Transduction — leading transformation — Issue #98

Benjamin P. Taylor
11 min readAug 11, 2023


This week:

  • Upcoming Event
  • Systems Thinking and Systemic Design
  • Cybernetics
  • Sustainability

Upcoming event:

Leading Self, Leading Systems (October 10 & 17):

Are you ready to embrace profound transformation in today’s rapidly changing world? Join our highly engaging and thought-provoking workshop to become a catalyst for positive change in your life, organization, and community.

🌐 Online Sessions: October 10th & 17th, 2023 🕘 Time: 0900–1300 BST | 1000–1400 CEST

💡 Unlock Your Leadership Potential: Leadership is not confined to titles; it’s a practice available to everyone. Discover the power of leading self and systems to create something new in the world.

🔍 Session 1 — October 10th: Explore the impact of context on relationships and behaviors through an interactive online simulation. Distinguish between personal and systemic factors with powerful frameworks. Increase self-awareness to overcome reactive patterns and boost your contribution.

🎯 Session 2 — October 17th: Immerse yourself in an organizational exercise designed to challenge your assumptions about leadership. Break down communication barriers, generate a shared vision, and lead in partnership. Learn to recognize underlying patterns that influence relationships and enhance your leadership choices.

🌐 Where: Online on Zoom 💲 Workshop Fee (Both Sessions):

  • Standard Fee: £399 (VAT included) for private sector companies.
  • Reduced Fee: £299 (VAT included) for charities, public sector, NGOs, and non-profits. 👥 Group Discount: 20% off for 3 or more participants from the same organization (use promo code GROUP).

🤝 Making a Difference: We believe in widening the impact of our work and offer bursaries for grassroots change-makers who cannot afford organizational rates. Reach out to to request bursary places.

🗣️ What People Say: Our workshops bring together diverse participants from various sectors and communities, providing a stimulating and revelatory experience. “Experiential, immersive, illuminating.” “A game-changer in online learning.” “I was engaged throughout the session and immediately saw opportunities to grow and build on my work.”

🚀 Embrace the Future Today: Seize this opportunity to become a transformative leader in your life and beyond. Spaces are limited. Secure your spot now by visiting our website:

Link Collection:

My Weekly Blog post:

The Hidden Brain podcast episodes featuring psychiatrist Anna Lembke discuss the concept that our innate balance of pleasure and pain drives seeking behaviors. Excessive modern pleasures, like social media and instant gratification, can lead to reduced pleasure over time, fostering addiction. In nature, seeking balance prompted exploration, but now we’re stuck in addictive loops. To break this, Lembke suggests embracing discomfort through exercise, effort, and boredom. The notion applies to organizations too, which might become addicted to unproductive habits. In essence, excessive pleasure-seeking leads to diminished happiness and addiction, emphasizing the need for resetting through discomfort and self-awareness.

Is your organisation addicted?

In the early 20th century, while Virginia Woolf mused on the interconnectedness of minds and the world, neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal launched a science that expanded brain knowledge but narrowed our grasp of the mind. Neuroscience simplified complex human experiences into specific brain regions and neural patterns. A century later, Annie Murphy Paul’s book “The Extended Mind” challenges the notion that thinking solely occurs in the brain. Drawing on science and historical examples, Paul explores how external factors, from bodily sensations to surroundings, significantly influence thinking. The mind isn’t confined to the brain; it’s an ongoing process that includes the body and the environment. She likens the mind to a magpie assembling its nest with diverse materials. Interoception, awareness of internal sensations, guides intuitive knowledge rooted in bodily experiences. This model of the “extended mind” reshapes understanding, illustrating that thought involves intricate interplay between brain, body, and surroundings. Paul delves into embodied cognition, situated cognition, and distributed cognition, demonstrating that human consciousness is a collective, interconnected phenomenon. This perspective echoes Schrödinger’s notion that there’s essentially one universal mind.

The Fascinating Science of How We Think Not with the Brain But with the World — Popova (2022)

At Imperial College London, a pioneering “Wicked” Entrepreneurship class, led by Professor Cristobal Garcia and Steve Blank, blended Lean methodology with Systems Thinking to tackle complex issues. Focusing on Wicked problems — multi-faceted challenges without obvious solutions — the class aimed to swiftly transition from problem admiration to active problem-solving. Eight diverse, global challenges were chosen, such as security amidst Chilean conflicts, a green hydrogen economy, and disinformation for the BBC. Around 50 students from different disciplines participated, committing to a dynamic approach. Teams engaged with stakeholders, utilizing tools like Stakeholder Maps, Systems Maps, and Assumptions Mapping. The course integrated Lean principles like MVP building and hypothesis testing. The students demonstrated exceptional dedication, flying globally to engage stakeholders directly. Despite initial shock, participants embraced the immersive experience, presenting their findings and solutions. The class’s success offers a transformative model for addressing complex problems with agility, making strides in meaningful innovation.

Lean Meets Wicked Problems — Blank (2023)

The EIT Climate-KIC Transitions Hub has created a comprehensive resource book to aid practitioners in understanding and facilitating systemic change in sustainability innovations. The book combines academic concepts like system innovation and socio-technical transitions with practical application techniques like transition management. It responds to the need for adaptable tools and methods that can be easily transferred to real-world challenges. The book draws from Climate-KIC’s experience in education programs like Pioneers into Practice and Innovator Catalyst, emphasizing co-operative learning and peer-to-peer activities. This resource aims to enhance skills and support system innovation for addressing climate change challenges at both individual and organizational levels.

Climate-KIC Visual toolbox for system innovation (2020)

An introduction to systems thinking and systemic design — concepts and tools — Allen and Kilvington

Systems thinking and systemic design — are a way of collaboratively talking about and designing real-world solutions


  1. Introduction — Why decision-makers are moving towards a systems thinking approach to better deal with complex situations in health, environment, education, etc.
  2. Basics — Basics of systems thinking
  3. Systemic design — linking systems thinking and design
  4. Support systems — Introduction to range of tools/methods that support systems thinking and systemic design in practice
  5. Nurturing — Nurturing & supporting systems thinking in your practice

This paper seeks to redefine emergence in the context of systems research, addressing its lack of consensus and clear definition. Emergence, essential to systems approaches, remains murky in the field of complex systems. The study departs from philosophical discussions on emergence in complex phenomena like life and consciousness and focuses on isolating basic forms of emergence. Departing from conventional hierarchical views, a new framework of scope, resolution, and state is introduced. Emergent properties are defined and linked to scope. The process of emergence, its relationship with predictability, and practical applications are explored. This work aims to enhance communication within the systems community and facilitate cross-disciplinary applications.

Emergence is coupled to scope, not level — Ryan (2006)

The challenge of ensuring the safety and alignment of powerful deep learning systems, like ChatGPT, goes beyond traditional engineering approaches. These systems are complex adaptive systems, interacting and evolving like neural network components. This complexity creates control challenges unaddressed by typical engineering concepts. Examples from various systems, like firms and ecosystems, highlight how controlling them leads to unintended outcomes. Emergent goals further complicate control efforts. The post suggests safety measures considering the adaptiveness of deep learning systems. Influenced by Dan Hendrycks, the post advocates a complex systems perspective, aiming to understand and manage these systems’ behavior through more nuanced approaches.

Bounded Regret — Complex Systems are Hard to Control — Steinhardt (2023)

The World’s Best Systems Thinkers: Part 1 — Bosschaert and Ratcliff (2022)

Diversity in Greatness

Systems thinking is this generation’s lifebuoy. It’s the only way to accurately observe our world, assess its complexity, and design and implement sustainable solutions. Our long-term survival depends upon it.

This article is part one of a two-part series that explores some of the world’s greatest systems thinkers of modern times. It highlights what makes them so good and how they continue to inspire us in our work as system analysts and to improve our systems dynamics tools in the SiD omnibus book.

By Tom Bosschaert and Mark Ratcliff

Halkyon Academy — Spiritual Cybernetics

Hyperreality, Accelerationism, and the Technics of Spirit

I think this is an introductory video:

[For some reason, Johannes A. Niederhauser has blocked me on Twitter — hey ho. Perhaps it’s because I don’t understand this.]


Other related videos:

Sustainable, Smart and Systemic Design Post-Anthropocene: Through a Transdisciplinary Lens, Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics The Special Issue — Volume 20 — Number 7 — Year 2022

The Special Issue — Volume 20 — Number 7 — Year 2022

The Special Issue announced in the past years is published and public! The project was carried out by our CSRP Editorial Team: Marie Davidová, Susu Nousala and Thomas J. Marlowe. The contributing Authors are David Ing, Yannis Zavoleas, Xiao (Bella) Hu, Magda Sibley and Ana Zimbarg. The process was warmly supported by Dr Nagib Callaos and Jelena Sucic.

Follows the abstract of the editorial introduction and the full document with the links to the papers.

Abstract: Sustainability as related to the environment is now just over 50 years old. In that time, especially in regard to human artifacts such as architecture, it has largely focused on human priorities, and how they need to be modified to address or rectify environmental and ecological challenges. A new, post-anthropocene view suggests that it is also important to consider the environment as more than a backdrop whose state and appearance must be maintained, but rather as an actor in its own right, with its own interests, including the interests of the living non-human actors in the local ecology. This special issue seeks to explore this wider notion, and the editors view our introduction as an opportunity to present the journal theme, to introduce the authors and place its papers in context, and to welcome researchers and practitioners to explore this topic further.

Creating together the future we want: author & relational activist Peter Block — YouTube

As a collector of Peter’s word of wisdom, I’ve added the best from this excellent conversation to my previous post as a comment here: