[June 29-30] Holistic Changemakers Needed in the age of VUCA: Taiwan National Development Council, ZA Share, and other civic partners jointly launch an international education summit to bridge social change agendas with the holistic wellness of “changemakers” in mind

June 29-30, 2021, TAIPEI — On behalf of the Taiwan National Development Council, ZA Share is hosting the 2021 Taiwan International Education Summit (TIES) completely online from June 29 to 30. The theme of TIES this year is The INNER and INTER-changes of Creative Changemakers, with the aim to move beyond the narrow focus of the technical or financial needs of changemakers seeking the common good, to bring public and key stakeholders’ attention to the holistic needs for their nourishment and growth as “whole persons.”

Curated in the spirit of human ecology, 2021 TIES will be split into four tracks to cover the Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Social, and Ecological Dimensions of a “Changemaker’s Journey” as a whole person, to foster interdisciplinary learning and the systemic awareness of the world’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) nature, as amplified by the outspread of COVID-19.

In each of the four tracks, there will be an invited expert from both the Eastern and Western countries, and a selected Open Mic Representative selected from a pool of self-nominated speakers to bring an “Intercultural Mash-up” of perspectives. The line of 12 speakers range from world-renowned Sir Geoff Mulgan, systems and collective intelligence scientist, former head of policy in the UK Prime Minister’s office, and co-founder of Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), to a group of self-nominated 7th-graders from Taoyuan Chungli Junior High School who’ve dedicated themselves to addressing the challenges arose with new immigrants in their school and communities.

The format of TIES creates a fully immersive digital bilingual learning experience, which integrates active and thematic learning from the pre-event Open Mic Speaker self-nomination challenge to the highly interactive online TIES itself, to openly demonstrate the holistic spirit of Taiwan’s National 12-Year Basic Education in a bilingual, digital, and public context. The integral design of TIES also manifests the National Development Council’s determination to bridge its bilingual nation, education innovation, digital transformation, and regional revitalization agendas.

2021 TIES is completely free to attend. The TIES Opening Ceremony/Press Conference will be held online at 14:30, June 29, 2021 (Taipei Time, UTC+8).

For more information, please visit: https://forms.gle/FdkEVXtMZkzRFA4r9 (Registration Form in English)

#sustainability, #sustainableworld, #systemchange, #systems-approach, #systemsleaders, #systemsleadership, #systemsthinking

What is systems leadership, and how can it change the world? | World Economic Forum

#systemsleadership makes it to the World Economic Forum (via the CR Initiative (Corporate Responsibility I assume) at the Harvard Kennedy School. Longer report at https://www.hks.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/centers/mrcbg/files/Systems%20Leadership.pdf

Source: What is systems leadership, and how can it change the world? | World Economic Forum

Systems leadership can change the world – but what exactly is it?

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), gestures during a news conference after a week long preparatory meeting at the U.N. in Geneva February 13, 2015. The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 or CMP11, will be held in Paris November 30 to December 11, 2015.
Christina Figueres’ leadership helped bring 195 countries together to sign the 2015 Paris Agreement
Image: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

As world leaders and activists gather in New York this week to address the climate crisis and the faltering rate of progress toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the calls for systemic change are getting ever louder. Systems change is an inspiring goal – but how can we achieve it?

Transforming a complex system – such as the energy, health or food system – is a monumental task requiring coordinated action by people with very different viewpoints. Systems-change initiatives often engage hundreds of organizations – governments, companies, civil society organizations, worker associations, research institutions and others – combining their capacities to achieve a shared goal.

These large-scale initiatives are often driven and supported by people who fit a certain profile – those who are able to catalyze and empower collective action among others, rather than controlling or directing the action themselves. These people are increasingly described as systems leaders.

A balancing act
A balancing act
Image: Harvard Kennedy School

We studied examples of systems leaders working on diverse issues around the world, and found some striking similarities. Systems leaders – whether they are global leaders or community activists, working in Europe, Asia, Africa or the Americas – often apply a similar set of tactics and have similar experiences leading large, complex initiatives. We summarized some of the key elements and success factors of systems leadership in a new report in the interest of encouraging others in the global community to apply and refine this approach.

Systems leadership: a tool for our times

Systems leadership is a set of skills and capacities that any individual or organization can use to catalyze, enable and support the process of systems-level change. It combines collaborative leadership, coalition-building and systems insight to mobilize innovation and action across a large, decentralized network.

Two very different examples illustrate what it can look like in practice. The 2015 Paris Agreement, signed by 195 countries with support from thousands of organizations, was spearheaded by Christiana Figueres, a global diplomat who emphasized practicality, flexibility and collaboration to bring stakeholders onboard, securing an historic agreement. At a more local level in Richmond, California, a community organizer named Najari Smith founded a new venture called Rich City Rides, galvanizing community members, local businesses and city government to address the interconnected challenges of employment, health and environmental sustainability among low-income communities of color in the city.

These two leaders operated in very different spheres, but they used some similar tactics: combining a deep understanding of the systemic issues they wanted to address; an ability to engage and align diverse stakeholders around shared goals; and an emphasis on empowering action and collaboration by a broad network of organizations.

Systems leaders apply an unusual combination of skills and attributes to mobilize large-scale action for systems change. Like many leaders, they tend to be smart, ambitious visionaries with strong skills in management and execution. Unlike traditional leaders, they are often humble, good listeners, and skilled facilitators who can successfully engage stakeholders with highly divergent priorities and perspectives. Systems leaders see their role as catalyzing, enabling and supporting widespread action – rather than occupying the spotlight themselves.

Systems leadership in action

The systems leadership approach is well-suited to complex challenges that require collective action, where no single entity is in control. However, the approach is challenging – involving high transaction costs, ambiguous outcomes and long timeframes. It is best applied to complex issues that cannot be solved through more direct means.

We distilled five key elements of the systems change process into the ‘CLEAR’ framework for leading systems change. These five elements are not necessarily sequential – they may overlap or repeat in cycles throughout the course of an initiative.

1. Convene and commit

Key stakeholders engage in moderated dialogue to address a complex issue of mutual concern. They define shared interests and goals, and commit to working together in new ways to create systemic change. For example, the We Mean Business Coalition engaged nearly 1,000 leading companies to advocate for ambitious, science-based climate policy, and has made over 1,500 action commitments.

2. Look and learn

Through system mapping, stakeholders jointly build a shared understanding of the components, actors, dynamics, and influences that create the system and its current outcomes, generating new insights and ideas. For example, The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition targets specific gaps in the nutrition system, working to catalyze and scale market-based solutions, and targeting vulnerable populations who are most in need.

3. Engage and energize

Strong stakeholder engagement is built through continuous communication to build trust, commitment, innovation and collaboration. Inspiration, incentives and milestones help drive progress and maintain momentum. For example, the New Vision for Agriculture initiative engaged over 650 organizations and 1,500 individual leaders around the world, catalyzing action in 21 countries including over 90 value-chain projects.

4. Act with accountability

Shared goals and principles set the direction of the initiative, while measurement frameworks help track progress. Coordination and governance structures can be developed as initiatives mature. For example, the Every Woman Every Child movement mobilized hundreds of action commitments towards its global strategy, monitoring progress through a unified accountability framework, with oversight from a high-level steering group and coordination by a global secretariat.

5. Review and revise

Stakeholders review progress regularly and adapt their strategy accordingly. Adopting an agile, flexible, innovative and learning-centered approach allows for evolution and experimentation. For example, the 2030 Water Resources Group evolved its organizational structure through several stages, commissioning external evaluations to both review its progress and recommend opportunities to increase its impact.

While the CLEAR Framework appears quite structured, the reality of the systems change process is often messy and ambiguous. Many stakeholders describe the experience of systems leadership as a journey of discovery that evolves over time, leading to moments of discovery or insight – what we describe as ‘Aha! moments’ – that crystallize each step of the journey.

Mainstreaming the systems leadership approach

While the concept of systems leadership makes intuitive sense to many stakeholders, it is not yet widely embraced and practiced. Mainstreaming its application will require a broader and more coordinated effort to develop research, share knowledge and build capacity. A number of philanthropists, consultancies and academics are active on these fronts, but they are not always well-connected. New platforms are needed to connect practitioners and experts, share insights and accelerate learning to support a wider array of organizations in applying Systems Leadership to advance progress toward the SDGs.



a bit more about this Systems Community of Inquiry and what’s posted here and what isn’t

My recent request (‘is anyone reading this’ – https://stream.syscoi.com/2018/08/17/quick-check-here-is-anyone-reading-this/) was posted on here and on the various social media I use. I got some good responses and thought now was a good time to provide a bit more info about my own sources and approach. More information about the site is at the bottom of this post.

I am obsessively interested in #systemsthinking, #systemschange, #systemleadership (and #systemsleadership) and all variations thereof. My sources come from google alerts, nuzzel.com, twitter, the LinkedIn systems thinking network (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2639211 – though not systematically monitored), the systems thinking facebook groups at https://www.facebook.com/groups/774241602654986 and https://www.facebook.com/groups/2391509563, and also quite often from podcasts https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vRh25RO40r8LK4psqqGWfMAJOAFh5nyc3-UOx34-8GQ and many other email newsletters which I am signed up to. You’ll see many posts from complexity digest and from the systems studio newsletter – https://comdig.unam.mx/ and http://thesystemstudio.com

Laziness rules with my posting – I use the ‘press this’ wordpress applet to connect pages and content to wordpress for posting, put as much information and acknowledgement as I have time to do, then use www.bufferapp.com to send them out through my linkedin and twitter feeds and the facebook groups. I no longer post to LinkedIn groups or my facebook profiles, as those social media saw fit to take away this functionality (the sort of reason why we moved this content here). Our twitter account at twitter.com/syscoi automatically tweets out each story.

I tend to be very inclusive, adding any systems thinking content I find that seems to have real content (that I can understand). There isn’t much I filter out – probably only the Derek Cabrera stuff, which is well covered elsewhere and with which I have some disagreements, the wilder shores of some ‘living systems’ stuff without any real content, the most technical complexity modelling stuff, and anything (that seems to me to be) utterly bonkers or incomprehensible, or repeat material without any real new content.

The intent is to put anything potentially useful here – for my part, this site is about making this contribution which I am in a position to do, and having it available openly. Anyone can curate, tag, comment, and add other content at any time, and everything is open an accessible.

More about the systems community of inquiry:

This site is partly a descendant of model.report – you can see more of the history in this long post: https://stream.syscoi.com/2018/01/31/compendium-of-all-the-systems-thinking-links-january-2018/)
(Model report archive now hosted here at: https://syscoi.com/model.report/model.report/newest.html (not all functionality works there)).

This site exists for anyone anywhere to post anything systems-thinking related and for anyone with the interest to read, share, and comment. To follow, enter your email or click to follow with wordpress on the right. To contribute, click ‘become a contributor’ above – you will need to register with wordpress.

More information is available at:


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