Wed 8 May 2019 5:13AM

System Practice

MP Marko Prljic Public Seen by 194

Learn to use a systems thinking approach to move from “impossible” to impact.

MURAL Board: https://app.mural.co/t/medular7016/m/medular7016/1557553869515/3a39826f19ab08eb64766d1b905261667daa342b


Marko Prljic Wed 8 May 2019 5:16AM

Systems Practice is a way to make sense of complex environments and uncover the dynamics that have the greatest potential for impact. This course will lead you through each step of understanding a system, analyzing it to find points of leverage, and learning how to adapt in a changing environment.

What You'll Learn

  • Map a complex system to gain clarity
  • Identify specific points in the system where you can have a big impact
  • Create leverage hypotheses to describe how you will aim to create systemic change
  • Develop a framework for learning and adapting over time as your system changes

Marko Prljic Wed 8 May 2019 5:26AM

The course has started yesterday. Whoever is interested to join our team still has time to do that. Just go to https://www.plusacumen.org/courses/systems-practice to register and search for "The Commons Stack" group and request to join. I'll approve you.

For everyone who is already on the team please go through the introduction steps and read everything carefully, this is important!

After you've gone through Module 1"What is System Practice", we should be holding a workshop together (remotely). Deadline to submit results is May 15th.


Maija Fri 10 May 2019 9:23AM

Thank you so much Marko for sharing this! :heart: I'm a big fan of Kumu and system practice, this looks like a great way to get hands-on with it.


Marko Prljic Fri 10 May 2019 11:49AM

We're moving our conversations here so I'm pasting from Acumen chat:

Hi everyone, I hope you had a chance to go through the first couple of steps of this course and are already in the Reading section. While I'm preparing the workshop session I realized there are a few things I need to mention before we deep dive into the rest of this course.

This group is called "Tha Commons Stack" and the name itself suggests the subject of the problem we want to focus on. The idea is to try solving the "Tragedy of the Commons" and finding solutions for Governing the Commons, as described on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
Additionally, I would try to think along with the 8 principles for managing a commons by Elinor Ostrom http://www.onthecommons.org/magazine/elinor-ostroms-8-principles-managing-commmons

If you have other articles to share or specific issues you want to find solutions for, that has to do with the commons, please share here. (or we can move the discussion to Loomio thread?)

Josh Fairhead We could use your input here, or Phil Honigman as well since you've been longer in the subject matter.

It is important to have a subject defined that we should all align and think about when going through the first part of this course, as this will be something we'll be working on throughout the whole course!


Summary: The Tragedy of the Commons is an economic theory that describes how people often use natural resources to their advantage without considering the good of a group or society as a whole. When a number of individuals consider only their own welfare in this manner, it leads to negative outcomes for everybody, as the natural resource becomes depleted.

Keywords: resources, natural resources, depletion, over-use, commons, exploitation, pollution, over-fishing, deforestation, global warming, government regulation, taxation, public property, private property


Assuming that everyone is working full-time somewhere or has other activities during the week I suggest that we hold workshops on Sundays. Here are some times suggested you can vote https://doodle.com/poll/ik9yn4nikq7itw2e
If Sunday doesn't work for you then please suggest a preferred time during the week. We also need to take into consideration the timezones.

Please note: The first workshop must take place in a few days as the deadline for submission is May 15th!


After you fill in your contact info (below) I will add you to the Mural board for 1st Workshop. It is currently empty but I will prepare the workspace soon https://app.mural.co/t/medular7016/m/medular7016/1557367551174/4ad94a4dd938ce4d4092cecb8ef1963d377ea4f3

TEAM INFO: Please fill in the sheet with your information https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XEKuvvp4RwMWbSqh0_igSuqhSDk8zE4jVjsaIrU6OYQ/edit?usp=sharing

TELEGRAM GROUP: After you provide your contact info I'll create a group on Telegram for faster communication.


Marko Prljic Fri 10 May 2019 11:49AM

The subject is not set in stone. However, Josh Fairhead, I was thinking to use this opportunity to further develop The Commons Stack or use it as an exercise. Anyone, feel free to suggest anything around the commons. We'll have the opportunity to frame the challenge in coming workshops.


Marko Prljic Fri 10 May 2019 11:49AM

Phil wrote:
Since you called for complementary info wrt Commons + Blockchain, Samer Hassan's work is worth mentioning.


Josh Fairhead Sun 12 May 2019 4:24PM

Nice, I've already read the second paper! It's a good shout. One of the points I found interesting is that community facilitators in these open systems will likely come under severe pressures to the point where they may be afforded new forms of legal status/protection (much like the directors of ltd companies).

For reference, think about our challenge today scaled up 100x - it would be tough as hell to manage right?


Marko Prljic Fri 10 May 2019 11:52AM

Reminder to everyone who hasn't done already:


Marko Prljic Fri 10 May 2019 9:04PM

This came in from Giveth Riot channel, thought it has some good mission statements for our workshop. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KchBkusYkvJiaspKTsfbYqgbkUaxe0AhhDwURapjggI/edit?usp=drivesdk


Dani Fri 10 May 2019 11:30PM

I've requested access..


Dani Fri 10 May 2019 11:35PM

Hey all :) I got to listen to all the Session 1 (what is Systems Practice) today, and downloaded the reading on why we need it. Looking forward to Sunday and working on the Mural board together. Thank you @markoprljic for all your work organizing this information!


Marko Prljic Sat 11 May 2019 6:26AM

The Workshop will take place tomorrow, Sunday 12th May, at 4pm CET. You'll receive instructions by email today.


Dani Sat 11 May 2019 12:28PM

Copying my post in the Course chat here as I understand this is the place for discourse and sharing information:
The commons, especially when correlated to social change, is a space where I find many worlds interconnecting.. like the blockchain and AI and telecomm techy things with the food sovereignty, water protection, human rights and climate justice stuff.

I'd like to share this episode of the Bioneers' Restoring Ecosystems podcast, titled " Value Change for Survival: All My Relations | Chief Oren Lyons, Leslie Gray & John Mohawk " featuring three Indigenous elders of the North Americas speaking about the cyclical relationship of their cultural systems for caretaking the commons, in which humans live harmoniously as nature.


As we put forth ideas of biomimicry, looking to implement regenerative systems rooted in the patterns of nature, I find it helpful to remember that this is a restoration moreso than a reinvention. As we interact with these design principles from within a lens of Decentralization I encourage also a Decolonization awareness, that we build in the present for a veerrryy long term future, with gratitude and remembrance of the past.


Maija Sat 11 May 2019 6:30PM

Hello Danielle, thank you for sharing the podcast! The message of localization and decolonization can't be stressed enough if we want to create true decentralization. Sad I can't afford the time requirements now to take the course with the group, but would love to follow what you are up to.
The founders of Kumu have an awesome podcast that features system practitioners working in this manner https://www.buzzsprout.com/248820
Many great case studies explained in very engaging manner, think it is a great supplement to the course if it is not already included in the docs.


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 9:09AM

Hi Maija, any particular show your recommend?


Maija Sun 12 May 2019 10:39AM

Hi Marko, from a learning perspective I would recommend episode with Luke Craven.
He talks about the method of system mapping he developed - System Effects. This approach focuses on user understanding of complex systems. For anybody into UX I think it helps make a link between what you are doing now and how it can be tackled from a systems perspective.

Another episode I relay enjoyed that with Sam Rye " self-described unapologetic generalist " https://www.buzzsprout.com/248820/993888-experimental-multi-disciplinary-approaches-to-systems-change-and-social-innovation-episode-6

His journey of building different social organizations is very interesting and think relevant on the commons stack topic. He focuses on systems change, experimentation and "projects which regenerate social and environmental capital" . Sam also does an amazing job in documenting and sharing his knowledge: https://social-labs.org/systems-mapping-social-labs/

I must say there are many more episodes I enjoyed. But I think I might need to re-listen to some earlier ones - don't think I had enough understanding of the subject when I initially listened to them to reality form the takeaways.

Could you also add me to the telegram group? Would enjoy helping out when I can. My handle is @rollinitiative


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 11:37AM

Whoa! Thanks a lot for such descriptive recommendations 🤗I'm going to listen to them in that order.

Yes! Adding you to the group 😉


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 11:38AM

Can't add you, says you have privacy restrictions turned on.


Marko Prljic Sat 11 May 2019 3:04PM

Hi all,

Tomorrow, i.e. Sunday, May 12th, 4pm-6pm, CET we're having our first System Practice Workshop. Woohoo! :)
Invites are sent and you should receive it by email including link fro Zoom meeting and further instructions.

I'm excited to meet you all and look forward to a constructive and collaborative session.



Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 7:10AM

Let's think strategically when forming our challenge (hat tip @joshafairhead). Take a look at these areas https://www.omidyargroup.com/focus-areas/


Michael Shea Sun 12 May 2019 7:15AM

HI Marko, This sounds like a interesting course, but I do not have the capacity to add something else to the pile right now. I have been through control system and system design courses in the past, so would like to support the group, where I can. Can you add me to the Telegram group?


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 7:21AM

Glad to hear that Michael, adding you now.


Josh Fairhead Sun 12 May 2019 1:36PM

Good morning! Are we on in half an hour then @markoprljic?


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 1:38PM



Josh Fairhead Sun 12 May 2019 1:40PM

Perfect, where should we congregate? The course room, a jitsi link etc?


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 1:43PM

Didn't you get the email yesterday? Zoom. I'll paste on tele again.


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 3:47PM

Workshop 1 - Completed

Thanks everyone for your time and a productive workshop. It hasn't been easy (at least not for me) but we managed to frame the challenge.

Next to do is a quick visualization of our complex system. This is part of the homework to be submitted by tomorrow EOD.
I'll do my best to map it out with the knowledge and some research, and I do hope you'll share yours along the way.

Let's keep everyone in the loop of how we progress. At the end we should consolidate all maps into one that we're going to submit by May 15th as completed assignment.

Keep you posted on next workshop, in the meantime please get familiar with Mural board (in the Parking Lot on the far right please).

Have a great rest of the Sunday.


Josh Fairhead Sun 12 May 2019 4:12PM

Thanks for being an excellent host Marko. I'd agree it was difficult framing the challenge but thats always the case with multi stakeholder alignment so I think it went pretty darn well. Not perfect as we didn't quite nail the definition to a point where everyone was content for words but it was still pretty solid. As we go through other exercises - especially in a time boxed manner - I'm sure we'll begin to hit a stride Pareto style ;)

One thing perhaps worth doing is electing a facilitator as we start the next meeting. That being someone other than the host with the mandate of "holding the space" as well as cracking the whip when were slow or gone off topic/message. Your presentation skills were great so I hope you can remain as host for the next meeting but perhaps you'd elect a facilitator to be clock watcher/whip for the next one? (saving you the burden of doing two jobs ;))


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 4:25PM

Yes! I agree with facilitator suggestion. I didn't want to cut the convo for the first session but I'll make sure to properly timebox next one and give clear instructions for us to be more efficient.

I nominate Lanski as facilitator if he fancy as he's closest to the subject we picked (currently working in that industry and hearing problems first-hand), and this is important as they wrote in the workbook.
When we come to third workshop creating loops etc. maybe you Josh can facilitate that one. And the narrative exercise can take Dani?

I'm open to anything 😊


Josh Fairhead Sun 12 May 2019 5:13PM

Sounds good broski!

Let's figure it out at check in each week so it becomes self evident who's who and why but otherwise such delegations sit well with me :)


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 4:03PM

Here's the Mural board for everyone to view. @michaelshea if you're interested and find some time maybe you can add your thinking to it?



Josh Fairhead Sun 12 May 2019 5:14PM

A first iteration on the homework. It's not good, I'm just sharing!


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 5:22PM

Thank you, looks great so far. I'll draw some inspiration for sure.


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 5:58PM

I think we should pick something from the list here or think of a broader statement that we can work with as being a system. Why im saying that? Because later we have causes and effects, upstream and downstream, and we need to have something solid to be able to find those effects, group then, create themes, and later loops which lead to deep structure.


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 6:33PM


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 6:34PM

This one has an intriguing statement.


Marko Prljic Sun 12 May 2019 6:34PM

I think our challenge is the best anyway 😉


Marko Prljic Mon 13 May 2019 5:34AM

Pasting @lanski message from Telegram:

Pol Bordàs, [13 May 2019 at 03:51:40]:
As a preamble, I will try to define what is, according to my understanding of systems thinking and our readings and videos from the course, a good problem to work on for this course:
1) It needs to be a REAL problem. To use @davortomic 's input in the call, there needs to be negative outcomes to a system that we want to change.
2) There needs to be NO CLEAR OR PREDEFINED solution to this problem. The whole point of this course is not to demonstrate that our predefined mindset will work or to push our preferred solution to solve a problem. The purpose of systems thinking as I understand it is to be able to map the complex interactions happening in systems and identify leverage points that could change the outcomes of the system. We do not have this leverage points identified « a priori »
3) It needs to be specific enough for us to map a specific system made up of real actors, forces and interactions between them. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be global! There are global actors and global outcomes out of global problem statements like « Increase in protectionism in global trade » that causes « Reduction on the rate of emancipation from poverty in export-oriented countries », which means that people lose jobs in poor countries and it is harder for them to exit the poverty line. Please note that both statements « increase in protectionism in global trade » and « reduction on the rate of emancipation from poverty in export-oriented countries » will end up mapping the same system because they are heavily interconnected, so it doesn’t really matter which of the statements we chose in this case. Global problems are not necessarily harder to map, but they are harder to act upon as we as individuals might not have the scale to act on the leverages in the system that we identify as potential system changers.
4) I take this from the workbook: « Instead of aspiring for a concrete end state, the goal should be a healthier state of the system. For example, rather than counting the number of people who are using a new money management app, our goal would be a system that produces more financially healthy households over time. »

@davor's point was that we needed a metric - for clarity ;)

Now, we see that the problem statement doesn’t matter that much as long as we’re naming a 1) Real problem (aka negative system outcome) with 2) No predefined solution and 3) specific enough that we can map specific actors and forces and specific RELATIONSHIPS existing between these pieces. Hence, let me suggest other Travel-related statements that would end up with the same system mapped behind:
- Negative impact in the livelihood of local communities caused by Travel and Tourism. [This includes backlash against tourism happening in Kyoto, Venice, Barcelona and more silently and insidiously in poorer countries that are dependent on tourism like Cambodia, where the economic incentive is for children to go beg for money to tourists vs. going to school, a topic I’m very close to thanks to my work with Friends International, an NGO which tackles just that]
- Destruction of natural and cultural capital caused by Travel and Tourism [This broadly includes the destruction of ecosystems due to mass tourism and the degradation of invaluable cultural heritage due to aggregated little offences (taking a little stone from a temple, tagging an ancient column with a permanent marker, throwing one plastic bottle (littering)…]
- The negative impact of Air Travel in Climate Change [This one is very specific, but we would end up mapping the same system as it doesn’t have a straightforward solution: If you disincentivize travel (by making it more expensive - maybe through a tax), you might end up reducing the Carbon Emissions (yay!) but also throwing entire communities that depend on tourism for survival under the bus… and you can also end up with a sociological shift towards bigotry due to the lack of exposure to other cultures of the majority of the population… so it’s all interconnected ;)]

My point is that at this particular point it doesn’t matter so much the specific wording of the problem statement. We can find our leverage points later on and decide to act on a particular part of the problem where we can actually have impact.

Pol Bordàs, [13 May 2019 at 05:09:19]:
Moving on to the second point: Other non-travel related problem statements.

We all met through Giveth (i think?), and hence are heavily interested in blockchain and its potential for social good. As @dani beautifully put it when mentioning the reason for her to come back to the IT world is because we need technology to act and have impact at a scale.

I’m going to try to find ways to use blockchain and the commons stack in a way that we don’t confuse the tooling (the commons stack is just a stack of tools) for the problem and the system.

In the same way, systems thinking is also not a problem or a solution, but a tool to identify the maximum impact levers in a system that can maximise the positive outcomes of the system and minimise the negative ones.

So we have two sets of complementary tools:
1. is Systems thinking, to identify all the moving pieces related to a problem and their interactions.
2. is the commons stack, to generate the right incentives for money to go to the right solutions (token bonding curves), to choose these right solutions (conviction voting) and to manage the funds transparently (Giveth DApp).

The tragedy of the commons is an abstraction of a problem that repeats across sectors: how the use of a common / public resource can be managed sustainably when there is no incentive short term to collaborate to this outcome - meaning people will be short term incentivised to consume more of the Commons resource to increase personal gain at the expense of the long term sustainability of this resource. (i.e.: think about the Kiribati fishing example in the course - the common resource is the fishing pool and nobody wants to stop fishing. They incentivise a change of activity (coconut farming) and the overall wealth of the population increases but the fishing stock keeps declining! - Even strategies that find solutions for the commons problems are susceptible to be part of bigger systems that will have unexpected outcomes).

So, if we want to use the commons stack, I believe what we could do is to think about a problem that affects « the commons » as a resource and we will be able to map the system and understand where we can apply the commons stack to have the maximum impact.

Now, I know I said I was going to give non travel and tourism problems examples, but my brain is too fried after 2h of solid reading about systems thinking, articles about the commons as an economic concept and research about the commons stack as proposed and suggested in this Giveth/Odissey ecosystem and writing this pieces, and I will let you think about topics that you are passionate about. Instead what I will do is to reframe the problems I am familiar with with a commons mindset:

  • Climate change is a commons problem: we can only use so much carbon before we entirely fuck up the ecosystem. There is a strong commons goal of not fucking up the ecosystem to avoid changing the climate conditions to ones where humanity (and the whole ecosystem) would change to worse (for humanity - i.e.: we die in scores for lack of food, climate-related natural disasters, etc.). But the system incentive is to keep traveling to nice places for holidays and throwing tons of Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. the « Challenge » here could be: The alarming contribution to climate change generated by travel. Please note that this is a system for the reason above: banning travel might have negative consequences in other aspects. It’s all interconnected ;)

  • Challenge: the degradation of natural ecosystems caused by mass tourism. The commons relationship: the ecosystems - cultural and natural - are the resource. 2 examples: Maya bay, in thailand, the famous stage for « The Beach » book, then made a movie, attracts thousands of tourists every day for its beauty, bringing money to local communities. But instead of keeping it beautiful, the tragedy of the commons is here that all operators, all boat owners and local governments are incentivised to take more and more tourists to the spot, maximising short term profit, but s

o many people destroy the ecosystem and the beauty of the spot, destroying the long term sustainability of the spot as a tourism destination and therefore, destroying the future livelihood of people in the area. The same happens to cultural spots: Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, has beautiful temples in the jungle. Too many people are going there, destroying the temples, and slowly overconsuming the commons resource which is the cultural heritage aka the temples, condemning future generations to not have this temples in good condition in the future, reducing the number of tourists, and reducing the livelihoods of the people.

alright, here's my take. TL;DR:
- The tragedy of the commons is an economic problem too abstract to map into a system. We need to find a concrete specification of the tragedy of the commons.
- The commons stack is just a tool, like Systems thinking.
- If we want to use the commons stack, I believe what we could do is to think about a problem that is a "tragedy of the commons" and we will be able to map the system and understand where we can apply the commons stack to have the maximum impact.
- Then I go on on phrasing some problem statements through the framework of the tragedy of the commons, related to Travel and Tourism. For that you will have to read the last paragraphs ;)


Michael Shea Mon 13 May 2019 5:48AM

Marko, can you re-phrase the problem statement (or challenge) to something that has more of a positive or neutral tone? Travel an tourism, while causing stress to locations also brings significant economic values. Is tourism only negative?


Marko Prljic Mon 13 May 2019 6:01AM

While reading through the examples they gave us in this course all challenge statements have a negative tone i.e. the problem we want to address. If statement is positive or neutral then it's harder to act upon.

What do you suggest?


Marko Prljic Mon 13 May 2019 6:02AM

Maybe remove the word "negative" and leave just the "impact"?


Michael Shea Mon 13 May 2019 6:16AM

IMO that is better.


Michael Shea Mon 13 May 2019 8:13AM

Hi Marko,
Not to be a pain, but I have thought a little more on my above comment. Since I do not have the time to participate fully in this effort, I want to make sure that I am respecting the conversations and work that is going on that I will not be aware of versus appearing to impose a will from outside the effort.

Going forward I am going to limit myself to asking questions, and though this mechanism try to help build/strengthen/refine the positions/concepts/arguments being made.

In that vein,
- Why 'Negative'?

- Is it possible to see where taking this wording unintentionally limits the scope/breadth of the thinking and approach?


Marko Prljic Mon 13 May 2019 8:24AM

You're not being pain at all, I'm happy to see you involved, even if limited.
Please do ask questions, I'll answer to keep you in the loop.

Stating something as a problem = negative -> we want to fix it. It doesn't limit us though, after I thought about it and left just the "impact". Is that what you're asking?


Michael Shea Mon 13 May 2019 8:38AM

I am taking my role to be that of question asker... not answer giver... :slight_smile: ... more in the line of a coach/foil/sounding board ...

So, to answer your question, I do not have an answer. I am just trying to make sure that a few additional minutes of thought are spent to consider the unintended.... :thinking:


Marko Prljic Mon 13 May 2019 8:48AM

Yes, question asker is what I want :)
Thank you... and please continue to question again on everything we produce during this course.


Maija Mon 13 May 2019 9:56AM

I had exact same question & suggestion as you Michael. Treating systems neutrally expands the impact possibilities (and consequences) beyond the limitations of the current system. Appreciate the phrase you use "taking this wording unintentionally". It is so hard to escape the reductionist narration in our mind of good/bad, hero/ villain, problem/solution. Oh my, I will need lots of discipline to keep to the role of asking questions and soundboarding :sweat_smile: , but think it is indeed a healthy stance to take :)


Marko Prljic Mon 13 May 2019 9:59AM

I just want to let you both know how much I appreciate your contribution. It really helps us a group to move forward for better results. Please, continue to do so 🙂


Poll Created Mon 13 May 2019 5:41AM

The impact of Travel and Tourism in ecosystem, cultural heritage and social fabric. Closed Tue 14 May 2019 6:03PM

Travel and Tourism have both positive effects (economic growth, geo-distribution of wealth, improved cultural understanding, reduction of bigotry, etc.), but at the same time externalities are causing negative effects and depleting the common resources at the expense of the long term sustainability.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 75.0% 6 D GG P MP DT J
Abstain 25.0% 2 MS JF
Disagree 0.0% 0  
Block 0.0% 0  

8 of 67 people have voted (11%)


Marko Prljic
Mon 13 May 2019 6:46AM

As Lanski suggested, this statement addresses the the larger system and leaves us room to leverage the technology with the commons stack.


Griff Green
Mon 13 May 2019 6:31PM

i probably shouldnt vote... but i like this, Boat + Common Stack for the win!


Josh Fairhead
Mon 13 May 2019 11:24PM

If we're headed towards the direction of regenerative modular travel I'm happy :)


Michael Shea
Tue 14 May 2019 8:26AM

As I am playing the role of observer and interlocutor this feels the most appropriate.


Tue 14 May 2019 2:03PM

My only comment is grammatical; to replace the BUT with AND before the latter due to the BOTH used before the former.


Marko Prljic Mon 13 May 2019 8:49AM


Marko Prljic Mon 13 May 2019 11:28AM

Please find attached latest version of our System Map. Few things to note:

  • it's a bit messy and doesn't show all connections properly (we're not at causes and effects stage yet)
  • there's A LOT of things missing (go figure)
  • I couldn't map the +/- effects and wasn't really bothering much with it although green arrows should represent + (increase) and red - (decrease), but I gave up on that along the way

In our next workshops, we'll be able to group items and create themes, so there's plenty of time to do iteration based on this.
IMO I think this map is satisfactory for the submission but I'd like you to review it and if anything you'd like to add/capture for later stages please let me know.
Link to editable map is here (please don't delete something) https://miro.com/welcomeonboard/UuaD6BC0ENm0wLb6xm2ZB8sXLw0RjyD6wlajfTrr3O1boPPdXK2aeoGegb4mpJdv

I'd like to finalise this by the EOD if possible, please let me know.

cc/ @lanski @davortomic @joshafairhead @philh2 @julia119


Michael Shea Tue 14 May 2019 8:31AM

A question to the community: Is travel and tourism ever a positive thing?


Davor Tomic Tue 14 May 2019 8:54AM

Of the top of my head:
Tourism - broaden perspectives and increase understanding of/appreciation for other people and cultures;
Travel - allow for easier, more effective communication and sharing of knowledge.


Michael Shea Tue 14 May 2019 10:29AM

These seem very 'surface' impacts, are there any deeper or longer lasting impacts?


Maija Tue 14 May 2019 5:01PM

All it takes to travel is your mind - imagination, compassion, curiosity can take you places without the physical journey. Sometimes the journey helps you get there faster or gives you unexpected new insights.

That said tourism is a product and like with any product it is our intention to acquire it and treatment of it once we have it that in my opinion defines how sustainable it is. If you make regenerative tourism an easy option for some it will be a great incentive (TO GIVE), for others just another thing to throw out (TAKE) once they got it because you can’t buy an escape from the prison of your own mind.

Love your words @danibelle , think that focus on our relationships with our selves and the planet is something that really defines any interaction.

Very thematically I did an amazing "travel" experience today via https://www.deeptimewalk.org/ . Made me see my surroundings in quite a new way, think it was a positive travel ;)


Marko Prljic Tue 14 May 2019 12:42PM

I'm looking at this from a similar perspective as Davor I guess. Why I want my kids to see other places and cultures, to get a broader picture of the world they live in and gain new experiences from that.
Lasting impacts would be based on those experiences, throughout their lives, for better or worse (parents, mentors, play a big role as well). Not sure if I derailed the conversation with this.


Marko Prljic Tue 14 May 2019 12:56PM

Hi everyone. Here's the action plan for our second Workshop:

  1. Prior to the workshop, I suggest everyone prepare their version of Guiding and Near star, as well as Framing Question (you can share progress here and we can discuss)
  2. During the WS we will post our ideas on the board and come to a final version (this will save us some time)

I prepared the Mural board for that, attached is a preview.
You can log in to Mural and look around yourself. https://app.mural.co/t/medular7016/m/medular7016/1557553869515/3a39826f19ab08eb64766d1b905261667daa342b

We still have to decide on the time for Sunday call. I suggested 4 pm like we did last time, but I'd like everyone to confirm or tell their preferences.

Anything else? Please post here :)


Dani Tue 14 May 2019 1:32PM

We currently inhabit a world shaped by colonialism, which makes it difficult to see past the negative impacts of travel, as they have overwhelmed the positive to a nearly obliterating degree.

Humanity has a rich history of nomadic purpose! This relates back to the cyclical nature of our relationship to the planet and the 'elements', such as they are both our ecosystem and our resources.. quite literally, "we are the world".

All living beings are these wonderful packages of energy, made of stored carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, minerals, consuming and releasing in mutual exchange with our environs. My favorite author Tom Robbins once wrote of the character Amanda in his book "Another Roadside Attraction, to say, "...it had long been her theory that human beings were invented by water as a device for transporting itself from one place to another.”

What a powerful force for good we are when living in the full knowing of our place within the great circle of life! There is so much to be done, so many places of destruction, degradation, extraction and harm to be UNdone. The indigenous tribes of the Americas did not leave the plains when the buffalo were depleted, they took only what was essential, gave back to the earth the best portion, and moved on with the seasons to let the bacterial processes restore the soil of the grasslands so there would be even MORE healthy buffalo for future generations. Then colonialism arrived to steal the very ground from beneath inhabitants, destroying the caretaker culture - removing the CARE from nomadic culture and leaving only the TAKE.

When we move with respect for the place we leave behind AND for the place to which we go, it is not only possible to be a good traveler, or 'tourist', it is our birthright and responsibility to do so. To leave a place better for having been there, to go and learn what another place has to offer while bringing only that which is requested, and taking only what is given freely.


Marko Prljic Tue 14 May 2019 1:36PM

This! "All living beings are these wonderful packages of energy, made of stored carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, minerals, consuming and releasing in mutual exchange with our environs."


Michael Shea Tue 14 May 2019 1:43PM

Great response Danielle!

What would be the impact economically, environmentally, socially, geopolitically if travel was reduced by 80-90% (to the levels it was 50 years ago)?


Marko Prljic Tue 14 May 2019 1:58PM

Why reduced?


Dani Wed 15 May 2019 2:45AM

Well 50 years ago, I was born.. haha.. but that's a different story.

When i was a child, going in the car was a treat, and when someone was flying, the whole family went to the airport, helped them onto the plane, stayed to watch it leave the ground and disappear into the distance.. it was a big deal that involved saving, and planning, by many to accomplish such a thing with .. writing letters by hand to paper, and posting them back and forth!

There was great meaning to travel, perhaps returning to a homeland, helping distant relatives when ill, or completing a project that required either many or one with special skills. One had to choose carefully and wisely how to use energy, money, time because it was a significant investment.

Ahh the golden years - maybe, a return to that would be such a good thing! Nowadays we are raised to work long hours at something we often do only for the paycheck - dreams of distant lands are to escape the pressures of daily life, to have a vacation, where someone else caters to our needs and we sip cocktails in hammocks.

No sadly, the pessimist in me suspects that it would be the people who travel to make an actual positive difference, for personal development and voluntary service, that would be most affected. The corporate and luxury travel paid for by the wealthy could become even more prestigious and with little regard for the planet as only personal extravagance would be accessible.

ON the positive side, people would have more limited options for getting away from it all.. and could seek ways to be more effective in their own locales.


Michael Shea Tue 14 May 2019 2:03PM

A thought experiment, to dig out all impacts (more than just social interaction); to push the team to think beyond normal thought patterns. If magically tomorrow, travel became 100x more expensive, what are the impacts?


Josh Fairhead Thu 16 May 2019 11:17AM

@markoprljic I think the keywords to digging into Michael and Maijas suggestion might be the frame of "appreciative inquiry"


Josh Fairhead Sat 18 May 2019 10:29PM

Guiding star: Opening minds and positively changing behaviour through composable regenerative travel; modular moving cities.

Near star: Modular transport, probably boat affording food, water, office space and shelter for 30 people to travel Europe enabled to provide open source critical infrastructure to cities in barter for supplies, docking and other "current-sees" to seed a fair-price mutual-credit economy.

Framing question: What drivers unlock maximum mobility in the transformation of wasteful actions into regenerative ones?


Michael Shea Sun 19 May 2019 9:17AM

Why 30? Does it work with 20? 10? 5? Can the shelter move and people meet the space? Like a 'flash' mob?


Josh Fairhead Sun 19 May 2019 11:20AM

Of course it can! But I chose 30 because composability is perhaps unreasonable in the next 5 years - so flashmob cities (dig the image - meme stolen) is left for the guiding star :)


Michael Shea Sun 19 May 2019 11:34AM

Reason I ask, is that fix (or better 'defined') living space for thirty will bring significant regulatory requirements for things like sanitation, water and living space. By building for a smaller 'permanent' number will reduce that cost, and then with open spaces allow burst capacity.
Same way people build houses, bedroom bring very specific requirements around fire egress and such. Making it a general open space that can be converted after the fact will ease burden, and increase utilization.


Josh Fairhead Sat 29 Jun 2019 12:15PM

Good points re regulations, I tend to forget that those abstractions are typically enforced... and actually enforceable when you start to scale... such limiting beliefs they create!


Marko Prljic Mon 20 May 2019 9:53AM

Interesting quote from a speech by the Bank of England’s Andy Haldane, on whether all economics is local, and critiquing the limitations of aggregate GDP as a measure of economic health.

Our economies are complex adaptive systems in which

"behaviour [...] is difficult to predict ex-ante, especially at times of policy change; it is emergent, just as a hurricane or tornado is emergent. Often, our policy intuition about complex systems is simply wrong. No model, however micro-founded or data-rich, is proof against those uncertainties. But one that embodies complex, micro-level dynamics is more likely to do so than one without them. A complex systems framework can make for robust policy choices.

Our economies, like our politics, are local. Like the seashore, the more you magnify an economy, the greater its richness, complexity, self-similarity. Like our bodies, understanding our economic health means taking readings at many resolutions. It means understanding the moving body parts, and their interactions, in microscopic detail. It calls for new data, at a higher frequency and higher resolution, and new ways of stitching it together. It means making micro-to-macro a reality."

Haldane goes on to conclude:

"our economic policies would be better able to serve the public, and better understood by them, if we could do [model the economy in microscopic detail] in close to real time."

Full speech PDF https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/speech/2019/is-all-economics-local-speech-by-andy-haldane.pdf?la=en&hash=577BDED2260063C517798A13E4C53E17CF82CC26

Azeem (from Exponential View) continues:

"I reckon we’ll be able to do this better going forward because we’re rapidly creating digital twins of the real economy. "

"Previous attempts to model the whole economy—think of the Soviet’s Gosplan—failed, in part, because you couldn’t gather accurate data in a timely fashion and, even if you could, you couldn’t solve the optimisation problem of that data. (They failed for many other reasons, too.)

But even if we can model this complex adaptive system of the economy, we’ll need to be careful. In The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek, writing before the establishment of complexity theory and our ability to model that complexity in silico, believed it would be “impossible for any mind to comprehend the infinite variety of different needs of different people which compete for the availability of resources and to attach a definite weight to each."

If someone is interested, Azeem Azhar will be in London running a session on the intersection of complexity theory, economics and artificial intelligence at CogX in London on June 12 https://ti.to/cogx/2019/discount/CX19EZConf25


Marko Prljic Mon 20 May 2019 10:08AM

Another great podcast with Mariana and Azeem where they discuss:

The role of the entrepreneurial state: moving away from the concept of the state as a facilitator and towards the state as an actor in the future of public-serving innovation.

I think this is very related to what we talked about at our second workshop.



Davor Tomic Tue 21 May 2019 4:09AM

Hey team! The submission deadline is in roughly 25-26 hours. Where are we with our stars and framing question? Are there any big question marks, or are we already in a good place to proceed with the next assignment? Cheers!


Marko Prljic Tue 21 May 2019 5:55AM

Hey! Yes, I just posted another reminder on Telegram. I think we're pretty close and basically we can submit. It's just a matter of maybe fine tuning some wording.


Poll Created Tue 21 May 2019 10:10AM

Assignment #2 - Guiding Star, Near Star, Framing Question Closed Tue 21 May 2019 2:01PM

Guiding star:
A Travel and Tourism system that facilitates inclusive economic opportunities and does not violate local ecosystems, culture heritage and the rights of citizens to adequate housing and the use of public assets according to the general interest.

Near star:
The new inclusive economic model of Travel and Tourism System enabled all stakeholders to conduct structural and operational reforms. State agencies are supporting independent self-managed organizations (Coops) who serve the mutual interests of all participants in the system.

Framing Question:
What are the driving factors that will raise awareness and create mutual alignment on shared values among key stakeholders and participants of the Travel and Tourism system?


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 66.7% 2 MP DT
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 33.3% 1 PL
Block 0.0% 0  

3 of 72 people have voted (4%)


Davor Tomic
Tue 21 May 2019 11:02AM

I love this phrasing. Sounds spot on, well done!


Pol Lanski
Tue 21 May 2019 12:52PM

I love it! So much work transpires from it! But unfortunately, I must disagree with the near star... "State agencies are supporting independent self-managed organizations (Coops) who serve the mutual interests of all participants in the system." is prescriptive of coops being the solution. Something like "State agencies are supporting the initiatives that serve the mutual interests of all participants in the system" is better.


Marko Prljic Tue 28 May 2019 12:25PM


Founder José Gil Duarte believes that any development process is an “opportunity to raise each person’s, community’s, and territory's commitment to building their future.”


Marko Prljic Tue 28 May 2019 12:28PM

Does a radical concentration of development on the same footprint entail a more sustainable proposition? Especially as it encompasses, and is also set amidst, mixed uses which could — in theory — reduce people’s reasons to travel? And more so as its position beside a choice of tube and rail lines harnesses good public transport access? How much more efficient is such a project to service than low-density environments?


But space is a medium par excellence in which winning and losing is acutely felt. The distinction is the sense of self we attach to sense of place. “It was a modest house, but it was home” and “It was our neighborhood, but it’s been overtaken by millennials and coffee shops” are now familiar urban refrains. The effects of displacement are compounded by multiple ownerships, involving portfolios of properties that serve as investments, bolt-holes for future uncertainty, and pieds-a-terre for occasional use, often standing vacant for months on end.