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Monday, July 25 • 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Leadership Practices for Thrivability of Complex Social Systems: Three Stories

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2792 The authors compare three collaborative action research projects aimed at generative systems change. The goal of the article is to reflect on the dialogic methodologies they employed, the impacts and outcomes experienced by the participants as leaders and innovators of systemic change, and the evolution of the authors’ own practices as facilitators and catalysts of change. Wilson reflects on a three-year action research project in peri-urban Mexico on sustainable community development. Focusing on the emergent edge of the evolving system of local-state relationships, she recounts the changing attitudes, emotions, and behaviors of the public sector professionals and local community leaders engaged in the project. Wilson reflects on the sense of vulnerability and insecurity raised by the dialogic methodology she used, and the impact on her own practice and sense of self in the presence of these tensions. Bush explores a year of engagement within two urban systems within Asheville NC: public housing and community schools. Using distributed ethnography, he follows public housing's resident leadership’s efforts at self-organizing governance and an Ashoka Change-Maker School’s experience in spreading its educational approach. Offering propositions about leadership for resilience in urban systems, he reflects on the challenges to and evolution of self-awareness for individuals, organizations, systems, and himself as a practitioner-researcher. Walsh reflects on her praxis in regenerative development from 2006 to 2015 in the context of environmental gentrification in a neighborhood in Austin, Texas. To become an instrument of critical, creative, and collaborative change, she developed and fostered regenerative dialogue for green home repair and a community food forest. Walsh reflects on the ways this approach supported her and the residents in harnessing the generative potential of social conflict and vulnerability. The comparative analysis of the three stories concludes with propositions for leadership practices that foster thrivability in complex social systems. 1. Banzhaf, H. S., & McCormick, E. (2006). Moving Beyond Cleanup: Identifying the Crucibles of Environmental Gentrification. SSRN eLibrary. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=990074 2. Harvey, D. (2008). The Right to the City. New Left Review, (53), 23–40. 3. Hazy, J. & Uhl-Bien, M. (2015). Towards operationalizing complexity leadership: How generative, administrative and community-building leadership practices enact organizational outcomes. Leadership Vol. 11(1) 79–104 DOI: 10.1177/1742715013511483 4. Snowden, David (2002). Complex Acts of Knowing: paradox and descriptive self-awareness. Journal of Knowledge Management. Volume 6 . Number 2. 2002 . pp. 100±111 DOI: 10.1108/13673270210424639 Keywords: social systems design, leadership, thrivability, urban systems, generative dialogue


Dennis Finlayson

Retired, dennisfinlayson56@yahoo.com
ISSS Retired

Monday July 25, 2016 4:00pm - 4:30pm
ECCR 265

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