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Cameron Norman

Cameron Norman
Cameron Norman is the the Principal of CENSE Research and Design in Toronto, Ontario. He works with health and human services organizations and networks to learn about what they do and design and re-design their offerings to better support their goals and aspirations.

Recent Posts

Systems Thinking About Collective Impact

Posted by Cameron Norman on January 19, 2016

When we seek change the temptation is looking for 'the key' component of a problem or situation that, if changed, is expected to lead to profound transformation. Too frequently these type of solutions fail not because the change to the component is poor, but that the thinking is not aligned to the system that contributes to the problem in the first place and thus, changing thinking is what's actually the key not the designed solution. 

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Social Innovation, Social Justice and Emotion: Connections to Community

Posted by Cameron Norman on April 22, 2015

In a recent webinar exploring six patterns of social innovation, Tamarack Thought-Leader Al Etmanski spoke of his hope for a “resurrection of the ordinary” which he described as “recognizing ordinary people and their extraordinary power.”

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Metaphor as the Sail, Story as the Sea

Posted by Cameron Norman on February 2, 2015

Complexity is, by its very name and nature, a complex phenomenon to understand. Yet, many of the most urgent, challenging problems we face as a species – from climate change to social inequities and inequality through to health system sustainability – sit in the realm of the complex. Thus, if we are to make any positive shift in addressing threatening complex problems we need to be able to engage society in conversations about them and develop strategies to learn and adapt that work with complexity rather than fall into the trap of what Russ Ackoff called ‘doing the wrong thing, righter.’

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Are we acting on failure or just failing to act?

Posted by Cameron Norman on September 28, 2014

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Understanding Complexity and Developmental Evaluation

Posted by Cameron Norman on August 18, 2014

Complexity -- it's everywhere we look. If you're working to engage communities and create meaningful, sustainable change, then you're going to come up against complexity. This becomes even more complicated when you're not only trying to make change, but evaluate your efforts in making change.

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Developmental Evaluation: Questions and Qualities

Posted by Cameron Norman on August 1, 2014

Developmental evaluation, a form of real-time evaluation focused on innovation and complexity, is gaining interest and attention with funders, program developers, and social innovators. Yet, it's popularity is revealing fundamental misunderstandings and misuse of the term that, if left unquestioned, may threaten the advancement of this important approach as a tool to support innovation and resilience. 

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