PatternDynamics™ is based on 3 simple ideas:
Complex natural systems exhibit consistent general patterns of organisation that have allowed them to persist and thrive for many hundreds of millions of years. These ‘patterns of organisation’ provide us with design templates that illustrate how complex dynamics systems work. Natural patterns are like ‘keys’ that help us unlock the mysteries of working with whole systems. As such, they provide us with principles we can rely on to guide us in the creation and design of sustainable futures.
Language–the system of symbols we use to communicate– has a powerful role is shaping what we actually see. In each historical age people have developed symbols that help them to see, communicate about, and act on the things that are important for their collective survival and prosperity. What has become clear with regard to complex sustainability challenges is that we do not have effective languages for seeing the ‘whole system’.
Our current spoken, written and mathematical languages are excellent for analyzing the nature of ‘parts’, but they are not optimized for helping us see how these parts are connected and organized as ‘wholes’. By combining the patterns of nature with the power of language, PatternDynamics™ creates a Sustainability Pattern Language–a language of wholistic symbols designed to help us develop the systems thinking capacity needed to meet the complex challenges of creating a sustainable planetary civilization.
Blog Post Radiolab: Words- an online radio program on the power of language to shape what we see.