SDD Curriculum

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The following are questions that any candidate practitioner of SDD should be able to answer. They should be included in any professional SDD training of Facilitation teams. They are organized in terms of four categories:

  1. Generic
  2. Phase I: Discovery
  3. Phase II: Co-laboratory
  4. Phase III: Implementation

Those candidates that have acquired the knowledge base to answer these questions should be certified as able to organize and facilitate dialogues. Otherwise they are not qualified to apply SDD without supervision by a mentor.


  1. What is the Domain of Science Model, and why is it relevant to the theory and practice of SDD?
  2. What are the three key concepts that are critical in drawing distinctions among the roles of various actors in the application of SDD?
  3. Describe the various roles by the SDD actors and their interrelationships, i.e., stakeholders/designers, Core Planning Team, Facilitation Team?
  4. What are the most critical metrics for evaluation of the successful implementation of an SDD application?
  5. What are some of the important requirements to be fulfilled by the collaborative facility for conducting co-laboratories of democracy?
  6. What are the axioms, laws, and key definitions of terms of the science of dialogic design?
  7. What is the Tree of Action and why is it relevant to the implementation of whatever the group agrees to implement?
  8. What is the Tree of Meaning and why is it relevant to the role of the SDD Facilitator in managing the structured democratic dialogue of a group?
  9. Why is the clarification of meaning so critical in the successful application of the co-laboratory approach?
  10. How do we balance the Law of Requisite Variety with the Law of Requisite Parsimony in the collaborator approach?
  11. What are the seven consensus methods of SDD, and how are they applied in the four steps of the SDD software: Generation, Classification, Prioritization, and Mapping?
  12. Describe the three types of co-laboratories, and the seven Archetypes constructed from combinations of the three types?
  13. What is the Erroneous Priority Effect, and how we avoid it in the implementation of SDD?
  14. Why is the Law of Requisite Meaning so important in the application of SDD?
  15. What is the Situational Complexity Index (SCI), what does it measure and why it is important to measure in the application of SDD?
  16. What is the relationship of the four types of logic (inductive, deductive, abductive, and retroductive) to the consensus methods and the three types of co-labs (futures, challenges, actions)


  1. Why is the selection of stakeholders/designers for participation in a particular collaborator so critical, and how do we ensure that we do not violate the Law of Requisite Variety?
  2. What are the three critical criteria to be taken into consideration in the selection of stakeholders/designers?
  3. What is the role of the Core Planning Team (CPT) in the Discovery phase?
  4. Why is it important for the CPT to build a knowledge base by data collection and/or stakeholder interviews in determining the Co-laboratory Archetype and framing the Triggering Question(s)?
  5. How does the CPT frame the generic questions for the implementation of the Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) method?
  6. How can the CPT ensure that the logistics and the facility for the conduct of the co-laboratories are taken care of in advance of the group engagement?
  7. How critical is the role of the Broker in the Discovery Phase?


  1. Why should the SDD Facilitator preserve and protect his neutrality in terms of content knowledge during the conduct of a colaboratory dialogue?
  2. Why is it important for the SDD Facilitator to implement the Tree of Meaning during the conduct of the SDD dialogue?
  3. How can the Facilitator protect the autonomy and authenticity of every participant/designer during the SDD?
  4. What is the distinction between the Futures-creative Archetype and the Long-range action scenarios Archetype?
  5. How do we construct alternative action scenarios from a field of action options?
  6. How do we help the group of participants/designers to converge to a Consensus Action Scenario for implementation?
  7. How do we enable participants/designers to conceptualize an idealized future in the visioning colaboratory (in terms of both ideas and relationships among ideas in the construction of the enhancement map)?
  8. What is the meaning of successive approximations, and learning through iteration in the application of SDD?
  9. Why is it critical for the SDD Facilitator to manage the dialogue time so that the Law of Evolutionary Learning is not violated during the colab?
  10. What are the ten commandments of the SDD Facilitator?
  11. How the SDD Facilitator avoid content interventions during a co-lab and protect his/her neutrality?


  1. What is the role of the Strategic Management Team (SMT) in the implementation of the Consensus Action Scenario (CAS) (if one has been designed in a Co-laboratory Archetype)?
  2. Should the SMT translate the CAS in a project management action plan with a time sequencing and role assignments to the variety of stakeholders?
  3. Should the SMT, in recognition of the ephemeral nature of designs for the resolution of complex situations, anticipate the design of follow-up SDD applications with a variety of stakeholders for revisiting the situation and assessing progress in the implementation of the action plan?
  4. How will the findings and recommendations of Phase II be disseminated to the community of stakeholders in the most effective manner to maximize the impact of the implementation of the action plan?
  5. What is the social technology of the DEMOSCOPIO, and how can it be utilized to enhance community learning and effectiveness of the Phase II results?