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By Prof. Jake Chapman. 1. Tales of Energy Systems Outline of my career The key turning points 2. Modes of Thinking Hard and soft systems approaches Difficulties.

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Presentation on theme: "By Prof. Jake Chapman. 1. Tales of Energy Systems Outline of my career The key turning points 2. Modes of Thinking Hard and soft systems approaches Difficulties."— Presentation transcript:

1 by Prof. Jake Chapman

2 1. Tales of Energy Systems Outline of my career The key turning points 2. Modes of Thinking Hard and soft systems approaches Difficulties for engineers and scientists 3. Multiple Cause Diagrams How to create them with examples Your own example 4. Personal Systems Adult Development Immunity to Change

3 Trained as a physicist at Cambridge Research student and Fellow in electron microscopy Taught science, technology at Open University Energy Research Group 1973-78 Seconded to MKDC 1976-77 Professor of Energy Systems 1978 - 2001 Started a business in energy efficiency 1983 Developed energy assessment software (BREDEM) Created first energy rating for dwellings Developed training and assessment process

4 Moved to Systems Department at OU 1980 Centre of soft systems approaches Principles used in expanding business Cabinet Office 2001-2 on resource productivity and energy review Responsible for modelling energy demand and development of renewable technology futures System Failure pamphlet for Demos Projects with NRU, Manchester, MPS Taught systems to senior public sector leaders through National School of Government Meditation teacher since 1983

5 Use examples from my career that illustrate how my way of thinking had to change Distinguish between different types of problem and different types of systemic approaches Explain some of the difficulties in becoming a competent systems thinker Enable you to construct and use multiple cause diagrams Introduce a systemic tool for self development

6 “Without changing our patterns of thought, we will not be able to solve the problems we created with our current patterns of thought” (Einstein)

7 There were certain points in my career when I had to make a significant shift in how I thought about energy issues I want to describe these in sufficient detail that you can appreciate the shift that was evoked

8 Book on nuclear power by Weinberg claimed that all our problems would be solved by producing nuclear power equivalent to the solar input to the earth Proposed ‘heat limit’ of 1% solar Usurped by greenhouse effect and carbon limit Developed ‘energy analysis’ and worked out ‘embodied energy’ of all goods and services

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10 Particular interest in reserves and resources of uranium I assumed that resources were a ‘physical fact’ – rather like the weight of the earth Limits to Growth system modelling But reserves and resources depend on price! Recent falls in gas prices in USA have resulted in billions of dollars being wiped off declared shale gas assets in the US

11 1970s arguments about nuclear v range of fossil fuels Used energy analysis to compare “energy costs of energy” I was able to argue that technically and economically nuclear power was not the best option CEGB Board member came up to me and quietly told me it was not about money, but about combating the NUM

12 Took place in late 70s early 80s when gas and electricity industries were in public ownership Competition for domestic heating market Both organisations had their own computer models that demonstrated the superiority of their product How to persuade them both the adopt a different model? The principle of equal pain!

13 Simple degree day model of heating requirements supplemented by models of water heating, cooking and electricity use All algorithms had to be supported by field trial data Not academically acceptable to thermal modelling community Issues of accuracy and reliability

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15 Ability to predict total fuel bills reliably suggested a sales tool for house builders NES would guarantee total gas bill would not exceed a prescribed value – if it did NES paid the difference to the householder Only available for highly insulated homes with very efficient heating systems Very little take up by builders. Why? Any guarantee shows up defects! (Nicci’s loft insulation)

16 Start with purely technical analysis Heat limit and energy costs Resource issues forced inclusion economics Technology and economics does not determine policy Politics has a key role Reliability and accuracy are not just technical issues – human beings determine outcomes! Energy systems has to include all this!

17 Any questions on this part?

18 1. Tales of Energy Systems Outline of my career The key turning points 2. Modes of Thinking Hard and soft systems approaches Difficulties for engineers and scientists 3. Multiple Cause Diagrams How to create them with examples Your own example 4. Personal Systems Adult Development Immunity to Change

19 Many authors have distinguished categories of problems Tame v wicked Technical v Adaptive Difficulty v Mess In the first category a solution is possible and there is agreement on when such a solution has been reached No agreements in the second category

20 Tame, Technical, Difficulty Agreement on objectives Consensus on causation Know when complete Complicated but predictable Landing Rover on Mars Domain of Hard systems Wicked, Adaptive, Mess No agreement on objectives Causation contested No end point Complex and unpredictable Addressing youth nuisance Domain of Soft systems

21 Hard systems originated from cybernetics and engineered systems – need agreement on goals and nature of the problem Soft systems used when no agreement on goals nor a shared perspective – which are characteristics of messy or wicked problems

22 Different perspectives on what the problem is ‘Enforcers’, ‘Distractors’, ‘Parenters’, ‘Deprivation’ and ‘Cultural Breakdown’ Fragmented approach with each group seeing the others as part of the problem Most energy directed at winning the argument, not at addressing the issue! Note that they all select evidence of causation to support their view

23 deprived estates lack of positive male role models single parents poor local schools lack of local youth facilities inadequate parenting cultural degradation lack of respect lack of discipline youngsters frustrated And bored Anti-social Behaviour

24 Each perspective is not wrong – just partial A more complete understanding of the system can be achieved by integrating the different perspectives

25 single perspective multiple perspectives reductionism holism

26 single perspective multiple perspectives reductionism holism Science and engineering Soft systems thinking Ecology and hard systems

27 Shift from reductionism to holism is relatively straightforward Shift to multiple perspectives is difficult Rare to have competing scientific theories Plate tectonics, asteroid collisions Einstein and quantum mechanics Plank’s view Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. (50 th anniversary edition just out)

28 Any questions on this part?

29 1. Tales of Energy Systems Outline of my career The key turning points 2. Modes of Thinking Hard and soft systems approaches Difficulties for engineers and scientists 3. Multiple Cause Diagrams How to create them with examples Your own example 4. Personal Systems Immunity to Change Systems Practice

30 Systems practice involves the use of a number of different diagram types Key use is in representing system holistically System Map for defining the system boundary and identifying components Multiple Cause Diagrams for identifying causal relationships Precursor to sign graphs used in system modelling Useful for identifying different perspectives

31 targets set to improve performance targets incorporated into performance management professionals feel distrusted delivery staff focus on target rather than client activity on target distorts system service to clients deteriorates increased dissatisfaction with service increased pressure on politicians to improve situation causes or leads to causes or leads to causes or leads to

32 targets set to improve performance targets incorporated into performance management professionals feel distrusted delivery staff focus on target rather than client activity on target distorts system service to clients deteriorates increased dissatisfaction with service increased pressure on politicians to improve situation causes or leads to causes or leads to causes or leads to feedback loop

33 deprived estates lack of positive male role models single parents poor local schools lack of local youth facilities inadequate parenting cultural degradation lack of respect lack of discipline youngsters frustrated and bored Anti-social Behaviour

34 Committee held in low regard

35 lack of challenge lack of understanding of programme papers unread attendance low priority

36 Committee held in low regard lack of challenge lack of understanding of programme lack of corporate thinking no shared vision culture of silo working papers unread attendance low priority

37 Committee held in low regard lack of challenge lack of understanding of programme lack of corporate thinking no shared vision culture of silo working papers unread attendance low priority

38 Committee held in low regard lack of challenge lack of understanding of programme lack of corporate thinking no shared vision culture of silo working papers unread attendance low priority Committee operating at too detailed a level most agenda items irrelevant to individuals

39 Committee held in low regard lack of challenge lack of understanding of programme lack of corporate thinking no shared vision culture of silo working papers unread attendance low priority senior people absent send a deputy Committee operating at too detailed a level most agenda items irrelevant to individuals come unprepared

40 Committee held in low regard lack of challenge lack of understanding of programme lack of corporate thinking no shared vision culture of silo working papers unread attendance low priority senior people absent send a deputy Committee operating at too detailed a level lack of corporate or strategic debate most agenda items irrelevant to individuals come unprepared

41 Is there one item that is pivotal to the diagram? What are the items that only have arrows leaving them (the starting items)? Are there any feedback loops, and if so how could they be influenced? Is there a part of the diagram that deserves expansion?

42 Committee held in low regard lack of challenge lack of understanding of programme lack of corporate thinking no shared vision culture of silo working papers unread attendance low priority senior people absent send a deputy Committee operating at too detailed a level lack of corporate or strategic debate most agenda items irrelevant to individuals come unprepared Pivotal issues

43 Committee held in low regard lack of challenge lack of understanding of programme lack of corporate thinking no shared vision culture of silo working papers unread attendance low priority senior people absent send a deputy Committee operating at too detailed a level lack of corporate or strategic debate most agenda items irrelevant to individuals come unprepared Feedback loop

44 Committee held in low regard lack of challenge lack of understanding of programme lack of corporate thinking no shared vision culture of silo working papers unread attendance low priority senior people absent send a deputy Committee operating at too detailed a level lack of corporate or strategic debate most agenda items irrelevant to individuals come unprepared Starting items

45 The Exercise is about clarifying your own thinking about an issue process of trying it out, realising something missing and starting again no good at all at finding (or justifying) solutions biggest trap – forcing the diagram to prove a solution

46 Each item in the diagram is a factor – usually something that varies Each arrow means ‘causes’ or ‘leads to’ Aim to have between 10 and 25 items in the diagram Look out for feedback loops – but they do not have to be present

47 Key issue is getting the ‘level’ of the starting item right Three or four causes and a few effects You may start with the wrong issue – this is clarification! Avoid combining ideas into a single item

48 Any questions?

49 Demonstration of how to construct a Multiple Cause Diagram

50 Identify an issue or problem that you want to understand better Identify the event or variable at the centre of this issue Extend diagram backwards by asking “what causes this?” and forwards by asking “what does this lead to?” Check for connections between items on the diagram If necessary iterate by starting again Identify any feedback loops Reflect on your understanding of the issue

51 Any questions or comments on the exercise?

52 1. Tales of Energy Systems Outline of my career The key turning points 2. Modes of Thinking Hard and soft systems approaches Difficulties for engineers and scientists 3. Multiple Cause Diagrams How to create them with examples Your own example 4. Personal Systems Adult Development Immunity to Change

53 Children go through stages of thinking Does not cease at 18, 21 or any age; adults can continue to develop if they so choose What changes in adult development is the complexity of thinking A later stage of development includes the earlier stages and expands on it Shifts involve a move from subject to object Young children: my expertise as a physicist

54 Age mental complexity

55 Often initiated by life changes, including personal crises Can also be fostered by sincere challenge of oneself Next exercise illustrates this It is a personal exercise (non-disclosure) Need to write things down

56 Identify a commitment that, in your view, would lead to an improvement in your effectiveness Must be something important to you personally (not an ‘ought’) And something not yet fully realised Complete the statement I am committed to....

57 Examples: I am committed to..... being more receptive to new ideas... becoming better at persisting... being honest with myself and the people I work with... learning to be more effective in teaching others how to be more effective

58 What am I doing, or not doing, that is preventing my commitment from being fully realised Not doubting your sincerity But given constraints and conflicts there are probably some things you are not doing And maybe others you should stop doing So you are identifying your role, albeit a small one, in not realising your commitment

59 What am I doing, or not doing, that is preventing my commitment from being fully realised Examples: I am not asking anyone for help I give up in the face of minor difficulties I don’t try out new things or take risks I am not clear by what I mean by effectiveness Aim for at least three statements

60 This is where the process can get tricky – and potentially embarrassing Look at the statements you wrote in step 2 and imagine doing the opposite Notice the most worrisome or scary feelings Typical things that arise are fears – of looking stupid, of being out of control, of being helpless What is the cringe factor for you? There may be one associated with each step 2 statement

61 Now use whatever you discovered in step 3 to identify a new commitment you have For example someone who fears looking stupid would have a commitment to avoid looking stupid You may have several different commitments operating – or just one that captures all the aspects. These are your hidden competing commitments

62 Find the “big assumption” behind your competing commitment If your competing commitment has a negative, remove it to make a sentence stem like I assume that if I were out of control... If your competing commitment did not have a negative then insert one to make a sentence stem like I assume that if I did not avoid conflict then...

63 If you look at what you have written down in reverse order it all makes sense. Your competing commitments protect you from the negative consequences of the ‘big assumption’ And what you are doing to not fulfil your declared commitment does serve your hidden competing commitments The authors call this your “immune system” – it is your immunity against change

64 Changing your immunity system takes time – typically months Start by observing where and how it operates in your life Build up a more complete picture of it: when did it start? Devise safe ways to test your ‘big assumption’

65 Perceiving yourself as a complex system Adaptation in complex systems preserves some core values or structure Your “immune system” shows you some part of what you adapt to preserve Challenging yourself to overcome this type of immunity opens the door to thinking differently

66 Any questions?

67 Thank you for your attention


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