Having just returned from the 2011 Systems Thinking in Action conference, I continue to believe that building the capacity for all children to think systemically is the key to shaping a new world. The more we recognize that problems are rarely simple cause-and-effect, but rather complex threads of interconnected actions and inactions, we can begin to seek systemic solutions. The conference, hosted by Pegasus Communications in Seattle last week, supports the work of the Society for Organizational Learning (or SoL), which was started by Peter...
In his book, I and Thou, Martin Buber asserted, “God is present when I confront You. But if I look away from You, I ignore him. As long as I merely experience or use you, I deny God. But when I encounter You I encounter him.” What a profound and spiritual contextualization of the self and other—the relational self. Acknowledging the feminine divine energy and tapping into my spiritual and cultural depths where the notion that God or the Great Spirit is present in all living things, I find Buber’s interpretation that I and You...
The phrase pecha kucha means "chit-chat" in Japanese. In 2003, two European architects created a new type of presentation that they christened Pecha Kucha and the format of this presentation stays true to its name. A Pecha Kucha is a community session where individuals present an idea in a structured PowerPoint presentation of 20 slides with a timing of 20 seconds per slide. The total running time for a presentation is six minutes and 40 seconds. Presenting your ideas in a seamless six minutes and 40 seconds may sound challenging,...
Russ believes in equal opportunity. He looks down on the greed, the disparities, and the selfishness that, he believes, presently dominate U.S. culture. The way Russ sees it, the individualistic view that's caused all of the country's current economic problems overshadows our ability as a society to create a system that takes care of all of its members equally and that abides by community standards. Individualism, Russ says, doesn't allow us to work toward co-creating a quality of life that's fair for every member of our...
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 a difference. Individuals and organizations seem more able to acknowledge the increased complexity in our daily lives. It has become quite evident that the crucial problems that afflict our...
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