About Systems Thinking

On April 14, 2020, Time Magazine published an article by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In it he says, “This pandemic serves as a warning that only by coming together with a coordinated, global response will we meet the unprecedented magnitude of the challenges we face.”

“Coming together” is another way of saying “building high-functioning relationships.” Systems thinking is a worldview and a toolbox that fosters compassion and this “coordinated, global response,” rather than finger-pointing and complicated strategic plans worked out by the brainy people at the top who are too often isolated from the reality on the ground.

To learn more, take the 30-minute Systems Thinking Mini-Course.

About Systems Thinking Marin

Systems Thinking Marin was active in Marin County August 2017 – August 2022. The entity remained an open project with the fiscal sponsor, Inquiring Systems Inc., through 2023, and has now closed. This website remains active as an educational resource.

Felicia Chavez with blue wall and bright light
Image for Systems Thinking Gaia Education course

Next Session begins Oct. 16th, 2023

Systems Thinking

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking we used to create them.”

~ Ram Dass (which he misattributed to Einstein)


The Prime Directive of Permaculture: “The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children.”

~ Bill Mollison pg 13


“Our task must be…widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

~Albert Einstein

Examples of Systems Doing

  • Permaculture
  • Restorative Justice
  • Empowerment of Women & Girls

Examples of Systems Being

  • Direct experience of interconnectedness

Systems Thinking, Doing, and Being are not exclusive categories. Rather, this framing is a way to help us to see three different modalities when it comes to making the world a better place: the experiences that impart a sense of our interconnected reality, the mental frameworks to enable our best thinking, and the already-existing practices that help us link this interconnected worldview with our actions in the world.

“…nature sustains life by creating and nurturing communities. Sustainability is not an individual property but a property of an entire web of relationships.”

The Systems View of Life, Capra and Luisi, page 355

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