HSD’s Vision: Set Conditions to Thrive

The HSD Vision is an aspirational description of future patterns where people use HSD to see, understand, and influence the world around them. Royce Holladay, HSD Institute Director of Services, explains who the “we” refers to in the vision statement. She describes how it takes each of us to set conditions for this pattern’s ultimate manifestation in reality. 

HSD 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.

In the New Year, Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) Institute will celebrate its 20th Anniversary! On January 3, 2003, the HSD Institute “launched” as an online venue to support the study and practice of this new field. The founding CEO, Glenda Eoyang, has worked tirelessly over the years. She has engaged with others to set conditions for people everywhere to learn about and use HSD to address wicked issues of 21st century life. People have embraced the principles of Pattern Logic, Adaptive Action, and Inquiry to address issues in their personal lives, in their communities, and in their organizations. The result of those two decades of work is a network of thousands of individuals who use HSD to change the world by changing how people think about the world.

That is the essence of the vision of HSD: “People everywhere thrive because we see patterns clearly, we seek to understand, and we act with courage to transform turbulence and uncertainty into possibility for all.”

We have always been curious about what it means to set conditions for people everywhere to create possibility for all. Over the years, the HSD Institute Board members have been curious about that as well. And a growing number of Associates are also interested in this question. Clients and colleagues around the world join us in this inquiry. One thing that we know from this work is that each of us “sets conditions” every day by the work we do and the choices we make. For me, what I have to do periodically is reflect on my day-to-day work to consider conditions I’m setting. That allows me to explore their impact and see other places I can “act with courage” to help myself and others around me thrive. What might you see if you took a few minutes to explore the patterns you influence in your HSD-based work?

I decided to create a new CDE portrait to explore how those conditions play out in our current, global reality. It included large groups and ideas that are relevant at the scale of my work inside the HSD Institute: 1) The network of certified HSD Associates; 2) The broader network of individuals who are interested in and use HSD, but who have not completed the HSD certification course; and 3) The body of research and practice that shapes the field of HSD.

We realize that each of us who values what HSD offers to the world sets conditions to help ourselves and others bring the vision into reality today. There are myriad ways to do that, and each of us has to find our own ways. What might you find if you took some time to consider how your work sets conditions for yourself and others to thrive?  Here’s what came to mind as my large-scale CDE profile emerged:

  • Many Containers exist where I focus my time. I listed these three. Additional containers include HSD Institute Board, Glenda and me in our work together, people I coach, consulting clients, writing partners, Associates I work with, and participants in Adaptive Action Labs. I also step into a variety of conceptual containers as I focus on different areas of application of the principles of HSD, such as education, resilience, governance and policy, and making HSD ever more accessible.

    What Containers take your focus and engage your time?
  • The Differences inside the Containers I explored some action I could leverage existing differences to amplify the patterns we describe in the vision. I could do more work with specific sectors or issues, engaging smaller groups or to find connections across those small groups. I can facilitate ways that make it easier for Associates to reach out to each other to share their stories, their work, their energy. I can try to establish ways to support people who live in different countries and cultures as they explore and learn about HSD. I can support those who want to talk about HSD in their own native languages. I can continue current outreach efforts that seem to be working—and engage others to help identify other possible outreach. I can encourage and support individuals and groups to pay attention to how their work sets conditions for people to see, understand, and act on local patterns.

    What Differences do you see inside the Containers where you work? What can you do to leverage the energy those differences?
  • Exchanges lie at the heart of most of this work. As I look at the different exchanges that exist, I recognize that I could go more deeply to encourage and support individuals who do research and evaluation based in HSD principles. I could build stories in different media and/or genre to engage hearts and minds in exploring HSD. We could bring people together to host different opportunities for people to share their HSD stories and impacts.

    What Exchanges do you establish that support yourself and others in seeing, understanding, and acting to create thriving patterns of resilience and productivity?

The final idea I listed is the one I have chosen for my next Wise Action. It’s time to re-engage in periodic opportunities for Associates and other colleagues from around the world to share their HSD stories. In the past we have hosted quarterly events to provide a venue for that sharing. People seemed to enjoy them, there were so many interesting stories, and I am aware of real instances where people met in those sessions and began to work together on shared interests.

I am supporting Barrie McClune, an HSD Associate, to jumpstart these events again. Plans are not finalized, but we want to begin soon! Watch the HSD Institute Newsletter to learn about the first session.

In my next WHAT?, I may zoom in to smaller containers where I actively share HSD to launch my next Adaptive Action cycle.

In the meantime, consider the work you do using HSD. What are the various ways you set conditions every day to help yourself and others thrive? Consider that question and begin to talk about it. Naming your work as “setting conditions” gives it power as a personal narrative of change. Do you have a story you would like to share about how you use HSD to change your corner of the world? Is it about your personal world? Family? Community? Organization? What are the patterns you want to amplify or help to emerge? Who else is involved? Who is empowered to thrive by the work you do?

These are the stories we want to share. They are the stories that shape the communal narrative of change across the field of HSD. They are the stories that connect your efforts with others’ efforts. They are the stories that help the HSD vision become reality every single day.

If you would like to be on the agenda to share your story in one of these sessions, please let us know. Send me a note here at info@HSDInstitute.org. I can’t wait to see what you have to share. Better yet, I can’t wait for you to share your story with the wider network.

Thanks for all you do to help people everywhere thrive! Be in touch!


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