Transformations Systems Working Group
This working group aims to advance the field of transformations systems mapping and analysis, and grow a culture of collaboration to address the challenges of our time.
The decade of the 2020s may be one of the most critical in history in determining the future of human civilization and the ecosystems of Earth. We are living in the Anthropocene, where humans are the primary force shaping the planet, and during a time of history, where the choices made in the next decade will likely determine the fate of generations to come. The world is facing a global pandemic, economic turmoil, and accelerating climate change in the face of weak governance structures. Against this background, professional networks are forming around the world that are committed to large scale systems change and transformation toward regeneration. Some networks have formed around particular places/geographies such as the Regenerative Communities Network, some around places and issues regarding SDGs and deep systems change such as the SDG Transformations Forum, and some networks have formed to evolve a professional practice to better contribute to this enlightenment such as Blue Marble Evaluation and International Geodesign Collaboration.
Much like we need food systems to help deliver food to meet growing global demands, we are now in dire need of Transformations-systems (T-systems) to enable regenerative systems change. A T-system comprises all those initiatives nudging, shifting and disrupting a status quo system – anything from an issue like healthcare to a geographic area like a watershed – in a transformational direction. These efforts may operate alongside a status quo system, like a zero-carbon energy subsidiary of a traditional energy company. But T-systems are inherently focused on change and innovation, compared with status quo systems’ emphasis on production and administration. T-systems require their own distinctive identity, skills, and organizing space to operate. There is now an emerging field of study of T-systems and with it, an emerging practice. We are learning that many transformational efforts simply muddle along without coherence or guidance, with fragmented efforts going in different directions.
We have launched a cross-cutting Transformation Systems Mapping and Analysis Working Group that spans the four preexisting networks discussed above (and likely many more soon) to spark sharing of information, collaboration and greater understanding of who’s doing what, where, and to what extent in this rapidly changing world. We aspire to create frameworks and maps that aid our understanding of T-systems, from social networks to economic systems to land use patterns to human-scale geographies to systems we are just beginning to see. We plan to use any and all tools available, from ArcGIS to Kumu to 7Vortex to tools our members invent for new projects. Our ultimate purpose is nothing less than to build the field of transformations systems mapping and analysis to contribute to a new social, ecological and economic Enlightenment.
This Social Systems Map represents the ecosystem developing around the Transformations Systems Mapping and Analysis Working Group. This is one of our first products, which will contribute to our development, help us to self-organize, and amplify our ability to SEE the eco-system we are creating as we evolve as a Working Group. We will continue to iterate and engage with this map over time.
Fellows and convenors
We asked our amazing first wave of Convenors and Fellows to share their bios and headshots, and this page is the result!
A core component of the WG functionality is a decentralized array of Workstreams, each arranged around a topic of interest. These Workstreams may exist for several months and lead to a product and then adjourn, they may merge with other Workstreams, they may continue to take on new goals and objectives or they may choose to transform the nature of the work they are doing.