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Introducing Military Art to Interventions in Systems Oriented Design

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Thomas Slensvik

This paper discusses the integration of traditional military concepts into systems oriented design (SOD) to enhance interventions in societal systems. It introduces three central concepts in military operational art: friction, culmination, and synchronisation.

The concept of friction, as defined by Clausewitz, refers to the challenges, uncertainties, and obstacles that arise during the execution of military operations. When applied to SOD, it emphasises the need for adaptability and adjusting interventions based on a deeper understanding of the system being intervened in. Culmination, another concept from Clausewitz, highlights the critical moment when a successful action begins to decline. In the context of societal interventions, it becomes important to assess the limits of an intervention, recognising when it no longer remains productive. Synchronisation, a concept that emerged with the complexity of military operations, involves coordinating and harmonising diverse resources, capabilities, and actions to overcome resistance and achieve desired outcomes. In design and system interventions, a similar concept called Portfolio Interventions exists, which emphasises the need for coordinated actions and the linking of interventions within a portfolio.

The abstract concludes by emphasising the importance of experimenting whit other concepts from different praxeologies into SOD while maintaining a designerly mindset. It recognises the challenges of balancing mindset and methods and highlights the need to further refine and develop the beneficial aspects of these methods. Ultimately, the goal is to advance SOD and make interventions more successful in addressing complex societal issues.

KEYWORDS: systemic design, systems oriented design, interventions, operational art, friction, culmination, synchronisation.

RSD TOPIC(S): Cases & Practice, Methods & Methodology.

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Citation Data

Author(s): Thomas Slensvik
Year: 2023
Title: Introducing Military Art to Interventions in Systems Oriented Design
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/military-art-in-systems-oriented-design
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