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Framing a process model for design impact with a systemic lens

Format: Workshops, RSD11, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Anja Overdiek and Katinka Bergema

The current societal challenges require different stakeholders to act on different systemic levels. Design is seen as a valuable approach to addressing these challenges. Christine De Lille and Anja Overdiek (RSD10, 2021) developed a model to explain how to move from the current system toward a preferred future system. In this process, through the use of labs, one is moving from a systemic level to a concrete level to create an impact on the systemic level.

In the first phase, we work on understanding the current system through mapping the system and identifying the stakeholders and engaging the different stakeholders. With the different stakeholders, we create visions for the future. In the second phase, we engage in local labs. In these local labs, participants test, explore ideas, experiment, test prototypes, and learn what would work and not work in the new system. In the third phase, we reflect and evaluate the insights from the local labs and, building on these insights, create new systems.

The process model, “impacting systems with labs” (below), helps to understand how to move from understanding the current system to a preferred future system. Based on the learnings from different case studies, we increased our understanding of this process and what to do to maximise our impact. We seek to to expand our knowledge on the indicators for the effectiveness at the different stages and activities in the process to create maximum impact and systemic change.

We begin by sharing earlier case studies and workshops with two agencies guiding these processes. These have provided us with some insights into the indicators for success. We seek the experiences and knowledge of the participants about the indicators they know for the different stages in the process.

Which systemic concepts and tools do you associate with the different lab phases?
How do these concepts/ tools deepen or alternate the curve?

The workshop includes an in-depth discussion on the indicators for success and the impact these may have. Our goal is to draw some conclusions from there and discuss how one might integrate these insights into further learning about the needed methods, tools and skills for processes of systemic change.

Related RSD11 paper “Scaling Up: From labs to systemic change




Citation Data

Author(s): Anja Overdiek and Katinka Bergema
Year: 2022
Title: Framing a process model for design impact with a systemic lens
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 038
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 30 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404