Building on our previous reports, A Whole New World and Exploring the New World, we are excited to launch a brand new ebook: Human Learning Systems: Public Service for the Real World in collaboration with Dr Toby Lowe and partners. The ebook sets out a radical new way of funding, leading and managing all forms of social change and public service.

The level of interest in Human Learning Systems (HLS) to date has signalled a deep discontent with dominant ways of approaching public services, and an appetite for more relational, collaborative and trust-based approaches that respond to the complex reality of the real world.

HLS sets out an alternative approach based on being human, continuously learning and nurturing healthy systems. The new ebook provides a resource and guide for organisations or teams working in public service who want to adopt these new ways of working and provides practical examples and inspiration based on 50 case studies from across the UK and beyond.

As well as contributing to the overall development of the ebook, Collaborate has drawn on its specific areas of expertise to author the following chapters:

HLS: Transforming Local Places

This chapter explores how we can develop more human, connected approaches at a local level through:

  1. Local actors working together to understand, support and enable people in a connected, holistic, human way.
  2. Places purposefully nurturing a “healthy system” to enable this practice to thrive as the norm.

We explore the conditions that help build a healthy local system, case study examples of different approaches to nurturing healthy systems, and the crucial role of ‘systems stewardship’ in enabling this change.

Read more here.

Systems leadership

Core to the HLS approach is the understanding that — in contexts of complexity — outcomes are the product of systems, not individual organisations, programmes or projects. This chapter explores how the kind of leadership required to create change in complex systems can come from anywhere and anyone. We set out the nature of these contributions, from the perspectives of people with more or less authority within their organisations and across a local system. While these roles may differ, they are complementary. Systems change is the ultimate team sport, and for new models of practice like HLS to take root and thrive in healthy local systems, it will require brave and generous leadership with many playing their part.

Read more here.

We also co-authored a chapter on:

Funding and commissioning

This chapter explores how funders and commissioners can use HLS to inform their practice, including through:

  • Nurturing human, relational approaches (both in how you fund and commission and what you fund and commission)
  • Funding and commissioning for learning (rather than seeking to control)
  • Funding and commissioning to enable collaborative, systemic approaches.

Read more here.

Read more about Collaborate’s role in Human Learning Systems here

Do you want to adopt an HLS approach and need some help along the way? Contact Dawn Plimmer to find out how we can help [email protected]