Participatory Design and the Heart of the Process

Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)


Definitions that are owned and that reflect the needs across interest groups can form the basis of conversations and practice that ‘have radiance’ (Churchman 1979a, b, 1971) and power to transform. Radiance is the difference between meanings that flow from self-confidence and a sense of dignity and identity, to meanings that are imposed. Values are at the heart of the definition of spiritual well-being and what constitutes development. Unless the initial definitions are owned by specific interest groups and shared to develop a co-created sense of citizenship rights and responsibilities then the process is meaningless and without resonance or radiance. Harmonious meaning is the goal of ethical systemic thinking and practice. By unfolding and sweeping in many considerations, it is more likely that ethical outcomes can be achieved. Systems thinking resonates with traditional and advanced forms of complex thinking that holds in mind multiple variables and the relationships across the researcher and the researched.


Indigenous People Participatory Action Research Participatory Design Housing Association Life Chance 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Flinders Institute of Public Policy and ManagementFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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