Thought for the Day 3: What’s your ‘North Star'?

Sensemaking / Thought for the Day 3: What’s your ‘North Star'?

Rather than be guided by a single star, we need to design systems that move with the constellations, says Melissa Sterry.

By Melissa Sterry / 15 May 2017

Sailors and innovators alike often look for the ‘North Star’; a single point of such luminosity that it can guide us and unleash our imaginations.

Did you know that, while Polaris may appear to be a fixed, singular, and static entity, it’s actually a multiple star system made up of three, pulsating stellar bodies? It’s also changed a lot since Ptolemy first observed it in AD2, as it is shedding its mass.

We tell ourselves that the world is made up of single, divisible, static parts, yet it’s not. Even though scientific observations have shown the North Star to be a constellation for ages, it’s easier and more comforting to us to think of it as a single entity.

This works as a metaphor for systems thinking: systems thinkers see and embrace the dynamic constellation, rather than the star. We’re experimenting with how to do that in ways that don’t just wind up getting us lost in complexity.

Further reading:

www.melissasterry.com<https://www.melissasterry.com>

www.bioniccity.co.uk<https://www.bioniccity.co.uk>

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‘Thought for the Day’ is a Living Grid Explorer series where we've asked to members of our community to contribute their first-hand experience or discovery related to the Living Grid. 

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