Systems Thinking Community Is Working to Create Social and Environmental Change - Here's What We've Noticed Recently

March 10, 2015 by Megan Alley


There is a vibrant community of people applying systems thinking to make positive change. We’re excited to share a sampling of some things that we’ve noticed with you - from a six-minute video on systems thinking to a seven-week online course on leadership and global responsibility.

Short Video Will Introduce You to Systems Thinking This six-minute videoFinding Leverage - The Power of Systems Thinking, produced by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, introduces the concepts behind systems thinking and is intended for people who are new to the discipline. It features systems thinking expert Chris Soderquist.

PBS Video Series for Teachers to Help Students Understand Systems Thinking PBS Learning Media, with support from The Kendeda Fund, has created an online video collectionSystems Literacy, to support the development of systems thinking awareness and skills in K-12 teachers and students. The series covers a wide range of topics from Westward Expansion to soil health to climate science. It includes two introductory videos by systems educator Linda Booth Sweeney, covering what is a system, what systems do, and why understanding systems is important, as well as how systems thinking supports the Next Generation Science Standards. The series provides an example of how to use diagrams to help analyze systems behavior.

Free Archived Online Course Will Teach You How to Be a More Inclusive and Effective Leader “Leadership for Global Responsibility” from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is a free, seven-week open online course that inquires into the principles of cooperation, international diversity, innovative collective action, and transformation. You can explore this archived course at your own pace by watching the videos and utilizing the course materials. The course is taught by an international team of experienced practitioners and regional facilitators, including Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer.

A Slice of the Systems Thinking Community Recently, Timothy DenHerder-Thomas and Cliff Martin of Grand Aspirations led a training for the Energy ActionIMG_1089 Coalition (EAC) and covered:

“It was exciting to see some lightbulbs click as people were able to wrap their heads around what is meant by ‘systems thinking’, and it was also exciting because many people were looking specifically for tools to help people engage on climate,” said Climate Interactive team member Ellie Johnston.

If you are curious about this topic, many of the ideas in the EAC workshop are also accessible via The Climate Leader from Climate Interactive, which you can register for here.