Systems Thinking for Bottom-Up Social Innovation: An Examination of Social Practices


  • Harah Chon LASALLE College of the Arts


The principles of sustainability and social design have been widely adopted to develop new models of community practice, engagement and innovation. Considering the growing interest of social practices and sustainable models, systems thinking provides an opportunity to further frame and organise various design activities to develop a deeper understanding of the spaces of impact through social innovation. This paper examines the practices of existing social enterprise models and the complexities involved in implementing new structures for community involvement through co-creation, co-design and facilitation. Cybernetics, as a way of looking at and engaging with systems, is discussed to position the role of the designer. Using mapping as a visualisation tool and conversational activity, case-studies are evaluated to provide a broad framework of bottom-up systems thinking through participatory methods to enhance social and cultural values.






Relating Systems Thinking and Design: Systemic Design and co-creation processes for territorial enhancement