David Ing


Since 2017, the term "systems change" has emerged in publications of the OECD, United Nations Development Program, and the Social Innovation Exchange. Does this represent a minor variation on systems approaches from the 20th century, or is it a call for a dramatic rethinking ?

"Rethinking Systems Thinking" was the theme of the 2012 meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences. In 2019, the Systems Changes Learning Circle was founded in Toronto, Canada, on an espoused 10-year journey to explore that rethinking. Action learning on methods has involved pilot workshops from 2022, three published journal articles, and another manuscript in final review for 2024.

The rise of interest in systems changes has provoked inquiry into whether systems approaches might be resequenced. An aligning of systems practices, systems theories, and philosophies of science enables rigorous grounding for authentic systems thinking.

Motivated towards developing practices associated with systems changes, sequencing matters. Practising systems changes places when+where ahead of what+why. Theorizing systems changes centers on shifting rhythms, reweaving (con)textures, and repacing propensities. Philosophizing systems changes enters metaphilosophy for a postcolonial science that sweeps in Classical Chinese foundations in yinyang and daojia.

This expert-led session will be in segmented into iterations of presentation, group discussion, and collective reflection.

Session participants will learn about ways that Systems Changes Learning approach is evolving, and the turn towards explaining and mentoring in the latter 5 years of the journey .


David Ing, “Resequencing Systems Thinking: Practising, Theorizing and Philosophizing as Systems Changes Learning” Centre for Systems Studies, University of Hull Expert Led Session, May 13, 2024,



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2024/05 Resequencing Systems Thinking: Practising, Theorizing and Philosophizing as Systems Changes Learning