Posts Tagged ‘Thorstein Veblen’

Roster Of System Thinkers

May 2, 2012 3 comments

Someone on Twitter, I can’t remember who, tipped me off to a terrific “Complexity Thinking” Slideshare deck. I felt the need to snip out this slide of system thinkers and complexity researchers to share with you:

So far, I’ve read some of the work of Ackoff (my fave), Deming, Drucker, Meadows, Senge, Weinberg, and Jackson. In addition, I’ve studied the work of “fringe” system thinkers Rudy Starkermann, John Warfield, Bill Livingston, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Thorstein Veblen, Ross Ashby, Stafford Beer, and Norby Wiener.

I look forward to discovering what the others on the roster have to say.

D4P Has Been Hatched

April 25, 2010 6 comments

Friend and long time mentor Bill Livingston has finished his latest book, “Design For Prevention” (D4P). I mildly helped Bill in his endeavor by providing feedback over the last year or so in the form of idiotic commentary, and mostly, typo exposure.

Bill, being a staunch promoter of SCRBF feedback and its natural power of convergence to excellence, continuously asked for feedback and contributory ideas throughout the book writing process. Being a blabbermouth and having great respect for the man because of the profound influence he’s had on my worldview for 20+ years, I truly wanted to contribute some ideas of substance. However, I struggled mightily to try and conjure up some worthy input because even though I understood the essence of this original work and it resonated deeply with me, I couldn’t quite form (and still can’t) a decent and coherent picture of the whole work in my mind.

D4P is a socio-technical process for designing a solution to a big hairy problem (in the face of powerful institutional resistance) that dissolves the problem without causing massive downstream stakeholder damage. Paradoxically, the book is a loosely connected, but also dense, artistic tapestry of seemingly unrelated topics and concepts such as:

Bill does a masterful and unprecedented¬† job at connecting the dots. The book will set you back, uh, $250 beaners on, but wait….. there’s a reason for that astronomical price. He doesn’t really care if he sells it.¬† He wants to give it away to people who are seriously interested in “Designing For Prevention”. Posers need not apply. If you’re intrigued and interested in trying to coerce Bill into sending you a copy, you can introduce yourself and make your case at vitalith “at” att “dot” net.

Update 12/29/12:

The D4P book is available for free download at The second edition is on its way shortly.

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