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Co-Design for second-order effects and institutional Change: A case study in sustainability

Barba, Evan and Stewart, Audrey (2015) Co-Design for second-order effects and institutional Change: A case study in sustainability. In: Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD4) 2015 Symposium, 1-3 Sep 2015, Banff, Canada.


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Second-order or indirect effects refer to changes within a system that are the result of
changes made through direct intervention somewhere else in the system (the first-order
effects). Second-order effects can occur at different spatial, temporal, or organizational
scales from the original intervention, and can therefore be difficult to predict or control.
Some organizational theorists suggest that careful in-situ management of feedback
processes can facilitate controlled change from one organizational configuration to
another. These structural changes typically occur when a relatively closed and increasingly
entropic configuration is reorganized to create a more open and stable configuration,
referred to as a dissipative structure. Recognizing that the skill at managing feedback
processes is a core competency of design suggests that iterative action-reflection cycles and
other design skills are potentially useful tools in achieving organizational change. We
describe a case study in which we use a co-design methodology to create and harness the
second-order effects resulting from a classroom intervention to produce a dissipative
structure at higher scale. We further generalize this approach into a model for achieving
systemic change that we refer to as an Instigator Systems approach.

Item Type: Conference/Workshop Item (Lecture)
Divisions: Faculty of Design
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2017 16:31
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 18:16
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2047

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