Is systems thinking your superpower? unschool newsletter


It’s Friday, which means a dose of brain-activating delicious snacks.

Last week we shared how thinking about the full system of chocolate chip cookies gave Leyla the inspiration to start the UnSchool.

This week we are all about the magic of systems thinking.

Systems thinking is the ability to see the whole before the parts, and it’s fundamental to the Disruptive Design Method.

We believe 110% that thinking in systems is the tool to help make a positive impact on the world around you.

The world is full of big messy complex social, political, and environmental problems. which are all part of bigger systems at play. In order to help disrupt the underlying issues, we need to first understood what is going on.

From climate change to the rise in racism, homelessness, child exploitation, global politics and ocean plastic waste, these problems are all part of complex interconnected systems.

By taking a systems approach, it enables you to develop a more dynamic and intimate understanding of the elements and agents at play within the problem area, so you can identify opportunities for intervention.

This is our simple 6-step flow to making change from a systems standpoint

Tools such as systems mapping are critical to overcoming the reductive mindset we were all taught in school — a mindset that teaches us to break the world down into individual and manageable parts, rather than see the complex, interconnected whole.

This is what has led to the exploitative economy. In order to get to a circular economy, we need systems thinking.

”Problems are just unaddressed opportunities waiting for a creative minds to tackle them”. ~ Leyla Acaroglu

By taking a systems approach, we can each undo the linear and rigid mindsets that helped create the problems to begin with.

Thankfully, humans naturally have a curious and intuitive understanding of complex, dynamic, and interconnected systems. So, it’s really not that hard to rewire our thinking systems from linear to expanded, from 1-dimensional to 3-dimensional thinking.

UnSchool Workshop participants engage in a systems mapping exercise during one of their sessions

Our Systems Thinking course is one of our most popular classes for a reason: systems thinking is a superpower that anyone can access to make change.

If you’ve already taken our Systems Thinking course, or have expertise in this area, then take a look at our advanced Systems Interventions course to learn to see critical relationships, understand feedback loops, and conduct consequence analyses. You will also establish causal relationships and gain radical insights into systems dynamics.

Use our free Superpower Activation Toolkit to see if Systems Thinking is your superpower!

See you next week,

Warm wishes from the UnSchool Team

PS: We also applied our change-making skills in collaboration with the UN to make the FREE Anatomy of Action! Find out more about that project here >