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Portfolio Design Stencils: A conceptual and design architecture for accelerating social systems transformation

Format: Papers, RSD11, RSD11: Methods and the worlds they make, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Methods & Methodology, Topic: Sociotechnical Systems

Luca Gatti and Gina Belle

CHÔRA Foundation

Social systems need new conceptual, learning, and action architectures to enact strategy, change theories, transformation, and impact programs in the face of escalating systemic complexity and cascading uncertainty. Instruments to manage emergent implications, discover new pathways and solutions, generate actionable intelligence and inform decision-making and commitment of resources to transformation over and in time.

CHÔRA has developed a new framework, practice, and toolkit for system transformation: Portfolio Design Stencils. The output of a stencil is a portfolio of strategic innovation and system transformation options that are activated to help social systems learn their way into change. Each portfolio is intent-led, structured, distributed, place-based, participatory, and dynamically manages a distributed range of interventions that support sustained and collaborative strategic learning, action, and decision-making. The stencil provides strategic and systemic designers with generative and evolutionary metamodels, processes, and tools to: engage with complex problems; coherently design, manage and learn from problem-solving actions over time; and accelerate impact in the social systems in which they operate. 

The presentation will outline the methodology and provide cases of in-field applications of portfolio stencils to address complex, multifaceted, and multi-stakeholder issues such as urban transformation and sustainable tourism with government and development agencies.

KEYWORDS: system transformation, strategic design, portfolios of strategic innovation options, complexity, uncertainty, organizational learning, system meta models, visualization, visuospatial reasoning, urban transformation

RSD TOPIC(S): Methods & Methodology

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Citation Data

Author(s): Luca Gatti and Gina Belle
Year: 2022
Title: Portfolio Design Stencils: A conceptual and design architecture for accelerating social systems transformation
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 151
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/portfolio-design-stencils-a-conceptual-and-design-architecture-for-accelerating-social-systems-transformation
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 21 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404