The provisional date for Systems Thinking Sheffield 2 is Thurs, Feb 24th.
(Note that the provisional date is the same day as the Net2 event "Designing The Silver Bullet Workshop: Making Wishful Thinking Work" - so if anyone is thinking of going (I've booked, as has Paul H) we could arrange travel together.)
The main purpose of this post, however, is: does anyone have any session ideas they'd like to propose for February? Feel free to either propose a session you'd like to present/lead, or give suggestions of things you'd like to hear about.
The criteria for an ideal session are that it should be:
* inclusive/accessible to new people
* about, or relevant to, Systems Thinking
All ideas are welcome. We have quite a diverse group, so there's a good chance someone will pick one up!
Nominal deadline for ideas: Sunday evening (then we can decide what to go with early next week). If we don't get *any* ideas, I'll prepare an evening of bad Eastern Bloc animation and be handing out comprehension exercises after. You have been warned :)
It went well! Paul's session was well received, and we had about 18 (maybe more) people turned up. Hopefully it has given us a good baseline and we can branch out into other ideas over the next few months.
Would you be able to make the 24th? (We may not have much flexibility on the date unfortunately, as the GIST Lab is pretty fully booked.)
I'd like to base something around analysing the Apache Software
Foundation as a system but would really like John to be around for
that since it's very much an internet age organisation So, maybe
 Apache Software Foundation (http://www.apache.org/) is non-profit
501(c)(3) corporation which facilitates the distributed development of
open source software by distributed internet mediated communities.
It's process light, socially dense model is simple enough to describe
and discuss within a few hours. It has several important projects (for
example, Apache HTTPD is the world's dominant web server by volume),
and has been influential as a model for other enterprises. It is high
growth and low cost (for example, the ASF runs a top 1000 website on
less than $100,000 http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/apache.org).
> I'd like to base something around analysing the Apache Software
> Foundation as a system but would really like John to be around for
> that since it's very much an internet age organisation So, maybe
> another month...
There's definitely interest around looking at software development as a systems problem. It might take a while to figure out exactly how though.
In the mean time, we still need some content for the next meeting. Things I'd be interested in learning more about are:
- Lean applied with a Systems Thinking approach
- Cybernetics (my knowledge of this can be summed up in about 10 words)
Also, since the threat of dodgy Communist-era children's TV didn't scare you, the even worse fallback option is listening to me talk!
I have one last-resort idea:
- Modelling systems with cause-and-effect logic
I've attached an example of this that I drew out of frustration with HMRC's password policy. It's in the form of a Current Reality Tree (ie "if-then" sufficiency logic). Note that this example actually crosses many "systems" - the user, the website, HMRC itself. If anyone is interested, I could have a go at preparing a few examples, and maybe we could try to solve a problem as a group. (Asking "Why?" and related questions can be fun.)
So... if you have an idea you'd like to talk about, please let me know. Otherwise, if anyone thinks my fallback option sounds worth a shot, we could go with that.