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Les squires

Resilience, systems thinking and social networks

Help build this interest group...

Resilience, systems thinking and social networks

A space to explore complex adaptive systems, systems thinking and how to think about networks in relation to transition

Group Type: Transition Initiatives
Members: 93
Latest Activity: Jan 12, 2013

Purpose of the Group

I hope this can be a space where we can discuss Complex Adaptive Systems, Social Networks and their relationship to transition initiatives. I would love to explore resources and thinking about how to analyze and support the creation of Reslience in our network, and communities.

My starting point will be to share some resources I am reading and grappling with and to see where we go from there. I encourage folks to add resources and to share what questions they might want to explore here in the discussions I am starting below.

Here we go.....

Discussion Forum

How can we leverage technology to go create a network of local food supplies and expertise?

Started by yf35. Last reply by mary rose Sep 13, 2011. 36 Replies

Once you learn enough about healthcare it's inevitable that you look for the down stream cause of a lot of the problems. One is clearly at the government level. However, the government is likely to…Continue

Tags: resilience, garden, network

Let's Relate Wishes to "Places to Intervene in a System"

Started by David Eggleton. Last reply by Kathryn Alexander, MA Jan 2, 2011. 6 Replies

Many, if not most, of the wishes people articulate in response to Les' invitation refer, consciously or not, to the…Continue

How shall we use this space?

Started by bill aal. Last reply by Helmut Leitner Aug 24, 2010. 4 Replies

As more people sign up here, I am wondering what would be the best use of the space?  I have some questions based on my reading and thinking in the area:What do we mean by Community Resiliency?How do…Continue

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Resilience, systems thinking and social networks to add comments!

Comment by David Eggleton on September 4, 2011 at 10:23am
Not speaking for the group:  after poking around the site he invited us to visit, my sense is that he hopes he has here tapped into a market.
Comment by Les Squires -- Webmaster on September 4, 2011 at 10:12am
What does this group think about the appropriateness of postings by rasheed yusuf?  Need your advice....
Comment by David Eggleton on September 2, 2011 at 6:45am
Friends, if you feel a lengthy comment coming on, please start a discussion instead.  Thanks!
Comment by Ellen LaConte on September 2, 2011 at 6:20am
As a proponent of systems and resilience thinking (in my book Life Rules) I have found very helpful, in addition to Capra and, certainly Donella Meadow's translucent Thinking In Systems, a miracle of a book by the late Paul Weiss, one of the original epigenetics theorists. His The Science Of Life: The Living System - A System of Living (1973) ought to be republished and studied by all of us, along with Overshoot and Resilience Thinking and David Holmgren's work, for example. I will cite it frequently in the second edition of Life Rules. It brilliantly undermines genetic determinism and answers questions about determining factors in evolution by showing the evolutionary/ directional relationship between the macro level of systems -- the largest, governing and relatively stable/rule bound holons in which a scale of smaller subsystems participates (Eg, the organ, the body, the community, the biosphere) -- and the smaller and smallest constituting holons/participants which are extroordinarily free to adapt, tweak, invent, innovate, change. His book offers  scientific validation for economic/political (re)localization at the logistical/provisional level and guidance/governance/information management at what would be a regional/national/inter-nation level. In gen'l, it appears that the bottom-up, grassroots, collaborative and remarkably democratic interchanges and adaptations that occur at the micro-system level cannot know what they are about (literally) without the evolving guidance/ intelligence/patterning, as it were, legislative action of the largest system -- that which they (are to?) ultimately become. In human societies that would be something like the culture, worldview, level of consciousness that shapes/influences the political economy and relations of people within it. Anyway, I just got obtuse or maybe just obstruse in that attempt to translate. Weiss's book is not a casual read, but a vital and mind changing one.
Comment by Jeff Mowatt on September 2, 2011 at 3:42am
As can be seen in the bibliography for our P-CED model, the influence of system thinking is Fritjof Capra
Comment by Caroline Savery on June 17, 2011 at 12:48pm

Love all the great discussion happening here!  It's so important to consider systems theory when evaluating sustainability.  I learned this within my own life and in the development of my feature documentary film, "Sust Enable."  

I am co-producing and directing a documentary "what does sustainability mean?".  It's based in Pittsburgh, PA and is in fact a Transition Pittsburgh project!  We are really ALL about sustainability--borrowing from the sustainable principle of holism (also known as "systems thinking" or being "process-oriented") we are addressing our core question, "what does sustainability mean?" on all levels of our film's creation: the story, the style, and the real world production processes will embody our continuously developing understanding of sustainability.  

This approach inherently makes for an experimental film... but we believe a new kind of filmmaking is necessary to tell the stories relevant to our emerging understanding of sustainability.  Our goal is to help make difficult and abstract sustainability theories more accessible to the average moviegoer by transmuting them into a nonfiction story of emotional resonance and artful storytelling.  We wish to go beyond the soundbites of commercial advertising to look beneath the surface at the deeper theories of sustainability out there...

Systems thinking is, in fact, a huge part of this.  We will be interviewing systems thinkers including Dr. Allenna Leonard (of the Viable Systems Model), Dr. Michael Ben-Eli (student of Buckminster Fuller, founder of the holistic Sustainability Labs), and Dr. Aleco Christakis (co-founder of the Club of Rome, co-author of "Limits to Growth" and former president of the International Society of the Systems Sciences)!

But we need your support to make this visionary film come to life!!! Please check us out:  And share with your friends!

And don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or curiosities.

Best regards,


Comment by james greyson on February 4, 2011 at 2:07pm

Have started a new 'Systems Thinking in the News' blog with tweets; maybe of interest to the group?

Imagine if the news helped people to see problems as symptoms of systems that can be fixed?

The news could build people's innate curiosity about how snippets of information link together. We could rapidly become a society in the habit of seeing issues as aspects of a global whole. The news could raise debate about how to fix the small number of systemic errors that cause almost all the negative news we hear every day.

So far the news works the other way, hiding the links between issues and leading the public to imagine that rapid whole system change is either impossible or easily achievable by following some narrow reductionist 'patchwork policy'. The blog on this page brings global-scale systems thinking and practical policy options into the news.  


Please follow this blog at blindspotting on twitter.     A short link for the blog page is

Comment by Susan Gleason on November 12, 2010 at 8:53am
Fantastic site, Lindsay! You may already know this, but almost all of YES! Magazine's content is on a Creative Commons license — feel free to repost anything of interest (lots of Transition related articles). Reposting guidelines are here and RSS feeds of our latest headlines are here
Comment by Don Mikulecky on November 8, 2010 at 4:06am
Hi, Glad to join you. So far my stuff is very academic. I want to learn.
Comment by Lindsay Curren on October 4, 2010 at 10:52am
Transition Voice launched today——please share on FB and Tweet, post to your Transition initiative website, anything to help us get the word out.


Lindsay Curren
Transition Voice

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