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Presentation by Peter Jones at RSD4 Banff, Alberta, 2015. Society can be defined as an object of culture, as culture is a medium for the collective development of social systems. Societies are not designed by a deliberative process, but are social entities that emerge over time as response to historicity and cultural development, and function largely by tacit agreement as observed in social norms.
In the 1960’s social systemicists such as Ozbekhan, Fuller, and Doxiadis advocated deliberative civic planning as a normative science for designing sustainable and preferable societies and settlements. Even though their original methodologies of normative planning (Ozbekhan), anticipatory design science (Fuller) and ekistics (Doxiadis) did not gain the results hoped in applications over time, these arguments could be lodged against most systems methodologies. Yet when we consider their views of the human capacity to design future outcomes as a serious social and political project, we in our fragmented polities in the postmodern era might take heed. An argument follows that we, as cultural innovators in our own societies, having access to the wisdom of successful past transitions or redirections, have also failed to motivate and enact changes requisite to our common concerns.
A systemic design approach is proposed toward constructing such idealizations as a necessary initial condition. The approach reconciles wisdom from our sociocultural histories with collaborative design practices of the current era to construct shared pathways to desired and feasible societal futures.
• “Matters of Concern”
• Facing Gaia, Gifford Lectures on
the Political Theology of Nature
• Modes of Existence
• The “Bad Anthropocene”
What do we want from sustainability?
“The possibility that human & other life
will flourish on this planet forever”
John Ehrenfeld, MIT
Flourishing – Is this too audacious?
What is it that sustainability sustains over time, and why?
Clean air & water
Vibrant soil for food
Healthy eco-systems creating
materials for us & rendering our
focused on well-being with
all our fellow citizens
cities, regions & countries)
collaborate & compete to best
meet our needs today & in
future, while creating the wealth
to meet shared needs
(education, infrastructure, etc.)
Individuals choosing to
practically, artistically &
Requirements for Flourishing – A Culture Map
Macro: Natural Sciences
Micro: Physiology, Psychology, etc.
Meso: Businesses, Organizations, etc.
Macro: Cities, Places, Social
Business Model Canvas – the Language of Profit Prioritizing Business
Template Fast to
customers Alignment – get’s us
all on the same page
for all Depts.
Helps Tell Our Story to…
Suppliers, New Employees
*From “The business model canvas – why and how organizations around the world adopt it – a Field Report”
on Best Ideas
We Can Act
“A business model is a description of how an organization
defines and achieves success over time.”
Emerging mode of co-creative planning & design
• Adapting business design artifacts toward flourishing outcomes
• Consistent with systems & social thinkers
(Ulrich, Law, Beck, Giddens, Ozbekhan)
• Every stakeholder has perspective, values, relations
And opportunity to contribute to evolutionary design
• Creates “tri-impact” by being tri-profitable
– Financially rewarding
– Socially beneficial
– Environmentally regenerative
• A common language to collaboratively sketch, prototype,
design, share, measure, diagnose & tell stories about a
flourishing business model
• Based on 3 years of graduate research + 3 years of practice
• Ontology & visual canvas – Extending Osterwalder’s
successful Business Model Canvas & PhD
Strongly Sustainable Business
Model Research Group
International Practice Community
Monthly presentations (2nd Tues)
24+ Workshops since RSD3
Design science approach to
iterative development &
evaluation of methodology
Publication of supporting
ontology & framework
First Explorers using Canvas
Process Value People
Perspectives on a Business Model
Who does a
business do it to,
for and with?
What does a business do now
and in the future?
How, where &
with what does
the business do
Why: How does a
business define &
(in Environmental, Social &
A Societal Business Model?
• Can we create a process for participatory systemic civil
• Can we adapt the FBC as a planning tool?
• Would a canvas be sensitive to capturing stakeholders &
• Do the Flourishing distinctions provide guidance for a
Flourishing Community as a Business Model
Strongly Sustainable Business
Model adapted to future design
of “Flourishing Cities”
Urban Ecologies 2015 Conference
Canvas + Generative workshop
- Ontological Design
- Convergent & redirective
- Foresight (Anticipatory)
- Boundary Critique
- Rich Picture Models
• How might this model enable conversations for
• What are the relationships between business & social
ecologies in a place?
• How might we adapt this approach in policy debates?
• How could this become a practical, useful model for
civic engagement in policy making?
• How might we adapt the design process to include
the dynamic feedback in an ecosystem model?