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Cultivating Local Ecotones for Niche Propagation

Format: Papers, RSD12, RSD12 Papers Pre-release

Maya Narayan and Anshul Agrawal
This presentation highlights our learnings from designing the Systems Panorama program, where we introduced 10 Indian social entrepreneurs to a few systems thinking concepts and practices, thereby aiming to create a community of practice for accelerating localised systemic change. The program aimed to break the barriers that keep them from acknowledging and internalising the complex nature of the problems that they are tackling, and visualise the interconnections between seemingly unconnected parts, which will make them more capable of envisioning systemic ways of scaling their impact.

However, reflecting back upon the experiences gathered during the facilitation of the program, and the feedback received from the cohort, the idea of cultivating an ecotone for systems change emerged as a provocation, drawing inspiration from the ecological concept of ecotones. Just as ecological ecotones act as transitional zones between multiple biological habitats, such that the converging areas are often richer in species, than either of those habitats considered independently; so too mindfully propagating a space of ‘niches’ or initiatives undertaken by social entrepreneurs engaged in complex problems, which are tackling similar root causes, would enable them to self-organise into effective peer support networks, at the intersection of various sectors and across multiple levels.
Keywords: social entrepreneurs
localised ecotones
systemic change
niche propagation
buffer creation




Citation Data

Author(s): Maya Narayan and Anshul Agrawal
Year: 2023
Title: Cultivating Local Ecotones for Niche Propagation
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD12

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