social transformation system

Dr Barbara Holtmann

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Barbara Holtmann

Complex Systems Design. Analysis and Decision making; Stakeholder Mapping; integration of Social, Economic and Infrastructural outcomes; facilitation of collaborative processes.
PhD in the Management of Technology and Innovation (Da Vinci 2010)
MM (Public and Development) (Wits 2003)
Board member, Women in Cities International (Montreal)

In the course of my work in research and policy at the CSIR from 2002 to 2010, and in the completion of my PhD in the Management of Technology and Innovation (Da Vinci 2010), I developed a systems model and methodology that enables clarity of purpose where there are many diverse stakeholder views and inputs into a particular setting. This home grown 100% South African process highlights issues essential to sustainability and provides a platform for more effective planning and goal setting.

Over the past 18 years I have grappled with complex problems in the private sector, in an NGO, in national Government and in the national Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Since the beginning of 2010 I has consulted to government, NGOs, the private sector, donors and international agencies, using my methodology to model “what it looks like when it’s fixed” with clients and partners including UN Women, UN Habitat, SAPS, Public Service Commission, Open Society Institute, Khulisa Social Solutions, Joburg City, Johannesburg Child Welfare, Da Vinci Seed, DG Murray Trust, Columba Youth Leadership, KfW Development Bank, loveLife and Bluprints. I facilitate strategies in diverse fields aligned to matters of community safety, women’s safety, enterprise development, sustainability, organizational development, monitoring and evaluation of policies, child development, youth intervention programmes, CSI and ED programmes.

My process is often applied at the initiation and planning stage of new programmes or when there is a reason for review of strategy; it allows for introspection and tests ideas and assumptions through collective scrutiny. The process generates shared perspectives and objectives, often motivating insights that would otherwise remain unknown, with potential to either harm or limit to the outcomes. My facilitation and elicitation of knowledge is independent of content or bias and elicits domain expertise of the technical teams with which I work.

An online software application serves as a management tool, demonstrating the outcomes of the facilitated process. This tool enables the management of stakeholder collaborations, provides a benchmark score for the current status of the system. It allows for easy simulation to test the impact of intended interventions and acts as a framework for fully participative impact assessment and progress towards agreed outcomes, as well as early indication of both blockages and unexpected opportunities.

In 2010 Price Waterhouse Coopers published my book “What it looks like when it’s fixed” as a methodological tool for resolving complex problems. Publications include most recently in  2012 a chapter in Building Inclusive Cities, edited by Whitzman et al, published by Routledge (London).

Curriculum Vitae