Critical Systems Thinking Applied to Rural Telecommications Infrastructure Planning -- Theo Andrew, August 5, 2002

46th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), Shanghai, P.R. China, August 2-6, 2002.

Sunday, August 5, 2002, 10:30 a.m., Critical Systems Track

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. These should not be viewed as official transcripts of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. These notes have been contributed by David Ing ( at the IBM Advanced Business Institute ( ).

Durban Institute of Technology, South Africa

Ericsson, Telecomm

Background as engineer, moving towards soft systems thinking.

Goal of the project, to the funders:


Why do we need hard systems, and soft systems, and then critical system thinking to resolve issues left in the other two.

Telecomm originally seen as the rural infrastructure project -- according to the ITU specifications.


Set of seven principles in a framework.

Why critical systems thinking?

After thought CST appropriate, needed to select an approach.

Looked at interactive planning from a different angle:

Planning and Design:

Formulation of Mess:

Ends planning:


Quantification of the current situation

How was mess transformed into the desired state?


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