Scaling Up: From labs to systemic change -121

Format: Papers, RSD11, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Katinka Bergema and Christine De Lille

Zwaluw | Innovation & Collaboration / VanWaarde / The Hague University of Applied Sciences | Northumbria University / The Hague University of Applied Sciences / Delft University of Technology

The current societal challenges require different stakeholders to act on different systemic levels. Design is seen as a valuable approach to addressing these challenges. Whereas earlier studies provide insights into the practices designers need for systemic design, there is a lack of understanding of the practices designers need to scale up and create the needed impact. This paper describes a study on two extensive case studies that created systemic impact and what the project leads did to create the scale and impact they achieved. From these case studies, we found that creating a governance model, an action-driven approach, storytelling, and navigating can help to scale up and hand over to other stakeholders.

The governance model was set up in both cases to ensure national and local ownership. Developing the tools and methods during the process that could be handed over to others and are self-explanatory scale up was enabled in both cases with limited budgets and time.

Both cases required and wanted to create an impact where action on the work floor was required. In both cases, the strategic challenges were translated into smaller local experiments. With an action-driven approach, these local labs and experiments were connected to learning at a larger scale and provided insights into all sorts of challenges for implementation and scaling up.

In both cases, storytelling was used and helped in gaining traction and support throughout the process. The stories of people in the system were used to create an understanding across the different sectors of how different perspectives and people experience the problem and solutions and their accompanying needs. Also, in both cases, media attention helped to create awareness at the right levels to increase the impact and give an enormous boost to the scale-up of the projects.

In both cases, the project leaders left room for intuiting. At some point, they felt the need to slow down, speed up, involve different people, strengthen their relationships, or grasp opportunities. Both teams had a clear view of the process to follow and the aim to achieve but left room in their processes to grasp the opportunities and drift away when they felt they needed to do something differently.

KEYWORDS: scaling, scale-up, scale-up, systemic change, labs, practices, systemic design

Citation Data

Author(s): Katinka Bergema and Christine De Lille
Year: 2022
Title: Scaling Up: From labs to systemic change -121
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 160
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

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested citation format (APA)

Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

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Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design are published online and include the contributions for each format.

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