I have been loosely following the Doing Development Differently movement. I also signed up to the DDD manifesto. I think it is a great initiative and I would encourage you to follow it and sign their manifesto if you agree. It is very much in line with applying complexity thinking to development and getting out of the rigid project/logframe frameworks.
Here are a couple of snippets by people that participated in a recent event at Harvard University.
I like Duncan Green’s statement that we just have to learn to live with uncertainty and ambiguity. There just isn’t something like clear cut results that can without doubt be attributed to a project that engaged in a complex situation. In the end, it’s not about us, it’s about the positive change we can contribute to.
At the beginning of the year, I decided that my blog needed a face lifting. Finally, I made it and here it is. I’m still using a free WordPress Theme, so you might find other blogs that just look like this one. But they will not have the same content. Also in 2013, I will continue to write about complexity, systems thinking and my work in international development.
I also want to take the opportunity to thank my readers and especially the people that comment now and then. Comments are extremely important for me as a feedback on the relevance of my posts. Looking forward to more dialogue in 2013!
My friend Shawn Cunningham sent me an email with the visualization of his LinkedIn network and I was so fascinated that I had to see my network. The tool that does the visualization is called LinkedIn Maps. You can click on the map to enlarge it. Here is a link if you want to do your own network.
What’s the most fascinating thing about the map? Well, for one it shows the power of visualization. Individual parts of the network are shown in different colors and you can label them. I found networks that are composed of people I know from my work in the field of market facilitation, others from my work in Bangladesh or professional colleagues in Switzerland. That’s not really a new insight, but the visualization just makes it so much more clear and accessible.
This is exactly why I like causal loop diagrams. Although they might not be able to be used as model to predict how a system is behaving, they still help us to understand the structure of a system.
Another thing I can find on the visualization of the network are connections between people I haven’t known that they were connected. Also the network structure is interesting. Especially the blue network in the bottom has a clear hub, the other networks are more distributed.
I haven’t really done a lot of work in network theory but it is definitely a field that interests me since it is so strongly connected to (or even part of) complexity sciences. I shall take more time to read.
I had the privilege to participate in a part of an event organized by USAID on embracing complexity and what this means for the agency. I participated by webinar, which unfortunately only covered the first half of the day. However, Ben Ramalingam, one of the speakers at the event, posted a summary of the day on his blog. I highly recommend to read his post here.