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Development conference blog: Day 2 Opening

December 1, 2009

An interesting technique here, three people asked to comment on the previous day. I summarise below

Tricia Wind

identity the attractors and how do we monitor them, how do we monitor feedback loops

Using narrative to deepend understanding

Map it strategic choices along the way, may not be good to stick to the plan

Then use external evaluators to assess the strategic choices

Does not assume a linear progression from outputs to outcomes to impact

Accountability needs to explicitly include learning

Questions: really cool graphs of SenseMaker™, when appropriate, also scaling as replication will rarely work

Alan Fowler

Roots and origins: likes my approach using evolutionary neuroscience over longer periods creating dispossessions. We don’t like disorder, we are anxiety adverse. More averse to loss than gain (example of an asymmetry) alone with learning from failure rather than success. So what time frame is meaningful is a key question. This impacts on what processes are appropriate. Sees complexity about uncertainty and how it plays out.

Drivers: So how we we play out understanding? Insuring against risk is one common way, however not everything that is uncertain is risk. How d

Application: We want certainty, if we can’t have it how can we sell what we can do? If we were honest we would not get the money. Politicians promise certainty, the promise of certainty is how they gain power.

how can I better read the situation? Is it complex or is it complicated? Will help with reading

The whole notion of boundaries, are they set explicitly or are they implicit depending on teh nature of the intervention and the probe. Boundary setting is a tricky and critical area. In respect of probes, which are critical? can you use the measures of the measured not the measures of the measurers? (OK THAT IS BRILLIANT)

Issue of barriers, struggling with two sorts of barriers (i) our own mindsets (ii) political economy in which we function. The implications of breaking free are so potentially daunting that people do not want to open the Pandoras box. What degree of discomfort are we prepared to cope with.

Franz Beckman form the Broker

Started to think about complexity some two years ago. One question is can we intervene from outside? We can but have to clarify it much more. We have to take away the barriers, create enabling environments.

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