Concept Papers

Based on input received from participants through interviews and responses to written questions, a broad range of opportunities to learn from each other has emerged.  In the spirit of sharing and being prepared to use the Lab as a springboard for new thinking and action, participants have prepared a range of brief concept papers.  Concept Papers have been grouped into four (4) categories as listed below.  In addition to the concept papers, a series of working definitions of various complexity science constructs have also been prepared to support discussions.

Thank you to those who have shared their work through concept papers.

Key Construct Working Definitions and Complex Systems Graphics/Figures

Please click here for a PDF of key construct working definitions and complex systems graphics.

Concept Papers Part I: Complex Dynamical Systems: Theory, Metaphors, Models & Mathematics

Papers in this group include the following.  Please click here for a PDF of concept papers included in this group.

1.  A Dynamical Systems Model of Intractable Conflict by Peter T. Coleman
2.  The SAT Model and Participatory Systems Practice by Rob Ricigliano
3.  Systemic Action Research by Danny Burns
4.  CDE and Self-Organization of Human Systems by Glenda H. Eoyang
5.  Adaptive Action by Glenda H. Eoyang
6.  Scientific Collaboration: Sustaining Productive Conflict by Howard Gadlin
7.  Critical Realism by Armando Geller
8.  Regulatory mechanisms and social network structures for sustainable peace by Ryszard Praszkier
9.  Understanding Human Conflict through Dynamic Network Theory: A Synopsis by James D. Westaby and Nicholas Redding

Concept Papers Part II:  New Research and Research Methods

Papers in this group include the following.  Please click here for a PDF of concept papers included in this group.

1.  Concepts and tools for unraveling latent attractor dynamics by Lan Bui-Wrzosinska
2.  Multiagent models, foresight and data collection by Armando Geller
3.  Action Identification Research by Jay L. Michaels
4.  Difficult Conversations Lab (DCL) Data Collection and New Analysis (Abstract) by Levent Kurt, Katharina G. Kugler, Peter T. Coleman and Larry S. Leibovitch
5.  Research on Shifts between Agreement and Disagreements by Jay L. Michaels
6.  Identifying Attractors in Time Series Data by Jay L. Michaels
7.  Mathematical Modeling:  Cooperation-Competition submitted by Larry Liebovitch
8.  Outcome Harvesting by Ricardo Wilson-Grau
9.  Action Evaluation by Jay Rothman

Concept Papers Part III:  Applications: Addressing Realities on the Ground

Papers in this group include the following.  Please click here for a PDF (v2*, 7/4/2013) of concept papers included in this group.

1.  Guidelines for Navigating Intractable Attractor Landscapes by Peter Coleman
2.  Transforming Dynamic Conflict Systems by Richard Smith
3.  Lessons from military operational design by Orit Gal
4.  Analyzing Opposition Systems and Spoilers by Orit Gal
5.  Acupuncture approaches to conflict transformation by Orit Gal
6.  Gaming and Futures in Policy Organizations by Karen Grattan
7.  Multi-Level Concept Mapping Using PowerPoint, Prezi, and Websites by Guy and Heidi Burgess
8.  DST Systems Mapping for Planning and Action by Stephen Gray and Josephine Roos
9.  *Peace Through Metal:  A Case Study of Latent Attractors in the Middle East by Roi Ben-Yehuda and Lan Bui-Wrzosinska

Concept Papers Part IV:  Meta-Process Issues

Papers in this group include the following.  Please click here for a PDF of concept papers included in this group.

1.  Engaging decision makers and stakeholders: from complexity theory to concrete action by Joshua Fisher
2.  Adaptive Conflict Learning Accelerator by Guy and Heidi Burgess

Additional Concept papers:

Multi-level Conflict Mapping Using PowerPoint, Prezi, and Websites by Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess (Updated version includes links to conflict maps; posted July 12, 2013)

Avoidance of Conflict over Range Land in Afghanistan by J. David Stanfield (posted

Complexity and Optimality: Using Data from the Mouse Paradigm by Kugler and Coleman

Lab Preparation

As articulated in Peter Coleman’s email of May 29, 2013, to prepare for the Innovation Lab, we ask each participant to complete two tasks before the Lab convenes in July:

1. The first task is to learn about the work of others who will be participating at the Lab. Our thirty-plus participants will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, and so we ask each of you to become as familiar as possible with the work of fellow participants. The pre-reading book list has been included in prior emails and can be found on the Innovation Lab Web site at the Books and Articles tab.  We recommend that you review the readings and concept notes with the specific goal of identifying a set of fundamental principles and practices of complex systems approaches to understanding social change.

2. The second task is to reflect on how your learning about others’ work affects how you think about the dynamics of peace and conflict. Each of us will bring our own complex systems approaches and frames for approaching our work in conflict and peace. When reviewing the pre-session materials, we ask that you consider the following questions:

  • What are similar principles and practices between your work and that of others? What are critical distinctions?
  • What components do you believe are critical to your success and that of others?
  • What do you see as fundamental principles of complex systems approaches for understanding social change?
  • What are the implications of other’s work for your own models and practices?

We hope you share our excitement for the opportunities the week brings for engagement, innovation and further exploration of the vital work we do.

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