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Layered Thinker is written and produced by Sandjar Kozubaev, an economist, experience strategist and innovation consultant. He is currently the Strategy Practice lead at InReality, a strategy, design and implementation agency based in Atlanta, GA. He leads the company’s strategic research, business consulting and service design engagements for clients across multiple industries. Sandjar’s has a BA and MS in economics (Tashkent Oriental Studies Institute, University of St Andrews) as well as an MBA in Design Strategy (California College of the Arts). Follow Sandjar on Twitter @sandjar.

Project Origins

The idea for Layered Thinker was born during Sandjar’s studies at the MBA in Design Strategy program. He was particularly influenced by a class called Strategic Foresight & Tactical Media which introduced him to futures studies. This is where Sandjar learned about Sohail Inayatullah’s Causal Layered Analysis (CLA) for the first time. He began using CLA not just for business school projects but also in his personal observations of stories, relationships and events. Every piece is hand-drawn by Sandjar in one sitting and is preceded by a few days of research. We hope this archive will be as useful for everyone as it was for Sandjar.

Here Is How It Works

Every issue we observe in our world has multiple levels of abstraction and multiple reasons why it exists. Some of these reasons are clearly visible and some are deeper and hard to detect. CLA helps us open our eyes to see those hidden reasons. CLA challenges us to explore an issue in four layers: (1) Litany, which represents the most obvious stories we constantly tell ourselves, (2) Social System, which focuses on the system level interactions and feedback loops, (3)Worldview, which focuses on the belief systems and (4) Metaphor, which is about hidden myths that affect our thinking. The object of the framework is to try to identify all four layers that make up a particular situation and try to challenge the issue at each level. The ultimate goal of using CLA is to help us imagine alternative realities and critically frame issues in new ways. Here is how the basic framework looks like For more resources on futures and critical thinking head on over to the Layered Resources page. We invite you to browse through our CLA posts to get a feel of how it works.   Google+

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