Human Systems Dynamics: Patterns of Hope in Your World

I just turned off the television in the middle of a news program. I just couldn’t watch any longer this morning. A panel of “experts” was exploring differences between and among groups who cannot—or will not—work together.

The pundits have many reasons people don’t come together to solve problems or plan for a shared future, but they don’t have ideas about what to do to make it better. It doesn’t seem to matter which station I watch. Local, regional, national, or international. cameras are focused on this issue. In media, in my own conversations, in discourse reported from across the globe, I see people “stopped” by seemingly intractable challenges they face. They’re stuck in respective positions, often dealing with each other in disrespectful and dangerous ways. They are unable to find a path out of the muck and mire that holds them stuck.

Now I am not naïve enough to believe I could solve the worries of the whole world. I am not deluded enough think there is one narrowly defined path that would be the panacea for all the division and pain in the world. At the same time, I am not jaded enough to believe that there are no possibilities for change. I am not desperate in my assessment of where we are as a global society.

After two decades of exploring, learning, applying and shaping patterns of human systems dynamics, I do have hope. I have hope because I believe HSD offers ways to set conditions for hope. Using HSD helps you build new perspectives to 1) see your challenges clearly; 2) understand them in new ways; and 3) try new steps together. At that point you are able to start that cycle over again, stepping into the next inquiry. I believe that’s possible because I have seen HSD work in many difficult situations. I believe that’s possible because I have listened to others’ stories about how they used HSD to address challenges they thought were intractable.

People share these stories of hope in HSD Professional certification courses, in Adaptive Action Labs, and in individual and group coaching connections. Stories of getting unstuck from intractable, wicked problems have become woven into the work of over 700 HSD Professional Associates from around the globe. We know that others have stories, too, because we hear from them every day. We aren’t even sure how many people around the world engage in Adaptive Action Labs and experience the power of HSD. Hundreds of people read our blog posts and books that help them find their own HSD stories.

Over and over, as we work with people, they embrace the ideas and perspectives of HSD. Sometimes they accept the ideas whole heartedly. Some individuals just pick one or two ideas that make sense to them. Sometimes they initially reject the ideas but find that the practices work. And, to be honest, there are a few people for whom HSD is not a fit, and they continue using what works for them.

The point is that many people are finding value and hope, using HSD to address their most intractable challenges:

  • Engaging with patterns at the end of life to turn pain into possibility.
  • Seeing poverty as a pattern and finding ways to shape the social fabric of a community to decrease the ravages of living in poverty
  • Working to change the world by engaging in nonviolent resistance and community organizing
  • Exploring options and opportunities for re-thinking how medical practitioners are trained to provide client-centered service in the global complexities of the 21st century
  • Setting conditions for children and youth in public education to experience a deep learning ecology that helps them recognize the power of finding their own questions
  • Helping funders, evaluators, and grantees find practical and useful ways to understand the impact of their shared work
  • Exploring alternatives to traditional understandings about difference and bias
  • And . . .

This list only scratches the surface of ways we know HSD is being used to change the world. We also recognize that we only know a fraction of the people who use HSD in their work and how they use it.

“OK,” you say, “So how do I increase my hope in spite of the huge challenges I face? How do I learn more about how these ideas offer hope to change the world? How do I create my own story?” The answer is simple. Join us. Step into this worldwide pattern of learning and apply principles of HSD in your own world.

We offer a number of opportunities for you, whether you are just “dipping your toe” for the first time, looking for a specific application, or looking for a deeper dive as a certified HSD Professional.

Whatever your choice, you frame your own learning. Each learning opportunity is designed to support your use of HSD ideas and principles in intractable issues that have you stuck. You engage with the learning by “doing HSD” in your own way, focusing on your own challenges. Each learner in each course is doing the same, so you get to learn from each other about new ideas, new applications, new possibilities—new hope.

There are opportunities available this fall to become a certified HSD Professional.

  • HSDP Certification in Atlanta, GA, USA – Launch on September 17-21, 2018, with 5-day in-person session. Engage in online individual, small-group, and large-group sessions through the final meeting in mid-December.
  • HSDP Certification in Vancouver, BC, CA – Offered in partnership with Fraser Health Authority, Provincial Health Services Authority, and BC Organization Development Network, this cohort launches November 26-30, 2018, with 5-day in-person session. The online individual, small-group, and large-group sessions extend through the final meeting in late March, allowing time for the Winter Holiday seasons.
  • HSDP Certification in Horsham, West Sussex, UK – Partnering with Roffey Park Institute, HSD Institute launches this course with the face-to-face session December 10-14, 2018. The online individual, small-group, and large-group sessions will finalize in mid-April to allow for Winter Holidays, as well.

Other opportunities for learning can be found in the HSD Institute Adaptive Action Learning Labs offered in a series of three, two-hour online sessions.

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Leverage Difference for Meaningful Engagement (August 24, 27, 29)
  • Networks and Adaptive Action: Connect to Create
    (September 25, 27, 28)
  • ESME II: Skills in Action (for medical education teachers and trainers)
    (September 25 – November 16)
  • Adaptive Action Coaching: Build Patterns for Success
    (October 3-5, 12, 19, 26, November 2) CCEs are available through ICF
  • Making Sense of the Mess: HSD and Complex Change
    (October 23, 24, 26 {New Zealand Dates} and October 22, 23, 25 {USA Dates})
  • Collaboration and Adaptive Action: Build Connections for Powerful Action
    (November 28-30)

Labs that are offered in person.

  • Generative Engagement: Beyond Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    (November 19) at Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC, CA
  • Re-Innovate: Take Complex Change to Scale
    (November 20-21) at Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC, CA

For more information about any of these opportunities, please visit our learning opportunities on our website. By October, we will post the opportunities we plan now to offer in 2019.

We would love to have you and your colleagues join us in any of these learning opportunities. We would love to share our experience of hope in the face of intractable challenges. We would love to support you in finding hope in your own work to make the world a better place each day.

Be in touch and let us know if and how HSD has helped you find hope in these complex and challenging times.

Thanks, Royce

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