Difference between revisions of "Adaptive Cycle"

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Latest revision as of 13:16, 26 March 2020

Description

Daniel Christian Wahl:

"The adaptive cycle is a model of natural patterns of change in ecosystems and eco-social systems. It consists of four distinct phases: ‘growth or exploitation’ (r); ‘conservation’ (K) of established patterns and resource distribution; ‘collapse or release’ (Ω); and reorganization (α). The adaptive cycle (see Figure 8) is often drawn like an infinity symbol or Möbius loop that joins these four phases.


The journey from exploitation (growth in the diagram above) to conservation is referred to as the ‘fore-loop’ (blue and green part of the loop). It describes the slow and often longer phase of growth and accumulation of resources in the system. Eventually, too much rigid structure, fixed connections and accumulation of resources in the system make it brittle and poised for release or collapse.

The transition from release to reorganization is referred to as the ‘back-loop’ of the adaptive cycle (red and orange part of the loop). This phase is often fast moving and relatively short. In this phase the opportunity for redesign, reorganization and renewal is high, due to the release of rigid structures, established patterns and the redistribution of resources throughout the system. In the adaptive cycle, the creative ‘edge of chaos’ is reached during the beginning of the ‘release’ phase and left at the end of the ‘reorganization’ phase.

During the α-phase the opportunities for and likelihood of creative change is highest. In the r-phase these opportunities for change are tested against each other and one or a few innovations begin to define the characteristics of the transformed system. This structure is conserved and then begins itself to rigidify during the K-phase, until the often rapid and sometimes catastrophic release (collapse) in the Ω-phase takes us back to the creative ‘edge of chaos’ conditions. This offers renewed opportunities for reorganization in a new α-phase and a new adaptive cycle." (https://medium.com/activate-the-future/the-adaptive-cycle-as-a-dynamic-map-for-resilience-thinking-a1a9f69dc257)