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November 4, 2022

Playing with systems


By exploring resilience and our experiences in dealing with the COVID emergency (see previous post) we realized that understanding complex systems has a lot to do with good positive reaction skills. Not only that, we have seen how our local and European organizational processes are not particularly suited to managing complexity. We have good vertical, compartmentalized procedures, but there are obvious weaknesses when cross-cutting and non-linear processes are needed.

So you are all invited to join us online for a couple of days during which we will try to combine new systemic skills with our community toolbox. In particular, we will explore through practical workshops some of the tools that we have already described at the theoretical level in the previous meetings.

Sometimes a toast is much more than it seems ...

Let's start by making a toast

This time our virtual host will be the community of Valsamoggia in Italy. Our work will begin with a collective exercise, we will ask you to draw "how to prepare a toast", an exercise that will help us understand how each of us faces an apparently simple procedure. This game will be our new gateway to the complex systems world (IMPORTANT come equipped with pen and paper).

We will then continue exploring the advantages of a systemic approach in governance systems through the videos of some testimonies collected by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) with interventions by Adrian Brown (Executive Director of Center for Public Impact - Sweden), Deborah Blackman ( Professo at the School of Business - University of New South Wales) and Luke Craven (Director - Australian Taxation Office).

Action and reaction are difficult to connect in complex systems

But more than anything else we want to play

This time we want to leave room to try using Cynefin and Causal Diagrams together by trying to apply them to real cases and situations. We therefore ask you to arrive prepared by bringing some problem or project that can be worked out together. Time will inevitably be limited, so come with something not too complex and easy to explain.

We will try to frame the problems, define the intervention strategies and think about the effects of the actions we would like to put into practice, but applying a systemic look.

Let's see if we can break down the language barrier

Workin in your own language

Given the international nature of the MEET project and wanting to facilitate a high level of interaction, the common phases of the two days of meetings will be in English, while the workshops will be in rooms dedicated to the languages of the project partners: Portuguese, Spanish/Basque, French, Italian, Polish.

The agenda

DAY1 - 15/12/2022

  • 10:00 - Online landing space
  • 10:15 - Welcome of the hosts (Daniele Ruscigno, Mayor of Valsamoggia)
  • 10:30 - Draw "how to make toast"
  • 11:00 - Reimagining government (ANZSOG panel)
  • 11:45 - Break
  • 12:00 - Sharing in groups
  • 12:20 - The system game
  • 13:00 - End Activities

DAY2 - 16/12/2022

  • 10:00 - Goodmorning energizer
  • 10:05 - Opening of the day, recalling yesterday and key concepts
  • 10:15 - Your systemic story + Q&A
  • 10:30 - Your systemic story + Q&A
  • 10:45 - Cynefin Lab
  • 11:45 - Break
  • 12:00 - Causal diagram case study (Valsamoggia on recycling plastic waste)
  • 12:20 - Causal Diagram Lab
  • 12:35 - Feedback questionnaire
  • 12:45 - Q&A Closing and Goodby
  • 13:00 - End Activities


The times refer to the CET time zone

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