The expression "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics" is common. Although statistics provide the raw tools for measuring effects, framing those statistics and discovering root causes in human activity is more elusive. Bridging the gap between evidence based analysis and intuitive real-world experience is Socio-Cultural Dynamics (SCD). It provides a way to observe complex human interactions such that those observations can be transformed into models that more accurately describe what our eyes and ears tell us to be true. We like to call it the science of common sense.

Socio-Cultural Dynamics (SCD) is a methodology and practice for determining true contributing causes of human behavior.

It uses modern techniques of system dynamics, applied to things such as family conflict, personal relationships, mental and physical fitness, and traumatic situations of any sort, to impartially analyze why the situation is dysfunctional and how it might be improved.

It uses as a baseline a set of universal patterns discovered using techniques of Complex Adaptive Systems Anthropology (CASA) to establish normative comparisons, which are useful in determining outliers and bringing participants together in a collaborative search for common ground.

To maintain rigorous standards and credibility, it structures the steps of SCD practice, the rules of dialog and action between participants, and the process of analyzing and prescribing alternatives, by providing:

  1. a thesaurus of standard terms that define core concepts
  2. a thoroughly-tested taxonomy for classifying key behavioral patterns that comprise the atomic elements of true behavioral systems
  3. a set of core models and simulations that can be customized to fit the particular behavioral system under analysis

Collectively, these tools and practices provide a uniquely effective approach to determining key contributors to unhealthy behavioral systems, and a more cost-efficient alternative to implementing solutions than any current methods.

Current mechanisms for identifying and addressing causes of social dysfunction are ineffective, often costly, and usually short-term bandaids, whether talking about the justice system, anger-management programs, drug treatment, child counseling services, or foreign aid projects.

The causes of inefficiency stem from their foundation on rigid profession-specific techniques and embedded agendas, the large cost to monitor and measure, a lack of universal patterns and useful language that can be applied to all participants, a cookie-cutter approach to complex relationships and history, and non-rigorous analytical process.

The benefits of having a process to apply universal, rigorous, and dispassionate service in a cost-effective manner for long-term healing is monumental over the course of the situation's lifetime. It is also more efficient at discovering untenable relationships and policies quickly, so as not to waste resources pursuing avenues with a low probability of success.

Traditional classifications of race, ethnicity, political affiliation, or religious belief, although often critically important to their adherents, have little value to the methods of Socio-Cultural Dynamics (SCD), except when perceived by participants as causes of system behavioral dysfunction or as a potential means of finding common ground.

Looking more deeply, one discovers a richer, more accurate set of patterns that compels human behavior and unlocks the secrets to cooperative engagement for those who opt in to the process.

Thus, Coflict is appropriate for any person, group, or organization truly committed to finding a more universal, effective, and cost-efficient alternative to achieving cooperative, productive engagement.

Examples of situations that have proven most positively impacted include couples in conflict, children in bullying or low self-esteem situations, organizations with poor teamwork, youth headed toward criminal behavior, benefactors who want their financial support to be more effective, coaches trying to improve team fitness and results, and individuals looking to enhance mental and personal fitness.

At its most basic, familiarize yourself with the five "first questions" and let us know if our objectives and principles compel you to find out more or become a member of the community. Contact us here if you'd like a private response. Your identity and questions will always remain strictly confidential, as our reputation and methodology require it.

If you'd like to know more, register by clicking "MEMBERS AREA" and get access to information that details our methods, practices, and online resources.

Going further, those who wish to engage in our activities and workshops can locate their level of interest on the following chart and help us advance our mission by posting on our discussion boards, blogging, helping us edit our wiki, performing advocacy, etc. And ... thank you.

Site Access by Role

System dynamics is the method of choice for simulating complex systems, gauging the probability of outcomes and suggesting useful decisions over a given time period. In particular, it's been used in advanced military strategy, financial analysis, and targeted marketing

Its adoption rate in the domain of social systems has been slower, for a variety of reasons. One notable advance took place in schools adopting the Guns at School simulation as a workshop in probable outcomes given alternative actions to address "root causes". Others will certainly follow, Coflict's hope being that our community and track record will stimulate its adoption.

Some recent programs in the arena of social and political policy can be seen here and here.

The conjunction of system dynamics with modeling fundamentals and cultural anthropology has delivered efficiency and accuracy enhancements in the form of Complex Adptive Systems Anthropology (CASA), which has its own set of standards and practices feeding into SCD.

The application of CASA as an effective means of deriving universal patterns and tools has been demonstrated in field tests in several countries, but is in process of being codified and elevated to academic acceptance. These tools and patterns remove substantial barriers to more widespread adoption of SCD.

The advocacy section of this site is totally independent in spirit, intent, and execution from the Coflict site proper (all other areas of coflict.org apart from this area).

It must be emphasized that Coflict is strictly dispassionate and bias-neutral in both theory and application. However, it is based on abductive reasoning skills, structured process, evidence-based patterns, models that are tested and reproducible across multiple socio-cultural domains, and results-based metrics. Thus, when real-world memes and policies conflict with such elements, adherents of Socio-Cultural Dynamics (SCD) and Complex Adaptive Systems Anthropology (CASA) methodology are compelled to passionately advocate for policies that are based on similar foundations.

Advocacy thus implies a different knowledge set and intent than that found in the core Coflict mission, and in fact requires members of the Coflict community to adopt a separate persona or identity in posting and commenting in the Advocacy section.

Advocacy material posted here by Coflict community members will be periodically evaluated for adherence to SCD and CASA principles and metrics. Failing to meet reasonable standards of alignment to these will result in removal of the posts.

Certified community members will be enabled to write original blog entries. Registered Observers who are as yet uncertified will be enabled to create new threads in the advocacy discussion board and comment on blogs entries.