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Peter Jones

A series of four talks

These four presentations take place at RSD locations: Bogotá, Monterrey, Toronto, and Washington, DC. These are contextual talks relevant to each hub location and their respective focus areas: design research, participatory ecosystems, futuring, and emerging from entanglement, and my participation with them. They are associated with the natural cycle of seasons as they move from the “promising emergence” of systemic design in Latin America in Bogota to the summer heat of practice in Mexico, to the observation of challenging futures in Canada, to the winter of massive upheavals in civilisation, presented in the final talk at Georgetown.

In “Spring: The far reaches of systemic design research,” I consider over a decade of systemic design and the evolution of Relating Systems Thinking and Design as a formative pathway. The research and design projects that have applied systemic design to placemaking and social innovation in ecosystems are framed as discovery in “Summer: Ecologizing the future,” and situated within the extraordinary future potentials for Mexico in this dynamic century.  “Autumn: Managing in complexity” is inspired by my 15 years with the OCADU Strategic Foresight and Innovation Master of Design programme and positioned within concepts of futuring as coordinating the long-term design of systemic innovations for ecosystems and institutions. Finally, we arrive at “Winter: Design prospectives in the evolution of civilisations.” I suggest that design interventions at the largest scales are necessarily cultural-historical, political, economic, and industrial programmes and, less so, the forms of social change or movement-making that are considered change interventions within national or cultural contexts.

Peter Jones is SDA’s Vice-chair. He is an SDA co-founder and professes the discipline at OCAD University, Toronto where he teaches in the Strategic Foresight and Innovation and the Design for Health graduate programs. Peter leads systemic design research in new economies, healthcare, media, community governance, social system and policy design, through collaboration in international networks. Since 2001, Peter has led the strategic innovation consultancy Redesign Network. He connects research and practice through founding commitments with the Flourishing Enterprise Institute, Drawdown Toronto, Bounce Beyond, the Agoras Institute, and OCAD’s Strategic Innovation Lab. Peter is convening the 12th year of Design with Dialogue, a community of practice to educate and socialize creative facilitation of dialogues for transformation. His publications are found at

KEYWORDS: cultural evolution, societal systems, civilisational theory, complexity management

RSD12-Bogotá and RSD12-online livestream
RSD12-Monterrey and RSD12-online
RSD12-Toronto and RSD12-ONLINE
RSD12-Washington DC and RSD12-ONLINE




Citation Data

Author(s): Peter Jones
Year: 2023
Title: Four Seasons of Design Evolution for Complexity
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Bogotá, COL | Monterrey, MEX | Toronto, CAN | Washington, DC, USA | ONLINE
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 15 July 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404