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Complexity and Learning

Northumbria have been at the forefront of the development of a new complexity-informed paradigm for the funding, commissioning, management, and evolution of public service.The Complexity and Learning team (led by Hesselgreaves, Lowe, French, Hawkins, Martin, Wheatman, Snape, Wilson) is undertaking action research with public and voluntary sector funders and delivery organisations to develop how this paradigm is implemented in practice, how to support the development of a Community of Practice through learning partner roles, and how complexity-informed practice could be evaluated. The team hosted a series of seminars in April 2020 on taking a Human Learning Systems approach to public services, attracting over 300 public and non-profit managers and practitioners, academics, and consultants. 

Northumbria are now a partner with Centre for Public Impact (CPI) working together on exploring complexity-informed public management and how new ideas can inform the re-imagining of government. This team of researchers are founding members of a new vehicle to enable convening, collaboration and learning across and between organisations interested in Human Learning Systems including the understanding of the role of ‘Learning Partners’ in reflexive practice. Collaborative partners include: Northumbria University, CPI, Children England, Collaborate CIC, Collective Impact Agency, Concern Group, Easier Inc, Edberts House, Gateshead Council, GLT Partners Ltd, Impower, Mesopartner, POP+, and Wellbeing Teams. 

Current examples of this work include action research a Human Learning Systems approach to public management for the Tudor Trust (Hesselgreaves, Lowe, Hawkins, Wilson), and place-based systems change action research for Lankelly Chase Foundation (Hesselgreaves, Lowe, French, Wilson). 


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