Select Page


in-person systemic design sessions

Geographic visualisation of River Glåma, Norway’s longest and most voluminous river by Daniel Coe.  | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

methodologies and practice
democracy, power dynamics, and equity
sustainability, society, and organisations
well-being, healthcare, safety, and resilience

In-person sessions at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, October 22–24.

Hosted by the Oslo School of Architecture and Design | main programme: OCT 22–24 | weekend workshops: OCT 19–21, 2024 | locations: OSLOMET, AHO, and VIPPA

Inspired by the synergistic academic partnership of Ralph Stacey and Patricia Shaw, we propose to let the metaphor of rivers play the main role as a source of inspiration. The single-track agenda with all sessions held in plenary is designed to support the flow of conversations. 

Stacey and Shaw argue that organisations are not functioning according to strict linear planning but they are rather guided by local interactions that eventually form complex streams of conversations. This goes for any organisation, from big professional or public organisations to volunteer ideal societies like the Systemic Design Association to informal collaborations between individuals. Conversations are the heart of any systemic design process. They might be intentionally formal, organic or supported by designerly visual dialogue, such as gigamaps (cite) and jumping conversations (cite). This perspective represents a major step away from thinking about our societies in a cause-and-effect way.

How can we influence such organic tributaries, streams, channels, and floods of conversations? The answer is not easy, especially in the age of social media and AI. We can influence conversations by participating in and initiating them! As systemic designers, we can design situations, events, venues, digital systems, any imaginable object and action, and consequently, conversations to address these issues.

Metaphors: rivers, conversations, dialogues, debate, flows, streams, meanders, delta, backwater, bridges, step stones

Shaw, Patricia. (2002). Changing Conversations in Organizations : A Complexity Approach to Change, Taylor & Francis Group.

Stacey, Ralph.D. (2011). Strategic Management and Organisational Dynamics: the challenge of complexity, Pearson Education UK, 2011.

Weekend Workshops held at OSLOMET on October 19–21.

One aspect of culture is the emotional atmosphere, the basic assumption, that a group of people create as they interact (Stacey, 2011, p. 145).

Rivers of conversations

RSD13-ONLINE features three days of systemic design paper talks and presentations from October 16 to 18, plus RSDX, online workshops and speakers, offered at various times from October 12 to 24.

RSD13-OSLO is a three-day in-person symposium held at AHO and Vippa with speakers from the systemic design network from OCT 22 to 24. Optional in-person weekend workshops at OsloMet OCT 19 to 21.

RSD13-NORDMARKA FOREST is an additional two-day forest retreat on October 25 and 26, with an open-space agenda. The ticket includes RSD13-ONLINE, RSD13-OSLO, and food and accommodation for one night at Studenthytta.

People in conversation are shaping and shifting the web of enabling– constraints in which they are enmeshed. They are constructing their future not as a single ‘vision’ or a set of goals, but in terms of what courses of action become possible and sensible for them in their evolving circumstances as they communicate (Shaw, 2002, p. 51)

Halogen invites you for an afternoon of conversations around the current practice of systemic design held @Vippa.

The October 22, 23, and 24 agenda is a one-track event to foster rivers of conversations and engage everyone in plenary. The sessions aim to inspire deep and broad systemic conversations.


There is a selection of author-led paper talks and presentations based on topics of interest to Norwegian delegates, international or global relevance, and the rankings of peer reviewers. The articles are available in advance, and authors typically spend ten minutes describing their work and allow ten minutes for feedback, which they then consider during the revision period that precedes the publication of the proceedings.


Weekend workshops bring together people to engage in hands-on experiences with methods and tools and embodied conversations. RSD workshops are self-directed, semi-autonomous, co-productions organised by the facilitators, who set the capacity and length for their session. Workshops create deep pools of discussion, and create a place to meet with others and share activities.


Each day, RSD13-OSLO keynotes spark the day’s conversations, which are carried through panels and discussions. The approach is inspired by Ralph Stacey’s approach to the dynamics of human interaction (2011):

The essentially reflexive nature of human consciousness and self-consciousness means that we have the capacity to reflect imaginatively on these patterns, both local and population-wide, articulating both the habitual and the just emerging transformations and, in doing so, either sustain the habitual or reinforce the transformation (p. 362).


Halogen hosts an afternoon of conversations around the current practice of systemic design. The event will take a closer look at cases in which systems thinking and design have been put to the test in challenging contexts. These are stories of victory and struggle by practitioners who face complexity and attempt to change systems on a day-to-day basis in a range of sectors and industries. Sessions draw from a community of researchers from all corners of the world, creating a forum to discuss your experiences and, through praxis-oriented discussions, contribute to the way that systemic design moves forward.

OSLO photograph by Nikita Barskov on Unsplash

RSD13 invites you to consider systemic design’s emerging features in the context of knowledge perspectives, praxeologies, and lived experience. The rivers of conversations metaphor harkens us to the tributaries of the thirteen RSD hubs in 2023, connects the ecotones of previous symposia, and the interdisciplinary functions of systemic design as bridges that connect meanings and mental models.

AHO logo
Systemic Design Association


Lene Aareskjold |

Jonathan Romm |

Aleksandra Maria Stasiak |

Andreas Wettre |

Martina Wolna |


Susanne Ringdal |

Jonathan Romm |


Tore Gulden |

Frederick Steier |