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Thursday, May 30 • 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Systems Thinking for Changemakers

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Archimedes, one of the earliest systems thinkers, famously promised, “give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” In their passion for change, leaders and changemakers are constantly searching for that long lever and leverage point, deeply aware that addressing system complexity often marks the difference between success and failure. We may be searching for creative leverage points that yield new results within existing systems, or we may be engaged in ambitious efforts to re-engineer entire systems. Our work with systems often relies only on our intuition, a capacity that tends to fail more frequently in the face of mounting complexity. The rigorous study of systems promises to bring critical system elements into strategic sharp relief, thereby offering the potential for breakthrough strategies and innovations. This workshop will introduce the theory and practice of Systems Thinking, helping participants explore its relevance to changemaking. Participants will practice using its tools applied to current work settings and ongoing projects. The specific tools and concepts considered will include stocks, flows, links, and balancing and reinforcing dynamics. The long lever and its mysterious fulcrum await you. Take hold and move the world.


Featured Contributors
avatar for David Castro

David Castro

President and CEO, I-LEAD, Inc.
@thedavidcastro | | Ashoka Fellow David Castro founded the Institute for Leadership Education, Advancement & Development (I-LEAD) to help challenged communities realize their full potential by identifying grassroots leaders and preparing them to be agents of change. Castro’s overarching goal is to expand post-secondary educational opportunities to low-income communities. Castro created I-LEAD to serve community-based leaders... Read More →
avatar for Elizabeth Sawin

Elizabeth Sawin

Co-Director, Climate Interactive
@bethsawin | Beth Sawin is Co-Director of Climate Interactive. She is a scientist, writer, teacher, and public speaker whose work for the past fifteen years has combined analysis with coaching, teaching and communication approaches that help people transform systems towards sustainability. Beth leads Climate Interactive’s engagement with the climate science and policy communities – for instance she contributed as a co-lead author of... Read More →


Thursday May 30, 2013 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Newseum Room 704 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20001

Attendees (2)