November 2, 2016

Society's toughest problems are weeds: we cut them back, but they keep re-sprouting from entrenched, hidden roots. Systems thinking is a decades-old framework for illuminating problems' deep causes and identifying the leverage points by which we might uproot these problems once and for all. In this webinar we'll discuss systems thinking: how to conceive of a community as a system, how to sort out the parts and connections that drive that system, and how to analyze the system model to understand why some interventions succeed and others fail. We'll also walk through and try out the Elephant Builder method, whereby community members themselves build models of their community system--turning their own expertise and experience into complex insights and effective solutions. Collaborative systems thinking is an empowerment tool. It embodies authentic inclusiveness: when done right, it places problem-definition and solution-finding directly in the hands of members of affected communities.