Thriving in a World of Complexity – using Living Systems Thinking

In this workshop we will question long held assumptions and knowledge about how we make things happen in complex environments, communities and organisations where things are seldom black and white.  That will involve us better understanding the nature of complexity itself, its networks, dynamics, ambiguities, patterns and how the new emerges within in it.   In this domain we need to be prepared to replace our simple and complicated “problem solving” and “change management” processes with more effective ways involving networks,  inter-dependence,  win-win alliances and telling new stories that lead us towards the long term outcomes we all seek – far beyond just today’s sustainability practices.

Living Systems Thinking is about taking lessons from nature and applying them (sometimes called Biomimicry).   The Tipu Ake ki te Ora Organic Leadership model (, the Cynefin Framework, a range of other participative exercises and fun will be used to help us do that.    Its all about growing team behaviours and organic  leadership that can exploit our collective wisdom and co-creative power.

Andree Mathieu and Peter Goldsbury – Educator, University of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada and Learning Facilitator, Strategic Expertise Ltd, NZ

Biophilia — Mike Dickison

Edward O. Wilson

Edward O. Wilson, a Harvard University entomologist, coined the term "biophilia", referring to humans' "love of living things" - our innate affinity with nature. Wilson describes biophilia as the "innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes."

Debate for and against the idea of biophilia and their implications can be seen in publications such as The Biophilia Hypothesis - A collection of invited papers supporting & refuting the biophilia hypothesis - edited by Kellert & Wilson

I’m interested in exploring the universality and common basis of our relationship with the environment. In particular, how do we reconcile our universal biophilia with the destructive effect we have on the natural world? I’m also interested in challenging idealised Western representations of indigenous peoples worldwide as ecological caretakers, and exploring how we can move beyond these simplistic binary oppositions to develop an environmental ethic for the 21st century.

Mike Dickison – My PhD training is in evolutionary biology, specialising in evolution of flightless birds, and the global history of extinction in general. I’ve also worked as a graphic designer and teach visual thinking techniques to scientists. PhD 2007 Duke University: The Allometry of Giant Flightless Birds. Currently employed as a learning advisor at the University of Canterbury. Commentary on science, matuaranga Maori, and the natural environment (in press) Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand

Toothbrushes of Perception

Mr. Blue Bristlebot

Mike Paulin Associate Professor of Zoology at Otago University will talk about the beginings of perception and the evolution of the first animals and nervous systems over 500 million years ago, relating this to emergent behaviour in simple robots. He is joined by robotics educator Andrew Hornblow to lead a bristlebot workshop where you can learn how to create a small fast moving robot. Suitable for children, youth and adults. Material fees to be announced. With thanks to
Previous Toothbrushes of Perception workshop at Greenbench

Part of the Open Workshop Day at Owae Marae in Waitara on Sunday 16th January. Start time 9am.

Call – Interpolar Pathways

:  an interdisciplinary evening of presentations on Arctic and Antarctic research

We invite participation in a discussion evening event exploring interdisciplinary and cross-cultural links between Arctic and Antarctic research.

The discussion will form part of the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens symposium to be held at Owae Marae (Waitara, Taranaki, NZ). Presenters are welcomed to physically attend the symposium, or can present remotely.

Format — Remote and on-site 10–15 minute presentations (pre-recorded version requested)
When — January 15, 2011, 6pm New Zealand time (7am Finland time / 9pm, Jan 14th, PST)
Where — On-site: Owae Marae, Waitara, Taranaki. Remote: skype preferred, please discuss other.

Topics—The session aims to create dialogue between artists and scientists whose work has a focus on polar regions: to highlight the commonalities, differences and interrelatedness of their research and practices, and encourage unsuspected insights.

Presentations could encompass:

  • Global climate change, pollution, and ecosystems
  • Pathways between Arctic and Antarctic: e.g. global migrations, meteorology, food chains
  • What the poles represent to others: scientifically, politically, philosophically
  • Representation of the Arctic and the Antarctic: indigenous peoples, governments, NGOs, UN
  • People and the landscape

Proposal Contacts:
Please email us at:, with a proposal title and a few sentences to describe your interest in joining the dialogue of presentations.

Required by December 15th
in order to ensure appropriate presentation arrangements.

Project Partners:

  • Ars Bioarctica, Finnish biological arts organization,
  • Ramon Guardans, scientist/artist studying persistent organic pollutants,
  • Intercreate, the organisers of New Zealand’s SCANZ 2011 event,

Further information:

  • SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens event —
  • Ars Bioarctica —

Please forward as appropriate.


It takes many people to make an interesting, welcoming and thought-full symposium or public event to happen!

We would both welcome and wholeheartedly appreciate the help from local people or others who might be interested to get in the mix of this symposium and residency in some way.

Herebelow are some of the areas where we will really need some assistance in order to make the whole event run smoothly. Below that are the specific areas/roles where we are able to offer a discount on symposium fees.

Please do email us if any of these sound like you, or to go onto a list of people to contact as needs present themselves.


  • publicity wand wielders (online, needed pre-event/now)
  • social media network weavers (online, needed pre-event/now)
  • writers/media, journalists (online or print, needed pre-event/now)
  • pre-arrival enquiry helpers (by email, needed pre-event/jan)
  • car-pooling & transport connectors (online tools, needed pre-event/jan)
  • welcome package wizards (needed pre-event/jan)
  • registration desk charmers
  • presenter technical supporters
  • video journalists/documentors/creators
  • tea & coffee table minders
  • kitchen hands & corralers
  • workshop materials wranglers
  • cleaning/laundry orchestrator


  • publicity wand wielders (online, needed pre-event/now)
  • social media network weavers (online, needed pre-event/now)
  • writers/media, journalists (online or print, needed pre-event/now)
  • car-pooling & transport connector (online tools, needed pre-event/jan)
  • local city guides (The residency participants will have bikes.)
  • local people connectors (needed pre-event/jan)
  • welcome package wizards (needed pre-event/jan)
  • artist event support
  • van drivers
  • food organisers/corralers/inspirers
  • friendly faces!

… and many more we are sure!


Symposium Discounts

Until we get over a certain number of people to the symposium, we can’t give a huge or full discount to volunteers, but can at minimum provide that elusive ‘free lunch’, bringing a day visitor pass down to $45.

If you are not local to the event, here are some ideas for ways to get your marae accommodation covered ($56), in addition to the free lunch ($15) for volunteering:

  • be the car-pooling transport co-ordinator for a major city (online tools)
  • get networking and get 3 or more people along (full registrants or presenters, and ask them to state how they heard on the registration form).
  • network with food producers/sellers, to secure & organise food donations
  • be a van driver (must be mobile phone/textable)
  • be a presentation support technician (must know your way around computers, file formats, and presentation gear)
  • be a kitchen sous-chef (second in chain of command)
  • find and bring a portable cob oven (need to know by Dec 14)
  • Your suggestion here

So do get in touch with us as above if interested. Your input and ideas will be most welcome.

Pollinator Frocks Project – Karen Ingham

The Pollinator Frocks Project involves members of the public, garden lovers, and bees, butterflies, moths, flowers and plants. Frocks treated to attract pollinating insects are taken on walkabout around the city, parks and surrounds, and hung in Pukekura Park at night.


You are invited to participate:

Karen’s dresses will also be a part of the Festival of Lights events. Come and meet the artist and see her dresses on the below the dates. You might also spot her dresses hanging in the trees along the Festival of Lights walkway at night from 24-28 January.

Daywear for Butterflies

Daywear for Butterflies

Tuesday 18,  Thursday 20, Saturday 22 – 1pm – Meet at the Band Rotunda
If you see a lady covered in butterflies at the festival that will be Karen Ingham in her ‘Daywear for Butterflies’. Come and meet her and ask her about her dresses which are made to attract insects.

Evening wear for Moths

Tuesday 25,  Friday 28 – 8pm – Meet at the Band Rotunda
If you see a lady covered in moths at the festival that will be Karen Ingham in her ‘Evening wear for Moths’. Come and meet her and ask her about her dresses which are made to attract insects.

Fabric design 'Morning Glory, Blue Adonis and Southern Damselfly'

Karen Ingham is an artist, writer, and curator, and a Reader in Art and Science Interactions at Swansea Metropolitan University in the UK. She was born in England but now lives and works in Wales where she was awarded a PhD in 2006 with research into historical and contemporary arts and science collaborations in the anatomical theatre. She is the founder of the science, art and technology network SATnet and in 2009 and she was awarded a Major Creative Wales Arts Prize to develop new ideas around transience, synthesis and sustainability. Her work is internationally exhibited and disseminated and has been shown at the ICA London, the Berlin and Edinburgh Film Festivals, the Enter3 Festival Prague and The National Museum and Gallery of Wales amongst other venues.

Event Venues

Symposium Venue – Owae Marae

Address: 16 North St, 4320, Waitara, New Zealand
View SCANZ – Owae Marae in a larger map

The SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens symposium is being held as a hui at Owae Marae. Therefore the event is organised as an all-pitch-in arrangement, where we everyone will be helping out with making our own meals together, and sleeping in the shared space of the large wharenui (central meeting house) together, as is customary.


Exhibition In-progress Venue – 109 Devon Street West, New Plymouth

Address: 109 Devon Street West, New Plymouth, New Zealand

A number of the SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens creative residency projects will in development during the residency period of two weeks, in the public space of 109 Devon Street West. All are welcome to come by and talk with the artists and discuss their projects.


Festival of Lights

Pukekura Park as a Residency Project Venue
A botanical park and garden in central New Plymouth, which is being outfitted with wifi mesh and other implementations that artists and other groups will be able to activate. This is also where the Festival of Lights event is held, of which some of you will be involved. Our meeting point for our events within the Park will be at the Band Rotunda.

Festival of Lights

Friends of Pukekura Park: About the Park

Artist Talks

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Public Events such as Artist Talks
40 Queen Street, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Phone: +64-6 759 6060 |
Opening hours – 10.00am—5.00pm daily (Closed Christmas Day)

Sustainable Education Projects

Puke Ariki
‘What If?’ exhibition and 60 Springs sustainability education project
1 Ariki Street, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (6) 759 6060 |
Opening Hours – M, T, Th, Fr – 9.00am—6.00pm
Late night Wednesday – 9.00am—9.00pm
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays – 9.00am—5.00pm

Other Accommodation

Accommodation on Bell

Please note that if you are in need of accommodation on the 13th due to the early start on the 14th, we recommend Accommodation on Bell. This is also the main residency accommodation for the two weeks following the symposium, and is central to New Plymouth, on the WITT polytechnic campus.

Each of the rooms contain:
* Double or twin single beds
* En-suite toilet/shower
* TV
* Fridge
* Desk or table
* Tea & coffee making facilities
* Bed linen, towels & toiletries
* Telephone and internet connections

Those at Bell have offered the same fantastic rate for those coming for this event, as they have given us for the residency. For those needing to make bookings, the prices and booking contacts are below.

$200 per week
$50 per night

A big thank you to Accommodation on Bell – ♥ – we are very appreciative of this offer.

They can also arrange for airport shuttles to take you between the airport and their premises ($10 per person, per way).

Phone: (06) 968-3002
Physical: The lower entrance is via Hendrie Street
View Larger Map

Other New Plymouth Accommodations

To find accommodation elsewhere in New Plymouth, please see:

Open Call – 2011 Hui/Symposium

SCANZ 2011: Eco sapiens — Hui/Symposium Presentations

Dates: 14-16th of January, 2011
Location: Owae Marae, Waitara, Taranaki

An interdisciplinary discussion on the future of human evolution. How can we re-imagine our relationship with nature?

We invite short presentations from artists, scientists, and cultural commentators on the topics below:


Perspectives on a Species

Scientific, cultural and historical worldviews on energy, ecology and ourselves.
Examples: scales & systems of the universe, human-scale vs geological time perception, evolutionary biology and the human animal, biodiversity, environmental psychology and cultural heritages.


Ecoliteracy & Cultural Adaptation

Adaptive processes and nurturing an ecological literacy and awareness.
Examples: language, novelty and neurology in adaptive processes, sensorial information and learning, food nurturing and nutrition. Citizen science, wonder and imagination. Ideas on the interrelatedness of global systems, complexity and systems thinking.


Rethinking ‘Resources’

Energy and worldviews, ecology and economics, related historical and current views water, soil and land use. Food production/distribution politics.
Examples: co-beneficial relationships. Developing long-term views. Energy, information structures and value systems. Ecoservices and ecological economics. Sustainable consumption and food security and related issues.


Hui/Symposium Overview:


Submit a Presentation Proposal:

December 14, 2010
(please note date update)
Earlier indications/questions are most welcomed.

Enquiries to:

Intercreate is a non-profit, project-based research centre which consists of an international network of people interested in interdisciplinary creativity.


Any sharing with your networks of others who might be interested will be very much appreciated.



Your thoughts, questions, suggestions and ideas are welcomed, so if easier, please don’t hestitate to send us a quick email at: i n f o @ i n t e r c r e a t e . o r g.