Inquiry & Learning for Change

The Strange Attractor

Values, Community, Accomplishment

The “Three Winged Bird” image, the basis for IL&C’s logo, is a three point “strange attractor” that was created by Mario Markus and Benno Hess of the Max Planck Institute in Dortmund, Germany. From Wikipedia:  “An attractor is a set towards which a variable, moving according to the dictates of a dynamical system, evolves over time. That is, points that get close enough to the attractor remain close even if slightly disturbed….  An attractor can be…  a complicated set with a fractal structure known as a strange attractor.”  In my version, the “wings” represent three aspects, or “attractors,” for conversation and work in healthy organizations: Values, Community, and Accomplishment.

It’s in the dynamic, emergent, recursive, unpredictable, wobbly nature of the interaction of those “strange attractors” of values, community, and accomplishment, in an ongoing reflective conversation among organization members and their communities, that identity is formed and recognized, information is shared, relationships are built, and the meaning of our collective work is created. That is the heart of an organization’s work. And so, that is the reason Inquiry & Learning for Change derives its logo from the Three Winged Bird “strange attractor” image.

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