(an experiment from the March workshop)


What traction could we gain as a group if we focus on a single problem? Can we find a common issue to bring our respective resources to? How do we identify a tipping point?

Notes: https://www.flickr.com/photos/foam/16644580810/, larger image and another image (with post-its)

Experiment design

A pre-experiment investigation to understand what existing approaches have worked, what success factors, tools and motivations are around to create system change.

If system innovation is a set of interventions that come together:

  • is it then possible to co-ordinate a set of disparate interventions (with different theories of change) to deliberately shift a system into a more sustainable state? when are these co-ordinated actions an improvement over individual uncoordinated activities?
  • do levers come together in a way that can add value?
  • what impact could we hope for? How do we measure this?
experiment - system change

full size image

(Expected) Outcome:

  • identified issues and tipping points
  • road map of tools, effects and approaches to use and [timings?] united (reflection on what has/hasn’t worked); mapping of the existing system as it is currently understood; uncovering existing alignments and interpreting the findings
  • possible future experiment for a strategic set of interventions or projects designed/TOC
  • framework/survey for structured reflection
  • visual theory of change
  • low tech and low cost documentation


  • Ideally everyone can be included at different points
  • Allow common evaluation with some kind of format/criteria (look at past experiences to identify components of a behaviour change [poj.?]

1. Horizon scan for tipping points, future opportunities,

  • WG review of information (like-minded or interested people to reflect/draw out [levering?] and opps
  • help uncovering emerging issues

2. Explore overlap of interests and scenarios for action (Venn diagrams of interests)

3. Go/no go check (feasibility)

4. Architect to design and [innovate?]


  • staff time (commission others outside of the group for research)
  • separate meeting
  • buy-in/contributions of learning from others
    • willingness to open up strategies
    • review of potential options to test logic, feasibility, common tipping points and future interest
  • Contributions of knowledge and learning to identify components of behaviour change; case studies, reflection, stories, suggestions, interpretation/analysis
  • Come to group discussion
  • Buy-in to horizon scanning and where [xxx] to intervene
  • Suggestion of others outside of the group
  • Testing the logic
  • MVL: Time, examples, analysis, [Lessons learned?], horizon scanning
  • Nic: My time, reflection on past experiences, horizon scanning, interpretation, experimental project design
  • Andrew Farmer: Horizon scanning, meetings
  • Amy: Time, ideas, experiences, horizon scanning, meeting venue, cake
  • Sue: review of success and what has worked
  • NEF: share our experience, lessons in campaigning, training and movement building
  • SL: Review of lessons learned, horizon scanning [+planning?]
  • Louisa [intelligence?] from outside [around context?]
  • Giles: System [xxx] architecture, [getting up?] hypothesis of what needs to happen when; [Horizon Scanning xxxxxxx → can’t read that whole post-it]; Look at [xxx] [“xxx”] elements from each [initiative?]



  • marine_colab/system_change_experiment.txt
  • Last modified: 2015-04-28 16:34
  • by nik