Cities across the world are exploring Doughnut Economics, shaping up their Doughnuts, sourcing the ingredients, playing with the mix, and reimagining the health of our communities and planet.
Some are further along in their Doughnut journey than others, with funding, government and research support in place. But all are grappling with what it takes to move from talk to action, from ambitious goals to measurable impact.
Back in October 2020, I chatted with fellow designer Alice Howard-Vyse about how our respective cities — Sydney and Berlin — were “getting their Doughnut act together”. Sydney was just starting out, inspired…
23 November–4 December
“In 1.5 hours, to create an empathetic bond, feels like a kind of magic.”
And with that the the first Empathy Talks pilot is done.
On 25 November we ran a 2 hour pilot via Zoom. 4 people joined — 1 as speaker, 3 as listeners. All were friends of ours. Tasman Papworth facilitated and I observed, took notes, and asked debrief questions at the end.
The pilot topic provided by our Speaker participant was: Relationships and influence in education.
Good things in summary–participants gelled, people felt genuinely heard wishes were expressed, the format was tested, and…
We have 1 if not 2 pilot experiments happening in the next fortnight. People are coming out of the woodwork and we are finding people in the woodwork to link up with and get involved in the pilots, including some of the lovely and brilliant eggs I studied with at the School of System Change last year.
The Empathy Talks idea seems to gel so well with so…
Who knew a spreadsheet could feel so nice. The Revenue sharing sheet (template kindly shared by Lina Patel) we’re using to determine individual and shared contributions to our Empathy Talks educational experiment has helped us understand each others motivation and willingness to engage in the work, and see each other as more than just delivery robots. Money surfaces values.
“Kate you also know my feelings about money / revenue sharing … I worked out at some point that if we can talk about money, then we’ve covered a lot of good ground. …
The Three Horizons Framework (3H) helps by asking people first to make their assumptions explicit, and then to explore emerging change as a way to reframe what they think, what they want, and what they do. The final step looks back at history, forward at the possibilities, and creates actions that bridge from today to tomorrow.
The 3H framework is increasingly being explored by groups including the Systems Change Salon in the context of “How might we shape a post-COVID world?”. As with many method-based discussions, people want practical examples of use; this post attempts to meet that need.
I consider Kate’s video a go-to for understanding and applying Bill Sharpe’s Three Horizons Framework.
From 3:56 Kate describes how to use the framework for deeper dives in group strategy workshops. I’ve extracted her step-by-step guide below.
What are the key characteristics of the prevailing system?
What values, cultures, laws, events led to this?
“Tackling complexity” has taken on a different meaning for me since my early days as a design researcher creating and testing banking apps. I now work as a strategic designer at Paper Giant applying systems thinking and human centred design-led approaches to complex socio-economic challenges. To get to this point I’ve had to change my mindset and really “make friends with complexity”, learning to ‘dwell in the discomfort’ as I try to think and act more systemically as a designer involved in systems change projects.
Through a systems thinking lens, the design terrain is infinitely broader, deeper and more challenging…
Five other realisations also quickly took hold: