Friday, November 29, 2013

Community-based renewables - what future now?

We have been shareholders of Hepburn Wind, a community-based renewables cooperative since inception.  Hepburn  have just had their AGM and released this report.  Lots of good developments threatened unfortunately by the changing policy context.

"On Saturday 23 November we held our AGM at the Daylesford Secondary School theatre and are most grateful to the 100+ members who showed up and participated in the official business of running our co-operative. We also had a good additional crowd show up to hear the keynote address by Professor Tim Flannery.
With Tony Gill and Simon Holmes à Court co-chairing the meeting we managed to successfully pass a number of special resolutions, present the 2012/13 annual report and share ideas with and answer questions from our members.

Members ratified the election of Candy Broad and Daniel Magasanik to the board. We are looking forward to Daniel’s second term and to welcoming Candy and her unique skills and experience. At the AGM we took the opportunity to farewell and thank Dan Cass who retired having served a full three year term on the board.

Professor Tim Flannery gave a compelling presentation updating us on the latest climate science developments and the work of the new Climate Council. Tim commended our community for our local response to the challenge and the leadership we have shown.

Aaron van Egmond, CEO of the Hepburn Shire, updated members about council’s renewable energy plans and our energy partner Red Energy explained our joint retail offering, the Community Saver. We were also pleased to host representatives from both VicWind and Yes2Renewables — two important groups who do great work in supporting and educating communities in the area of wind energy.

Carbon tax repeal submission

When our community committed to building its own wind farm, we knew we'd have a lot of challenges to overcome. But with each of the major parties committed (at the time) to both making carbon polluters pay and growing the clean energy sector, we knew we could count on our leaders to provide a favourable policy environment.

Or so we thought.
Changes in Canberra are radically shifting the goalposts for clean energy and for our co-operative. Just 18 months after big polluters started having to pay for dumping carbon pollution into our atmosphere, Australia is on the cusp of unwinding these important environmental gains.

Our members are watching the proposed legislative repeal with great concern and last week we made a submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications’ Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013. We have explained the likely impact of the repeal on our project and ultimately on our community. We encourage members and supporters to read our submission.

Along with the millions of Australians who are investors in renewable energy infrastructure through their superannuation funds and the thousands of Australians who work in the clean energy sector, the members of Hepburn Wind have a reasonable expectation that changes in government policy will not harm their interests.

Hepburn Wind farm was built by our community for the benefit of our community. The repeal of the Carbon Pricing Mechanism introduces a significant sovereign risk to the member investors of our co-operative."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Death of Chris Argyris

Chris Argyris passed away on November 16th.  He made a very significant contribution to Systems scholarship, often in collaboration with the late Don Schon. That said he may not have claimed such an achievement as his work has usually been framed as in the field of organisational learning.

Only today I found myself using the distinctions these authors made between espoused theory and theory-in-use, which is explained on 'Resource Papers in Action Research' in the following terms:

"Argyris and Schon (1974) assert that people hold maps in their heads about how to plan, implement and review their actions.  They further assert that few people are aware that the maps they use to take action are not the theories they explicitly espouse.  Also, even fewer people are aware of the maps or theories they do use (Argyris, 1980).
To clarify, this is not merely the difference between what people say and do.  Argyris and Schon suggest that there is a theory consistent with what people say and a theory consistent with what they do.  Therefore the distinction is not between "theory and action but between two different "theories of action" (Argyris, Putnam & McLain Smith, 1985, p.82).  Hence the concepts Espoused theory and Theory-in-use:

Espoused theory
The world view and values people believe their behaviour is based on
The world view and values implied by their behaviour, or the maps they use to take action"
Based on: Anderson, L.  (1994).  Espoused theories and theories-in-use: Bridging the gap (Breaking through defensive routines with organisation development consultants).  Unpublished Master of Organisational Psychology thesis, University of Qld.

My appreciation to Rupesh for alerting me to Argyris' death.

Congratulations Ian Dunlop

Unfortunately few individuals have the courage of their convictions when it comes to acting ethically in response to human-induced climate change.  Ian Dunlop is a notable exception. He is to be congratulated for taking on mining heavy-weight BHP/BHP-Billiton. In the process he has demonstrated how unethical major institutional investors still are in managing their portfolios and how much into groupthink the big miners are. Dunlop’s platform for nomination to the BHP board identified climate change as the single greatest strategic risk faced by BHP. In making his unsuccesful bid for election he said:

"The future prosperity of BHP Billiton is of great importance, both in Australia and globally,” ......"Climate change poses a major strategic risk to that prosperity, and to shareholder value that is a risk which has the ability to fundamentally alter the direction of the company, or indeed to destroy it.  "In common with the boards of most major global corporations, I believe the board has fallen into the trap of 'groupthink' in failing to grasp the enormity of the challenge that climate change poses to the business,”

Importantlty Ian has gained significant coverage in the business sections of the press.  This exposure is welcome; it enables greater awareness of major systemic flaws in how we think about and respond to future climate change in terms of governance. We have known for a long time that big emitters have brought immense pressure to bear on governments and have at times effectively run government policy.  But companies like BHP are in the top 20 of global carbon emitters - and are thus much more significant than most nation states.  Yet our governance regimes and the social licence to operate for companies like BHP are not yet able to effectively hold them to account. Recent shifts in government policy in Australia do not help.

Ian Dunlop is a former international oil, gas and coal industry executive. He chaired the Australian Coal Association in 1987-88, chaired the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading from 1998-2000 and was CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors from 1997-2001. Ian is a major contributor to CPD (Centre for Policy Development).

PS If you think I am a little over the top with some of the arguments I am making read this - 'coal the new tobacco'!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cybernetics - new books

ASC President Ranulph Glanville writes:

I would like to bring to your attention two publishing ventures.

The first is the Echoraum WISDOM series of books.

These concentrate on second order cybernetics and consist of a mixture of new work and critiques and appreciations of those who have gone before. The series of 18 books which, when the covers are put together, make a full reproduction of Breughel’s Tower of Babel. There are a couple of further books which include the book outcome of our {ASC} Troy conference, Trojan Horses: we have ordered copes for all members and you will get these as soon as we can organise cheap postage, in the new year. Please make sure that we have a good address for you.

Amongst the publications is a selection of my papers in 3 volumes called collectively The Black Boox. You can buy the volumes separately, or subscribe to a collectors version with the 3 volumes with black covers in a black box (a self-referential pun), signed by the “artist”. The special offer price runs out on 18th November.

The books (full set) can be found here.  The special edition is noted here where you will also find Trojan Horses.
The second is the English language version of the Heinz/Karl and Albert Mueller book, The Beginning of Heaven and Earth has No Name. You can pre-order the book here.

This is a book with a strong ASC connection. Heinz, of course, and the Muellers who are both trustees of the society. Bruno Clark, recently elected a trustee, too, is series editor. The German version of the book dates back to the 1990s: we have waited a long time.

The publication details are:

Heinz von Foerster (edited by Albert Mueller and Karl H Mueller), The Beginning of Heaven and Earth Has No Name, Fordham University Press, NY

Monday, November 18, 2013

Living in Change

Is the title of the 50th anniversery conference of the ASC (American Society of Cybernetics) which will be held in Washington D.C. between 03-Aug-2014 and 09-Aug-2014.

In outline, the conference is organised around a main event (4 to 8 August) consisting of paper sessions (4 and 5 August); a day for the telling of the ASC story by past presidents and other elder states people moving into dreams for the future (6 August, our anniversary day); and a session for the future (7 and 8 August) in which we consider how to bring cybernetics and learning together in all aspects of education. There will also be pre- and post-conference days (3 and 9 August). In addition, the ISSS conference will be on Long Island, just before the ASC conference, for those who would like to go to both.

More details shortly.

Flexible learning: six new ideas

A recent HEA (Higher Education Academy) report highlighted in this Guardian article elaborates six new ideas for flexible learning, arguing that "flexibility should be seen as a skill in its own right, rather than a method of teaching"  The six areas are:

  • Learner empowerment – actively involving students in learning development and processes of co-creation
  • Future-facing education – enabling people to think critically, creatively and flexibly to generate alternative visions of the future
  • Decolonising education – extending intercultural understanding and experiences of students so they can be sensitive to global ways of working
  • Transformative capabilities – seeing capabilities not just as abilities but being able adapt a skill to be used in both familiar and unfamiliar circumstances
  • Crossing boundaries – to support interdisciplinary, interprofessional and cross-sectoral learning
  • Social learning – developing cultures and environments for learning that harness the emancipatory power of spaces and interactions outside the formal curriculum, particularly through the use of new technologies and co-curricular activities. 
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is held up as an exemplar.  I would claim that our STiP (Systems Thinking in Practice) Postgraduate programme, like ESD, offers many, perhaps all, of these flexibilties. We would certainly like to further strengthen moves in this direction in time.  See for example the following chapter which relates to one of the core offerings in the programme:

Blackmore, C.P. & Ison, R.L. (2012) Designing and developing learning systems for managing systemic change in a climate change world. In Wals, A. & Corcoran P.B. eds. Learning for sustainability in times of accelerating change. pp. 347-364.  Wageningen Academic Publishers, Education and Sustainable Development Series, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Based on our OU experience with Systems education I would suggest that the researchers have missed one key 'flexibility' that of epistemological flexibility - the ability to appreciate one's epistemological commitments and traverse  multiple epistemologies. This is a flexibility that the STiP programme sets out to address.

My thanks to Chris Blackmore for alerting me to this report.

Leverage Networks

'November 14, 2013 (Boston, MA): 
Leverage Networks, Inc. announces that it is reinventing the core business of the former Pegasus Communications, Inc., through a new, online platform. Having acquired most assets of Pegasus, including The Systems Thinker® newsletter, publications, webinars and other resources, the new company is focusing on creating effective change by spreading the use of Organizational Learning, Systems Thinking, System Dynamics, and related fields by providing relevant, accessible resources and support. The new company will be led by Rebecca Niles (Co-President), Kristina Wile (Co-President), and Kathleen Skaare (Marketing and Operations Director). Early advisers include industry thought leaders and former Pegasus board members: LeAnne Grillo, Ginny Wiley, Dave Packer, and Elayne Dorsey. Investors include Ohana Holdings LLC, an investing arm of Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.
Leverage Networks will launch an interactive online platform ( for information hosting, community building and referral services supporting the broader Systems Thinking communities in an effort to increase adoption of the field. The platform will include many of the original publications as well as new digital and physical media such as articles, games, webinars, videos, interactive mobile apps, a matching service for coaches and practitioners, and an industry event calendar. For more information about the launch of Leverage Networks, including product sales and partnering information, please contact us:'

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sri Lanka - Australia's moral and systemic failure

Those who follow my Blogs will know that I have made several posts relating to the situation in Sri Lanka and Australia's policy position. My motivation comes from having been in Sri Lanka in 1983 just before the so-called 'civil war' erupted. In addition I have close friends and colleagues affected by what has happened, or more importantly what is failing to happen in terms of security, justice and reconciliation. 

For someone with this background it amazes me how poorly understood Sri Lanka is by journalists and politicians alike.  This came home to me in a posting yesterday by BBC correspondent Nick Robinson. What is telling is that in the stories he reported he clearly did not know that there are at least two main Tamil communities in Sri Lanka - those from the north, around Jaffna who have lived there for over 2000 years - and who for much of that time have been marginalised by the majority Sinhala community.  So the conflict, in historical terms is not new. Nor is the ongoing injustice. The other Tamil community are more recent arrivals to the areas around Kandy brought in from India by the British as labour in the tea plantations.  These different histories create different interests and experiences.  If you read Robinson's post the issues become more apparent.

This year Michelle de Kretser's novel 'Questions of Travel' won the Miles Franklin Award in Australia.  One of the protaganists is Sri Lankan and an asylum seeker who ends up in Australia, by plane as it happens rather than boat. However the novel captures well the fear that drove him to Australia and the degradation he had to endure to arrive.  It is hard to imagine that anyone in Australia who has read this novel can be fooled by the idea that supporting an authoritarian regime and providing military boats to keep those who are oppressed within has any moral integrity.  But what about those who don't read novels? How much longer can the simplistic framing of the issues by this, and previous Australian government be sustained?  

To date I have not had much time for David Cameron's policies but his stance and actions in his CHOGM visit are to be admired.  The contrast with Tony Abbot is telling and compelling. It is hard to imagine that Abbot has gained the ego boost that sustains him in a context where CHOGM was rejected by the Queen, the Indian PM, the Canadian PM and Mauritius.  To be in Rajapakse's good books is in international circles a badge of dishonour. In creating the circumstances where it was offered and then accepted our PM dishonours all Australians. 

The British media have also been more professional and incisive in their reporting.  In contrast much Australian reporting has reeked of self censorship. An exception is the excellent, nuanced report by Tom Iggulden. To better understand the hypocrisy of Australia's policy stand in recent years turn to this report by Gordon Weiss who argues that:

"... the issue is not CHOGM, but is rather what will happen next with Australia's adopted position on Sri Lanka, pursued by both Labour and Coalition governments since 2009, and the depths of hypocrisy that our own political leaders may shortly be compelled to trawl. Have our political leaders placed short-term domestic political considerations to deal with those thousands of boat people who inundated our shores last year, at some cost to our long-term interests?"

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sending Australia into reverse

So many of the actions of the new Australian Government seem destined to send Australia into reverse in a world where others are committed to heading in a more progressive, some might claim enlightened, direction.  A particular case in point is the Coalition's climate-change policy. Much has been said about this but possibly not enough about the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.  In systemic terms closing this organisation down makes no sense.

After some hiatus I understand the  Corporation will soon resume lending - it cannot be closed until legislation passes through the federal government and at the moment the Coalition does not have the numbers in the Senate.  This is good news as is the fact that it makes money - i.e., it is economically viable in that it returns money to government at an above average rate. It is also off budget. Evidence for keeping the Corporation comes from South Africa, that other country with a dirty, coal-influenced, economy where:

"The latest Independent Development ­Corporation research projects claim that more than 460 000 jobs could be created by South Africa's green economy — more than by the entire mining industry.

The IDC report, and a second report prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, predicts that 98 000 green jobs will be created within the next two years and 462 567 jobs stemming from green activities will be created in the next eight years.

In comparison, the mining industry currently creates 389 000 jobs, according to Statistics South Africa's most recent Quarterly Labour Force Survey, published on Tuesday.

The utilities sector employs less than one-third of that, providing 129 000 jobs.

According to the IDC survey, the total number of people employed in South Africa increased by 383 000 between September 2012 and 2013.

Going green will increase the number of jobs by a similar amount over the best part of a decade, the IDC report said."

Depite the power of coal interests in South Africa I perceived, on a  recent visit, that the government is embracing a shift to renewables because of the vulnerability of its current energy system (despite coal), the changing economics and the potential renewables offer for community-based livelihoods, and thus social transformation, that is central to ANC policy.  On the flight from London to Joburg I sat next to a Brighton (UK)-based, German consultant/businesswoman who was involved in a major wind project in the Northern Cape. The scope was impressive.

Of course one should never overestimate the power of Big Coal (see for example the book of the same name by Guy Pearse, David McKnight and Bob Burton).  The power and  hold Big Coal has over rightist governments in the UK, Australia and New Zealand is one answer to Jonathon Porrit's  recent Blog question: Why do right wing politicians fear the green economy?  Here are the  possible answers advanced by Jonathon:

"I honestly have no convincing answer to this question, and can only suggest five contributory (and overlapping) possible causes:

1. History
Deconstructing the speeches of people like Osborne and Tony Abbott (the new Australian Prime Minister) suggests that their overall view of green politics in general is one trapped in a set of historical (and largely outdated) precepts: that all Greens are essentially crypto-communists with a deep hatred of markets and capitalism in general. As former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl once said: “they’re all like tomatoes - they may start out green but they all go red in the end”.

2. Blighted Brains
I’m sorry about this ungenerous thought, but you do sometimes wonder if their intellectual capabilities have been permanently damaged by excessive exposure to the unforgiving orthodoxies of neo-liberal economics. Focusing on the green economy requires a lot of hybrid thinking (as in smart regulation and market instruments) rather than economic mono-railing).

3. Political Capture
The centre-right (without much opposition from the centre-left, it has to be said!) has become the principal cheer leader for the fossil fuel and extractive industries. With both votes and money at stake (vast amounts of money in both the US and Australia), these politicians are in effect the creatures of the industries that have most to lose in the transition to low-carbon, resource-efficient business models.

4. Cognitive Dissonance
So completely are they ‘owned’ by these industries that they seem unaware of their own intellectual incoherence. For instance, like all good disciples of market economics, they espouse the view that markets only work when the price we pay for something reflects its true cost. Yet they go to unbelievable lengths to ensure that markets remain hopelessly distorted by refusing to internalise the cost of carbon into market prices today.

5. The Slippery Slope  I find this one hard to believe, but it was seriously suggested to me in New Zealand that politicians are scared witless of where all this leads - as in “give them a few green inches and next thing you know you’ll have gone the whole green mile into the weird and wacky world of tree-hugging vegetarianism”."

My thanks to Harry Biggs for alerting me to the Sth African article.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Heinz von Foerster Lecture

Heinz von Foerster Lecture 2013


Stuart A. Umpleby
The George Washington University
Washington, DC, USA

Monday 18th November 2013, 19:00
Hörsaal/Lecture Room 31
Universität Wien
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien

Abstract: When Heinz von Foerster coined the term “second order cybernetics,” his goal was to include the observer in the domain of science.  This was a fundamental change in the conception of science, and Heinz encountered stiff opposition.  One consequence of including the observer would be to extend cybernetics (and science) into the domain of ethics.  Scientists had previously sought to be objective.  Including the observer made science a subjective enterprise.  This suggestion was strongly resisted by Heinz’s colleagues in the UIUC College of Engineering and elsewhere in the U.S. academic community.

Since Heinz retired and moved to California, the people involved in cybernetics in the U.S. have been mostly social scientists.  Rather than people with backgrounds in neurophysiology, psychology, mathematics and philosophy, those interested in cybernetics tended to be therapists, management scientists, sociologists and people concerned with design.  Including the observer in science led to interest in scientific theories as part of social systems.  Several conceptions of second order science have now been formulated.  If we use the correspondence principle (i.e., every new theory should reduce to the old theory to which it corresponds for those cases in which the old theory is known to hold), we can say that two dimensions have been added to the conception of science:  a) amount of attention paid to the observer, and b) the amount of effect of a theory on the phenomenon described.

Stuart Umpleby is a professor of management at the George Washington University in Washington, DC.  He studied with Heinz von Foerster and Ross Ashby at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.  He is a past president of the American Society for Cybernetics.

The lecture is organized by the Heinz von Foerster Society in cooperation with WISDOM and the Institut für Zeitgeschichte/Universität Wien and supported by the City of Vienna and Blaha Office.

Dr. Albert Müller
Dr. Karl H. Müller

Monday, November 04, 2013

Voice for Indi - a systemic governance innovation

I have been meaning to make a post about the phenomenon that emerged from the recent Federal Elections in Australia called the Voice for Indi (V4i).  Much has now been written about V4i in the Australian media - the excerpt below comes from the Bank of I.D.E.A.S newsletter (with thanks).

Cathy McGowan, now the Independent Member for Indi in the Federal Parliament completed an MSc at Hawkesbury in Systemic Development (or Systems Agriculture?) which is where I first met Cathy.  She is an amazing character as exemplified in many ways, including taking time to write me a hand written thank you note for my donation to her campaign - written only two days before the election.

"A remarkable campaign has been run in the recent national election in Australia, where the people of the rural electorate of Indi stood up against the party politics domination and demonstrated the power of community by electing a community member over a 12 year veteran and senior member of the Liberal Party.

Cathy McGowan was the nominated member of the Voice of Indi movement. Click on the following links to read about their achievement: Article 1 and Article 2.

The values that guide their actions and decisions are summarised as –
·         V 4 i is committed to encouraging a diversity of voices and opinion, and participation in the electoral process both regionally and nationally
·         V 4 i is committed to ensuring that our electorate voice is heard, and represented at the national level
·         V 4 i is committed to encouraging respectful and mature representation of our democratic voices
·         V 4 i is committed to undertaking activities which will create an invitation to participate in our democracy
·         V 4 i is committed to developing and using simple, elegant processes when engaging with the electorate
·         V 4 i is committed to being honest and respectful, to being well informed, and to referring to reputable sources when making statements"

What is important to take from this story is the design considerations that underpin the success in systemic governance innovation. In governance innovation terms it stands out against the systemic failure of so much of the rest of the election.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Kruger Images


Michael Lissack has developed a new site which he calls 'epi-thinking' for 'evoking a new way of thinking which recognizes that:
  1.              Actions have a fundierung relationship with context and
  2.              Cognition has a fundierung relationship with semiotic affordances.
 For Lissak 'fundierung (following Hegel) is 'the "overlooked taken for granted" things which underlie an action or understanding -- and have the power to change things merely by being paid attention to.' 

More background can be found from the Modes of Explanation site. 

Systemic revolution a la Russell Brand

Jeremy Paxman, of BBC2 Newsnight fame, may well come to be remembered most for his interview with Russell Brand calling for a revolution - as Martin Flanagan says in his article in yesterday's Age: 'I suspect Russell Brand is somehow speaking to the future.'

Monday, September 23, 2013

EPSRC funded Systems-NET

Advice has recently been received about an new EPSRC-funded Systems Initiative.

"Systems-NET  has been funded by EPSRC with the rationale of adding significant value to the UK’s industrial and academic base by enabling development of key cross-sector engagements and contributing to solve some of the UK’s emerging and future societal challenges. The UK systems community (academia, industrial and other stake holders) has the potential to achieve this provided it takes a coherent approach that is driven by real needs.

Systems-NET  aims to strengthen connections between university research and industrial applications so that the expanding complexity of present and future systems can be described, analysed and understood.

The purpose of this email is to make you aware of the network and to encourage you to join. There is no cost and we welcome participation from those new to the field who wish to find out more about systems through to more experienced practitioners.

Please take a look at the Systems-NET  web site and/or contact  the organisers at Loughborough University  if you are interested in finding out more
There is also a section in the website where you can register your interest. This will help us keep you informed of new developments.
Kind regards

Roy Kalawsky

Sent by: Dr Gema Styles
EPSRC UK Systems-NET Researcher and Coordinator
School of Electronic and Electrical and Systems Engineering
Loughborough University"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Systems thinking in practice (STiP) program

Our STiP postgraduate program at the Open University (UK) continues to strengthen on a range of measures.  For example, evidence of STiP impact to date can be seen through citations data and sales figures for the set of co-published books produced for the STiP programme (Table 1 and photo of books) as well as publication, including citation, data for recent scholarly publications by the STiP team.

Table 1.  Book sales (includes print sales, MyCopy sales, bulk sales and individual eBook sales – as of April 2013) and chapter downloads Jun 06, 2010 - March 2013 of the four books co-published by the Open University with Springer (UK) for use in the STiP (Systems Thinking in Practice MSc programme).



Springer also report the following visits to the book home pages during 2012: ST= 447 times; SA = 992 times; SP = 419 times; SLS = 617 times (see Table 1 for abbreviations).

The poster below was prepared for a Public Sector Fair held in London earlier in 2013. It shows some of the many links to websites and blogs generated by our STiP alumni.  An excellent example is the site 'Just Practicing'  authored by Helen Wilding, one of our first STiP graduates (photographed below with David Robertson, another STiP graduate).

 Anyone thinking of doing or recommending one of our courses or even sponsoring staff  might be well advised to consider the core course 'Managing systemic change: inquiry, action and interaction' (TU812) which is in presentation again at the end of this month.

In addition to the four books described in Table 1, five book chapters, three conference papers and one journal paper have been published based around STiP scholarship. STiP researchers have delivered 15 invited talks and/or keynotes and a range of other academic outputs. Examples of scholarly publications related to STiP include:
  • Blackmore, C.P. & Ison, R.L. (2012) Designing and developing learning systems for managing systemic change in a climate change world. In Wals, A. & Corcoran P.B. eds. Learning for sustainability in times of accelerating change. pp. 347-364.  Wageningen Academic Publishers, Education and Sustainable Development Series, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
  • Ison. R.L. (2012) A cybersystemic framework for practical action. In Murray, J., Cawthorne, G., Dey, C., and Andrew, C. eds. Enough for All Forever. A Handbook for Learning about Sustainability, pp. 269-84. Champaign, Illinois: Common Ground Publishing.
  • Ison, R.L. (2012) Systems practice: making the systems in farming systems research effective. In Ika Darnhofer, David Gibbon and Benoit Dedieu (eds). The farming systems approach into the 21st century: The new dynamic. pp. 141-158.  Springer, Dordrecht.
  • Ison, R.L. & Blackmore, C.P. (2012) Designing and developing a reflexive learning system for managing systemic change in a climate-change world based on cyber-systemic understandings, Proc. EMCSR 2012 (European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research), Vienna, 9-13 April.
  • Blackmore, C.P., Cerf, M., Ison, R.L. and Paine, M. (2012) The role of action-oriented learning theories for change in agriculture and rural networks. In Ika Darnhofer, David Gibbon and Benoit Dedieu, (eds). The farming systems approach into the 21st century: The new dynamic. pp. 159-178. Springer, Dordrecht.
  • Reynolds, M. (2011). Critical thinking and systems thinking: towards a critical literacy for systems thinking in practice. In: Horvath, Christopher P. and Forte, James M. eds. Critical Thinking. New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers, pp. 37–68.
  • Reynolds, M. (2011). Bells that still can ring: systems thinking in practice. In: Tait, Andrew and Richardson, Kurt eds. Moving Forward with Complexity: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Complex Systems Thinking and Real World Applications. Litchfield Park, AZ: Emergent Publications, pp. 327–349.
  • Reynolds, M. (2011). Heuristic for teaching systems thinking. In: UKSS 15th International Conference: The Future of Systems Learning, 1-2 September 2011, Oxford, UK.