A Civic Designer’s Guide to Systems-Based Conflict Navigation

Session Details

Conflicts are perpetuated when both parties “collude” to reinforce patterns through a cycle of negative interpretation, narrative building, and reaction. As civic designers, we are trained to zoom out and view the big picture, analyze interactions within complex systems, identify creative opportunities, and rapidly iterate. This session applies a systems-based, civic-design minded approach to conflict navigation. Participants will learn about collusion, bias, and feedback loops, then learn tools to visualize and interrupt cycles, building convergence and transforming conflict on their project teams.

As civic designers, we are tackling some of our communities’ toughest, most intractable challenges. We must care for ourselves and our teams too– so that we can live well and serve sustainably. This session applies a civic designer’s mindset and toolkit to an internal operational question: how do we navigate interpersonal and workplace conflict with curiosity and compassion to enable the cohesion necessary to move our work forward?