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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Kathia C. Laszlo

Photo courtesy of ConstructionWeekOnline.com
It's Monday and you wake up without an alarm clock, looking forward to your day at the office—you love what you do and you love the people with whom you work. You are a member of a community: trust, mutual support, open communication, and friendships sustain your whole self as much as the income you receive from your job. Just a dream?...
Graphic recording courtesy of Regina Rowland/Syntony Quest.
Dealing with Complexity—that’s the title of one of our foundation courses in the organizational systems program at Saybrook University. It is the introduction to systems thinking and students get an opportunity to learn the concepts and tools of how to not only understand but also identify leverage points where an intervention can make...
Photo courtesy of DreamsTime.com.
In a previous post, I presented the need to move from systems thinking to systems being. There is a reason for that: I believe that it is through systems being that we will be able to truly transform our world. And transforming the world is the task of leaders. However, the most prevalent understanding of leadership is narrow and hierarchical: one...
Photo courtesy of Idea Champions.
This is the first week of the fall semester at Saybrook University and we launched it with the residential conference in San Francisco. We are a distance learning institution, but the sense of community and connection that I have with colleagues and students is deep and real. At commencement on Friday, the room was filled with the overflowing...
Photo courtesy of Organic on the Green.
Systemic sustainability is a process of development—individual, organizational, or societal—involving an adaptive strategy of emergence that ensures the evolutionary maintenance of an increasingly robust and supportive environment. Systemic sustainability goes beyond the triple bottom line and embraces “the possibility that human...
Diagram courtesy of Kathia Laszlo.
A system is a set of interconnected elements which form a whole and show properties which are properties of the whole rather than of the individual elements. This definition is valid for a cell, an organism, a society, or a galaxy. Joanna Macy says that a system is less a thing than a pattern—a pattern of organization. It consists of a...
Photo of Valle del Bravo, Mexico, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Sustainability is a global challenge. But in every place around the world, it requires a local response. The particularity of the problems—and also of the solutions—is connected to the culture and circumstances of specific places. Some of the work I’m doing in central Mexico involves coaching ecosocial entrepreneurs and designing...
Reflecting on the significance of Mother’s day my daughter told me: “Today, everybody should celebrate two mothers: our birth mother and also Mother Earth.” And she is right: the Earth is loving, nurturing and generous in supporting all of its creatures. What can we learn from our mothers and from the Earth as we seek to lead...
I volunteered to go with my daughter’s 5th grade class on a field trip to the Laguna Uplands Preserve. During this visit, the children had the opportunity to be in a natural outdoors classroom where they were able to collect samples and conduct scientific tests to learn about water quality and to identify macroinvertebrates. Identifying...
If there were an easy manual for sustainability, we’d follow it:  western culture loves three easy steps, quick decisions, and technical fixes.  Such a manual is great, for the right problem when we’re dealing with technical problems for which there are known solutions.  But life isn’t a problem to be solved, and...
The recent ecological disaster caused by the BP oil spill shortly after Earth Day is a reminder of the gap between the sustainability talk and the sustainability walk. The past 10 years of environmental awareness and activism have led to needed attention and some changes. Good intentions such as moving “beyond petroleum” made it into...