system.change.neil-white.guardian

Hands up who works in systems change?

I heart systems change. It’s the pocket of practice that I’ve been working for the last five years and a topic I am motivated to write about even though I’m on maternity leave.

But when I try to explain to people what it means, words fail me. My husband Pratik has a particular face that he pulls when we meet a new group of people and they ask me what I do.

And I’m even rubbish at describing it to other social innovators. I had to do a 3 minute pitch on my idea for a ‘school for systems change’ to fellow classmates at THNK (most of whom are social entrepreneurs of some sort) and it took me HOURS. Actually about 20 HOURS. And I was still met with a lot of puzzled faces at the end. Argghh.

Who can do it better?

For its simplicity, I like the definition of systems thinking from those clever people from SIG in Toronto;

At its best, systems thinking encourages efforts to address the root causes of big problems. For example, while food banks very effectively manage hunger issues, there are those who use systems thinking to figure out why hunger is still such a challenge, how it

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