Institutional Literacy and New Institutions and Rules for Integrated Systems of Production

Format: Papers, RSD8, Topic: Socioecological Design

Tom Snow

Orthodox micro-economics provides systemic designers (SD), working within systems of production, with little insight into how current economic systems developed, what is actually going on now, and how SD may be able to intervene in the future. Just as it is proposed that an ‘ecoliteracy’ (understanding of ecological and living-systems) is the first logical step prior to designing systems of production, that attempt to work with and within natural systems (Capra, 2014); it is arguably as important, that this is supported with an ‘institutional literacy’ (understanding socio-economic relationships and rules within systems of production), as these more ‘regenerative’ systems of production may require new institutional forms (that are also more equitable) allowing them to emerge and thrive. Living-systems can be sources of inspiration, and as such, are discussed along with new institutional designs already existing on the margins, that may support the transitions. The prevalent economic arrangements of production, living systems, and potential new arrangements of production, are all looked at through macro, meso and micro nested wholes, and within five interdependent themes: Telos, Factors, Coordination, Distribution and Operations.

Citation Data

Author(s): Tom Snow
Title: Institutional Literacy and New Institutions and Rules for Integrated Systems of Production
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 4 October 2019
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Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


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