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Here is the CFA from the Systemic Design Research Network (SDRN) at



We’re opening responses for participation in RSD5, the 5th Symposium of Relating Systems Thinking and Design,October 13-15, 2016 at OCAD University, Toronto, Canada.

The theme for the 2016 symposium is Systemic Design for Social Complexity, which calls for design methodologies informed by research and real applications to address problems in the unbounded complexity of social systems.  Systemic design addresses social complexity at multiple levels of interaction: Sociotechnical work practices and technology, Complex service design and integration, Organizational design and management, and Social system and policy design.

The 2016 theme calls for “completing” research and fruitful case studies that share results and impacts with the RSD community.  Across all topic areas, we are dealing with design problems for both emergence (uncertain future evolution) where “change unfolds” and governance (design, evaluation and control in complex systems) where change is intentionally designed. Systemic design aims to integrate across methods and theories of change.

We are interested in studies and projects that bridge differing epistemic and methodological commitments (as found in healthcare), rigorously adapting from system theories and design methods (as in system model mapping), and across sociotechnical and ecological approaches to systems.

The RSD5 call for participation requests an extended abstract that expresses your proposal to share original research, case studies, panel sessions/dialogues, posters and workshops. Ten research challenge areas are encouraged within the social complexity theme:

•                     Democracy, Policy Design and Modes of Governance
•                     Public Services Design and Civic Innovation
•                     Sustainability and Socio-ecological Policy
•                     Built Environment and Design of Settlements
•                     Capacity Building and Resilient International Development
•                     Systemic Business and Organizational Design
•                     Social System Design and Transition Design
•                     Service Design, Healthcare System Design                      
•                     Design for Complex Sociotechnical Systems
•                     Theories and Methods of Systemic Design

As proceedings from prior RSD symposia show, not all topics may be represented in the final conference. We will design the final presentation tracks “emergently” based on the papers selected from the review process.

Abstracts should be no more than 1000 words, listing all authors and affiliations, and summarizing the research or a case project proposed for presentation. Inclusion of key images is encouraged. Please provide references for all citations (APA format).

Reviews are conducted by two independent reviewers experienced in peer review and the RSD symposia, following the criteria of: Fit to themes, Significance, Originality, Balance or depth of design and systemics, and Maturity (readiness for presentation).  Accepted abstracts will be asked to give a 20 minute presentation at the symposium. Papers not accepted for the main paper tracks may be asked to consider a Poster, or if appropriate, a Dialogue session. Please see the RSD5 website for guidelines on the symposium presentations and formats for presentation and discussion.

The schedule for abstracts and reviews is as follows:

April 24                 Abstracts due (submit via EasyChair)
May 30                 Reviews and responses to authors
June 11                 Posters, Dialogues and Workshops due
June 27                 Final selection responses

All selected papers will be presented at the symposium, where we invite participants to engage with authors with questions and feedback that might contribute to general learning and application. Presenting authors will be asked to provide a public version of their presentation for the RSD5 proceedings immediately following the conference and a proceedings paper (3000-5000 words) by Dec 3, 2016.

As in prior RSD symposia, several key papers will be invited by the program committee to submit a full paper for publication in a special issue in FORMakademisk, the Norwegian design research journal. Other publishing opportunities may be available as well for papers in certain topic areas or significance.

Please contact me or another member of the program committee if you have questions.  We hope to see in Toronto this October!

RSD5 Program Committee
Peter Jones – Lead Chair, OCAD University
Silvia Barbero – 2016 Chair, Politecnico di Torino
Alex Ryan – 2015 Chair, Alberta CoLab
Birger Sevaldson – 2012–2014 Chair, Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Jerry Koh,  MaRS Solutions Lab, Toronto

RSD4 Banff

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 The RSD4 Symposium was a great success, with brilliant keynotes and many interesting workshops and presentation. The proceedings will be published in a while on

Thanks to Alex Ryan, the local chair who made it all happen.

Thanks to the goverment of Alberta for support and participating and to AHO for support.


 banff 2

The Banff Center is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the Banff National Park. The first night we could not enter the hotel lobby because a black bear tried to check in!


banff 3

 The atmosphere and dialogue was the same good one as at former RSD symposia.

Dont miss out on RSD5 which will be in Toronto at OCADU in the fall next year!

Read more about the RSD symposia, the Systemic Design Research Network and former proceedings, publications and links on Systemic Design here >>>>>

RSD4 program online

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 The program for RSD4 is now online

Check it out for the full three days. 


Register online to RSD4 the fourth Relating Systemsthinking and Design Symposium at
See the whole program online now.
Keynote speakers:

•Mugendi M’Rithaa, Cape Peninsula University of Technology. South Africa
•Don Norman, University of California, San Diego, US
•Lia Patrício, University of Porto, Portugal
•Ann Pendleton-Jullian, The Ohio State University and Georgetown University, US
•Ursula Tischner, Agency for Sustainable Design, Cologne, Germany

Registration for the 3 day event costs CAD $240

See you in Banff

RSD4 Registration is now open

 The registration to the fourth Relating Systems Thinking and Design symposium has recently opened. Don’t miss out on this event taking place in Banff, Alberta, Canada in the beginning of September.


We have confirmed 5 extraordinary keynote speakers over the three day event: 



    • Mugendi M’Rithaa, Cape Peninsula University of Technology. South Africa


    • Don Norman, University of California, San Diego, US


    • Lia Patrício, University of Porto, Portugal


    • Ann Pendleton-Jullian, The Ohio State University and Georgetown University, US


    • Ursula Tischner, Agency for Sustainable Design, Cologne, Germany




Go to to find out more and to register

RSD4 CFA deadline extension!

The Call for Abstracts to the 2015 RSD4 symposium is extended to 12. April.

Still 10 days to go! Don't hesitate, join us in Banff the amazing Canadian Rocky Mountains in early September.

This is a low thershold entry, you need only to submit an abstract.

To see the theme and call for abstracts and read more details go to:


Here a little teaser from RSD3. It was marvelous and I think the next will be too!

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