HSD: Right for these times; right for YOU!

A couple of years ago, the HSD Institute engaged in a months-long process of strategic futuring. We took a long-range exploration of trends and possibilities in a number of areas. Through a process of data collection, analysis, and scenario planning, we identified possible opportunities in response to our initial question: “What will be the role of human systems dynamics in the year 2051?”

Armageddon is not around the corner. This is only what the people of violence want us to believe. The complexity and diversity of the world is the hope for the future. 

—Michael Palin

Based on the scenarios and data we collected along the way, we engaged in a process of “backcasting”. We started by asking ourselves a series of questions: “If this is what the world will look like in 2051, what needs to be in place in 2041? 2031? Now?” We identified opportunities and challenges in that data and began to map our work today to prepare for those challenges.

We created a new vision:

People everywhere thrive because we
see patterns clearly,
seek to understand, and
act with courage to
transform turbulence and uncertainty
into possibility for all.

We created new Simple Rules that we believed would shape the outward-focused, future-oriented patterns that would make that vision a reality in every decision and action we take.

  • Stand in inquiry
    • Turn judgment into curiosity
    • Turn disagreement into shared exploration
    • Turn defensiveness into self-reflection
    • Turn assumptions into questions
  • Search for the true and useful
  • Connect with stories and impacts
  • Zoom in and zoom out
  • Find the energy in difference
  • Celebrate life

We completed that work and were considering the ways we could live the vision and the Simple Rules in our everyday life—in January and February of 2020. Then the globe was rocked by a pandemic of a virus we didn’t know; an illness we couldn’t treat, predict or control; and world-wide economic and social systems that slipped with every month of deaths. At the same time, we saw a world-wide rise in autocracy and significant challenges to democratic principles and values around the world.

What we suddenly realized was that, rather than being debilitated by such powerful challenges, HSD and the HSD Institute was, in fact, poised to respond in ways we didn’t anticipate. Suddenly people recognized that the complexities they faced on a daily basis were overwhelming them. They recognized that resilience is not about bouncing back to the “old normal”. They began to grasp that traditional thinking and change management were not going to move them beyond the current challenges of 2020 and beyond.

Suddenly the average number of participants in our HSD Professional certification courses doubled. Many of our public Adaptive Action Labs filled quickly. New clients and thought partners showed up. Every single day, we have opportunities to make our vision a reality for the people with whom we work in our Adaptive Action Labs, in our daily Inquiry sessions, in our certification courses, in our consulting, and in being with wise and caring people as they join the network of people who use and explore HSD to transform their worlds every day.

And what has been most impactful for me in the past weeks is that the two Ukrainians who are in that network—one  who is an HSD Professional, and one whose certification was interrupted by the war—have been in touch with us. Both wrote to say that they are using HSD. Adaptive Action cycles informed by Pattern Logic, they tell us, are helping them get through each day of their current ordeals.

Please come join that network. Learn more about the complex human systems where you live, work, and play every day. Join us for one (or more) of our learning opportunities:

  • Our next Human Systems Dynamics Professional (HSDP) certification course starts with an orientation late this month, with the online Patterns and Possibilities in early May, and then the online conversations and meetings extending into August.
  • Our ongoing series of Inquiry sessions continues each weekday at 10a CDT. You are welcome to join once or to become a “regular”. There are HSD Associates, other friends and colleagues who make up the broader HSD global network, and new people who have only heard about the power of Inquiry join each week. Follow the link to see recordings from past sessions and to register for future sessions. They are free, but we need your email address to send you daily reminders.
  • Each month, except for January, we offer an Adaptive Action Lab, that takes you into a deep dive around specific topics where HSD has been used.
  • On the first Thursday of every month, we offer a free webinar that takes a deep dive into some aspect of HSD. Join us for these sessions. Register here and get a 30-minute reminder before each webinar. There’s no cost, no obligation to attend. We just ask for your email so we can send reminders.

If you want to know more, but don’t know what questions to ask, feel free to contact us at info@hsdinstitute.org. We’d love to chat about your interests and challenges to help you create your own, personalized plan for engaging in the HSD network, where:

People everywhere thrive because we
see patterns clearly,
seek to understand, and
act with courage to
transform turbulence and uncertainty
into possibility for all.

Be in touch!

Join a global network of learning about HSD!
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