Reframing Conflict as a Pre-requisite for Systems Change

The Sensemaking meetup is Systems Change Finland’s monthly meetup where we explore topics related to applied Systems Thinking and Complexity with interesting speakers. Instead of being one-sided lectures, our meetups are spaces where participants can also make sense about the topics with each other.

In September’s meetup on Wednesday 22.9.2021 17:00–18:30 the discussion was ignited by Paula Rossi who explored the concepts of conflicts and power within the context of service ecosystems. Together we discussed the implications of the emerging ideas to our own work and ways of organizing. The event had about 40 live participants on Zoom and YouTube.

Paula Rossi (LinkedIn, Twitter, Researchgate) graduated 2005 from the Centria University of Applied Sciences, Haapajärvi as a Bachelor of Business Economics (Marketing and Communications), 2014 from the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi as a Master of Administrative Sciences, Leadership Psychology, and 2021 from Tampere University as a Doctor of Administrative Sciences. Paula Rossi is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Tampere University) and as an Assistant Professor (University of Vaasa).

Paula is interested in systems-thinking, systemic change, public services, complexity, experiences, narratives and conflicts. Her doctoral research focused particularly on understanding conflicts in the development initiatives of social and healthcare services and the development of sustainable public service systems. Her doctoral dissertation in the field of administrative sciences is titled Understanding Systemic Change: Conflicts in the public service development.

Paula’s talk was divided into two parts and in the first part she offered an alternative perspective to conflicts: what if we viewed them not as battles but rather as means of exploring the polyphony and diversity of a group? Then conflict would not be something to avoid but something to embrace.

The second part of Paula’s talk focused on the role of conflicts in Systems Change. A great question she made regarding it was how might we create spaces for the exploration of conflict in our everyday activities in taking forward Systems Change.

You can check the event recording here:

You can find Paula’s slides here:

Interested to learn more about Systems Change Finland and about how to join our community?

Systems Change Finland seeks to cultivate a society that can deal with systemic and complex challenges. The purpose of Systems Change Finland is to promote the application of approaches that help people, organizations and society understand and work with systems and complexity.

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Mikael Seppälä

Mikael Seppälä


📈 Project Manager #InnovationManagement & #Ecosystems @LaureaUAS | ⚡️ @systemschangefi #SystemsChange | 🔥 #SystemsThinking #Complexity