Dancing with Systems:  Donella Meadow’s and Working with Systems

Kathryn Ross, (United States) TIES Faculty; Montessori Educator; observer of systems natural and man-made, big and small

Listen to the wisdom of the system; Stay humble; Stay a learner; Locate responsibility in the system; Go for the good of the whole; Expand the boundary of caring; Hold fast to the goal of goodness. This is excerpted from a list at the beginning of an essay by the late system’s theorist Donella Meadows. Playful and serious at the same time, her words invite us to take a step back from seriousness and the desire to control as we work with systems to become a watcher, a listener, and a dancer.  She invites us to get the beat, and makes the process sound fun!  We all belong to systems.  We teach; we have families; we lead schools; we plant gardens; we belong to communities.  Within this seminar we invite you to consider a system that is in your life and dance with it.  Ask questions about it.  Are there time horizons that can be expanded?  What about boundaries of caring?  How might you embrace its complexity?  What is its wisdom?  What does it have to teach you, and you it?