Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD) has served as a soft launch site for a number of practice tools and toolkits that enable and accelerate systems methods for advanced design. The featured resources on this page are a small collection of those presented at RSD as a way to share and gain feedback from the home community of practice. RSDsymposium.org can be searched for contributions to the methods and methodologies topic or by format and filtered by year.
Please contact the editor if you would like to feature a practice tool that has been presented at RSD and is available via the RSDsymposium.org repository. The annual symposium posts a call for contributions in the new year and accepted (peer reviewed) articles are presented in the fall.
Gigamapping is a systems-oriented design technique that uses super-extensive mapping across multiple layers and scales to construct a rich picture of real-life complexity. Gigamaps are system maps that both facilitate the early stages of a complex design inquiry and provide final form artifacts for reflection or implementation for social and technical systems. systemsorienteddesign.net
Systemic Design Toolkit
Designed by Kristel Van Ael (Namahn) and developed by an SDA team for public and training versions, the toolkit is a collection of over 40 canvases assigned to design actions in a seven-stage co-creation methodology to engage organisational and societal complexity.
Kristel and Peter Jones are publishing a handbook using the Toolkit in early 2022.
SystemViz explores how visuals can enhance systems thinking, especially as it relates to inter-disciplinary, collaborative design. Findings are expressed as visual codexes and other applied tools.
Synthesis mapping produces high-quality representations of insights drawn from research evidence. It presents visual models of systemic patterns discovered through multidisciplinary observations. It communicates to stakeholders and interested observers the processes, interventions, and possible strategies and policy interventions in a complex system. Synthesis maps are typically designed as communicative artefacts that translate multiple knowledge perspectives about social systems to illustrate the dilemmas and challenges within a complex system scenario.
Flourishing Business Canvas (v2)
The first format of the Flourishing Business Canvas was launched in parallel at the RSD3 Symposium (AHO) and the Third Global Forum (Case Western) in 2014. As the Canvas and Toolkit were further developed by research and a community of practice.
The “hex cards” version of the canvas in the image was designed by Nicole Norris for her OCADU Major Research Project and is one of the versions available for research and practice today. Contact Peter Jones.
Dialogic Design Tools
SDD (dialogic design) practitioners have developed several software platforms for different flavours of practice. Logosofia and Cogniscope III embody the Christakis “Cognisystem” methods of engagement that have been used worldwide for over three decades. These platforms are available for trained facilitators in the Agoras Institute community of practice and are not end-user licensed. (Contact Peter Jones for information on these).
Recent apps have been developed by Ekkotek and the Future Worlds Center (Cyprus) for large-scale dialogues, including IdeaPrism and Concertina. Ekkotek is also the developer for Cogniscope III. Cogniscope v 3.2 “Classic” supports the implementation of face-to-face dialogues designed in full compliance with the Science of Dialogic Design requirements. The mapping process is supported by the Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) algorithm as originally defined by John Warfield.
Systemic Design Practice Wheel
Designed by Emma Blomkamp, the model provides a tool for workshop design and engagement. The Wheel works with five core domains of Systemic Design practice: Principles, place, people, process and practice. These cover the key considerations for people working with communities and stakeholders on shared challenges. See the complete model and downloads on the Practice Wheel website.
(2021). Systemic design practice for participatory policymaking. Policy Design and Practice.
from the RSD archives
RSD8 – Developing Systemic Design Tools: The CHRIIS Model
Developed by Gordon Rowland, the CHRIIS model provides a tool tested in academic and group work for engagement, inquiry and visioning. The acronym CHRIIS encmpasses six qualities or questions that can take groups through a journey of inquiry toward an understanding for system change.
Challenge Identity: Why are we engaging in this conversation?
Honor Values: What is so central to the program that without it the program would not exist?
Release Assumptions: What have you consciously or unconsciously been assuming to be set in stone but could actually change?
Imagine Ideals: Five years from now the program is shockingly successful. What is happening?
Innovate Actions: What actions will bring about the desired, attainable future?
Sustain Transformation: What key questions will strengthen parts and relationships of the inquiry system?