A Process of Inquiry to Improve our Systems Design

by Augusto Cuginotti

The reflection around Systems being our creation and therefore part of our judgment invites us to act as participants/system designers rather than spectators triggered by system/environmental fluctuations.

Our action in intervening on the system is not a description of ‘what is’, but an inquiry on ‘what is becoming’.

Systems are not objective entities simply waiting to be “observed.” Systems are better described in terms of “whole systems judgements” used primarily to raise peoples’ understandings through enabling the right questions to be asked. Systems practice ought not to be about unveiling some absolute truth regarding some objective social reality, but a process of inquiry to improve our systems design; that is, our collective social well-being. For Churchman, systems are predominantly in the mind of the observer rather than in the real world.

Reynolds, M. (2004). Churchman and Maturana: Enriching the Notion of Self-Organization for Social Design. In Systemic Practice and Action Research, Vol. 17, No. 6, December 2004.