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A Story of Two Processes It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….

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Presentation on theme: "A Story of Two Processes It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Story of Two Processes It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….

2 The Question Why, despite over 30 years of prodigious effort, has the human system failed to solve the environmental sustainability problem? Women’s suffrage problem Slavery problem Divine right of kings problem Racial discrimination problem The dangers of smoking tobacco The recurring war in Europe problem Difficult social problems historically take a long time to solve:

3 The Question Why, despite over 30 years of prodigious effort, has the human system failed to solve the environmental sustainability problem? Silent Spring Limits to Growth Brundtland Report UN Earth Summit Kyoto Protocol

4 The Question Why, despite over 30 years of prodigious effort, has the human system failed to solve the environmental sustainability problem? “The growth rate of emissions was 3.5% per year for the period of , an almost four fold increase from 0.9% per year in The actual emissions growth rate for exceeded the highest forecast growth rates for the decade in the emissions scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (IPCC-SRES). This makes current trends in emissions higher than the worst case IPCC-SRES scenario.” (Source: “Modern environmentalism is no longer capable of dealing with the world's most serious ecological crisis.” (Source: Shellenberger, Michael and Nordhaus, Ted The Death of Environmentalism.)

5 The Question Why, despite over 30 years of prodigious effort, has the human system failed to solve the environmental sustainability problem? The field been using the wrong problem solving process. Scientific Method Project management processes like CPM and PERT The Toyota Production System The Capability Maturity Model, for software development Countless training and problem solving processes Examples of the right process: A Possible Answer

6 What process are problem solvers currently using to solve the sustainability problem? As we use the term, an activist is anyone actively working to change the behavior of a social system.

7 The Process of Classic Activism problem symptoms causes proper practices are not being followed A. The proper practices are not yet known causes C. People don’t want to follow the proper practices, even though they are fully aware of them and why they should logically follow them causes B. People don’t know about the proper practices or why they should practice them causes Step 1. Identify the problem to be solved causes Step 4. Exhort, inspire and bargain with people to get them to support the proper practices can be solved by Step 3. Tell people the truth about the problem and the proper practices can be solved by Step 2. Find the proper practices can be solved by

8 Examples of Classic Activism Outcomes Environmental Problems (1) Solution Success 1. Climate changeLow 2. Freshwater scarcity Low 3. Deforestation and desertificationLow 4. Freshwater pollutionMedium 5. Loss of biodiversityLow 6. Air pollution (excluding climate chg)Medium 7. Soil deteriorationLow 8. Ecosystem functioningLow 9. Chemical pollutionMedium 10. Stratospheric ozone depletionHigh 11. Natural resource depletionLow Non-environmental Problems Women’s suffrageHigh SlaveryHigh Urban decayMedium Racial, gender, age, etc. discriminationMedium The dangers of smoking tobaccoMedium The obesity epidemicLow (1) The 11 problems are from the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment study (SCOPE), whose results were summarized in the UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook 2000 on page 339. The problems are sorted in order of decreasing importance. These are approximately the top 11 components of the global environmental sustainability problem.

9 Does Classic Activism have a flaw? (Break to examine the tool of simulation modeling to answer the question) Causal Loop Diagram of Classic Activism

10 Does Classic Activism have a flaw? 1. It doesn’t consider systemic change resistance. 2. It’s intuitive instead of analytical, so it tends to not find true root causes and the high leverage points needed to resolve them. We hypothesize that Classic Activism contains these two critical flaws:

11 Can we develop a better process that lacks these flaws? The System Improvement Process (SIP) What quality gate must a better process pass?

12 The Six Principles 1.A complex system problem can be proactively, reliably, and fully solved only by resolving its root causes. 2.In problems where problem solvers are in the minority or lack governance of the system, root causes can be efficiently resolved only by pushing on their related high leverage points. 3.If analysis finds the correct root causes and high leverage points, solution implementation will be relatively easy. 4.The more difficult the problem, the more mature the process used to solve it must be. 5.Difficult problems are best decomposed into smaller subproblems, each designed to be an order of magnitude easier to solve. 6.Understanding complex social system behavior correctly and deeply requires modeling. Are these the right principles?

13 The System Improvement Process (SIP) The five substeps of system understanding SIP 1. Problem Definition ANALYSIS Spend about 80% of your time here. The problem solving battle is won or lost in this step, so take the time to get it right. 2. System Understanding 3. Solution Convergence 4. Implementation Find the immediate cause of the problem symptoms in terms of the system's dominant feedback loops. A Find the root cause of why they are dominant. B Find the low leverage points and symptomatic solutions. C Find the feedback loops that should be dominant to resolve the root causes. D Find the high leverage points to make those loops go dominant. E A. Change ResistanceB. Proper CouplingC. Model Drift The three subproblems of the main problem The four main steps of solving each subproblem

14 1. Problem Definition Summary of results of executing SIP on the global environmental sustainability problem A. Change ResistanceB. Proper CouplingC. Model Drift 3. Solution Convergence 4. Implementation Analysis Results of SIP ANALYSIS 2. System Understanding This is where we’ve spent about 90% of our time. Root cause of successful change resistance is high deception effectiveness. You Can’t Fool All of the People All the Time loop needs to go dominant. HLP is general ability to detect manipulative deception. Root cause of improper coupling is mutually exclusive goals between corporate life form and Homo sapiens. Corporate Benevolence loop needs to go dominant. HLP is rules of the game for corporate life form. Root cause of excessive model drift is quality of political decision making is too low. The Race to the Top among Politicians loop needs to go dominant. HLP is quality of the process of political decision making. Six solution elementsCorporation 2.0Politician decision ratings Not ready for implementation Not ready for implementation Not ready for implementation

15 Actual progress on the global environmental sustainability problem using Classic Activism A B C D E Done by The Limits to Growth Dominant loops causing symptoms found by World3 model. Actual Results of Classic Activism 1. Problem Definition ANALYSIS 2. System Understanding A. Change Resistance B. Proper CouplingC. Model Drift 3. Solution Convergence 4. Implementation ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

16 The Old and New Paradigms Classic Activism An intuitive approach Find the proper practices Tell the people the truth about the problem and the proper practices If that doesn’t work, exhort, inspire and bargain with people to get them to support the proper practices Success on easy problems Failure on difficult problems Pushing on low leverage points Decompose the problem into 3 subproblems: A. Change Resistance B. Proper Coupling C. Model Drift Use 4 main steps for each subproblem Execute the system understanding step using the 5 substeps and simulation modeling Success on easy problems Success on difficult problems Pushing on high leverage points How can we accelerate a change from Classic Activism to a process that’s capable of solving the sustainability problem? System Improvement Process An analytical approach


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