The SDA is a democratic, non-profit scholarly association registered with the Brønnøysund Register Centre in Norway.
Dr Silvia Barbero has been Chair of the SDA since its foundation in 2018. She is the Deputy Coordinator, Design Programmes and an associate professor at Politecnico di Torino (Italy) where she teaches in the Systemic Design graduate programs and Design and Visual Communication undergraduate program. Silvia leads systemic design research in local economies, policy design, environmental production, innovation, through collaboration with companies, research centres, national and international networks. In 2005, she co-founded the Observatory of Eco-Packaging. She leads the Systemic Design Lab in Politecnico di Torino. Silvia is the scientific coordinator of many European projects about sustainable development and circular economy. She is the author of numerous books, papers in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and reviewed international conference proceedings that you can find on her Politecnico di Torino profile.
Vice-Chair / Contexts Editor in Chief
Dr Peter Jones is an SDA co-founder and professes the discipline at OCAD University, Toronto where he teaches in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation and the Design for Health graduate programs. Peter leads systemic design research in new economies, healthcare, media, community governance, social system and policy design, through collaboration in international networks. Since 2001, Peter has led the strategic innovation consultancy Redesign Network. He connects research and practice through founding commitments with the Flourishing Enterprise Institute, Drawdown Toronto, Bounce Beyond, the Agoras Institute, and OCAD’s Strategic Innovation Lab. Peter is convening the 12th year of Design with Dialogue, a community of practice to educate and socialize creative facilitation of dialogues for transformation. His publications are found at designdialogues.com
Ryan J. A. Murphy
Ryan Murphy is a PhD (candidate) in Management (Information Systems) at Memorial University. For over a decade, he has been working in Canadian K-12 and post-secondary education to teach and enhance programming for leadership, innovation, and changemaking skills. In his emerging research practice, Ryan studies changemakers and their tools. He explores how technology can support systemic change through the modeling and analysis of complex social systems and through the design of systemic strategies. He designs and tests tools for augmenting intelligence. He also examines how leadership and innovation skills are practiced and learned. You can find Ryan online at fulcra.design.
members at large
Manuela Aguirre’s experience spans 12+ years in systemic design, service design, and innovation across various industries and research environments. Currently serving as the Director of Systemic Design at Designit Oslo, she co-leads a team of 12 service and systemic designers, contributing to the strategic direction of an international design studio, managing key client accounts, and leading large-scale projects. Her expertise in systemic design is shared through thought leadership and disseminated through lectures, workshops, and articles. Prior to her current role, she served as Associate Professor in Service Design at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design after completing a PhD in co-design for cultural change in the public sector. She has collaborated with organizations worldwide, including InWithForward in Canada, Laboratorio de Gobierno in Chile, and Mayo Clinic in the US, Global Service Jam. Her approach is characterized by a dedication to leveraging co-design and systemic approaches to create meaningful change and address complex challenges.
Chiara Battistoni is an industrial and systemic designer. In 2020, she held a PhD in Management, Production and Design in Politecnico di Torino (IT), where she focused on relationships between systemic design and circular economy in the manufacturing sector and the entrepreneurial opportunities at the territorial level. She has also developed several research activities with the Systemic Design Research Group in Politecnico di Torino (IT) for many years. Chiara has collaborated on many national and European projects, such as RETRACE, with the international Blue Economy network of Gunter Pauli, the Circular Economy Alliance and the Italian startup Mercato Circolare. Since 2022, Chiara has worked as a researcher at Università Iuav di Venezia (Venice, IT), where she is exploring the systemic design approach for product design in the food service sector.
Dr Marie Davidová MArch, MNAL, PhD, SF HEA is an independent junior research group leader at the Cluster of Excellence IntCDC University of Stuttgart and a registered architect in Norway. She is a founding member and chair of Collaborative Collective practice design-research network NGO, a founding and a board member of Systemic Design Association, and a founding member and auditor of Creative Systemic Research Platform Institute. Before starting her position in Stuttgart, Marie had been a lecturer (teaching & research) at the Welsh School of Architecture and an affiliate of the Sustainable Places Research Institute at Cardiff University. At the same university, she is a member of the Biodiversity and Resilience Action Plan Committee. Marie founded the Systemic Approach to Architectural Performance research by co-design field. This field discusses the question of cities’ transition towards Post-Anthropocene.
Palak Dudani is a systems oriented designer and researcher with an interest in culture, social systems and the future of urban life. She’s a recipient of two international fellowships and has previously worked with humanitarian aid organisations and start-ups on healthcare, employability and education projects. She’s a strong advocate for systemic approach to design and believes that designers hold crucial roles and responsibilities within our transitioning societies. Currently, she’s part of the FUEL4Design Erasmus+ project at the Institute of Design, AHO. www.palakdudani.com
Tom Maiorana is an assistant professor in the Department of Design at UC Davis and the founder of the Prototyping Systems Lab. Tom specialises in product design and development, design thinking, and prototyping. His research explores the ways in which low-resolution prototypes can be used to create human-centred, complex systems. He is a 2021 Community Engaged Learning Faculty Fellow at UC Davis. Tom is also the founder of Red Cover Studios, which specialises in product development and innovation strategy and uses prototyping as a central practice in work ranging from interaction design to fashion and organisational change. Tom has started several design firms, most recently, conceptualised and launched Hive at the Claremont Colleges, a center for collaborative creativity. Tom has an MFA in design from Stanford University and a BA in American Culture from Vassar College.
Jonathan Romm is a senior design lecturer and researcher at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). He is also a senior designer and consultant at the Norwegian design agency Halogen. Romm was trained as an industrial designer at the Danish Design School, specialising in design management and interaction design. He has previously held the position of Institute Leader of the Institute of Design and Vice-Rector at AHO in Norway. Jonathan has worked on various international and local design projects with companies such as Samsung, Telenor, Oslo Sporveier and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. He is an experienced project manager and an enthusiastic coach and process facilitator. He has headed several innovative and interdisciplinary collaboration and research projects with academic institutions, public organizations and commercial companies. Over the past years, he has made contributions to both academic and popular publications related to several innovative and interdisciplinary design collaborations and research projects. He is currently engaged in design for service ecosystems research with a particular interest in the practice of working inside healthcare design labs.
RSD Managing Editor / Contexts Executive Editor
Cheryl May manages the Systemic Design Association’s digital assets and the Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium (RSD) proceedings on RSDsymposium.org. She is a doctoral researcher at London South Bank University, UK (completion 2025). She recently completed an eight-year tenure as an advisor and board member at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Previously, she was the Social Innovation Generation practice lead at MaRS. She is a five-time executive director/CEO who has scaled up initiatives by establishing partnership networks and building systems that support collaboration and communities of practice. As executive director of Findhelp Information Services, she led the development of the 211 information system in Canada, which received the Head of the Public Service Award for Excellence in Service Delivery. Cheryl worked as a journalist and theatre director before founding a “green business” in 1989 that changed the course of her work to social innovation. She received her MDes in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University, Canada.
Adjuvant Board Advisor
Dr Birger Sevaldson [dipl NCAD PhD] is a professor at the Institute of Design at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), Institute of Design. He is a design researcher and educator with a background in a broad field of design and architecture. As a design researcher, he focuses on design processes for uncertainty and complexity. He has defined systems oriented design as a designerly way of systems thinking and systems practice. He was the founder of the RSD symposia and a co-founder of the Systemic Design Association.