Multiple Perspectives

four perspectives web 

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When trying to understand a system it is a good tactics to triangulate between different perspectives. This will shed light on the system from different standing points, from within different fields and though the eyes of a variety of stakeholders. The application of different perspectives is applied through the SOD creative process framework.


Stakeholder and expert perspectives:

These include all users, operators, manufacturers, cleaners, directors, clients, experts, citizens, and others affected by the system or people with knowledge about the system. It is important ot include the affected bystanders and their perspectives.

In addition it should embrace others through representatives: These are children, elderlies who cannot speak for them selves, future generations, non- human beings and non-biotic issues.


Systems depth:

Vertical validity of the systems approach is established by examining the system on the Micro, Meso and Macro-level. 


Systems width:

Horizontal validity of the systems approach is established by examining foreground, middle-ground and background. 



The four perspectives model (pictured above) is a simple framework to examine a system. It provides both system depth and system with.

Vertical reach is described with the frog and the bird perspectives

Horizontal reach is described  by the microscope and telescope metaphor.


MACRO MESO MICRO perspectives

It is useful to investigate and reinterpret your system and gigamap according to Macro Meso and Micro perspectives.


Micro Meso Macro SOD report IdaMargretheSørensen MarieFrogner small file size 30 1200

Example of a simple way to depict the Macro Meso and Micro scale in the context of a food system (Ida Margrethe Sørensen and Marie Frogner 2019) 




The 3 horizons model was introduced by McKinsey as the three horizons of growth.

While the original model is concentrating on business growth this is less relevant to public services, societal change, and only critically applicable to perspectives of sustainability, circular economy and regenerative systems. However looking at things over short term, medium term and long term perspectives is useful. Especially when combined with a micro-meso-macro scale. It also seems more useful for SOD processes to operate with a slightly more detailed scale of four time scales. Likewise applying a macro view will tend to look at a limited framing of a system, therefor we will test four steps in scale.

These could be arranged in a matrix useful for ensuring that all intersections are investigated.


macro meso micro 3H matrix