thisisthicket

14 Posts

Five steps to achieving impact with research

James Georgalakis, newly appointed Director of Communications and Impact at the Institute of Development Studies outlines the IDS approach to effective research uptake. Among the recommendations: Understand policy, power and knowledge contexts. Cognitive mapping is an excellent tool to master the context.

Testing potential for impact

When MIT-incubated startup Sourcewater first talked to us about designing an impact model to demonstrate their vision, we were intrigued. We wanted to see how unconventional energy could be a pathway to more sustainable water practices nationwide. Sourcewater matches energy companies with impaired and fresh water sources to help maximize wastewater recycling,…

How do we measure the impact of emotion?

Chinatown Youth Initiatives (CYI) plays an important role in equipping New York City youth with knowledge and skills necessary to address the needs of Chinatown, Asian Americans, and other underrepresented communities. But the impact of community building programs like CYI isn’t always easy to measure. Until now, the impact of…

What is social systems design?

People often ask us what we mean whan we say that Thicket is developing an applied field called social systems design. We apply principles of complexity to improve the way people share ideas and work together. Complexity theory, also known as complex adaptive systems theory, allows us a new way to…

What is fuzzy cognitive mapping?

Thicket developed our technology platform called The Possibility Engine based on a methodology called fuzzy cognitive mapping. First proposed in 1985 by Bart Kosko, fuzzy cognitive maps are a mashup of two frameworks: cognitive maps and fuzzy logic. Cognitive maps, also called mental maps or conceptual maps, were first identified…

How do you analyze a fuzzy cognitive map?

When we integrate individual cognitive maps using fuzzy logic, the result is a map so complex that visually, it means very little to the human eye. In order to make sense of it, we have to analyze it using several different methods. We can use network analysis to understand properties…

What is the Possibility Engine?

When we came up with the idea for Thicket to focus on solving complex social problems, we knew existing social science-based research and design tools were not robust enough to serve our needs. We needed to be able to quickly understand a complex system, analyze the system’s ability to adapt…

About our mission

Thicket helps people harness the power of complexity to think and work together in systems. We are in a period of dramatic social and technological change. As the circulation of people, resources, and ideas accelerates, results of all this human activity amplify. We’re seeing a new intensity and scale in…

New Ways to Evaluate Impact

When it comes to evaluating impact within complex systems, we are just scratching the surface of what’s possible. Thicket writes a feature in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.