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1.1.2 A balancing act: conservation and sustainable development

All around this coast are examples of efortsf to protect or enhance the environment. There are nature reserves, country parks and protected habitats, and the whole coastal fringe is designated as an area of scientific interest requiring special protection. There is also evidence of the need to manage the environment to ensure, so far as possible, compatibility between competing interests. Built development is prevented along the shoreline and restricted to existing settlements; caravan parks
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2.2 Introduction to communication

In Reading 2.1 I identified communication with others as being an important way in which humans learn. Unlike many other animals, we don't have to interact directly with our Author(s): The Open University

1.2 Readings

In considering the environmental and social challenges that we are currently facing, we are clearly dealing with so-called 'wicked' problems: the 'problems' manifest themselves only as you try to engage and change society and the Author(s): The Open University

2.4 Summary of Section 2

  • Thermometers sense temperature. They are transducers providing observable and quantifiable signals in variables other than temperature. Thermometers are calibrated to give numbers in accord with an internationally agreed scale. Various attributes influence the selection of an instrument for a task.

  • Temperature can determine the rate at which certain physical and chemical changes proceed, and whether some changes can occur at all.

  • <
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5.7 Being ethical

As outlined in Table 2, ethics within systemic practice are perceived as operating on multiple levels. Like the systems concept of hierarchy, what we perceive to be good at one level might be bad at another. Because an epistemological position must be chosen, rather than taken as a given, the cho
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4.4 Photographs showing the detail: partly collapsed piers

There were only two piers that showed tiers still standing, piers 1 and 3, next to the south pier still standing (pier 28). They are important because the debris lying on the platforms is much reduced, giving clear views of the platform surface and the state of damage of the upstanding tiers.

Two views are shown of pier 3, a view from pier 2 (Author(s): The Open University

3.8 Reviewing some implications for systems practice

The following anecdote exemplifies one of the main reasons why I think juggling the B ball is important for systems practice. The story relates to two practitioners who were able to connect with the history of organisational complexity ideas. It describes the process they chose to take in response to a highly specific organisational-development tender document couched in traditional ways:

Our first decision was to
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3.2 Being aware of the constraints and possibilities of the observer

It is often claimed that the essence of a systems approach is that of seeing the world in a special way. This immediately prompts the question of what is meant by the phrase ‘seeing the world’. Because we live so intimately with the world of objects, categories and people and phenomena, we tend to think our own way of seeing the world is the only way, or even of thinking, ‘Well that is my view because the world is like that’. Actually, your view is special in several separate ways.
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10 Part 2: 6 Review

In Part 2 of this unit, you have undertaken a major piece of work. In encountering the case study you were engaging with a set of events, issues, actors, stakeholders and intentions that was, by any standards, complex. In addition, you brought your own complexity to it, your own stakeholdings and understandings, your own reactions and feelings.

You used systems diagrams to structure the complexity you encountered in the case study. That then structured and clarified the situation in way
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2.5 Review

The title of this unit could have been Juggling with complexity: searching for system. This title seemed to capture something essential about the unit. Juggling is a rich metaphor and will be used explicitly in Part 3. But it also carries the idea of a skill that needs to be practised and that might seem incredibly awkward to begin with. You may find this idea helpful as you review your work in Part 1. Juggling is also a skill that, once practised, becomes second nature. This too may b
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2.2 The nature of systems thinking and systems practice

There are no simple definitions for either systems thinking or systems practice. It's difficult to find definitions that capture all the perspectives that the ideas carry for people who think of themselves as systems thinkers and systems practitioners. Most systems practitioners seem to experience the same kind of difficulty in explaining what they do or what it means to be systemic in their thinking. Through experience I've developed some criteria by which I characterise systems thinking, bu
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17 Part 3: 1 Overcoming obstacles to innovation

You can experience this free course as it was originally designed on OpenLearn, the home of free learning from The Open University: Author(s): The Open University

4.4 What was innovative about the telephone?

The most obvious innovative aspect was that speech was being transmitted, so in principle anyone could use a telephone for communication. The use of the telegraph required skilled operatives. A message had to be translated into the dots and dashes of Morse code and transmitted using a single keypad making and breaking the connection in an electrical circuit. At the other end of the wire another Morse operator translated the received clicks into the words of the message. With the telephone no
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9.1 User trip

This section introduces a simple method of investigating product use. Even such simple methods can provide useful information to guide product redesign and new product development.

The essential idea of user trips is simple: you just take a ‘trip’ through the whole process of using a particular product or system, making yourself a critical observant user.

The only way to learn how to make these user trips is to try one or two for yourself. You will be surprised how much you fi
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Introducing philosophy
Ever wondered what it would be like to study philosophy? This free course, Introducing philosophy, will introduce you to the teaching methods employed and the types of activities and assignments you would be asked to undertake should you wish to study philosophy and the human situation. First published on Mon, 01 Jul 2019 as Author(s): Creator not set

Art in Renaissance Venice
This free course, Art in Renaissance Venice, considers the art of Renaissance Venice and how such art was determined in many ways by the city's geographical location and ethnically diverse population. Studying Venice and its art offers a challenge to the conventional notion of Renaissance art as an entirely Italian phenomenon. First published on Fri, 02 Aug 2019 as <
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Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see http://www.open.ac.uk/conditions terms and conditions), this content is made available under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2

7.4 Religion: true or false?

I noted earlier that differences between the truth claims made by religions has led those who practise Religious Studies to avoid premature judgements when dealing with questions relating to the truth and value of particular religions. By seeming to by-pass truth claims, you may feel that what I have been describing as Religious Studies avoids what many would regard as the purpose of religion – to deal in truths. This is a difficult area to cover briefly, but let me at least try to explain
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5.2 The ‘answer’ in your dictionary

Exercise 9

Please now look at the definition of ‘religion’ given in a dictionary. We have used the Concise Oxford Dictionary definition for this exercise.

  1. Do you think that the
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7 Matching form and purpose

Now let us look at war memorials themselves. We have already agreed that their form takes a shape that we think appropriate. The question to ask is: Why do we think that one building, one shape, is more appropriate than another?

Exercise 7


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6 Personal response to a memorial

But, you may be thinking, all our agreement up to now has shown that these perceptions and assumptions come from a common understanding of the appropriate form and meaning of a war memorial. Where, might you ask, does personal response come in? Are we not individuals who have different ways of looking at artefacts and of deciding what – if anything – they mean? This question opens up a big area of discussion, one which will be taken up many times later.

Clearly, as individuals, we m
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