Launching a new program for system entrepreneurs who are ‘halfway through’

We are excited to announce the launch of our new peer-to-peer learning program, The Systems Sanctuary, for systems entrepreneurs who are head down, sleeves rolled up and have been working on their systems change project for at least two years.

We’ve chosen this group because we see a gaping hole in support for people who are really in the thick of it.

Consultants can help you get started, but it’s from two year mark on wards that it begins to get really tough. Stakeholders are watching you, you have to make tough decisions about money, strategy and collaboration, and often try to tell a compelling story at the same time.

Systems change projects are slow burners and can look messy and unfinished to the outside world, but that doesn’t mean they’re not building the foundations of something that could change everything. We’re placing our bets on the people who are ‘half-way through’. (*and hoping they will remain committed if we tell them it will all be over in 4 years!).

Peer-to-peer learning

Front and center of our program is a belief in the experience of the people we are bringing together. We’re focusing on peer-to-peer learning because we found spending an hour with someone who actually understands what you’re talking about is absolutely invaluable. Peers have ideas you can borrow, models and frameworks that are relevant to your challenges and most importantly can bring a sense of camaraderie and humor to your world when you really need it. Systems change can be heavy and serious, but it can also be joyful and inspiring.

Who’s behind it?

We have partnered with seasoned systems entrepreneur Tatiana Fraser of MetaLab, to create the program we wished we’d had when we were leading our systemic change projects in the UK and Canada.

We bring our collective experience of leading a systems change work in the UK and Canada to The Systems Sanctuary. Prior to launching The Systems Studio I co-founded and co-led The Finance Innovation Lab for 8 years, an award winning project designed to empower positive disruptors in the financial system. Tatiana has 20 years of experience creating strategic learning communities, building movements and working across difference including Indigenous, racialized and economically marginalized communities. Co-founder of Girls Action Foundation and co-author of Girl Positive (Random House 2016), she has worked to re-frame the narrative around gender equality and to advance the leadership and empowerment of girls and young women.

But this program isn’t about us. We will be using our diverse network to bring together a really interesting mix of people from across the globe, setting up the conditions for great conversation and then getting out of the way, so they can talk about what’s really meaningful to them.

Who should join?

We are seeking a diverse group who are working on different systems and challenges from public services, to poverty, to climate change, members of professions and beyond.

We especially welcome applications from those who have been disadvantaged by our current systems and are open to applications from all over the world. We will work out time zones as to fit our cohorts.

We know this group don’t always have huge resources and are pushed for time, so the program will be short, punchy and affordable and will run from February to July 2018. You can find full details and register online here.

The future

Our ambition is that the Sanctuary becomes a platform from which we can launch multiple communities of practice for different groups within the field of systems change.

If you know a group of systems changers who need a peer-led community of practice, get in touch.