it later appears not to connect well to the ideals, then it gets thrown out, no matter how sensible it seemed. If you aim high, you often find a way to get there, in steps at least, and then the steps become worth taking and the resources to do it arrive. Let us be a beacon.
      • What is the outcome?
        A document that inspires us, sponsors, and funders to do what we have planned. Confidence that we have something valuable and can make it happen.

        Isn't simply the delivery of a document a bit risky? Would it be possible to set up and delivery a webcast presentation. And this presentation could be structued from directly within Comapping. Kent, take a look at the options on the "Shortcuts and Presentations" tabl.
      • What should I edit?
        Participants might be reluctant to edit what other people submitted, and only add materials off in a corner where they feel on solid ground. Don't do that. Participate everywhere, otherwise you are not letting your influence be systemic. Also, if you haven't erased something, the result is going to be just a bag of rocks and not a gem. (See Drucker quotation.)

        Try to just put what you want to say into the text, but sometimes you will just want to complain! So do that, but mark a line for commentary below the text item and put the discussion below the line. Or write emails, but be sure to get every better idea back into the text .
      • References
        The attached documents were deveoped by individuals involved in this effort prior to initiating the continued evolution in this environment.
        • Introduction memo on AVIC
          This is the AVIC introduction document developed by the SCIO discussion group and it is the basis for this design effort. Note that the document seems to be sort of a confusion between the operation of the discussion group and the creation / design and operation of an AVIC.

          It is hoped that this effort can get that sorted out and make some real progress in terms of desining and developing the network of AVICs.

          The subtopics for this item were the result of a built in content analysis function within Comapping.
          • aggregate
            • The Converge Stage In the converge stage, a core team of designers will take all your ideas and synthersize them into a cohesive whole.
          • stakeholders
            • Document Purpose This document is intended to provide getting-started-reference material for those stakeholders interested in contributing to the design of the Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center.
          • Pourdehnad
            • Historical view on AVIC Design Early on, the original vision for AVIC, offered by Dr. John Pourdehnad, was that it serve as a nervous system for the Systems and Design Community in Dr. Russell Ackoff’s name.
          • vision
            • Historical view on AVIC Design Early on, the original vision for AVIC, offered by Dr. John Pourdehnad, was that it serve as a nervous system for the Systems and Design Community in Dr. Russell Ackoff’s name.
            • Affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, the following Vision, Mission and Value statements were formed, largely via ethnographic interview, by an early student group committed to AVIC’s creation.
            • Vision A forum with which to explore Systems and Design thinking for anyone who might be interested.
          • creation
            • Affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, the following Vision, Mission and Value statements were formed, largely via ethnographic interview, by an early student group committed to AVIC’s creation.
          • design thinking
            • Vision A forum with which to explore Systems and Design thinking for anyone who might be interested.
          • community
            • Historical view on AVIC Design Early on, the original vision for AVIC, offered by Dr. John Pourdehnad, was that it serve as a nervous system for the Systems and Design Community in Dr. Russell Ackoff’s name.
          • Ackoff Virtual Inquiry
            • Document Purpose This document is intended to provide getting-started-reference material for those stakeholders interested in contributing to the design of the Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center.
          • Ackoff
            • Document Purpose This document is intended to provide getting-started-reference material for those stakeholders interested in contributing to the design of the Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center.
            • Historical view on AVIC Design Early on, the original vision for AVIC, offered by Dr. John Pourdehnad, was that it serve as a nervous system for the Systems and Design Community in Dr. Russell Ackoff’s name.
          • design
            • Document Purpose This document is intended to provide getting-started-reference material for those stakeholders interested in contributing to the design of the Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center.
            • Historical view on AVIC Design Early on, the original vision for AVIC, offered by Dr. John Pourdehnad, was that it serve as a nervous system for the Systems and Design Community in Dr. Russell Ackoff’s name.
            • Vision A forum with which to explore Systems and Design thinking for anyone who might be interested.
            • The Converge Stage In the converge stage, a core team of designers will take all your ideas and aggregate them into a cohesive whole.
        • ACDT Design Doc
          Initial design document developed by Kent Myers. In Apr '10. The subtopics were automatically generated from a context mapping of the source document.
          • Contributors
            • Profiles of Prospective Centers and Individual Contributors 7.
          • collaboration
            • One’s project results will be considered for further use and development by other members (subject to mutual agreement and protection of intellectual property) Inqurirers are encouraged to use the ACDT web badge and other branded means of identification and communication to promote outside interest in ACDT and to expand membership among those who can contribute and learn Lead inquirers are expected to accommodate the participation of associate inquirers in their projects (subject to the client permission) Many of the projects are unusual learning opportunities and are often led by highly qualified researchers, practitioners, and educators.ᅠ Associate inquirers make a learning contract or action research agreement with the sponsoring lead inquirer.ᅠ Associate inquirers are registeredᅠ with a center and have accounts in the collaboration workspace.
          • support
            • ACDT Support Servicesᅠ 5.
            • Interacting Components of the ACDT Networking is recognized as a powerful means for advancing knowledge and practice.ᅠ The role of the Internet in supporting this process is only beginning to be understood.ᅠ Online networking will be a key aspect of ACDT and a focus for innovation.ᅠ Networking occurs within and among the three entities that ACDT recognizes: inquirer, project, and center.ᅠ ᅠ Inquirer.ᅠ Lead inquirers have interdependent projects that are registered with the association.ᅠ When a project's completion date is reached and documentation is posted, another project must be registered in order for the inquirer to maintain active status.ᅠ Benefits and obligations of lead inquirers include the following: Inquirers are expected to ask for, and to offer in return, advice and support from other inquirers.ᅠ These exchanges contribute to the success of projects and to the growth of individual capability and shared knowledge.ᅠ The COTW (Committee of the Whole) will monitor interaction and will encourage those who are inactive to raise their activity.ᅠ The COTW will also encourage those who have an imbalance in queries and responses to shift to a roughly balanced flow of interaction.
          • COTW
            • Agenda of the COTW 6.
            • Interacting Components of the ACDT Networking is recognized as a powerful means for advancing knowledge and practice.ᅠ The role of the Internet in supporting this process is only beginning to be understood.ᅠ Online networking will be a key aspect of ACDT and a focus for innovation.ᅠ Networking occurs within and among the three entities that ACDT recognizes: inquirer, project, and center.ᅠ ᅠ Inquirer.ᅠ Lead inquirers have interdependent projects that are registered with the association.ᅠ When a project's completion date is reached and documentation is posted, another project must be registered in order for the inquirer to maintain active status.ᅠ Benefits and obligations of lead inquirers include the following: Inquirers are expected to ask for, and to offer in return, advice and support from other inquirers.ᅠ These exchanges contribute to the success of projects and to the growth of individual capability and shared knowledge.ᅠ The COTW (Committee of the Whole) will monitor interaction and will encourage those who are inactive to raise their activity.ᅠ The COTW will also encourage those who have an imbalance in queries and responses to shift to a roughly balanced flow of interaction.
          • profile
            • Profiles of Prospective Centers and Individual Contributors 7.
            • The center maintains an institutional profile in the collaborative system and profiles of its lead inquirers.ᅠ The institutional profile will include a brief programmatic statement indicating long-term interests and intentions.
          • lead inquirers
            • Interacting Components of the ACDT Networking is recognized as a powerful means for advancing knowledge and practice.ᅠ The role of the Internet in supporting this process is only beginning to be understood.ᅠ Online networking will be a key aspect of ACDT and a focus for innovation.ᅠ Networking occurs within and among the three entities that ACDT recognizes: inquirer, project, and center.ᅠ ᅠ Inquirer.ᅠ Lead inquirers have interdependent projects that are registered with the association.ᅠ When a project's completion date is reached and documentation is posted, another project must be registered in order for the inquirer to maintain active status.ᅠ Benefits and obligations of lead inquirers include the following: Inquirers are expected to ask for, and to offer in return, advice and support from other inquirers.ᅠ These exchanges contribute to the success of projects and to the growth of individual capability and shared knowledge.ᅠ The COTW (Committee of the Whole) will monitor interaction and will encourage those who are inactive to raise their activity.ᅠ The COTW will also encourage those who have an imbalance in queries and responses to shift to a roughly balanced flow of interaction.
            • One’s project results will be considered for further use and development by other members (subject to mutual agreement and protection of intellectual property) Inqurirers are encouraged to use the ACDT web badge and other branded means of identification and communication to promote outside interest in ACDT and to expand membership among those who can contribute and learn Lead inquirers are expected to accommodate the participation of associate inquirers in their projects (subject to the client permission) Many of the projects are unusual learning opportunities and are often led by highly qualified researchers, practitioners, and educators.ᅠ Associate inquirers make a learning contract or action research agreement with the sponsoring lead inquirer.ᅠ Associate inquirers are registeredᅠ with a center and have accounts in the collaboration workspace.
            • The center maintains an institutional profile in the collaborative system and profiles of its lead inquirers.ᅠ The institutional profile will include a brief programmatic statement indicating long-term interests and intentions.
          • members
            • The point of ACDT, which makes it distinctive, is to develop more intimate interdependencies among members, focused on vital projects and advances in reflective practice.ᅠᅠ Another distinctive feature is our global orientation.
            • One’s project results will be considered for further use and development by other members (subject to mutual agreement and protection of intellectual property) Inqurirers are encouraged to use the ACDT web badge and other branded means of identification and communication to promote outside interest in ACDT and to expand membership among those who can contribute and learn Lead inquirers are expected to accommodate the participation of associate inquirers in their projects (subject to the client permission) Many of the projects are unusual learning opportunities and are often led by highly qualified researchers, practitioners, and educators.ᅠ Associate inquirers make a learning contract or action research agreement with the sponsoring lead inquirer.ᅠ Associate inquirers are registeredᅠ with a center and have accounts in the collaboration workspace.
          • systems thinking
            • Purpose of ACDT The Ackoff Centers for Design Thinking (ACDT) is an association.ᅠ Its purpose is to: Promote systems design and systems thinking Enhance projects of systems thinkers around the world Contribute to the solution of intractable problems [1] Honor Ackoff's legacy and contribution to management sciences Existing associations provide valuable services to systems thinkers, and we do not intend to displace them.ᅠ On the contrary, we intend to develop alliances with them.
          • inquirers
            • Interacting Components of the ACDT Networking is recognized as a powerful means for advancing knowledge and practice.ᅠ The role of the Internet in supporting this process is only beginning to be understood.ᅠ Online networking will be a key aspect of ACDT and a focus for innovation.ᅠ Networking occurs within and among the three entities that ACDT recognizes: inquirer, project, and center.ᅠ ᅠ Inquirer.ᅠ Lead inquirers have interdependent projects that are registered with the association.ᅠ When a project's completion date is reached and documentation is posted, another project must be registered in order for the inquirer to maintain active status.ᅠ Benefits and obligations of lead inquirers include the following: Inquirers are expected to ask for, and to offer in return, advice and support from other inquirers.ᅠ These exchanges contribute to the success of projects and to the growth of individual capability and shared knowledge.ᅠ The COTW (Committee of the Whole) will monitor interaction and will encourage those who are inactive to raise their activity.ᅠ The COTW will also encourage those who have an imbalance in queries and responses to shift to a roughly balanced flow of interaction.
            • One’s project results will be considered for further use and development by other members (subject to mutual agreement and protection of intellectual property) Inqurirers are encouraged to use the ACDT web badge and other branded means of identification and communication to promote outside interest in ACDT and to expand membership among those who can contribute and learn Lead inquirers are expected to accommodate the participation of associate inquirers in their projects (subject to the client permission) Many of the projects are unusual learning opportunities and are often led by highly qualified researchers, practitioners, and educators.ᅠ Associate inquirers make a learning contract or action research agreement with the sponsoring lead inquirer.ᅠ Associate inquirers are registeredᅠ with a center and have accounts in the collaboration workspace.
            • The center maintains an institutional profile in the collaborative system and profiles of its lead inquirers.ᅠ The institutional profile will include a brief programmatic statement indicating long-term interests and intentions.
          • ACDT
            • ACDT will have a collaborative workspace where we can talk about this, and we will be talking about it at the Washington meeting on April 24.ᅠ Notification of ACDT events and milestones will be posted at two additional sites: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SystemsThinkers http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2696933&trk=hb_side_g ᅠ Table of Contents 1.
            • ACDT Support Servicesᅠ 5.
            • Purpose of ACDT The Ackoff Centers for Design Thinking (ACDT) is an association.ᅠ Its purpose is to: Promote systems design and systems thinking Enhance projects of systems thinkers around the world Contribute to the solution of intractable problems [1] Honor Ackoff's legacy and contribution to management sciences Existing associations provide valuable services to systems thinkers, and we do not intend to displace them.ᅠ On the contrary, we intend to develop alliances with them.
            • The point of ACDT, which makes it distinctive, is to develop more intimate interdependencies among members, focused on vital projects and advances in reflective practice.ᅠᅠ Another distinctive feature is our global orientation.
            • Interacting Components of the ACDT Networking is recognized as a powerful means for advancing knowledge and practice.ᅠ The role of the Internet in supporting this process is only beginning to be understood.ᅠ Online networking will be a key aspect of ACDT and a focus for innovation.ᅠ Networking occurs within and among the three entities that ACDT recognizes: inquirer, project, and center.ᅠ ᅠ Inquirer.ᅠ Lead inquirers have interdependent projects that are registered with the association.ᅠ When a project's completion date is reached and documentation is posted, another project must be registered in order for the inquirer to maintain active status.ᅠ Benefits and obligations of lead inquirers include the following: Inquirers are expected to ask for, and to offer in return, advice and support from other inquirers.ᅠ These exchanges contribute to the success of projects and to the growth of individual capability and shared knowledge.ᅠ The COTW (Committee of the Whole) will monitor interaction and will encourage those who are inactive to raise their activity.ᅠ The COTW will also encourage those who have an imbalance in queries and responses to shift to a roughly balanced flow of interaction.
            • One’s project results will be considered for further use and development by other members (subject to mutual agreement and protection of intellectual property) Inqurirers are encouraged to use the ACDT web badge and other branded means of identification and communication to promote outside interest in ACDT and to expand membership among those who can contribute and learn Lead inquirers are expected to accommodate the participation of associate inquirers in their projects (subject to the client permission) Many of the projects are unusual learning opportunities and are often led by highly qualified researchers, practitioners, and educators.ᅠ Associate inquirers make a learning contract or action research agreement with the sponsoring lead inquirer.ᅠ Associate inquirers are registeredᅠ with a center and have accounts in the collaboration workspace.
        • AVIC View at SystemsWiki
          The associated link is to the SystemsWiki page that provides a view of this effort to anyone that wishes to view the endeavor unfolding.
        • Idealized Design References
          This is a link to a page on SystemsWiki with numerous Interactive Planning and Idealized Design refrences.
        • SYSCOI Discussion Group
          The forum where the AVIC discussion resides.
    • For recipients
      - This is at Penn. How does this fit with the institution?
      - What is the role of faculty, or outsiders?
      - How do sponsoring institutions/clients/donors participate?
      ===commentary===
      The questions that approvers, funders, and partners ask that must be answered in the design and business plan. The answers explain the kind of institution this is.
    • Insights from Use
      After employing the VSI approach on a number of projects there are several learnings that seem to be well worth sharing.
      • Initiating / Necessary
        It is essential that the following items be in place before the project is undertaken.
        • Objective
          A clear objective of just what the project is intended to accomplish.
        • Facilitator
          A facilitator who understands, agrees to, and will provide the services necessary to keep the project moving forward and on track. This is not a responsbility to be looked on lightly because it has been found to be quite a task.
        • Participants
          Ensure a sufficient number of participants have been identified who are considered to be able to provide the contributions necessary to continue to move the project forward.
      • Insightful Learning
        • House was right, "everybody lies!"
  • 1-page summary: What is AVIC?
    • Name
      Possible names (in preference order)
      Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Institute (AVII)
      Ackoff Center for Network Inquiry (ACNI, or ANIC)
      Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center (AVIC)
      Ackoff Virtual Systems Inquiry Center (AVSIC)
      Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center for Systems (AVICS)
      Ackoff Inquiry Network (AIN)
      Ackoff Global Systems Network (AGNS, or AGNES?)
      Ackoff Global Institute (AGI)
      Ackoff Learning Systems (ALS)

      ===== criteria======
      - Easy to say and remember in acronym form
      - Starts with Ackoff
      =====commentary====
      - "Center" evokes geography and hiearchy, two features we are avoiding. Also, centers are less permanent, some feel.
      - If it's something that has to be explained to every person that runs into it, is that a good thing?
      - The virtual part I can handle, though "inquiry" of or as to what?
      - Good to be ambiguous which would enable the purpose to evolve over time and not be in conflict with the label? - grb 10.07.12
    • Purpose
      Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Center (AVIC) will honor Ackoff's legacy and, via collaborative inquiry, support practitioners, educators and indivdiuals in evolving principles, practices and methods for systemic adaptation.
      It supports a renewed concept of an ideal inquiring system that takes advantage of newly available resources and new awareness of the limitations of contemporary inquiry.
      ====COMMENTS ON PURPOSE====
      It is better to look beyond what something does to what it enables. This enables purpose to evolve and improve a things ability to enble. See attached reference. grb 10.07.15
      - Smith asks for purpose, but Idealized design asks for "ideals", a bit different. Those are collected in the Ends section.
      - This summary section records a rolling consensus of where the bulk of the design document is headed. The bulk is below.
    • A better inquiring system
      History for all

      Kent Myers (18.07.10 - 09:19:54 AM)
      I had the page open, but when I looked at it again it said I was "not connected". So I am not absolutely sure that the stuff I had been doing got merged back once I reconnected on a new page. Don't why I lost connection, and instructions are there to merge offline stuff that was apparently saved on my machine, but it is a bit hard to follow.

      Kent Myers (18.07.10 - 09:23:38 AM)
      We have bad inquiring systems. We are going to make the right one, using new resources and what we now know. As for means, it is set up like an open source project. People use the inquiring system, basically for free, and pay back with improvements. There is a small core of people who are responsible for maintaining standards and structure.

      Enable an enquiring system toward the end of more effective social adaptation.
    • What it achieves
      Productive continuous global collaboration on current issues
      • Need Unusual Tools
        Need unusual tools, such as below, because normal tools are either weighted to bulk collection, refinement and presentation, but not
        actually continuous synthesis and discovery with a stream of externa sensing
      • Operations
        I don't know if Tomoye is still in the picture, and I don't remember exactly how they did it, but I liked the idea that there was a sort of unifed outline of topics, and then in the topics you had assigned midners or gardeners who had the higher privileges to edit, with some graphics freedom in each petal. Conceptually, it might not be different from a wiki, but it felt different. You lose the sense of the whole when you are in a wiki. So I would like some global structure and visual orientation of where I am inside the struture. I like the idea that I have a gardener who really keeps track of a part, editing out old materials, being a librarian. A friend of mine (intel analyst) makes a big point that nobody has library services or skills anymore, but that is actually important for people who are learning anything hard. So he likes how much is spent on indexing things in the medical literature, but bemoans that intelligence doesn't care, and it shows. So if AVIC were actually expert in something, it should have well-honed collections, maybe not large, but something that demonstrates our seriousness as collaborative scholars. That might also mean that somebody is doing ongoing modeling based on news feeds and sematic processing, and that might be something that can be done with Silobreaker. To have a unique world monitoring operation would be a great signature piece. We could use it to make provocative statements about world connections that nobody else is making. Other people report on nodes, but we report on connections among nodes, something like that. You can sometimes just read that off a Silobreaker network diagram. Two people or concepts got linked in the news somewhere, and the linkage didn't seem obvious and raises questions....
      • Context & Graphics
        Something like Comapping. That also gives you context, and uses some of graphic capabilities of the computer, plus group updating. I would like to see things get better and evolve, but also retain what was good and not let it get lost in a one-time-through system, which is what alot of blogs are, nor dead collections, as some wikis are.
  • Initiating requirement
    Our task: By August 31, produce a design document that includes information on business feasibility. Cooperate with the second team.

    This task is conducted under the auspices of the Ackoff Library at Penn. The Organizational Dynamics program director will present the results to the dean of Penn's school of arts and sciences and ask for advice and approval to execute.

    Rather than leave the fate in the hands of a single presentation suppose we turn the design definition into a Prezi and then make a video out of it. This way we can provide a URL along with the document and the presentation can be reviewed my multiple individuals who can't all get together for a single presentation.
  • Problematique
    • Mess
      - Institutions need practical inquiry. Universities, which claim to know something about inquiry, provide little.

      - Hurt puppy syndrome in the systems community. Many withdraw from old colleagues because they had fights and then decided that they 'don't do that anymore' or are now 'smarter than those bastards.' Compare Ackoff's story. He was humilitated at a philosophy conference and vowed to get back at them. That's the viscious dog syndrome. But rather than bite back at our colleagues, why don't we gang up on somebody else?
    • The dominant inquiring systems are inappropriate for the wicked problems we need to manage
      It is not just a matter of tweaking. There are some deep, questionable commitments that are made in conventional inquiring systems. We are starting from a different basis and remain aware of our own system, and are building a system that we think fits the kind of problems we are addressing and takes advantage of contemporary resources that have been undeveloped and overlooked.

      "A review of existing conceptualizations of IT-enabled knowledge management suggests that sparse attention has been given to the human aspects of knowledge creation. Given the increasingly 'wicked' environments, this dominant model of organizational knowledge management systems is increasingly constrained by its Lockean and Leibnizian nature. It is suggested that Hegelian and Kantian systems are better suited for wicked environments. We discussed how the human aspects of knowledge creation are critical for sustaining such systems for facilitating inquiry based on divergence of meanings and perspectives. Implications were drawn for improving the design of inquiring systems for knowledge management in inquiring organizations. The discussion of the human capabilities underlying organizational knowledge creation for wicked environment is expected to contribute to the philosophical bases for the evaluation of organizational knowledge management systems."
      Malhotra, Yogesh."Knowledge Management in Inquiring Organizations," in the Proceedings of 3rd Americas Conference on Information Systems (Philosophy of Information Systems Mini-track), Indianapolis, IN, August 15-17, 1997, pp. 293-295.
    • Systems thinking is part of the answer, but it is thwarted in many ways
      I don't see systems thinking as a revolution and fortunaltely it's not a methodology that can be turned into a fad. Systems Thinking, thought not explicitly labeled as such, has endured the ages - the works of Lao Tzu and Sun Tzu come to mind. I would tink that Systems Thinking ends when humankind ends, not before.
    • By pleasing the university (and sometimes the client) practicality is limited
      Schon's speech, explaining why university pushes for knowledge that isn't practical.

      It was always possible to practice inquiry in many different ways, but that variety was hardly recognized, let alone explored, as the disciplines clamped down on what each thought to be the one and only way to conduct 'proper' research. We were left with a very crabbed notion of social and managerial science that was unfree, narrow, self-referential, and slow. It would seem to be a scandal that research is not read by the organizations that are under study, and what is actually read is rarely written by scholars and often amounts to advertising. The university product does not suit those who need help. In this new era of network inquiry, universities may have something practical to offer, and institutions, frustrated by superficial 'solutions', may have a new interest in reflective inquiry.

      The academy has become divorced from any consulting practice. They do it by exception and not as an organic outgrowth of their teaching and research. We are a vehicle for what groups like the Academy of management cannot achieve, a connection, but one that changes both the notion of what is good science in the academy, and what is good practice among professional problem solvers.

      Systems thinkers have not completely succumbed to the requirement to focus on useless, unread journal articles, but this is a strong constraint on getting vital work done. And it doesn't have to be professors who get the work done. The university could be at least a support system for those who do have the opportunity, who may be people who have the problem and the time, and may not be professors. The university could serve them, support their better inquiry. And the professors could study the value of the support process, and in that way serve their masters.

      In our effort to gain favor with our employers, readers, and various enforcers of “standards”, we pile limitations on ourselves – to “be clear”, to “say it like it is.” We fear appearing strange, but look at the great thinkers and innovators as they actually worked, not as reported in textbooks. We would recognize that strangeness was almost a necessary part of the process of arriving at something new. Newton was an alchemist, politician, and unorthodox Christian, none of which we associate with his physics. But in the genesis of his work he did not experience such a separation, only in the eventual account of it.
    • The relational basis of knowledge is undeveloped
      We have not developed relationships that will challenge us in what we need to do for the global crisis, to proceed along the strange lines that we actually want to explore. Our colleagues are out there, but we have not overcome the normal barriers (some self-imposed) that leave us hanging back, on the sidelines in this perilous time.

      In particular, we have not been a vital player in the world crisis, which is most ironic since that is the premier systems stage. How many overseas colleagues can you really count? And don't we need overseas colleagues to talk sensibly about world problems?

      Ironically, systems thinkers are often lone wolves. They talk about collaboration but don't do it among themselves. And the reason is that they can only hang on by being 'unique' in their institutions. Systems thinkers collaborate poorly, with themselves and with others they need to work with.
    • The web passed us by
      Systems thinking hasn't kept up. Web 2.0 is a natural ally of systems thinking yet we haven't migrated.

      It might be that it is our behavior in general has done what all cultures tend to do, which is to rest with what seemed to work. We repeat worn out language, imagery, settings, and practices of systems thinking that are not always apt. It is the revival of ourselves that is necessary.
    • Rudiments of a better inquiring system are there but dormant due to lack of appropriate support
      We are lazy about working together, which is perhaps reasonable because the way we attempt to do it is difficult. Lack of spirit, motivation.

      We need to claim our freedom and time we have left to do what we are collectively suited for in the interest of the global good. We might as individuals be doing great things now, but not all that we could be doing together to deal with the global crisis. That would seem to be a worthy priority since global failure is a real threat and undermines everything that we hold dear.

      We need an environment that really enables us to leverage our collective intelligence.
  • Ends
    • Ideals
      - Lead in development and application of new methods of network inquiry for practical, systemic problem solving
      - Productive continuous global collaboration on current issues
      - Augment, accelerate, and legitmate breakthrough inquiries on global issues
      - Develop the vast free space for a new social science to replace rationalism, variously called phronetic, reflexive, interpretive, reasonable, sensemaking.
      - A mysterious force and new voice that creates a sensation that people listen to. (Compare Cluetrain Manifesto, Bourbaki.)

      Find the path, travel the path, become the path!
    • An ideal inquiring system for our time and challenges
      • The inquirers are constrained by the problem, not extrinsic standards
        In many cases it will not be faculty who are the inquirers, but persons who are free to inquire differently, who don't have to publish. The service of the university is to provide a new inquiring system that works for problem solvers, not for academics, but also not for others who are stuck on any ideology of inquiry, feeling the need to be a 'master' of some technique or approach that is inconsistent with the inquiring system we are developing. This system has a lot of freedom, but not the freedom to impose preconceived blinkers. That is part of the discipline.
      • Deeply collaborative, even though at a distance
      • Takes advantage of available, untapped diversity
        The diversity we have in mind is the global nature of our network. That is distinctive and will yield benefits, if properly managed.
        This resource is out there and nobody is using it. A big opportunity, and a big creative challenge for creative people.
      • Semantic robots are our partners in information forraging
        Practical research in complex social problems is not taking advantage computers in the way it should. There has been premature reduction to data processing, and that has been rightly resisted. But there are relatively new techniques that are non-reductive that can speed the review of text. Much more can be considered now, but only if initial searches are delegated to software processes. This is also necessary to gain the speed that is needed to comprehend problems that are fast-moving. It does no good to solve yesterday's problem, because one's inquiry system is too slow. It does no good to be too narrow, as a tradeoff to gain speed. The tools are there to deal with this matter.
      • Deeply reflective and reflexive
        Include ourselves in the problem, which was always an aspect of systems thinking but was not seriously developed, except initially by Schon. More reflective and aware of their own limitations and more able to work on themselves as an element of the problems they tackle.
    • Initial objectives
      - Architecture in place that enables AVIC
      - Member network actively ingaged in pursuing AVIC ideals
      - Project results that demonstrate global, provocative, network inquiry and collaboration.
      ====comments===========
      These should probably move into Developmental Roadmap section. BUt they can rest here for now because they might spark against ideals.
  • Means
    • Means
      - Let semantic software (or research drones of the human kind) do half the research. It can be plenty clever and use a lot of data. What you really need is speed and awareness of connections, and the computer can do that part for you. Do quick interpretations, and it's out the door, fresh, for its short cycle of readership. The central office can serve up the starter information, and the nodes can refine and take the credit. Outfits like this make money because they claim they have the data, and they have organized it. A few database companies drive out competitors and are very stable and have big following. IHS bought all the econometrics people, Jane's, and many more.
      -
    • Concept of network inquiry
      • How questions are answered
        There have been remarkable changes in how practical questions are answered in major institutions. In general, the combination of digital technology and democratic leveling has encouraged us to rely on more distributed approaches. Instead of hiring an expert or sending the problem to a staff element to perform a study on their own, we might collect best practice information from the web, or hire a facilitator to conduct a broader examination with participating employees or interested outsiders. There are new findings that explain why and how a broad range of these more distributed approaches to inquiry work better. One factor is diversity, which is often thought of as merely a social requirement, but it is actually one of the factors that add value to distributed and inclusive inquiry. Findings show that groups that have higher diversity tend to do better, even if the average level of skill or intelligence is lower than a comparable, less diverse group. For systems thinkers familiar with the abstract notion of requisite variety, this is not a surprise, but even so, how often is it actually used as a factor in the design of inquiry? These and many other important discoveries related to distributed inquiry are difficult to apply, combine, and control. It is clearly important that this be done for the advance of inquiry, especially applied problem solving where rapid generation of knowledge from the resources at hand is crucial.
      • Area of concern
        This is an area of concern ripe for attention from the systems thinking community. This community might even claim responsibility for driving some of its aspects early, such as the innovation of facilitated participation among stakeholders toward solutions that are likely to be adopted because of the inclusive process of arriving at a design. But many of the most recent and more breathtaking advances in distributed problem-solving, in crowd-sourcing and related techniques, have been in technical areas rather than in practical problem solving. For example, huge amounts of radio astronomy data that defied processing with conventional means are now parceled out and processed for free by millions of otherwise idle PCs. This approach out-peforms supercomputers and allows millions of people to learn more about science and astronomy and to be a part of the adventure of discovery.
      • How do breakthroughs occur
        We have many practical, social systemic problems where attempts are being made to use new, distributed and open processes, but it is less clear how to do this and where the breakthroughs will occur. Many reasons can be offered for the uncertain progress, but one is simply that multi-stage programs have not been organized to make the careful observations, vary the conditions, and build up a testing regime. This is actually a large opportunity for new social, managerial, and methodological research, and it is where the ACNI proposes to innovate.
    • Program of network inquiry
      The program consists of several reinforcing parts.
      • Promote and maintain network membership
        A network of fellow reflective practitioners around the globe who agree to act as an inquiring system, to accommodate study of their activities as a network, and to agree to make experimental changes in their structure and practices. All the while, the network is performing work, but also is inquiring into the strength of its process.
      • Provide platform tools
        Gather appropriate software & communication tools. The work will tend to be done without face to face meetings, which means communications devices are relied upon, often in asynchronous modes. This drops some of the benefits claimed for intimate social contact but offers countervailing advantages, if they can be captured. This depends on the mediating influence of technology and processes. We will need to have access to and ability to modify advanced -- and clever -- collaborative technologies. Some very effective and advanced technology is available for free or for very little, and we will begin with that and develop habits to use it properly, rather than must look at it. We will also negotiate for the use of more rare and advanced tools that we are aware of, such as an intelligence workbench at PARC.
      • Aid the formation of practical studies
        Conduct practical studies. These will be of a mutual interest to global partners. Typically, studies will focus systemic problems, which are an increasing proportion of the problems institutions face. We want hard problems and not toy problems often chosen by research efforts because of their tractability for generating findings. We argue that a systemic problem is inherently different, and that findings based on toy problems are often not applicable. We need to study the problem that we are trying to solve, not a simplification of the problem that removes its essential features. We have access to the best worldwide systems thinkers and they are ready to participate and recognize advantages from this association and the research.
      • Aid the dissemination and use of results
      • Conduct research on network inquiry
        Reflective research on the process. This reflective research will encompass all aspects of inquiry, to include not just technology, but methodology, communications, and cognition. We will be unusual in a field where “discoveries” are often made and reported out of context in ways that make it difficult for practical efforts to incorporate and replicate.

        Because the network will be able to demonstrate its value and that it is self-aware and improving, and that it also has a uniquely global capability, it will be well-positioned to offer cooperative arrangements with sponsors who submit problems for study. The center doesn't just ask for funding based on general contribution to knowledge and education. It conducts practical inquiry that is worth paying for. It also gives opportunities for clients to learn through participation in the network. The skills and knowledge of network inquiry are spread as the network is exercised and as it evolves. There is no separate demonstration or fielding stage, which typically never arrives.
    • Services to member inquirers
      Every sevice is carefully chosen and employed explicitly to develop our new inquiring system. Many things that may be useful and interesting will not be added if they deviate from the design and goals for research on the process itself.
      • Services
        Home Services (directly from AVIC, a benefit of membership)
        -
        -
        Red Flag Services (from certified member providers, not from AVIC directly)
        -
        -
        ======commentary============
        • Home services for member inquirers
          AVIC is a platform through which members and their teams (some of whom may not have member status) conduct systems-oriented network inquiries. AVIC discourages studies not in keeping with the general purposes of the center, and also expects to be able to observe all projects for research purposes, but otherwise does not interfere unless requested by the inquiry team. As part of platform services, AVIC maintains tools, a community of willing collaborators, and certain other aids for starting, maintaining, and gaining extra value from project results.
        • Red flag services
          AVIC certifies members to offer special (Red Flag) services that are not available to all members unless by agreement from the provider. The Red Flag services are consistent with the purpose of AVIC and will often use tools from the AVIC platform and include AVIC members as research staff. The Red Flag services will often involve services to clients and payments and proprietary results, all of which are managed by the Red Flag provider and not by AVIC. AVIC is the technical and social platform from which such services are launched and sustained, and will offer incubation services, but the Red Flag operations are independent. When members conduct a study using the tools, they do not have to be certified. They would only want the certification if they were hoping to market the service to worldwide clients they don't yet have a relationship with. AVIC also aids in that marketing by posting and describing and vouching for the Red Flag services.
      • Tool rack
        Tools are selected and combined specifically to serve the needs of international collaborators in systems-oriented inquiry. Some of the tools are prototypes, and we cooperate with developers, but for the most part we select tools that are fully operational and which do not draw attention away from the inquiry. Our role is to be a demonstration and to perform work, not to be involved in development or focused on the refinement of the tools.
        • Comapping: group outliner/writer
        • Spire: strategic decision modeling & visualization
          Spire synthesizes and visualizes semi-structured lists of relationships found in complex decision making situations. Many statements can be added from many different sources and perspectives.
          Prof. Harold Klein will grant a license to the center to use the Spire modeling tool and make it freely available to center members. Prof. Klein agrees in principle to compensation that scales depending on usage and whether teams that are using the tool are being compensated by clients. He understands that it is in his best interest to encourage wide usage and he will use feedback as guidance for further modifications.
          Spire does not currently operate as a multi-user web app with a simple interface, but that can be achieved rapidly, and there will be sufficient instruction and samples so that members can use it successfully on their own.

          Spire would be auseful synthesis and visualization technique when conducting ongoing modeling studies, perhaps where an inquiry team generates quarterly interpretations of changes in complex situations.

          In addition, Prof. Klein will offer Red Flag service, meaning that under separate arrangements with teams or clients, he will consult on the use of Spire. He will also be using the tool in his own research and will make sample products available.

          Upgrades to the tool are anticipated. We intend to make these available to all members, but there may be some modifications that are complex or specialized and may not be suitable for all, or which may need to be charged for separately.

          [Letter of intent, plus demonstration materials, have been requested.]
        • Intelligence workbench
          One was prototyped at PARC, though may no longer be available.
          Another is available from a small company in Virginia, and discussions are under way. Both are heavy client apps, though they work with web content in ways suited to researchers, not normal users. (Most people don't recognize the difference.)
        • Content Context Networking
        • Meeting Spaces
        • Collaborative SD Modeling
        • SystemsWiki: Rich references
      • Referral service from clients to providers
      • Inquiry diagnostics and research on hosted projects
      • Network publishing advice
      • Method evaluation & advice
      • Continuous strategic modeling of turbulent markets
        Many systems are undergoing rapid change, but also rapid reframing of what the system, what it does, who is affecting it, etc. For selected systems, we continuously track how it is perceived by the players who are involved. This involves use of semantic tools to track how perceptions of the system are reflected in current news. The emphasis in these tracking studies is to point out the appearance of differences that might make a difference, or weak signals that might become strong, because they signal a shift, not merely a small change in value of an uncontested variable. For example, if we had been monitoring the music business with a systemic, perception based model (as was proposed several years ago when ACASA was formed) we would have tracked and interpreted dramatic shifts, such as the up and down legality of file sharing, collapse of music publishing, new business models for bands, huge shifts in global buying patterns, rise of MP3 format, explosion of iTunes, and so on. Every quarter, there would have been fascinating points to discuss as the drama unfolded. There are other "markets" similarly poised for turbulence, to the extent that the very definition of the market is in flux. These are systems phenomena that traditional techniques for market analysis represent poorlly and do not serve sensemaking in today's leading institutions.
      • Rapid scan
      • Multi-frame study
      • Inquirer training
      • Collaboration facilitation
      • Tool consultation and upgrades
        For several of the tools, expert users and developers are available. While all tools will be selected so that anyone can learn and use them without expert assistance, in many cases an expert can give a program a boost. These staff are available and may need to be separately contracted by the project. AVIC may facilitate such discussions but is not a party to any agreements. All it does is certify Red Flag services and supervise that the services offered are competent and relevant to AVIC purposes.
    • Developmental roadmap
      Short-term tasks are below, in developmental actions.
      Some criteria for the roadmap are speed, opportunism, and relabeling to appropriate what is already in motion.
      • A process from design to specification and selection
        Activities can quickly get out of hand. We don't want to lose our awareness of and inquiry into inquiring systems. A boad will be created for the review of our concept of network inquiry as an inquiring system. Every change must be understood for how it contributes to the design and how its contribution will be evaluated. Often, a decision will be to remove, not just add, functions.
      • Off-the-shelf component functions
      • Loose integration
      • Focal themes
        At least at early stages, promotion of a theme might help concentrate collaborators, though any topic may be pursued as long as it can gain the interest of more than one participant.
      • Quarterly evaluation report
        A sample will be drafted and its adequacy discussed. If information is expected and valuable, the staff will reassure itself that processes are in place to collect and interpret it.
    • Funding
    • Personnel
      Inquiring system development and maintenance functions differ from direct inquiry functions. University and non-university personnel do both functions. The university personnel are actually quite few, partly because the non-university personnel are many, can do the functions, and will be doing them uncompensated from program funding. They do this because they are otherwise paid and are gaining the benefit of the inquiring system and its tools. These outsiders are like the contributors to any open source project, such as those who contribute evaluation, content, or coding to wikipedia or Linux.
      - Student specialists in software
      - Network facilitators (senior and junior)
      - Faculty inquirers
      - Outside inquirers
    • Partner institutions
      - Ackoff Centers and their home universities around the world. Initially South Africa, Siberia, and Washington. (Need letters of intent from each.)
      - Consulting firms. They submit problems, also detail rising stars to participate in action research projects. (Letter of intent?)
      - Individual inquirers who are not faculty.
      - Patrick Henry College, Intelligence Program. Kent is exploring this one.
  • Governance
    • Governance
      - Water rule (versus Golden Rule - he who has the gold rules) He who flows and is most liquid manages.
    • Organizational structure
      • Dedicated staff
        Most are vounteers. This is a lean operation not requiring many of the administrative and organizational functions normally found in professional associations. But it is an institution, and there will be part time paid people who support and serve the members.
      • Loose confederation of inquirers
        • Our views on certification
          Certifications have become a plague on systems thinkers. Most certifications actually require us to stop asking questions and press the right button in a non-sytstemic technique. It seems like a conspiracy for the test makers to make money for consultants who want to make money by proving that they are "better". But certification might also be an opportunity, and we can talk about one that we would choose. Also, we can butt our way into existing certifications, as has been explored by Pourdehnad (for project mangement) and Crawford-Mason (for public managers) and even by some others for, incredibly, Six Sigma.
        • Is there to be a consistency of methods employed
          I've been following the discussion regarding systems thinking and other approaches. Though not universally the case...there has been a tendency to frame the conversation as either this approach OR that approach. My experience is that systems thinking is most beneficial when it is part of a this approach AND that approach dialogue. The attached paper was developed by several colleagues and myself when our Multi-Method approach to introducing OnStar was selected as a finalists in the Edelman Competition. The paper attempts to demonstrate the value of using multiple tools (including dynamic modeling) in concert with each other. Another discussion that focuses of the role of idealized design in the development of OnStar is found in Ackoff’s Idealized Design on pages 15-25. - vb 10.07.14
      • Some of both
      • Other
    • How does it operate?
      • Responsible parties
      • Communicate it's existence & benefits
      • Contacting an AVIC
  • Operational Scenarios
    • AVIC case study: Innovative book on professional thinking
      An AVIC project produced a recent book: Kent Myers, Reflexive Practice: Professional Thinking for a Turbulent World, Palgrave Macmillan, September 2010.

      Since 2000 a systems thinking network member list has been maintained in a Yahoo site. We have had a newsletter there and discussed and arranged group actions. In late 2008 I announced a book project, billed as one that would demonstrate the network's potential for innovative systems inquiry. People joined and I recruited for empty slots, and I recast the project and section assignments as membership solidified. I submitted drafts of the kernel or conceptual chapters to the crew. They fed back changes, internalizing the themes, and then interpreted and applied the themes to their own subject matter. Additionally, I submitted materials to the other writers that fit their sections better than mine. All this was done briskly without face to face meetings, and in most cases not even a phone call. The members were great distances apart, one in Sweden. Few knew each other well, but all had some shared background and commitment to group innovation. I kept the news flowing as I obtained two offers from publishers and contracted with Palgrave Macmillan. We met all the deadlines. This project was unconventional in several respects that demonstrated the advantages of network inquiry in the systems field. We mention briefly some of the features.

      The vast majority of books are either single or dual author, or edited collection. This was neither and suggests a new genre. Several people crashed on a cohesive project led by one lead writer and facilitator. The book has no acknowledgment section because the people who would normally have been thanked most profusely shifted roles and became named contributors with their own chapters. On the other hand, it is not an edited collection, which is generally somewhat random, and while it might be highly edited to enforce common terminology, doesn't really cohere in the same way, developing the same concepts which are new to all and stretch for all. Typically, authors in a collection simply repackage what they have already done and put window dressing on it to make it appear to fit, then clock another publication. This product had much more original content, all of it reframed.

      Despite the depth and complexity of collaboration, it was accomplished very efficiently with little frustration, disagreement, misunderstanding, or repetition. Factors that led to this result were mutual respect for each other's creativity, active listening, a shared background in systems thinking, a strict tasks schedule, and an understanding and acceptance of roles and outcomes. While more advanced collaborative software was not available, it would have been helpful and would have relieved some of the burden of conducting the facilitation and project management functions.

      Ironically, there were face to face encounters that had a crucial influence on this project, but they were in the local Ackoff proto-center and involved on the main author, not the other authors. This was George Washington University's Seminar on Reflexive Systems. It was because of this interaction that the original concept of “complex practice” shifted to “reflexive practice,” incorporating what the local center was investigating over a series of seminar meetings. The local center also afforded opportunities for me to present materials from the book, which were published in proceedings of a local conference. So the influence of a local center was also very important.

      What was learned from this project could be applied in future AVIC projects to: lighten the administrative burden, increase the speed, increase the membership, and most importantly increase the ambition of innovative, collaborative inquiry. This is what is necessary today, to have more rapid and ambitious production for more impact. That might require the use of other publishing options that get the results out more quickly and in a higher variety of ways that fully exploit new media.

      This was an example of how systems people can look freshly at the situation and come up with an innovative aspect, perhaps off the main path, but also essential.
    • Sample hosted projects
      • Learning system
        How about "Ackoff's Learning System" (ALS Direction?). Once I developed a learning system which learned overtime by encouraging questions. When I, the administrator provided the answer to the person asking the question, a carbon copy was added to the help index from the area the question was asked. This assume the individual looked for the correct answer in a specific area and found nothing. Also, an analysis of what information is gathered when is an excellent indicator/record of changing needs/trends. The learning Systems I developed over 25 years ago Diagnosis Automobiles and it is still functioning in over 23 countries around the world. At the time Russ, Peter Senge and Lotfi Zadeh were my major influences..
        Posted by Seiler Ronald
      • process knowledge with knowledge
        what Gene did some years ago, abstracting the arguments out of management articles and making them retrievable in a systemic way. We need to dust that one off also. The whole idea of processing knowledge with knowledge seemed to lose out to data processing of knowledge. That would be something distinctive for AVIC.
      • Rapid Twitter policy survey
    • The client experience
    • Comparable institutions
      • Soros institutions
        - Policy school at Central European University
        - Institute for New Economic Thinking in NY.
        - Open Society Institutes (centers around world, rapid projects on hopeless systemic task, but seeking opportunistic breakthrough)
      • University international collaborations
      • Global Business Network
        "Our processes are collaborative and co-creative and our consulting engagements are highly customized. We focus on what is uncertain about the future rather than what's predictable, which enables us to highlight opportunities and vulnerabilities that are less likely to emerge in conventional consulting interventions."
        Assembled big names who agreed to be advisors (including Ackoff). Mainly get contracts to be 'expert' speakers on the future or do scenario hocus pocus, and use the experts to do Delphi-like opinion studies.

        Halal does Delphi panel continously on technology futures.
      • InnoCentive
        "InnoCentive harnesses collective brainpower around the world to solve problems that really matter."
        Companies specify research that they want done and offer funding, from brainstorming to manufacturing. Groups from around the world bid on the work. Groups from low-wage, high-skill countries like India get R&D funding from US companies.
      • IHS Global Insight
        Bought up all the databases and uses them as basis for structured reports and custom services that are heavy on exclusive data, or at least data that are hard to assemble and correlate. Big following. (There are other kinds of data out there that could be a valuable base for monitoring and reporting systemically.)
      • WiserEarth
        wiserearth.org Truly large meeting space, attracts everybody with a global angle on the common good. Does not offer further services or tools to concentrate efforts, also seems to encourage people to keep specializing, not linking across system facets. In our case, we might look at wiserearth as a place to gain team members, but our meeting space is more focused on forming systemic teams, and also in their support through the project process.
  • Developmental Actions
    • Expand and align project portfolio
      - Midgley's global study of stakeholder evaluation is open to us (if it gets funded) via Stuart Umpleby who registered to play.
      -
    • Elaborate support services
      - A mail list of people who wanted to help ACDT start.
      - Syscoi as a registration and collaboration space, but other tools may be used and perhaps the association should not be strict with the syscoi technology, only with the AVIC "staff" whose job happens to be getting syscoi to work.
    • Formalize institutional associations
      If there are partner institutions, sign them on and integrate them into any funding package.
    • Obtain base funding, short & long
      Kent has one idea, though it may be just a step to a source.
  • List of Cost Items
    a list of cost items (or items that normally cost people that we might
    be able to scrounge. ex: get software for free by agreeing to 'test'
    it or demo it for educational and research purposes).
    possible sources of funding.
  • List of Participants
    a list of people who say that they would be likely to bring in
    projects and groups that would use the system (or, in our terminology,
    complete the system by adding the human and content components within the bounds of the recommended process, i.e., international
    collaboration).
  • Project Plan
    A project plan or two that are ready to proceed, and which persons are
    prepared to observe
  • Definitions
    • Inquirer
      A reflective practtioner, acts in the role of consultant or scientist, has a practical orientation, thinks about actions to gain knowledge while doing.
    • Inquiring system
      One of the abstract types of inquiry described by Churchman, but also a real instantiation, to include any relevant environmental characteristics. For rexample, it is relevant whether there are multiple persons engaged in iquiry, and it is relevant that they know each other. A perfectly good system in theory can not work due to these additional characteristics which we will be concerned with in our system.
    • Mess
      Confusing combination of interacting problems that will not reduce to a simple formulation that lends itself to a ready, reliable solution.
    • Network inquiry
      Inquiry is controlled questioning and understanding. It can be performed many ways, and scientific method, however one defines that, is not the only or even the best type of inquiry on all occasions. Different systems of inquiry have been described by Churchman. Perhaps it is not a unique type according to the same principle that Churchman used to differentiate systems of inquiry, but network inquiry is a type that has become possible in modern complex society with advanced digital communication and software. It is a type that is undergoing rapid development and has not been visibly mastered by the systems thinking community, which should be able to benefit from it.
    • Wet room
      Designated space for brainstorming, labeled with a light bulb icon. Short bursts of ideas. No explanation, justification, or evaluation! If the room doesn't include anything surprising, then we haven't gone "wet". When you select an item to explain and justify, move the item to the top of the list and create a new entry below, in the same section. [Yoshiro Nakamatsu (or NakaMats) is the Guiness record holder for inventions (beating Edison). He has his own static room, dynamic room, and wet room. He does most of his brainstorming while swimming under water. With no breathing help, he stays below for as long as possible until an idea bubbles up. When asked if this was dangerous to his health, he said yes, but dying was not part of his research. So hold your breath and invent like you life depended on it!]
  • Luminous images
    (pictures, diagrams, gestures, cartoons, music, etc., that bring out what is unique to our venture)
    - Avatar movie tail connection telepathic earings! http://www.etsy.com/listing/41802106/avatar-movie-tail-connection-telepathic
    • Hierarchy
  • Luminous quotations
    • Drucker
      "Abandoning the obsolete, the irrelevant, or the program with promise that never materialized is the key to innovation." Peter Drucker
  • Memos
  • Discussion on this design
    • Round 1, 1-7 Aug, on Why?
      For the first week, our discussion theme is “why?” Why do we need to act and do something different and better? Prepare yourself by:

      1. Watching this short video that explains why we start with why: Simon Sinek video: http://bit.ly/av2Dxm

      2. Reading the design document here: AVII design document: http://bit.ly/ahbI8H (If the words are splayed across the screen, go to View and select Fixed-width page.)

      Start with why you would pursue such a program. (There will be time for other comments.) Knowing what motivates our participants will help us direct and modify the program. The design document is open to edits. If you have improvements and additions, go ahead, but don't be surprised if your contributions are edited further.
    • Round 2, 8-15 Aug, on What?
    • Round 3, 15-21 Aug, on How?


Document Creation - 10.07.23 Update

From keeping a watchful eye on the evolution of the design for AVIC it seems that the alternative perspectives are settling out far more readily than expected. All your inputs and perspectives on the design have been most appreciated. Since the design seems to have stabilized it seems to make sense for us to wrap this up by the end of the month with the following actions.

  • Convert the design into a short overview document
  • Create a Prezi which covers the main points of the document
  • Create a video of the Prezi with voice over

As these are completed they will be posted on this page for review. It is our intention to submit the focus page link for review by the end of this month.

The Copmap will stay open and will continue to be a collection point for expanded documentation, assuming a positive response to the initial presentation.

Why? Discussions - 10.08.02 Update

A new institution is forming, the Ackoff Virtual Inquiry Institute. If you have an interest in participating, now is a good time to start. We have a design document and are conducting three, one-week discussions, running from August 1-21. After that, we will send the design document to potential sponsors. (We will also have a voice-over slide presentation video.)

For the first week, our discussion theme is “why?” Why do we need to act and do something different and better? Prepare yourself by:

1. Watching this short video that explains why we start with why: Simon Sinek video: http://bit.ly/av2Dxm

2. Reading the design document here: AVII design document: http://bit.ly/ahbI8H (If the words are splayed across the screen, go to View and select Fixed-width page.)

Start with why you would pursue such a program. (There will be time for other comments.) Knowing what motivates our participants will help us direct and modify the program. The design document is open to edits. If you have improvements and additions, go ahead, but don't be surprised if your contributions are edited further.

Kent Myers will moderate the discussion. This first discussion stops on August 7 and a new topic starts on Sunday, August 8.

Independent discussions will occur in two locations: Russell Ackoff (on LinkedIn)

Systems Thinking World (on LinkedIn)

The existence of the discussion will be announced additionally in three locations: Systems Community of Inquiry

Social Systems Science Thinkers (on LinkedIn)

SystemsThinkers (Yahoo group)

References

Additional Resources
Systems Thinking World Discussions * Gene Bellinger
Udemy Systems Courses
Personal tools