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Multi-Ocean Strategy Framework: Designing impactful strategies for multi-actor engagement in the ecosystem economy

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Mapping & Modelling, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Krasimira Bozhinkova, Kevin Richard, and Andreea-Daiana Zavate

New digital technologies, business models, and regulatory frameworks dissolve the borders between traditional sectors of the economy to create new possibilities for companies to enter, provide, and share value for common sets of customers (Atluri & Dietz, 2023). Markets are dynamic, volatile, and hyper-connected, demonstrating fewer rigid borders and demanding robust business strategies to handle a higher complexity of relationships, risks, and opportunities. 

The integrative role of systemic design is pivotal in providing the leverage to navigate these challenges. However, systemic design models that can sustain high levels of complexity, volatility, and ambiguity often limit insight and knowledge sharing among practitioners (systems designers, strategic designers, innovation managers, and service designers). Because of the overwhelmingly technical language of systems, it is difficult to build agile strategies when the contribution process is limited and non-inclusive and delays the alignment for timely and adequate actions. 

The approach proposed in this paper is a strategic design framework, namely multi-ocean strategy framework, providing a structured approach to formulating and implementing effective strategies for impact in the ecosystem economy. Due to many unknowns and high uncertainty, strategy is a distributed function and a shared responsibility. The framework can be adopted and integrated within existing processes to make informed decisions based on relevant insights. Its main objective is to derive and realise value by fostering the interconnectedness of various stakeholders as they navigate the rapidly evolving global economic landscape. 

The framework is a creative environment built from visual metaphors, allowing participants to share diverse perspectives in a rich, nuanced, yet playful and collaborative way. In addition to metaphors, the framework uses emergent relationships inspired by situational game design (Upton, 2017) to give participants agency over outcomes in a highly collaborative setting. It invites different players to work together and translate markets into oceans, companies into players, and risks into monsters to explore intricate relationships, communicate more effectively, and determine the best course of action. 

The framework serves as a platform for the complementarity of multiple perspectives, not for full agreement, which encourages the emergence of different outcomes and routes for sensemaking without losing the quality and granularity of inputs. By allowing cross-functional teams to understand and contextualise challenges, prioritise opportunities, and assess impact, companies build a more nuanced understanding of value creation and their role in it.  

KEYWORDS: systemic design, strategic design, situational game design, sensemaking, complexity, complex adaptive systems, CAS, knowledge, metaphors, abstraction.

RSD TOPIC(S): Mapping & Modelling, Methods & Methodology

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Citation Data

Author(s): Krasimira Bozhinkova, Kevin Richard, and Andreea-Daiana Zavate
Year: 2023
Title: Multi-Ocean Strategy Framework: Designing impactful strategies for multi-actor engagement in the ecosystem economy
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/multi-actor-engagement-in-the-ecosystem-economy
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
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