On the Advisory Group for a field building retreat. 

Rachel we asked to sit on the Advisory Group of a retreat co-convened by Darcy Riddell (The McConnell Foundation) and Anna Birney (The School for Systems Change) designed to support the emergence of the field of systems change. 

An amazing group of  27 practitioners, all invited for their demonstrated commitment to not only systems change, but to field building,, worked together for 4 days, applying our own systems tools on ourselves, to identify the gaps and opportunities to work together and move things forward.  

The purpose of the retreat is to explore how we might/will work together to
build the field of systems change. We wished to:

  • identify ways to work together to strengthen the resources and access to systemic approaches for practitioners working on complex issues/problem/challenges
  • [continue] to build collaborative actions across the field of practitioners to support this building of the field

The Systems Studio is committed to building the field of systems change

The field of systems change has huge potential, but if it is to grow we need more case studies, clearer language and the people who work on systems change need to be better connected. 

We have be actively working to build the field for around 5 years in the following ways: 

  • Sharing resources across the field: Our newsletter is a roundup of useful publications, videos, jobs, events and training about systems change in the UK, US, Canada and South Africa.  Check out the archive here and sign up for future editions in the form adjacent. 
  • Supporting funders to understand it: See the funding systems change report below, a summary of a gathering of funders in 2017. 
  • Convening practitioners: Rachel is on the Advisory Board of a gathering of systems change field builders in Summer 2018. 
  • Raising the profile of the field: Writing in HBR, Fast Company, creating a video library of systems practitioners talking about their work (systemschangers.com), writing about the challenges on systems leadership in a blog on Medium which has been read over 700 times. 
  • Working on language: See the keywords publication below, a partnership with Oxford University
  • Documenting the emergence of the field: In the publication Mapping Momentum, which outlines the roles people can play to build a field of practice and the pockets of people working on systems change in different sectors (international development, public services, sustainability etc) who would benefit from being united. 

Attendees at the retreat included

Jennifer Berman, Garfield Foundation
Ed Krishok, Academy for Systems Change
Loretta Rose, Bertha Centre at Capetown University
Anna Birney, Forum for the Future
Annabel Membrillo Jimenez, Strategic Clarity
Wendy Schultz, Infinite Futures
Valeria Budinich, Ashoka
Praveen Nahar, National Institute of Design, India
Darya Shaikh, Leaders Quest
Tim Draimin, McConnell Foundation
Darius Polok, Bosch Foundation
Rachel Sinha, The Systems Studio
Alice Evans, Lankelly Chase Foundation
Bill Reed, Regenesis Group
Mary Tangelder, Mastercard Foundation
David Ford, Expert Link
Vanessa Reid, Living Wholeness Institute
Benjamin Taylor, Red Quadrant
Tatiana Fraser, Meta Lab
Rob Ricigliano, Omidyar Foundation
Marieke Verhagen, DRIFT
Russ Gaskin, Co-creative Consulting
Darcy Riddell, McConnell Foundation
Laura Winn, Forum for the Future
Peter Jones, OCADU
Ruth Rominger, Garfield Foundation