How might we move or collective thinking and action beyond single-issue social action?
Does it make sense to build our urban worlds and future societies by winning one political issue at a time?
Can we design civic business models for our cities and society?
All social services, determinants of health, and economics are complex and interrelated. So why do we expect any political body or activist group to get it right? Only meaningfully diverse, multi-stakeholder groups can envision the variety of interests and outcomes in complex social systems. In February’s Design with Dialogue Peter Jones workshops tools for co-creating civic design proposals.
A significant design challenge of our time is anticipating the relationships of multiple environmental and social problems as a complex system of nonlinear relationships. However, we cannot think about, model or discuss the relationships well, especially in the heat of discussion with deliberative groups and decision making processes. We need not only better engagement and dialogue processes for citizen deliberative problem solving, we require relevant tools.
With the OCADU Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group and with Strategic Foresight & Innovation students we designed a relevant framework from the common language of business model tools, adapted for civic decision models for flourishing cities and settlements.
The Flourishing Cities framework adapts a design tool for strongly sustainable business models as a visual organizer for engaging stakeholders in co-creating normative operational guidance for civic groups, community planners, and local governments. Flourishing can be understood as “to live within an optimal range of human functioning, one that connotes goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience,” or as John Ehrenfeld states it:
“Flourishing is the possibility that human and other life will flourish on this planet forever.”
This visual model enables a participatory mapping of propositions, values, and preferences that might yield significantly better group decisions for sociocultural and ecological development and governance in any planning engagement.
The Flourishing Business Canvas is shown below, the basis for the Flourishing Cities model adapted in the workshop.
Unlike the Flourishing Business Canvas, the “Cities” canvas has not been employed in actual practice yet. This is a proposed concept, developed from extended research and is presented as a model for further inquiry and evaluation.
Session Host: Peter Jones
Dr. Peter Jones is associate professor at Toronto’s OCAD University, where he teaches in the groundbreaking Strategic Foresight and Innovation MDes program and leads research in the Strategic Innovation Lab (slab.ocadu.ca). He is also faculty in the new (2016) MDes in Design for Health program. With a small group of design leaders and an inspired community, Peter founded Design with Dialogue in 2008, and today we convene four related monthly communities of practice.
Peter is also co-founder of the Relating Systems Thinking to Design symposia which is coming to Toronto this year. Peter’s research adapts applied cognitive and social methodologies including dialogic methods for complex systems inquiry, engagement and design in healthcare, governance, and social systems. In his practice with the Redesign Network, Peter has led the design and research of leading resources for clinical, educational and scientific practice throughout the Internet era. His publications and books can be found on Design Dialogues.