Miguel Pantaleon created a LinkedIn post in the Systems Thinking Network group which was my introduction to Miro. He posted a form of concept diagram which was presented and interpreted to be a Causal Loop Diagram. It was one frame of a project document, with the introduction:
We are building a collective system map with people from social sector in Spain to make sense of the recovery process after Covid-19. The goal is to provide them with free valuable resource to navigate the economic recession.
The text was in Spanish, but the effort was laudable, and the idea caused me to investigate the tool.
Side note: The presentation of this material below is a function of both my lack of time to be overly concerned right now about fixing all the crap that the WordPress editor injected, unwanted, into my text, AND the stupidity of what they generate. Let me just say, to anyone else reading this, I’m sorry! But, these are my notes relative to what I am trying to develop as part of EATSv5, not a blog post for publication. And, if I ever get further into the development, I will try to strip WP’s crap out of the formatting instructions so a simple, proper handling of a table won’t break lines in the middle of words as one attempt at countering that stupidity. To see the actual text, if you are a member of the LI group, use the link, and go to the LinkedIn discussion thread.
|Miguel Pantaleon||The map is too complex to be useful, so we have created some scenarios to question our assumptions. We will have our 4th session on Friday to discuss them. I´ll update the insights next week. Thanks for your support!|
|Tony Markatos||Complex behavior based systems are not just about loops. Alternative paths of activity to reach goals (equifinality) can be a bigger issue. CLDs do not handle alternative paths.
Also, as you are finding out, CLDs, as they do not really address decomposition, do not handle really complex situations.
|Miguel Pantaleon||Tony Markatos I agree Tony. CLD is only a simplification unable to capture the real complexity of reality. Alternative paths, unintended consequences, emergence behaviours, or people´s free should be consider. But models don´t pretend to capture the whole complexity, but to be a tool to improve our understanding and, hopefully, make better decisions.|
|Joe Van Steen||Miguel Pantaleon No one model can capture the whole, but distinct different models can be assembled to capture significant perspectives. Part of the issue is to combine a set of models to cover necessary and sufficient concerns of significance to both the element to be addressed AND where “Spain” wants to take it. No one target can define that.
Given the nature of people, paths need targets. A vision and objectives. Given the scope of the problem, targets need multiple horizons. There is triage, which is of unknown duration. You can’t assume you are out of it soon, if there is continuation, or wave 2, 3, … There is also a question of establishing what a new normal is assumed to look like. It will not be the old normal. That is a target, which also needs a path, and that path needs work now, at the same time as triage.
There is also a long-range target of what does Spain want to become and what planning activities need to be started on that ideal environment, which is unrealistic as a near-term new normal, but exceeds “normal” and delivers a new, better than old, normal.
Each horizon needs targets, and there are different paths for each, and a blended set of paths. A Multiple Generation model to guide the process?
|Tony Markatos||The map is too complex to be useful,
It is great that you are being candid about this issue. Many modelers can not do such. Suggestion: Zero in like a lazier on this issue. Ask for specific solutions for handling model complexity. You might be surprised at what you find.
|Jesper Stenberg||So different colours for enforcing and reinforcing feedback loops?|
|Miguel Pantaleon||Colours means how one variable influence another. Blue for “same” and Red for “opposite”. Reinforcing or balancing feedback loops depend on the number of reds.|
|Tony Markatos||Got anything in English?|
|Miguel Pantaleon||Hi Tony!, thanks for your interest. I’m working on it. I will post it when it is ready.|
|Mark Dorrill||That would be great Miguel Pantaleon, look forward to it.|
|Jean-Luc Wippler||An English (or better a French :-)) version would be great. BTW, at least, someone having a system approach of the situation. We are used to hear so many poor analytical, reductionist point of view. Congratulations Miguel Pantaleon !|
|Tony Markatos||Complex behavior based systems are not just about loops. Alternative paths (equifinality) is just as big, if not more so, a factor. CLDs do not address alternative paths. (Nor, as you are finding out, do they support decomposition – the tool for handling complexity.)|