Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I have now submitted my assignment and should be moving on from Part 2 to Part 3 of TU812, I’m quite reluctant to do so because I feel as if there is so much I haven’t got straight yet.  There was so much to get a handle on in that part of the course and I kind of fear that it is all going to fade away.

But I also want to acknowledge the fact that I am leaving the part of the course that Ray Ison has been the lead author – not just the study guide but his course text too.  I guess he is now a formal part of my Systems lineage and I want to take stock of what I ‘inherit’.  I have covered all the big stuff – like the practice dynamic, the juggler and various academic concepts – in other posts in this blog.  But there is something more I want to take with me – a few choice phrases that capture for me some of the spirit and principles of systems thinking and practice.

Emergent properties: “an influence diagram of the factors that give rise to…” (Ison, 2010, 319)

Transformation Process: “a system of interest, which through its enactment or operation has the potential to transform …” x to y (page 187)

Self organisation: “…creating the circumstances for emergence and novelty.. through self-organisation and removing barriers to others being responsible (i.e. creating response-able circumstances)” (page 187). I am sure there is a post waiting to be written on linking this sentence to UK governments principles of localism and big society.

Relational dynamic: “mutually construct each other” (page 188)

Emergence: xx…” is an emergent property of the interactions between….” (can’t find the source page! Maybe I have created my own derivation already)

Agreeing with an explanation: “resonated with me” (page 185)

On facilitating change “approached the task as an unfolding process of ‘engaging’ in which all parties were learning or co-constructing new meanings in the situation” (page 113)

In response to challenge “it opened up a reflective space for me…” (posting on course forum)

Engaging with a situation “what might I learn if I engage with this situation as if it were…” (page 132)

On change “change and adaptation in human institutions occur through social interaction” (page 197)

On emotions “where an emotion is defined as a flow of desire predisposing one towards a particular action.  The emotion determines the nature of the action: it is emotions not resources that determine what we do!” (page 238)


Ison, R. (2010) Systems Practice: How to act in a climate-change world, Open University/Springer, Milton Keynes/London

Share what you think...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.