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Complexity Science DC Workshop
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When: March 28, 2014
8:30am-12:00pm ET
Where: Government Accountability Office
441 G St, NW
Room 2N30
Washington, District of Columbia 
United States
Presenter: Lisa Kimball

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Brought to you by the Mid-Atlantic Facilitators' Network


Complexity science is a rich source of insights about the dynamics and patterns associated with changes we face in organizations and communities. But how can we take these powerful theoretical ideas and use them in our day-to-day practice? A portfolio of interaction designs for engagement called "Liberating structures” enable us to design and facilitate engagements that literally CHANGE THE CONVERSATION about the nature of a problem and possibilities for solutions. Like jazz and improvisation, these methodologies for interaction are made up of simple rule sets that produce and support creativity and make it easy for everyone to be fully engaged.

Take-aways include...

  • Practical applications of ideas from complexity science that have direct implication for our work as designers/facilitators of high engagement events and meetings including self-organization, diffusion of innovation, and rapid cycle change.
  • The principles of interaction design embedded in the idea of methodologies that can be considered "liberating structures.”
  • "How To” for several examples of "liberating structures” that participants can use in their own work.
Speaker Bio:

Lisa Kimball is Executive Producer of Group Jazz, engaging stakeholders in large-scale change efforts in organizations. She pioneered the development of "liberating structures” – a portfolio of interaction methodologies designed to change the conversation about significant challenges. She works with Plexus Institute applying ideas emerging from the science of complexity to problems such as corporate change management initiatives and quality improvement. Recent projects have included developing a senior leadership program for the US Army, working the government of the Yukon Territories on customer service, designing and facilitating large-scale meetings for organizations, and introducing liberating structures methodologies to the Center for Creative Leadership.

Previously, Lisa served on the team that developed the US Senior Executive Service (SES) including the competency based selection, assessment and development framework. She earned her Ph.D. Educational Psychology - Cognition and Learning from The Catholic University of America (awarded with distinction) Dissertation: The Nature of Expertise in Senior Executives; The Role of Systems Thinking. She served on the Board of the Organization Development Network 2006-2011. She is an adjunct faculty member for NTL’s Certificate Program in Organization Development.


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