Thinking in Promises

Designing systems for cooperation

Imagine a simple set of principles that could help you to understand how parts combine to become a whole, and how each part sees the whole from its own perspective. If such principles were any good, it shouldn't matter whether we're talking about humans in a team, birds in a flock, computers in a datacenter, or cogs in a Swiss watch. A theory of cooperation ought to be pretty universal, so we could apply it both to technology and to the workplace. Such principles are the subject of Promise Theory. The goal of Promise Theory is to reveal the behaviour of a whole from the sum of its parts, taking the viewpoint of the parts rather than the whole.

This book is aimed at general readers with a technology background. The book draws on examples from the real world, with a special emphasis on computers and information systems.

Promise Theory Courses

Popular articles

Case studies in fundamental processes:

Case studies in social discourse:

Additional book resources

Tools for doing it!

Video short films

A series of short films introducing promise theory.

Also on audio/video