Pattern languages as a tool for group alignment

Pattern languages are both a simple and complex concept. Since its invention by architect Christopher Alexander, the concept has expanded and been used in several domains (software design, group facilitation, pedagogy, …) . I wrote previously about the potential of pattern language as a tool for conscious systems design (Permaculture Patterning, a design framework for systemic transformation). Today, I present key takeaways from researcher Helene Finidori’s latest work on pattern languages. Helene discuss Pattern Literacy as a way to support of Systems Literacy. Her paper is very interesting but very dense, so I took out key take aways about the use of pattern language as a tool for group alignement and cooperation and collective intelligence.
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Permaculture Patterning, a design framework for systemic transformation

I recently had the honour and the pleasure to be invited by Helene Finidori to write for a special issue of Spanda Journal on the topic of Systemic Change. The Spanda Journal is published by the Spanda Foundation who’s mission is to stimulate and disseminate new insights on current issues and to serve as catalyst for sustainable long term systemic change.

The brief given by Helene to all authors was the following: How and where does systemic change manifest? How does it unfold? What are the leverage points, the forces and dynamics at play? What are the conditions for its empowerment and enablement? How do agency and structure come into the picture? We would like to look at the subject from various angles and disciplines, in research and praxis, exploring the visible and the invisible, space and time, unity and diversity, level and scale, movement and rhythm.

I used this as an opportunity to further explore the concept of patterning, a topic that interests me the most at the moment and I believe will revolutionize the way we look at the world and build things together.

Here’s a copy of the article I wrote. A PDF version is also available on Permaculture Patterning, a design framework for systemic transformation Continue reading “Permaculture Patterning, a design framework for systemic transformation”

What is Open Social Innovation and why we need free/libre recipes

In this article I describe Open social innovation, a new intellectual framework to facilitate the sharing of social practices.

Although the concept described here has been proposed from a network of french social innovators, there are many many groups around the world who are already thinking along the same line. These groups don’t recognize each other because the lack a common framework and vocabulary. This article hopes to propose such a framework and open the discussion.

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Case study: how to co-create a co-creative event

A case study presenting the organization of #MousTIC, a co-creative event about open cooperation and social innovation.

mousTIC is an event about open and collaborative models for social innovation. In 2013 the event took place in Montpellier, a city in the south of France, and gathered over 200 participants for 3 days to discuss, share, exchange about collaborative tools and practices, but also to co-create tools and methods. The participants came from very different backgrounds: non-profit organizations, urbanism, ICT for development, free/open source software, social &solidarity economy, journalist, students, artists,  …

The following presentation details the various co-creative formats that were used during the event and the organizational model behind it.

This is part of my open research on co-creative events patterns

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Meet Valve, the company “managing without managers”

Business Insider has published a small article about Valve a 16-year old company that has no corporate hierarchy whatsoever.

Valve’s basic approach to “managing without managers” is:

  • hire only incredibly self-motivated people
  • give them full autonomy to decide what project to work on
  • teach them to spot valuable projects, and to understand what value they can add to those projects
  • allow team structure to happen organically – teams self-select, leaders are chosen by their peers
  • encourage people to acknowledge and learn from mistakes quickly to move forward
  • make everyone responsible together for the success or failure of projects

and finally (and most critically):

  • determine the value and compensation of each employee by peer review

Read the full article to learn more

The collaborative Economy – Key Take-Aways

Respected Analyst Jeremiah Owyang has produced a crystal clear talk about a movement that’s been growing in the past few year and has come to light under the name “collaborative economy“. Although is don’t like the term “collaborative economy” (I think networked or P2P economy is more appropriate), this name has crystalized a lot of attention on this movement and helped bring it to public attention.

Here are the key take aways from the talk:

The crowd turns to each other to get goods and services bypassing corporations

The sharing revolution is an unstoppable movement

Solution: embrace the collaborative economy value chain:
Company as a service
Motivate a Marketplace
Provide a platform


Open value networks, serendipity, and the future of work

The notion of serendipity is not new to business thinking. The importance of unexpected conversations and knowledge exchange in innovation has been noted in the management literature for many years.
What is new is actually building a business – a machine – that systematically facilitates serendipity. This is what has achieved.


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Fail smartly to innovate: Invest a little, learn a lot

Every successful entrepreneur talks about how they kept trying (and failing!) until they found what worked for them and became successful. In this process, failing can be seen as a part of the innovation process. The trick is to fail often to be able to test ideas and quickly get feedback. But the cost of failure has to be low so it doesn’t threaten the entire project.

Here are some tips on how to innovate and fail smartly. (Excerpts from the book Mastering emergent strategies (Harvard Business Press) Continue reading “Fail smartly to innovate: Invest a little, learn a lot”