Patterning Concept Applications


Creative Systems Theory can be applied to questions of all scales from the most personal to the most philosophical and overarching. This section touches on specific applications and application approaches.

General Application

The Cultural Maturity Blog ( addresses current cultural issues from a culturally mature perspective. See Current Issues and Concerns for more extended examples and excerpts from the blog that provide particular insight for applying CST patterning concepts.

Creative Systems Analysis: We need to draw on all of Creative Systems Theory’s various patterning concepts are need if we want to understand human systems with depth. These observations summarize the tools at our disposal. They also look at how this kind of multi-factor analysis might be applied to systems of different scales:

Leadership and Culturally Mature Facilitation

In the end, Cultural Maturity is about leadership—in the broadest sense—about how we make choices in our personal and collective lives. It makes clear that the future will require not just good leadership, or even exceptional leadership, but a new, specifically more mature, sophisticated—and wise—kind of leadership. Three pieces originally developed at ICD teaching resources provide useful leadership insight.

Characteristics of Culturally Mature Leadership provides as general overview.

Integral Facilitation and “Bumping Up” Conversations looks at specific skills needed to generate culturally mature dialogue.

Rhythms, Boundaries, and Containers examines three more general patterning insights that can support culturally mature leadership.


We can apply the lens of Cultural Maturity to the future tasks of specific cultural spheres. Once we step over Cultural Maturity’s threshold, how we think about cultural domains changes in a couple of specifically systemic ways. First, domains stop being distinct categories of activities and become instead contrasting, but ultimately interrelated crayons in culture’s systemic box—aspects of here-and-now systemic “multiplicity.” In addition, each domain/crayon itself becomes newly systemic, a particular expression of our vibrant, “living” human complexity.

The “Spheres” Section of the Cultural Maturity Blog includes Essays and Posts that address particular domains and provide the most updated reflections (see

The summary descriptions below were developed several years back, but provide additional useful insights. I’ve listed spheres right to left in terms of how they creatively pattern in the here-and-now structures of culture. The first two focuses—science and business—address largely right-hand concerns (materiality, first in the physical sense of objective observation, then in the abstract economic sense). Our middle three—government, health care, and education—address concerns that span the creative extremes, but which most emphasize more mid-range sensibilities. And our last two focuses—art and religion—turn to more traditionally left-hand concerns (mystery, first in the poetic sense, then in the even more translucent sense of spirit).