ECOSYS Homework: How to frame our Problem Inventory?


On Monday 10/12 we had a great chat to finalize our Ground Rules. We’ve agreed work on our “process manual” is not completely closed, but we’ve also determined the basic rules are framed well enough for us to the move forward. The next stage? Framing the problems in our social ecosystems.

The team asked what should be done to prep for our next session. Great question! So here we go:

10/19 Assignment 1. What would an Inventory of Ecosystem Problems look like? Obviously, there is more than one problem in each ecosystem, so they’ll need to form a list. But what would each entry on such a list look like? To help you get started, there are some requirements to keep in mind. We need to minimize confusion and ambiguity; a reasonably informed citizen (as opposed to an expert) must be able to recognize the elements, the context of the problem, and the various possible outcomes. And everyone will need to agree on the way it is framed. It’s a lot harder than it may have seemed. If this task was easy, someone would have done it by now.

If you have thoughts, we’d love to have you post them here as blog comments. You can also pose directional ideas or questions in our tweet stream #ecosys or you can post quick clarifying questions on NING.

We will vet and brainstorm answers in our weekly chats until we have a workable approach for constructing a issues inventory. As always, you’re ECOSYS contributions are appreciated.

If you have a heart for social innovation, you’ve come to the right place.

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One thought on “ECOSYS Homework: How to frame our Problem Inventory?

  1. As discussed at tonight’s 10/19 ECOSYS, I called attention on the high-level problem/solution framing in the earlier ECOSYS Framework post in this thread, namely: http://bit.ly/ecoPM2 ..

    Briefly, the major description entries we’ll want to capture for each issue are:

    1. Ecosystem and Domain Boundaries.
    2. Supervising Jurisdictions.
    3. Problem Statement.
    4. Process Description.
    5. Actors and Behaviors (Desired/Undesired).
    6. Process Model (Picture, as needed).
    7. Process Rules.
    8. Outcomes (Desired/Undesired).
    9. External Context (Inputs/Outputs).

    We’ve agreed these categories might change slightly with usage; current plan is to model our first 1-2 ecosystem issues in this format and make adjustments from there. Capture will be in an excel spreadsheet, saved and posted to web as a PDF.

    Here is our current EDU issues list.

    Please comment if you agree/disagree with our approach, or have questions. Seeing examples should help us move this stage of work along.

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