Exploring Methods for Generative Iteration of Our Social System Map
What Ways Are We Addressing the Iteration Challenge?
We Social System Mappers haven’t yet learned how to approach the maintenance & updating of our Social System Maps from a generative mindset.
If we’re serious about amplifying the potential of Social System Mapping – we need to learn how to face and work through what I’m calling “The Iteration Challenge”.
And if WE – who practice Social System Mapping and are the people most invested in it’s potential – don’t figure this out, no-one will!
- Recognize the power of questions and;
- Align with system-thinking/complexity/regenerative design principles.
What This Means in Practice
We live in the world our questions create.
Our Social System Maps are nothing more than our collective responses to questions we ask, so our questions are of central importance to our mapping practice. They deserve to be articulated through many perspectives, and designed to be as generative as we can make them.
The Purpose of This Exploration:
- Have conversations we haven’t had yet.
- Ensure that contributions are acknowledged and can have an impact.
- Ensure that both the authority and the work of defining our world through our questions is distributed.
- Deepen our thinking about the system we ARE and are trying to become.
- Process work and generativity like an ecosystem.
- Deepen relationships through shared exploration and increasing shared understanding
- Practice adaptive action/Theory U/Co-Creation together – while getting small-scale indirect-impact work done.
- Practice leveraging whatever small tasks come our way into new, more generative patterns.
Patterns From The 12 Principles of Permaculture design that inform the design of a Social System Mapping methodology and the development of our community:
- Observe and interact
- Catch and store energy
- Obtain a yield
- Apply self-regulation & accept feedback
- Use & value renewable resources & services
- Produce no waste
- Design from patterns to details
- Integrate rather than segregate
- Use small and slow solutions
- Use and value diversity
- Use edges & value the marginal
- Creatively use and respond to change
What We’ve Gained So Far Through the Initial Round of this Exploratory Process, Focused on the Question of Informal Roles :
- A different list of informal roles than we started with, a list which is more suited to US and more suited to our regenerative intentions.
- Deeper insight into what we want to be together and how we might catalyze more depth.
- New ideas – the exploration itself has sparked new thinking that can lead to more cool new things for us to do together.
- Stronger relationships – those of us working on this experiment can produce more together now than we could before we started this process. We understand one another better now, and we know how to work together more, we can channel and increase our energies together better now.
- Our co-thinking muscles are being exercised – that makes us better collaborative partners for everyone, and better co-thinking models. We’re indirectly increasing the co-thinking capacity of the whole community.
- We are learning what it can mean to implement regenerative design principles in our own mapping contexts.