Episode 116 An Educator's Guide to Systems Thinking


 Episode 116

An Educator’s Guide to Systems Thinking

An interview with Linda Booth Sweeney

November 29, 2018

In this episode, Angie talks with systems educator and award-winning author, Linda Booth Sweeney. Booth Sweeney describes her work as a systems educator and explains why understanding systems is so important. She shares many wonderful examples and stories of patterns (and feedback loops) that show up in everyday life and explains how seeing a pattern is the very first step toward influencing change. Booth Sweeney also talks about her books and why storytelling is such an instrumental tool in her work.

Linda will be speaking at the Fuller Symposium on Living Systems on Dec. 6, 2018 You can register for the event and livestream it for free! You can also follow the talk at #WWFuller


Show Notes


Quotes from this episode:

“We live in a world of systems but for the most part we aren’t really taught to see them, to recognize them, to understand them, to make them visible or to work with them.” — Linda Booth Sweeney

“A systems perspective can help people get a richer understanding of complexity. They can start to recognize patterns of cause and effect that are producing behaviors they are experiencing.”  — Linda Booth Sweeney

“Seeing a pattern is the first step, and then working to shift it to redesign the set of interconnections to produce the behavior that you want.” — Linda Booth Sweeney

“When you take a systems view you are operating from an intersectional point of view.” — Linda Booth Sweeney

“The big question that I ask when I’m looking at complex problems is, what set of interactions is driving the behavior either that we’re seeing or that we want to see?” — Linda Booth Sweeney

“We don’t see systems walking around. The only way you see a system is if you imagine the interconnections.” — Linda Booth Sweeney

“By nature, we tend not to see feedback. We misperceive feedback. We focus on the immediate events or causes versus tracing cause and effect to see closed loops.” — Linda Booth Sweeney

Resources from this episode:

How Children’s Stories Help Us See Real-World Problems


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