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IFTF Foresight Talks: Steering Change in a Whitewater World: Working with Wicked Problems
We are now living in a whitewater world that is hyperconnected, rapidly changing, and radically contingent. In Design Unbound (MIT Press, 2018), Ann Pendleton-Julian and John Seely Brown argue that a new approach is needed to address the complex and entangled challenges that are increasingly common in this dynamic world. They describe a new mindset, based on understanding complex systems from an ecological perspective, and introduce a new set of tools to respond to these challenges.
In particular, they call for harnessing the power of a pragmatic imagination that engages a full range of mental activities to discover radically new solutions. Among the specific design tools they describe is the practice of “world building” that can be used to guide the development of transformational solutions to seemingly intractable (wicked) problems.

Useful links

•Design Unbound: www.desunbound.com

•The Pragmatic Imagination: www.pragmaticimagination.com

•Mapping the Pragmatic Imagination: An Interview with Ann M. Pendleton-Julian: http://henryjenkins.org/blog/2016/11/mapping-the-pragmatic-imagination-an-interview-with-ann-m-pendleton-julian-part-1.html

•John Seely Brown’s website www.johnseelybrown.com

Aug 20, 2020 09:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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John Seely Brown
John Seely Brown is the former Chief Scientist at Xerox and Director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). He is currently independent co-chair of the Deloitte Center for the Edge and advisor to the Provost at USC. He is the co-author of Design Unbound, The Social Life of Information and A New Culture of Learning. He holds 11 honorary degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Ann Pendleton-Julian
Ann Pendleton-Julian is an architect, writer and educator. She is Professor and former director at the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Design at the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy. Previously, she was a professor of architecture at MIT. She is the co-author of Design Unbound and has an expanded practice that architects transformational change in organizations of diverse types.