Enacting Systemic Change of Health Promotion with Simplicity and Transformability of ϕ [fi]




ϕ concept, systemic thinking, health promotion


In the past decades, health promotion has been undertaken in the linear process between health and disease. Healthcare education has been advocated "multi-professional" for most undergraduate medical students to build "the skills necessary for the priority health problems of individuals and communities that are known to be particularly amenable to team-work" (The World Health Organization, 1988). Nowadays, medical education and clinical practice have become increasingly important approaches to deal with human disease problems. They have yet paid adequate attention to the prevention care which focuses on the core value and knowledge of maintaining a healthy life rather than searching the best treatments of disease. In Taiwan, the many thorny problems challenging the governmental health system, such as the burnout medical staff, excessive medical treatment, unevenly distributed medical resource, food products with contaminated by plasticizer etc. It is time that we collectively counteract these intertwined social, economic and biological problems with a systemic approach applicable to health promotion education and daily clinical practice. Indeed, neither health nor disease is an absolute or static state.

In this paper, the author intends to re-conceptualize the linear model of disease and health by reframing health promotion from the systemic perspectives with simplicity and transformability of ϕ[fi]for both the professional and the public.

The author will first explicate the essence of (1) Theory U and Golden ratio, (2) fundamentals of applying action learning, and (3) health promotion theory and practice. Then, she would inquire s three main research questions in order to explore the simplicity and transformability of ϕ[fi] to enact systemic change in health promotion. The three research questions are as below:

(1)What approaches or viewpoints have been repeatedly used for health promotion?

(2) How divergent or convergent are these approaches, and what is the fundamental approach needed?

(3)How could health promotion arguments and modles be re-conceptualized for systemic practice?

In this study, the author will use discourse well as reflexive method, including collecting, comparing, reorganizing and representing images and icons. The presumption of this study is that health promotion should not be approached in a linear process, but a spiral process (Figure 1.& Figure 2.). The primary findings of this study include:

(1)The smallest unit for enacting systemic change (the spiral process) is ϕ (Figure 1.) which originates from the concept “Golden ratio (Figure 4.&Figure 5.)”by Leonardo diser Piero da Vinci.

(2)The spiral process integrates the essence of the U-process manifested in Theory U by Otto Scharmer (2007), Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell (1949, 2008), Mythic Structure by Christopher Vogler (2007), and double helix model of DNA structure by Watson and Crick (1953).

(3)The ϕ [fi]is a prototype signifying one to infinity and infinity to another one through a series of process: (A) shaping into U or V, (B) inverting and conjunctive, (C)replication and convergence, (D)separation and divergence, (E)reshaping the prototype, and (F) overlapping prototypes with the same or the different (Figure 6.).

The ϕ[fi] is Φ[fi] of lower case, pronounced as /ˈfaɪ/ in English, and it is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet, and it is a unit in many kinds of disciplines (Wikipedia, 2013).It could be the ideal prototype of the spiral of action research and action learning in the practice communities: (1) plan, (2)act, (3)observe, (4)reflect, and (5) back to zero or re-contemplative (Figure 7.).It is expected that with thoughtful application of the simplicity and transformability of ϕ, we can bring great benefit to healthcare education and clinical practice in the future.

Author Biography


Doctoral Candidate

Dept. Adult &Continuing Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan, 



How to Cite

HU, Y.-W. (2014). Enacting Systemic Change of Health Promotion with Simplicity and Transformability of ϕ [fi]. Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2013 HaiPhong, Vietnam, 1(1). Retrieved from https://journals.isss.org/index.php/proceedings57th/article/view/2052



Health and Systems Thinking