Archivio per 7 ottobre 2014

07
Ott
14

Embracing the messy: systems-thinking in public policy

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

In many fields, from healthcare to social policy, we are experiencing a renaissance when it comes to embracing the ‘messy’. ‘Systems thinking’ – where we learn to look beyond objects to embrace the relationships between them and the messy ‘whole’ they create – has seen significant advances in recent years, particularly in relation to how we can extend these concepts from the natural sciences to explore social problems, such as obesity, crime and tobacco control. Below, a real life story of what systems thinking can bring to public policy provided by Joseph A. Curtatone and Mark Esposito (and first shared on the LSE Impact Blog). For more on systems thinking check out ‘Systems Change‘ and ‘Thinking in Systems’.

For public officials, the law of unintended consequences should need no introduction. It would be hard to find a better example of that law at work than in what happened to Somerville, Massachusetts, after Interstate 93 and the McGrath Highway’s McCarthy Overpass were built through the heart of the Boston suburb decades ago.

The linear, engineering-based logic was simple: Highways free of traffic lights would eliminate traffic congestion for drivers heading in and out of Boston. But the impact on Somerville was complex, and the ensuing ripple effects were dynamic. Neighborhoods were cut off from one another. Numerous rail and trolley stops were eliminated. Economic development stymied. Air pollution led to higher rates of heart disease, asthma and other ailments among people living in the shadows of the highways. Somerville became less walkable and bikeable, contributing to rising childhood obesity rates.

See on powertopersuade.org.au

07
Ott
14

Grieving could offer a pathway out of a destructive economic system

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

More scientific data and superficial behaviour change initiatives won’t help, people need to be engaged at a deep emotional, psychological and spiritual level. 

Is it possible to hold all the grief in the world and not get crushed by it?

I ask this question because our failure to deal with the collective and individual pain generated as a result of our destructive economic system is blocking us from reaching out for the solutions that can help us to find another direction.

Our decision to value above all else comfort, convenience and a superficial view of happiness, has led to feelings of disassociation and numbness and as a result we bury our grief deep within our subconscious.

The consequence is not only a compulsion to consume even more in an attempt to hide our guilt but also a projection of our hidden pain onto the world around us and at the deepest level, the Earth itself.

Just take the recent news from WWF and the Zoological Society of London that we have decimated half of all creatures across land, rivers and the seas over the past 40 years.

We read this and perhaps shake our heads in dismay, and then consume the next news story. The question we should all be asking is why aren’t we on the floor doubled up in pain at our capacity for industrial scale genocide of the world’s species.

See on theguardian.com

07
Ott
14

Business leaders need systemic thinking for sustainability

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

It is crucial for business leaders to change their ways and understand that they are working within a web of interdependent ecological and social systems. 

The economy is in the tank and thousands of people are out of work. At the same time, the planet is dangerously heating up and ecological systems are declining. What are we to make of these troubles? Are they merely the result of poor policies? Or is something more fundamental at play?

The roots of our difficulties are simple, yet for many business and political leaders completely hidden from view. The activities of most firms, and the goals and structure of the economy as a whole, have been shaped by fundamental misjudgments about how the planet functions and what it means to live a good life.

To resolve today’s challenges, our leaders must overcome the erroneous perspectives that created the predicament. At the most fundamental level, this requires moving from a “linear” way of thinking – where we focus on quickly fixing the most visibly broken parts of what isn’t working – to a “systems” perspective that brings thought and behaviour into line with the natural laws of sustainability. Despite years of talk about systemic thinking, few companies or governments actually practice it. This is due, in part, to the lack of a simple framework to guide the implementation of a systems perspective.

See on theguardian.com

07
Ott
14

Study found that is possible to predict judgments from brain waves

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Interesting article reporting the findings of a new study on consciousness and on how people make immediate judgments. 

A new study has found that people make immediate judgments about images they are shown — which could have an impact on their decisions — even before their brains have had time to consciously process the information.

The study shows it is possible to predict abstract judgments from brain waves, even though people are not conscious of making such judgments, according to researchers at the University of Melbourne.

During the study, researchers could predict from the participants’ brain activity how exciting they found a particular image to be, and whether a particular image made them think more about the future or the present. This is true even though the brain activity was recorded before participants knew they were going to be asked to make these judgments, the researchers explained.

The study’s findings illustrate that there is more information encoded in our brain activity than previously assumed, according to Dr. Stefan Bode from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences and Dr. Carsten Murawski from the University of Melbourne Department of Finance.

See on ceeds-project.eu




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