Learning Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, 6775 Readings

The Intelligent Complex Adaptive System Model for Organizations

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This paper proposes a new model for organizations that live in a dynamic, complex environment. The model proposes to represent a new theory of the organization, one that starts with the fact that organizations are not metaphors of living systems but are living systems. As such, they have the potential to take advantage of those facets of living organisms that have proven efficacious throughout evolution. By that we mean that evolutionary survival has repeatedly shown that complexity in the form of variety, selectivity and adaptation have been the hallmarks of successful organisms throughout evolution, especially when their environment was changing and threatening. What organizational form will have the best capability to support their workforce and coevolve with a rapidly changing, uncertain and highly complex world?  This paper proposes a model of an organization that is designed to answer this question. To be successful in the new world requires Knowledge Workers to have new competencies, competencies that promote collaboration, understanding and the integration of action. These competencies, discussed here under multidimensionality, include knowledge management, learning, critical thinking, risk management, systems thinking, complexity thinking, information literacy, relationship network management and knowing.

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The Originality of Systems Intelligence

We have proposed that the work on emotional, social and multiple intelligence has missed a key form of human intelligence that we have called “systems intelligence.” By “systems intelligence” we mean “intelligent behaviour in the context of complex systems involving interaction and feedback. A subject acting with Systems Intelligence engages successfully and productively with the holistic feedback mechanisms of her environment. She perceives herself as part of the whole, the influence of the whole upon herself as well as her own influence upon the whole. By observing her own interdependence in the feedback intensive environment, she is able to act intelligently”. As the phrase suggests, systems intelligence relates to systems. As is customary in systems approaches, systems for us are complex wholes, the functioning of which depends on its parts and the interaction between those parts. Like Salovey and Mayer, we focus upon intelligence as something that “guides one’s thinking and action”.

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Read also: Systems Intelligence

Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 31, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Global Social Inequalities – Review Essay

The studies of global social and economic inequalities in social sciences that go beyond “methodological nationalism” are recent but have older roots. The first theories to reflect on the global and trans-regional interconnections and asymmetric regional developments within the capitalist system can be traced back to a Marxian tradition. These theories were critical to the conventional approach to social inequalities (hegemonic in the Western European and US academic centers in the 20th century) restricted to within nation-state boundaries. However, during the last three decades, several new approaches have emerged to capture the construction of social inequalities within the context of transnationalization, which extend beyond defined political units such as the nation-state. Transnationalization is creating a new challenge to social scientists to review critically their premises related to their reference units and to study social inequalities by focusing on social, economic, cultural and political interdependencies from the global perspective. This paper will focus specifically on four different approaches to global inequalities: (1) global and international comparative research; (2) the world-system perspective; (3) the transnational approach; and (4) the approach of entanglements. The aim is to draw a critical balance of these recent approaches, examine the central theoretical arguments and empirical findings, identify shortcomings and make suggestions for further research.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 31, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Interactive Inequalities and Equality in the Social Bond

Based upon the results of three empirical studies conducted in Chile, this paper discusses: (1) the expansion of the perception of a specific type of inequalities in this society: interactive inequalities. These are perceived inequalities that focus on the treatment received in ordinary interactions between individuals and between these and institutions; (2) The fact that these new perceptions must be understood in the context of specific socio-historical transformations of the meanings and scope of the notion of equality. Therefore, this paper pays attention to the paths by which equality has acquired new content in Chilean society – equality in the social bond – making possible and legitimizing the perception of what we have called interactive inequalities. Finally, it argues for the importance and analytical priority of the sociological study of equality, especially when approaching inequalities.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Divided Socio-natures – co-Construction of Science, Society and Environment

This thesis deals, in a variety of ways, with one overarching analytical question: how to analyze, from a sociological point of view, the importance of scientific knowledge in contemporary disputes on the fate of threatened nature in ‘world risk society’?  Immediately, this question conjures a number of issues. On the side of society, it refers to what is by now a taken-for-granted part of Euro-American public knowledge: the world is facing a number of serious global environmental threats, where scientists play pivotal roles in defining the parameters of public and political action. Climate change is simply the latest addition to a long list of potential natural calamities. On the side of sociology, reference is made to what is arguably the most important contribution so far to understanding this global predicament: Ulrich Beck’s well-known Zeitdiagnosis of the world risk society. More than anyone, Beck has been responsible for bringing global environmental concern into the mainstream of sociology, giving rise to important research agendas. This thesis is indebted to his groundbreaking sociological work.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 31, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Researching Inequalities from a Socio-ecological Perspective

The inequality implications of nature exploitation, utilitarian representations of nature and processes of (global) environmental change are substantial. In Latin America social inequalities are historically rooted in unequal allocation systems of land rights or mining rents. Current investments in natural resources or elements thereof tend to generate new or reinforce existing patterns of inequality. Despite these evidences and despite the increasing recognition of the social dimensions of environmental change, linking the analysis of social inequalities with (global) environmental change, politics and forms of nature appropriation and production is still incipient. Based on first empirical findings from the Research Network on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America (desiguALdes.net) the aim of this paper is to draw conclusions on how inequalities can be researched through the lens of societal nature relations. The paper reveals ways to theoretically conceptualize and analytically understand social inequalities as historically rooted expressions of contingent spatio-temporal societal nature relations, taking different research fields and social theories as points of departure. The key fields addressed are environmental justice, political ecology and social and cultural anthropology. In addition, core analytical categories such as time, space and physical materiality are introduced in order to show how they operate in empirical analysis. The paper concludes with a summary of the main findings.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm

The Triple Focus: A New Approach to Education

Daniel Goleman and Peter Senge provide educators with a rationale for incorporating three core skill sets in the classroom — understanding self, other, and the larger systems within which we operate—and show why these competencies are needed to help students navigate a fast-paced world of increasing distraction and growing interconnectedness. The book also offers examples of model educational programs that include these competencies in their curriculum, and shares best practices for introducing them in schools.

The habits of a systems thinker are helping educators bring a coherent overall framework to a field that has had many pioneers in various school settings. We are now witnessing that seeing the big picture, identifying circles of causality, understanding how the structure of a system produces its behavior, and recognizing the benefits of looking at problems from different perspectives can help educators focus on deeper thinking skills across virtually all curricula and ages. The key to this progression is offering developmentally appropriate tools that enable students to articulate and hone their systems intelligence.

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Read also: Daniel Coleman: What are the Habits of a Systems Thinker?

Peter Senge: Education, Systems Thinking and Our Careers

Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 30, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Philosophy in the 21st Century – Socratic Philosophy that Engages with People

The way I see it, philosophy should serve human flourishing. To this effect, philosophy should break away from its academic and scholarly boundaries, take seriously its Socratic origins, and develop communicative strategies that work in the contemporary context. Philosophy is the art of thinking and its chief instrument is reason. Each human being possesses the potential for thinking and for insight. Accordingly, philosophy should strengthen that capacity. Philosophy aims to contribute to the creation of a better life as a result of an individual’s improved thinking. Thus understood, philosophy is more an activity than a discipline. Indeed, in my opinion philosophy should insist on personal, context-sensitive, multi-methodological, multi-layered and polyphonic dialogue with people. Connectivity and relatedness are of the essence. Philosophy thus conceived operates across paradigms and covers existentially, pragmatically and humanly fundamental aspects of life with energy, excitement, a sense of integration and a feel for the relevant.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm

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