The Meta-Design of Dialogues as Inquiring Systems

About 30 participants attended the first DwD of 2012 (Jan 11). This educational session explored the relationship of systems inquiry to dialogue. Small groups facilitated their own learning to identify knowledge profiles and to design dialogic inquiries that would best address a selected area of concern.

There’s a multitude of ways to conduct dialogues.  Which approach will be most appropriate for attaining desired outcomes among different groups?  This DwD engaged systems thinking for some foundations, with an overview of C. West Churchman’s design of inquiring systems.  With these foundations, participants (dialogue designers) sharpened their appreciation of alternative modes and techniques.  More open dialogic approaches might (or might not) be preferred over more bounded and structured approaches, under different conditions.  Theory was translated into reflective practice through group exercises. The session started by generating a range of concerns and ideas for inquiry. These were selected by groups for further

About the Convener

David Ing is president (2011-2012) of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, an organization with members with interests crossing disciplinary boundaries (e.g. social systems, technological systems, biological systems, ecological systems).  In that role, he is designing the program for the ISSS annual meeting (in San Jose, CA in July 2012), and working with the Systems Science Working Group of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).  Over the past year, he developed new courses in systems thinking for the Master’s in Creative Sustainability at Aalto University in Finland.  He is a visiting fellow with University of Hull (UK), an itinerant scholar with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and previously a cofounder of the Canadian Centre for Marketing Information Technologies (C2MIT) at the University of Toronto.  David has had a continuous 27-year career with IBM, with home base in Toronto.  He can be found on the Internet at