By SDXer Cheryl Whitelaw

I attended the most recent SDX 28 event, to learn about the RECOVER Wellbeing framework as part of Edmonton’s Urban Wellness Plan (#recover #urbanwellnessyeg). As a frequent participant in SDX community events, I like how these sessions pop me out of the familiar place where I tend to think and act. And even better is how my perspective can be shaped by the people who attend, people who care about our community and are invested in positive change.

Why does Wellbeing in my community matter to me? Isn’t wellbeing really just the choices I and others…

By SDXer Angela Coutinho

Recently, I was listening to an interview with Ester Perel, a psychotherapist and relationship expert who said, “the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives”…and I wondered: could the quality of relationships in a system also be a way to understand that system?

Origins of a Systems Thinker

I’ve known and been curious about systems thinking for a long time, but found it difficult to understand or wrap my head around it. My first exposure to systems thinking was at a public lecture I attended at the University of Waterloo. At the time…

By SDXer Corey Sullivan

Consensus rarely yields breakthrough change. Embracing, rather than resolving, tension is at the core of our systems-change practice.
— InWithForward

In early September, SDXers came together to learn from InWithForward, a social design organization that helps communities evolve their human services. The InWithForward team facilitated participants’ exploration of tension (check out some resources here).

Defining Tension

When designers and communities attempt to unpack complex issues, they bring — often unconsciously — their values to the table. Values can be instrumental or terminal, individual or organizational. …

By SDXer Susan Holdsworth

On September 4, 2019, Systemic Design eXchange (SDX) hosted a full-day workshop about Living with Tension led by Dr. Sarah Schulman and Natalie Napier from InWithForward (IWF), a social design organization.

Peeling back the layers of tension.

We all live with tension. Tension at home, at work, and out in our communities. We are often in an uncomfortable space between where we are now and where we want to be. We might feel torn or conflicted about how to deal with our tensions; we might want to resolve the tension, adapt to the tension, or we might just accept the tension, and…

Words by SDXer Cheryl Whitelaw

In SDX18: Power Play we explored the linkages we make in our identity, our sense of self with how our identity is socially located, our identity in context, in community, and in networks. So often in my experience of social and systemic design we focus on changing the system — changing the culture and the context in which the system operates. …

By SDXer Brad Ison

When I walked in to the Edmonton Skills Society Action Lab to attend SDX16 (System Design eXchange #16) — Grounded Change — Re-designing our Welfare State with Bottom-Up Insights I knew it was going to be a great afternoon at work. I knew this because it is not often my workspace is filled with:

  • colourful art and signs,
  • whiteboards,
  • comfy chairs,
  • toys,
  • books,
  • electronic gadgets from the 1980’s,
  • a giant coffee maker, and
  • snacks!
A snapshot from the Action Lab

The Action Lab is technically ‘one space’ but is separated into themed gathering areas that host different tools and seating arrangements for…

By: Strathcona County Drug Strategy Committee

“You’re worthless.” “You’re just a junkie.”

“What’s wrong with you?” “How did you let this happen?”

Step inside the Crisis Node of Opioids Don’t Discriminate: An Interactive Experience and you will hear these voices. It’s jarring, unsettling and one component of an exhibit that encourages you to walk the paths of Max, David and Natasha. These characters are not based on specific people experiencing the opioid crisis — although it’s reasonable to assume that they are. Rather, they are composite personas constructed from real life, lived experience stories of people who are intimately familiar…

Words & Pictures by SDXer Sam Dyer

To many, time is one of the most precious commodities that exists. In asking for someone’s time, we are in fact asking a great deal. Though we spend a good portion of our days waiting as we perform trivial tasks, waiting as part of a service deserves greater consideration. In some situations, waiting may be thought of as unwanted, to be reduced wherever possible. In others, waiting may be viewed as vital, even enriching. Be it positive or negative, waiting is something that can be designed and can be meaningful.

Public services are…

Words & Pictures by SDXer Jaime Calayo

Service Design is an emerging, multi-disciplinary, innovative practice that focuses on creating meaningful and pleasurable experiences that make the lives of citizens and government service providers better. In the past, it has been applied to sectors such as retail, banking, transportation, and healthcare, but we are now seeing it bring benefits to government and public service as well.

In the realm of government, Service Design has the potential to bring benefits not only to the public, who rely on policies and services that the government provides, but also to the public servants who…

Words & pictures by SDXer Mark Yiu

Having spent the last three years working in a user experience consultancy, achieving success largely depended on employing a cross-functional, co-generative and empathetic approach to problem-solving. It demanded a change in mindset, a willingness to actively engage with end users, seek external perspectives, and leverage behaviour insights to not only inform future solutions, but shift legacy thinking and behaviour. Such an approach thrived on the premise that people should no longer be held hostage by circumstance, but be the co-creators of experiences that impact their daily lives.

Being new to the public service…

Systemic Design eXchange

Systemic Design eXchange: We are a community of practice co-convened by Alberta CoLab & the Skills Society Action Lab.

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