Women in Systems Thinking Speaker Series image

(Men and gender fluid individuals welcome and encouraged to attend!)

A Discussion Series

This series of events celebrates and acknowledges the important contribution of women in systems thinking. It is formulated in the spirit of facilitating a greater level of coordination among systems thinkers, as well as recognizing the crucial contributions of those whose work is more about “being” and “doing” as of equal value to “thinking.”

Systems Thinking

Marta Ceroni photo

Marta Ceroni is the co-director of the Academy for Systems Change, a nonprofit that supports organization- and community leaders in their capacity to shape more equitable and sustainable futures through peer learning and a focus on awareness-based systems change.

With a doctorate in forest ecology, over the years Marta has become interested in economies that prioritize communities and nature. Before her current position, Marta worked as a Research Professor for 10 years at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont. She is also a writer, a dancer, and a community cultivator. Her ancestral home is in the Po River Valley, in northern Italy, her current home is on the New Hampshire side of the Connecticut (Kwnitekw) River, USA.

Dr. Donella H. Meadows, a Pew Scholar in Conservation and Environment and a MacArthur Fellow, was one of the most influential environmental thinkers of the twentieth century. After receiving a Ph.D in biophysics from Harvard, she joined a team at MIT applying the relatively new tools of system dynamics to global problems. She became principal author of The Limits to Growth (1972), which sold more than 9 million copies in 26 languages. She went on to author or co-author eight other books.

For more information visit the Donella Meadows Project and the Academy for Systems Change website.

PAST – March 15th, 2022 10:00 AM PDT

The work of Donella Meadows with Marta Ceroni, Co-Director of the Academy for Systems Change

Photo of Nora Bateson speaking

Nora Bateson, is an award-winning filmmaker, research designer, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute based in Sweden. Her work asks the question “How we can improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?” An international lecturer, researcher and writer, Nora wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary, An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems. Her book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles released by Triarchy Press, UK, 2016 is a revolutionary personal approach to the study of systems and complexity, and the core text of the Harvard University LILA program 2017-18. Her new book, Warm Data, was released in 2021 by Triarchy Press.

Nora was the recipient of the 2019 Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity.

The IBI integrates the sciences, arts and professional knowledge to create a qualitative inquiry of the integration of life. Nora is the president of the International Bateson Institute, directing research projects that require multiple contexts of research. interdependent processes. Asking, “How we can create a context in which to study the contexts?” An impressive team of international thinkers, scientists and artists have been brought together by the IBI to generate an innovative form of inquiry, which Nora coined “Transcontextual Research” and the corresponding new form of information she dubbed: “Warm Data”. A group process created by Nora, called the ‘Warm Data Lab’ has been the public outreach model of this research. Over 1000 groups around the world, in over 40 countries have participated in Warm Data Labs held by more than 600 certified Warm Data hosts. Warm Data Labs assist in developing the ability to perceive complexity. In 2020 Bateson redesigned the Warm Data Lab for online use, called People Need People (online).

In addition Bateson is also credited with the innovation of the neologism “symmathesy,” and the corresponding theoretical essay bearing the same title. Bateson defines this neologism as “An entity composed by contextual mutual learning through interaction. This process of interaction and mutual learning takes place in living entities at larger or smaller scales of symmathesy.”

As an educator she has developed curricula for schools in Northern California, and produced and directed award winning multimedia projects on intercultural and ecological understanding. Her work, which has been presented at the world’s top universities, is described as “offering audiences a lens through which to see the world that effects not only the way we see, but also the way we think”. Nora’s work in facilitating cross-disciplinary discussions is part of her research into what she calls, “the ecology of the conversation.” Her speaking engagements include keynote addresses and lectures at international conferences and universities on a wide range of topics that span the fields of anti-fascism, ecology, education, the arts, family therapy, leadership and many more aspects of advocacy for living systems– she travels between conversations in different fields bringing multiple perspectives into view to reveal larger patterns.

May 17th, 2022 10:00 AM PDT

Nora Bateson, Founder & President, the International Bateson Institute


Systems Being

Melanie Goodchild photo

Melanie Goodchild is an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) complexity and systems thinking scholar. She is moose clan from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg and Ketegaunseebee First Nations. Melanie is currently a PHD candidate in Social & Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo and is a Research Fellow with the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation & Resilience. She is a proud member of the Iron Butt Association riding her Harley-Davidson motorcycle 1000 miles in 24 hours! Melanie is a faculty member with the Academy for Systems Change, the Wolf Willow Institute for Systems Learning and is a Scholar Practitioner Faculty member at the University of Vermont’s MS and PhD in Leadership for Sustainability. She is an Advisor to the new Systems Awareness Lab at MIT. Melanie is an alumna of the IWF Leadership Foundation’s Fellows Program (2015-16 class) sponsored by Harvard Business School and INSEAD.

June 28, 2022 10:00 AM PDT

Melanie Goodchild

Coming Soon
Joanna Macy photo

Joanna Macy PhD, teacher and author, is a scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking and deep ecology. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, Macy has created a ground-breaking framework for personal and social change that brings a new way of seeing the world as our larger body. Her many books include: Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory: The Dharma of Living Systems, World as Lover, World as Self; Widening Circles, A Memoir; Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in with Unexpected Resilience and Creative Power (Spring 2022); and Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects. Macy is retired and lives in Berkeley, California. To learn more, visit www.joannamacy.net.

Sept. 20th, 2022 10:00 AM PDT

Joanna Macy, Ph.D., Buddhist Scholar and Systems Thinker

Coming Soon

Systems Doing

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Nov. 22nd, 2022 10:00 AM PDT

Lydia Neilsen and Anne Freiwald, Vital Cycles

Coming Soon
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Elberta Erikson, BCD, LCSW, LMFT, is the facilitator of the Southern Marin Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) in Marin County California. She also heads the Southern Marin Community Connectors Internship Program, and is creator of the Family Functioning Scale. An elder in her early nineties, Elberta nevertheless continues to provide weekly supervision to mental health providers-in-training, and promotes a wrap-around approach to social services, urging practitioners and administrators to take traditional case management to the next level. The programs, services, and methodologies she has developed and promotes are tailored to the values and culture of the underserved, diverse populations of Southern Marin.

January 17th, 2023 10:00 AM PDT

Elberta Erkisson, BCD, LCSW, LMFT

Coming Soon


Thank you to our promotional partners!

Zebras Unite
Bridgeway Partners
Megan Fraser Coaching
Systems Change Alliance
Academy for Systems Change
Systems Thinking Marin

Can Systems Thinkers Work Together?

On December 07, 2020, Felicia published a blog by the above title. This gave rise to many helpful conversations. Some of the findings flowing from those conversations — including efforts to get systems thinkers working together more — are documented on this page.

Systems Thinking Marin Models

Systems Thinkers - Examples of Who Focuses on What
System Thinkers - Who Works As What

Examples of systems thinkers: Who focuses on what areas of life and the cosmos?

Examples of systems thinkers: Whose work has taken one (or more) of three forms?

Networks of Systems Thinkers

ISSS One Letter Logo
Presencing Institute Logo

The Systems Thinker “Authors” page lists over 400 author contributors.

The International Society for the Systems Sciences is perhaps *the* organization for those involved in systems sciences (as opposed to systems at a non-academic level). Their business directory only lists one organization, and you have to be a member to view their members list. (We understand they have a diversity of special focus groups within ISSS.)

Theory U and Otto Scharmer (out of MIT) have an organization called the Presencing Institute. Check out their list of nearly 1,000 members to find other Theory U people in your area.

December 7, 2021 – GRC

A group gathered on the Global Regenerative Co-Lab platform for a Zoom chat about this “system of systems thinkers” topic. Contact us if you’d like to be informed of future gatherings.