” is an interdisciplinary philosophical framework for studying both individual and social aspects of human behavior. Activity Theory is an established theoretical tradition with several theoretical approaches developed by different theorists. Originally, it was inspired by Russian/Soviet psychology of the 1920s and 1930s.
Anticipatory System theory was developed by American theoretical biologist
in 1985. Rosen finds that living beings possess an ability to anticipate their environment by constructing models of their surroundings and using them to adjust their own adaptability in order to survive.
The new framework is perfect for thinking about the complex of “Self, Other, Present, Future”. For example:
Sustainable Business Development
Startup Studio or Venture Studio
The Basic Model
The framework is based on a new concept called “Anticipatory Activity System” and it is defined by a set of pairs of concepts.
First-order Activity / Second-order Activity
Self — Other
Present — Future
Object — Objective
Result — Reward
The above diagram is the basic model of the AAS framework.
The Standard Model
The standard model of the AAS framework highlights five movements of Anticipatory Activity System.
Storytelling / Evaluating
These five movements refer to five part of the AAS framework, see the above diagram.
The AAS4LT framework
The AAS4LT framework is developed for applying AAS to Life Transitions (LT). It considers “Life Discovery Project” as Second-order Activity and “Life Developmental Project” as a First-order Activity.
Each project was roughly defined as three steps. Together, the AAS4LT framework was formed with 8 steps.
There is an ideal sequence of the process between these eight steps. If everything goes well, we can pass these steps one by one. However, real life is not a simple linear model. We might need to jump between these steps. The real process is iterative, taking many cycles through the process.
The AAS4LT framework aims to offer life coaches a new tool for dealing with life transitions from the perspective of the Anticipatory Activity System framework. Though the theoretical support is very important, the result depends on the long-term engagement between life coaches and clients.
How do I develop the AAS framework?
I use the HERO U framework to guide my knowledge projects. The HERO U framework presents six types of “Objects of Knowing”.
sTheory: Specific Theory
aModel: Abstract Model
cModel: Concrete Model
dPractice: Domain Practice
gPractice: General Practice
For the ASS project, I consider the following “Objects of Knowing” for connecting THEORY (AAS) and PRACTICE (Life Strategy).
Meta-theory: Activity Theory, Anticipatory System Theory, Relevance Theory, etc.
Specific Theory: Anticipatory Activity System
Abstract Model: The AAS Framework
Concrete Model: The AAS4LT Framework
Domain Practice: The AAS4LT 1:1 life coaching program
I also use the Dialogue Knowledge Curation Canvas to manage the whole process. See the canvas below.
The Dialogue approach has two directions: Theory > Practice and Practice > Theory. There are four types of knowledge curation activities:
1. The Flow — Story Curation
This activity is guided by Reflection. The goal is to turn daily life experience and work experience into tacit knowledge. The key is Ecological Awareness.
2. The Story — Model Curation
This activity is guided by Generalization. The strategy is to design Mediating Instruments which could be considered cognitive containers.
3. The Objective — Subjective Curation
This activity is guided by Thematic Orientation. The goal is to build Thematic Spaces which could support long-term tacit knowledge development. The key is Epistemic Development.
4. The Approach — Application Curation
This activity is guided by Heuristic Orientation. The strategy is to design Intermediate Instruments which could be mediating tools for the cross-boundary activity.
The AAS project is born from curating insights from both theoretical development and empirical research.
Though most of the ideas are adopted from the Anticipatory Activity System framework and other knowledge frameworks, the whole structure is inspired by an empirical research project about a person’s one-year life transitions.
which was born from an empirical research project about an adult development program.
I’d like to call the program SSL which stands for Shaper & Supporter Lab. Anyway, it is just a codename. SSL was founded by a friend of mine in April 2021.
The program was designed with three components: 1) Life Purpose Awareness, 2) Personal OKR Practice, 3) Peer Review and Feedback. My friend also adopted the Building In Public approach to share her goals, challenges, progress, and discussions with others on social media platforms.
I use the Project Engagement approach to guide my research about the program. The approach uses a method called “Multiple-level Project Engagement”. I reflect on the following levels:
The “My friend — Members” Engagement
The “Member — Member” Engagement
The “I — My friend” Engagement
This method is what I called “Cultural Projection Analysis” of Project-oriented Activity Theory. You can find more details here:
My friend started the journey in Feb 2021. In April 2022, we worked on reflecting on her life transition in the past 12 months. In the process of reflection, I realized that she did two activities during the one-year journey.
Second-order Activity: She spent several months on Life Discovery.
First-order Activity: She started the Shaper & Supporter Lab programas a Developmental Project.
I also observed that she also worked hard on modeling her project and storytelling about her life discovery.
This insight inspired me to create the AAS4LT framework. This is an awesome discovery!
Later, I moved to test the AAS4LT framework by designing and hosting