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2023 Series

A Decolonial Approach to Systems/Complexity

PAST – Tuesday, November 28th, 8:00 – 9:30 AM Pacific

About this Event

What does it mean for the systems/complexity field to confront its complicity in modern/colonial process and institutions, and to dis-invest in violent and unsustainable ways of thinking, imagining, relating and being? Join us for this cross-generational mother and daughter conversation that will highlight the challenges and possibilities for palliative care for dystopian systems that are dying and prenatal care to what is emerging in their place.

Photo of Vanessa Andreotti
Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti

Vanessa is the Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. She is a former Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change and a former David Lam Chair in Critical Multicultural Education.

Vanessa has worked extensively across sectors internationally in areas of education related to global justice, global citizenship, critical literacies, Indigenous knowledge systems and the climate and nature emergency. Vanessa is the author of Hospicing Modernity: Facing humanity’s wrongs and the implications for social activism and one of the founders of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Arts/Research Collective.

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Giovanna de Oliveira Andreotti

Giovanna is a recent graduate in psychology, a dancer and a dedicated dance instructor. Giovanna’s insights on the practice of hospicing modernity stem from her upbringing and deep immersion in the zeitgeist of GenZ.

As a representative of this generation, she critically embodies their collective aspirations, concerns, frustrations and resilience in the face of a future that feels compromised and stolen.

Systems Thinking in Action – Laying the Foundations

PAST – Tuesday, September 26th, 10:00 AM PDT

About this Event

Sociologist Zeynep Tufekci and other scientists have pointed to “asystemic thinking” — or the inability to think about complex systems and their dynamics — as one of the reasons America experienced costly delays that allowed the COVID virus to spread uncurbed for weeks. Why don’t we see more systems thinking? What are some practical ideas making systems thinking actionable for a greater number of people?

In this session, Linda and Soma will explore these questions, and also:
  • Surface the forces that inhibit widespread systems thinking
  • Discuss practical, research-based ways to lay a foundation for systems thinking in early childhood and beyond
  • Celebrate the fusion of cultural wisdom and inclusivity in advancing systems understanding
  • Get a sneak peek into Linda’s upcoming children’s book, Apart, Together (Balzer & Bray, October 2023)
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Linda Booth Sweeney

As an education innovator, author and strategist for healthy socio-ecological systems change, Dr. Linda Booth Sweeney is internationally recognized for her efforts to make systems thinking actionable by a wide range of audiences.

In her Systems Leadership Labs, Linda creates experiences for leaders  — educators, policymakers, foundations heads, social entrepreneurs, business leaders and youth – to think differently, and to experiment with language, inner stance, visualization tools and knowledge architecture that better mirrors the complexity they are navigating.

She has made significant contributions to promoting the use of metaphors like the bathtub model to enhance public comprehension of critical issues such as climate change. She is co-author of The Systems Thinking PlaybookThe Climate Change Playbook, and numerous other books and journal articles. Linda is currently developing Curious about Connections Conversations (CCC), a research-based facilitation method for use by families, teachers and professionals in a variety of settings. CCC’s fosters collaborative, inclusive dialogue while promoting systems thinking, critical thinking, communication skills and empathy.

Linda is also an award-winning children’s book author.  Her next book, Apart Togetheris a gentle introduction to systems thinking for children and will be published by Balzer & Bray in October 2023.  Linda holds her doctorate from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and lives outside of Boston where she enjoys swimming in Walden Pond and amateur farming.

For more information, see

(systems), www.lindaboothsweeney.net

(children’s) www.lindaboothsweeney.com

(metaverse) https://togglelab.com

Somava Saha photo
Somava Saha

Somava Saha, MD, MS (aka Soma Stout) has dedicated her career to improving health, wellbeing and equity through the development of thriving people, organizations and communities. She has worked as a primary care internist and pediatrician in the safety net and a global public health practitioner for over 20 years. She has witnessed and demonstrated sustainable transformation in human and community flourishing around the world.

Currently, Soma serves as President and CEO of Well-being and Equity in the World (WE in the World), as well as Executive Lead of the Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network, which work together to advance inter-generational well-being and equity. Over the last five years, as Vice President at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Dr. Saha founded and led the 100 Million Healthier Lives (100MLives) initiative, which brought together 1850+ partners in 30+ countries reaching more than 500 million people to improve health, wellbeing and equity. She and her team at WE in the World continue to advance and scale the frameworks, tools, and outcomes from this initiative as a core implementation partner in 100MLives.

Previously, Dr. Saha served as Vice President of Patient Centered Medical Home Development at Cambridge Health Alliance, where she co-led a transformation that improved health outcomes for a safety net population above the national 90 th percentile, improved joy and meaning of work for the workforce, and reduced medical expense by 10%. She served as the founding Medical Director of the CHA Revere Family Health Center and the Whidden Hospitalist Service, leading to substantial improvements in access, experience, quality and cost for safety net patients.

In 2012, Dr. Saha was recognized as one of ten inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Young Leaders for her contributions to improving the health of the nation. She has consulted with leaders from across the world, including Guyana, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Tunisia, Denmark and Brazil. She has appeared on a panel with the Dalai Lama, keynoted conferences around the world, and had her work featured on Sanjay Gupta, the Katie Couric Show, PBS and CNN. In 2016 she was elected as a Leading Causes of Life Global Fellow.

PAST – Tuesday, July 25th, 10:00 AM PDT

Riane Eisler: Caring Economics

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Riane Eisler

Riane Eisler, JD, PhD(h), is the recipient of many honors, such as the Distinguished Peace Leadership Award earlier given to the Dalai Lama, and internationally known for her groundbreaking contributions as a systems scientist, futurist, and cultural historian. She is author of many books, including The Chalice and the Blade.

The Chalice and the Blade is now in its 57 th US printing and 27 foreign
editions. She is also author of The Real Wealth of Nations, hailed by Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu as “a
template for the better world we have been so urgently seeking”, and Nurturing Our Humanity,
Oxford University Press, 2019, co-authored with Douglas P. Fry.

Eisler’s innovative whole-systems research offers new perspectives and practical tools for
constructing a less violent, more egalitarian, gender-balanced, and sustainable future. Eisler is
President of the Center for Partnership Systems, which provides practical applications of her
work, and Editor in Chief of the online Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies
published at the University of Minnesota. She keynotes conferences worldwide, has taught at
many universities, has written hundreds of articles and contributions to both scholarly and
popular books, pioneered the application of human rights standards to women and children, has
addressed the UN General Assembly, and consults to businesses and governments on the
partnership model introduced by her work. For more information, see www.rianeeisler.com and

Eli Ingraham headshot
Eli Ingraham

Eli is currently CEO of the Center for Partnership Systems, an organization founded by Riane Eisler to accelerate the shift to Partnerism, a socio-economic model that values caring, nature, and shared prosperity.

Eli is a graduate of Wellesley College and Cambridge University’s executive program in Sustainability Business Management. She also studied Circular Economics at BARD University, Systems Theory with Fritjof Capra, Awareness-based Systems Change at Meridien University, Regenerative Leadership and Regenerative Economics at the Capital Institute. Other courses include Designing Regenerative Communities, and Decolonizing Sustainability. She is deeply committed to systems change efforts that connect capital to collective action at scale.

Eli was formerly CEO of the Sager Foundation managing their Science for Monks & Nuns project in partnership with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Sager Ganza’s microfinance project in Rwanda Rwanda serving over 10,000 woman-owned businesses after the genocide. Prior to that role, Eli led TIE Global Artisans, an initiative of PYXERA Global focused on alleviating poverty and elevating cultural entrepreneurship among African textile weavers by providing vital access to quality raw materials, modern techniques, and global markets.

Previously, Eli led YPO’s global business and social impact divisions as their Chief Networks Officer. Her team supported 30,000+ CEOs across 142 countries in sustainable business, social entrepreneurship and innovation, economic development, global diplomacy and peace action, community resiliency, among other business sectors.

Eli led the Global Advisory Council of the Knowledge Impact Network, a unique advisory company founded by YPOers and dedicated to accelerating progress on the world’s most pressing issues by connecting global experts with high potential social ventures to share knowledge, co-create solutions, and scale impact.

Eli is an impact investor and advisor of Astia Global, Portfolia, and SHEeo, three women and minority-focused investor groups engaging thousands of “radically generous” women on the World’s To Do List and providing greater access to investment capital to underserved entrepreneurs.

She is deeply committed to advancing systems change and creating models of shared prosperity. She serves as a Human Rights Commissioner in Newton, MA where she lives with her wife and daughter, whom they adopted from Kazakhstan.


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Lyla June Johnston

Dr. Lyla June Johnston (aka Lyla June) is an Indigenous musician, author, and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards personal, collective, and ecological healing.

She blends her study of Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her music, perspectives and solutions. Her doctoral research focused on the ways in which pre-colonial Indigenous Nations shaped large regions of Turtle Island (aka the Americas) to produce abundant food systems for humans and non-humans.