Tim Winton, from New South Wales, Australia, recently visited the west coast of the U.S. and Canada, and I had the privilege of organizing one of his PatternDynamics (TM) workshop presentations here in Bellingham. Following that, I had the privilege of co-writing an article about the workshop for Integral Leadership Review, for the March 2013 issue, which is now available online.
PatternDynamics has been described as “a tool for integrating multiple perspectives,” and the blurb on the PD website calls it “a ‘Sustainability Pattern Language’ – that will help you understand, communicate and design solutions at the systems level.” Here’s an excerpt from my portion of the article, Tim Winton’s Pattern Dynamics™ Workshops in USA and Canada, January/February 2013:
One of the major “ah-has” for Tim during his 20 years of working in sustainability was the realization that the major problem was not in finding technical solutions, but rather in working with the social dimension. “Our challenge is complexity,” Tim says, “how we come to terms as humans with organizing ourselves so that we can actually steward this planet and have a sustainable civilization.”
PatternDynamics grew out of what he calls “perspectival systems thinking:” self, culture, and nature. Things get very interesting when we begin to look at the “integrative systems view that can be applied to at least those three perspectives.” We’re talking about a broader level of systems thinking than is usually presented, which tends to focus on the biosphere and neglect the noosphere.
Nature has sustained thriving systems for hundreds of millions of years, and has demonstrated that integrating multiple patterns of organization is the key to sustaining those systems. Borrowing patterns from nature and applying those principles to human organizations, and then learning to balance and integrate them, can contribute significantly to the enduring health of those organizations. Tim has created pattern diagrams that represent those principles in an attempt to create a language that can be used to communicate systems thinking. This language can then be used to facilitate organizational sustainability.
Tim sees complexity as the major challenge in human living, and he observes that living systems handle complexity really, really well. “The key to complexity is systems thinking, and the key to systems thinking is patterns. The key to patterns is using them as a language – an idea I borrowed from architect and mathematician Christopher Alexander’s book Notes on the Synthesis of Form.”
I am also very excited to report:
Tim is returning to the west coast U.S. in May for more PatternDynamics workshops at a deeper level.
Tim tells me in an email:
We have pencilled in a One Day Workshop and a 2 Day Level II Training for the 18th, 19th and 20th in the Bay Area (San Francisco/Oakland) and we are planning a One Day Workshop on Saturday on the 25th in Seattle and then a 2 Day Level II Training in Bellingham, WA on Sunday the 26th and Monday the 27th.
So if you have any interest, email me: miles58 (at) yahoo (dot) com.