Open Meeting and AGM - Spring 2016

£10 - pay via eventbrite please
Event date: 
Monday, April 18, 2016
09:30 - 17:00 (09:30 start is for intro to the viable system model, whole day starts at 10:00)
Open Meeting
Manchester - Alumnus Common Room, Manchester Business School West, Booth Street, Manchester M15 6PB.
(All Welcome)
Event Details: 

An open meeting where a series of presentations of general interest regarding systems practice will be given - this will include 'craft' and active sessions, as well as introductions to theory. This open meeting will be followed by the SCiO AGM.

There is a £10 fee for all attendees to these meetings. Places are limited so booking through Eventbrite is recommended to avoid disappointment


Session: Martin Reynolds - critical systems heuristics (CSH) and viable systems model (VSM): contemporary challenges to promoting systems praxis.

CSH and VSM derive from quite separate rich traditions of systems thinking, each with enigmatic original champions - C.West Churchman and Stafford Beer respetively. This session will open space to explore common and divergent lineages, challenges, and opportunities of each approach for the future prospects and developments of promoting systemic praxis in the Anthropocene. A particular focus will be on the peculiar capacity of both traditions to be adaptable whilst perhaps being less successful in being adopt-able; a feature possibly resulting from conventional management adherence towards contingency theory.

Martin is Senior Lecturer and Qualifications Lead for the postgrad programme in Systems Thinking in Practice at the Open University. He specialises in the application of critical systems thinking and, amongst many authored publications on the subject, was lead editor (with Sue Holwell) of the book Systems Approaches to Managing Change.

Session: Bay Jordan - Restoring Democracy - Systematically

This talk will look at some of the symptoms of a democracy that is clearly under attack; some of the toxins that are attacking it and some systemic solutions that offer an antidote and that will help restore it.

Bay Jordan, Director of Zealise Limited is the author of several books including, "Lean Organisations Need FAT People" and "The Democracy Delusion: How to Restore True Democracy and Stop Being Duped."

Bay is a Chartered Accoutant with financial and change experience in premier and blue chip organisations in Southern Africa, Canada and the UK. A conviction that organisations could do considerably, and sustainably, better if people were better managed led him to write his first book, "Lean Organisations Need FAT People" and to found his company, Zealise Limited. He recently published "The Democracy Delusion" to challenge wider socio-economic and political management issues, and offer new solutions.

To learn more about Zealise, visit their website at www.zealise.con or to find out more about Bay and his books visit Alternatively you can check out his profile on LinkedIn/


Session: Tony Korycki - Systems Laws Practise Session

The group will take a common current affairs topic and discuss this topic, in small groups, each using one of several 'systems laws'. Each group will then feed back to the plenary, reflecting on their learning about the systems law that they used, and what the law also revealed about the topic. The objective of the session is to take familiar or perhaps unfamiliar systems laws and develop insights into how those laws are applied.

Session lead Tony Korycki is Service Improvement Architect at BT Global Customer Services, specialising in complex contract process design and implementation, especially those based around ITIL guidelines. He is also Development & Outreach Director for SCiO. 

Session: Jane Searles and Roger Duck - Exploring Levels of 'Connected Happenings' - Visioning and Architecture for Transforming the Electrical Power System

This is a talk about systemic methods in practice. Roger and Jane have been addressing the architecture for future GB electrical power systems in various ways over the last three years. This talk will bring SCiO up to date on progress since their previous SCiO talk, in October 2013, on a distributed electricity architecture. They will address their experiences of grounding a wholly systemic approach and the learning which has ensued.

Topics will range from visioning, through architecture, based on Process Oriented Systems Design (POSD) and the Viable System Model (VSM), to agile approaches, communication, the links between creativity and abstraction, teamwork, engagement and facilitation all from a systemic perspective. These topics will be backed up by examples from community energy, Integrating for Life (a UK government supported feasibility study), responses to government consultations and papers for the Institute of Engineering (IET) and the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum.

About the Authors

Roger Duck ( is a self-employed consultant, facilitator, researcher and interim manager, focussed mostly on strategic planning for technology infrastructure. In 2012-13 he led a review of regulatory issues for smart energy in Europe ( He was awarded a PhD in 1994 for his research related to controlled nuclear fusion.

Jane Searles is a self-employed systems practitioner, specialising in facilitation, methods and shared model development. This is often part of the visioning and organisational architecture development. Jane worked for around 35 years in the IT industry (ICL and Fujitsu) as a business architect and analysis on the boundary between customer business and technical solution providers.

Session: SCiO AGM - will commence after the open meeting sessions
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