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January 31, 2005 Issue 58
best teachers may never 'teach' anything at
all. In contrast, they create environments in
which vast amounts of learning may take place."
is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."
Karen Kaiser Clark
and Audio Recordings from the 2004 Pegasus ConferenceNow
If you couldn't attend the conference this year,
or if you did attend and want to relive the
experience, now you can enjoy the next best
thing to being there!
Get All Five Keynote Recordings5
DVDs or 5 VHS Cassettesand
save more than 25%!
#VSET04D (DVD), color, varying lengths, $450.00
#VSET04V (VHS), color, varying lengths, $450.00
(Individual DVD or VHS recordings are $125.00
complete video set includes:
Spiritual Intelligence to Collaboration
of Learning in K12 Education: Giving Students
the Tools to Become Productive Citizens
Arc of Success: A Company Thrives by Reaching
Beyond Its Own Boundaries by
for Success: Integrating Nonprofit and For-Profit
Organizations to Uplift a Community by
Melissa Abdullah, Wendy Powell, David Rome,
and Julius Walls, Jr.
Collaborations to Sustain Our Global Society
Receive significant discounts
when you order complete or partial sets of the
the Complete Set of 22 Audio Recordingssave
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#ASET04C (CDs), varying lengths, $250.00 (regularly
#ASET04T (Tapes), varying lengths, $215.00 (regularly
details about the recordings
Create your own set of 6 audio recordings
#ASET6C (CDs), $103.00
#ASET6T (Tapes), $90.00
(Individual tapes are $19.95 each; CDs are $22.95
Explore Resources by Dennis Meadows
NEW VIDEO! One
on One with Dennis Meadows: Sustainable Solutions
to the Challenge of Global Growth
is pleased to announce this new entry in its
One on One Video Series.
Many thoughtful people are deeply worried about
the future of our planet. The demands we're
putting on our resources are 20 percent beyond
what the earth can sustainably support, and
every year that number continues to rise. What
can we as systems thinkers do to reverse this
dangerous trend that threatens to destroy life
as we know it?
More than 30 years ago, Dennis Meadows and his
team created a computer model to explore the
consequences of growth on a finite planet. In
this eye-opening vision of possible futures,
he spells out the dangers, examines the ways
of thinking that have led to this critical point,
and offers direction to those who are ready
to become part of the solution.
The video offers a powerful way for businesses
to alert their workforces to both the potentially
dramatic changes ahead in the business environment
and to the need for long-range planning informed
by an understanding of complex systems. The
clear explanations of the dynamics of growth
and sustainable development make the video a
unique resource for classrooms and for nonprofit
organizations with a focus on sustainability.
Get the special
of $119.00 (regularly $179.00)
if you order by March 16, 2005. (Videos will
be shipped on or before that date. Discount
is not applicable with any other discounts.)
clips from the video at our media
to Growth: The 30-Year Update by
Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows
(Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004)
This is the most recent follow-up
to the 1972 book The Limits to Growth,
which shocked the world with its look into the
future at the consequences of unchecked growth
on a finite planet and became the cornerstone
of a global debate on how to achieve a sustainable
future. Twenty years later the authors followed
the book up with Beyond the Limits, which
showed humanity was already overshooting Earth's
limits. Now Limits to Growth: The 30-Year
Update makes a compelling case for the vital
need for a Sustainability Revolution.
#OL027, softcover, 338 pages, $22.50
Dominance: Moving from Addiction to Adaptation
in Organizational Learning
by Dennis Meadows
Why does an enterprise, after
years of steady progress and growth, suddenly
face a drastic decline in fortunes? Even in
simple systems, behavior changes rapidly when
a new set of causal factors becomes more powerful
than those that have determined past behavior.
In this powerful presentation, Meadows draws
on local and global examples to illustrate the
process known as "shifting dominance" and offers
steps that managers can take to ensure that
their organizations learn effective rather than
#V9712, VHS cassette, approx. 87 minutes, $99.00
Systems Thinking Playbook
by Linda Booth Sweeney and Dennis
This resource is ideal for facilitators working
with asipring systems thinkers. Packed with
enjoyable, hands-on exercises, powerful debriefs,
and "Voices from the Field," The Systems
Thinking Playbook abounds with practical
advice on maximizing each learning experience.
Includes Volumes IIII. (Institute for
Policy and Social Science Research, 2002)
#EX005RR, three-ring binder, 260 pages, $75.00
us at Pegasus Communications, One Moody Street,
Waltham, MA 02453-5339. Send an e-mail to email@example.com,
or call 781-398-9700. Web site: http://www.pegasuscom.com.
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Pegasus Communications provides resources that
help people explore, understand, articulate,
and address the challenges they face in the
complexities of a changing world. Since 1989,
Pegasus has worked to build a community of practitioners
Newsletter, books, audio and videotapes, and
its annual Systems
Thinking in Action®
Conference and other events.
at Pegasus are both devastated by the catastrophe in Asia and East
Africa and heartened by the scale of the global relief effort. As
we progress in the new year, with its challenges and promises, tragedies
and triumphs, may we find the wisdom and courage to truly collaborate
to create a more humane, more sustainable tomorrow.
Collaboration Is Key to Sustaining Our Future
Adapted from a Talk by Dennis Meadows
Relationship Tension to Task Tension
by February 18 for Significant Savings
from a 2004 Conference Participant
Special Room Rates Available for Host Hotel
2005 Conference Call-for-Proposals
Readiness When Disaster Strikes
Collaboration Is Key to Sustaining Our Future
Adapted from a talk by Dennis Meadows
The book The Limits to Growth by Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows,
Jorgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III (Universe Books, 1972)
was a key catalyst of the worldwide environmental movement. Its look
at the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet became
the cornerstone of a global debate on how to achieve a sustainable
future. Twenty years later the authors followed the book up with Beyond
the Limits, which showed that humanity was already overshooting
Earth's limits. Now Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update makes
a compelling case for the vital need for a Sustainability Revolution.
At the 2004 Pegasus Conference, during his keynote presentation,
Peter Senge invited Dennis Meadows to share some insights into the
that are shaping the state of the world today and the ways that people
are actively collaborating to produce change. The following article
was adapted from Dennis's talk. Peter's entire keynote presentationincluding
Dennis's commentsis now available through the Pegasus
Changing our world. It's so easy, when you're sitting here in
this little microcosm on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, in the United States, to forget what's really going
on with the rest of the world. You could start to have the illusion
that everything's going okay. In fact, the rest of the world is in
We have over 2 billion people on the planet living on less than $1
a day. The next 2 billion don't make much more than $2 a day, and
the gap between the rich and the poor is getting bigger. There isn't
a continent on the globe where resources are being managed sustainably.
There are locations of course where it's happening, cities where the
air is getting cleaner, rivers where the fish are coming back. But
if you look across continentsforests, agricultural soils, groundwater,
the air are deteriorating. We've caught most of the fish in the sea,
we've used up a lot of water, and it goes on and on. I won't belabor
the point. I think we all know that we have a big job ahead of us.
A Big Gap
I've been looking at these issues off and on for the last 30
years. The most recent results of my study have been published in
the book Limits to Growth: A 30-Year Update (Chelsea Green
Publishing, 2004), which is the focus of a new Pegasus video (view
clips from the video).
It's been an interesting challenge to look forward to the next
100 years, to understand something about
the issues this century presents, and then to try to articulate that
understanding for people genuinely concerned about doing something
constructive and concrete right now. A big gap exists between understanding
and action. Today I will share a couple of points that help me
the complete interview
about the 2005 Pegasus Conference
resources by Dennis Meadows
Relationship Tension to Task Tension
by John W. Gunkler
At the beginning of any new working relationship, the anxiety of meeting
new people and getting used to their working styles can often hinder
a team's productivity. Relationship tension is inevitable,
as people wonder what is expected of them or whether other group members
will listen to and respect their views.
But only when relationship tension subsides can task tension
take its place. Task tension is the positive feeling enjoyed by an
individual or group with an interesting job to accomplish; it usually
builds as people work together on a problem, reaching a peak as they
approach the solution.
Relationship tension decreases when team members work on earning each
other's initial trust, for example, by showing honorable intentions
about collaborating, making and keeping promises, and taking the appropriate
time to discover commonalities with new coworkers. When relationship
tension flares upfrom a disagreement or a seeming violation
of trustone way to intervene is by following L-S-C-P-A:
Listen: Actively listen for the feelings that lie behind
what the person is saying.
Share: Restate, in your words, what the other person
is feeling and saying.
Clarify: First ask permission to go deeper into the
situation and then ask both fact-finding and feeling-finding questions.
Present: Suggest options for how to proceed.
Ask for Action: Ask the person what she thinks is the
best way to proceed.
The unspoken anxiety that often accompanies new working relationships
can mire people in long-lasting and potentially paralyzing conflict.
Establishing trust, acknowledging common bonds, and actively attempting
to understand a new colleague's point of view can help liberate the
team's collective energy to dig in to the task before it.
the complete article, or see LEVERAGE, No. 32 (August 1999).
The Systems Thinker® Newsletter
by February 18 for Significant Savings!
15th Annual Pegasus Conference will be held on November 1416,
2005, in San Francisco, California, USA. Register now through
February 18 for only $950. Also, take advantage of a special
subscription price for The Systems Thinker Newsletteronly
$89 for a one-year subscription when you register (regularly $109).
on our web site, or call 1-781-398-9700.
from a 2004 Conference Participant
"I attended the Pegasus Conference for the first time in 2004 and
was deeply satisfied with the quality and variety of interaction,
the welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, and the "amount" of new
ideas and perspectives I encountered. The theme of collaboration
was skillfully woven throughout the conference, beginning with the
Creating the Conference Community workshop on the evening preceding
the opening of the conference, and extending through Peter Senge's
emotional closing keynote address.
"I found all the presenters to be very generous with their time
whenever I encountered them, willing to engage and discuss any question.
I spent time in conversation with Peter Senge, Dennis Meadows, Linda
Booth Sweeney, Jon Bergstrom, and Phil Ramsey, among others. High
points for me were sessions focused on dialogue and conversation,
especially the World Café gathering one entire afternoon.
It was an extraordinary experience, evoking in me admiration for
those who organized that particular event.
"I cannot imagine not attending this conference every year from
now on. The value is quite substantial, particularly if one takes
advantage of early registration discounts. I urge you to visit the
Pegasus Communications web page to read more about the 2004 conference,
see the wonderful drawings by graphic artists, and ponder your personal
commitment to improvement through systems thinking and collaboration.
And when you go next year, take a young person with you and practice
some investment thinking."
Steven Byers, Director of Quality Assurance, Western Institutional
Room Rates Available for Host Hotel
Make your hotel reservations now at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco,
this year's host hotel for the conference!
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
5 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-788-1234, Fax: 415-398-2567
When reserving your room, please identify yourself as a Pegasus
Conference attendee so that you may take advantage of the special
room rate ($179/night + tax, single or double occupancy). To make
reservations, please call the hotel directly. The special rate is
available as long as reservations are made prior to October 20,
2005, or as long as space exists in the room block.
There are a limited number of government-rate rooms available on
a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a government-rate room,
please contact Carrie Ruchin at 1-781-398-9700. Please be prepared
to show government credentials upon arrival.
2005 Conference Call-for-Proposals
Starting February 15, check our web site for information about
presenting at this year's conference (www.pegasuscom.com).
Organizational Readiness When Disaster Strikes
Why did the tsunami disaster stimulate extensive financial support
and media coverage while other situations of human misery go virtually
unnoticed? More importantly, what impact does giving to organizations
dealing with this disaster have on other causes? In a recent article,
Robert G. Ottenhoff, president and CEO of GuideStar, ponders these
questions as he looks at how nonprofits can strengthen their capacity
to respond to expected and unexpected situations.
Ottenhoff examines conflicting data. A just-released study by the
Foundation Center concludes that the $1.1 billion donated in the
wake of the September 11 tragedy bolstered overall giving. On the
other hand, others believe that such philanthropy creates "donor
fatigue," as evidenced by one survey that shows 60% of wealthy individuals
who contributed to the tsunami effort plan to give less this year
to other causes.
One thing is clear: During crises, donors still turn to nonprofits
for information. According to Ottenhoff, for two weeks after the
tsunami hit, his company, which offers information about the programs
and finances of more than one million IRS-recognized charitable
organizations, experienced a 500% increase in emails; a 94% increase
in phone calls; a 504% increase in traffic to the site; a 426% increase
in total page views; and more than 50 media inquiries.
Ottenhoff attributes his organization's ability to handle the unexpected
surge of activity to its 2004 investment in more servers and customer
servicethe very activities donors often question and foundations
resist funding. True, nonprofits need to explain overhead and program
costs and ratios, but to respond instantly, they also need ongoing
staffing and infrastructure support. Ottenhoff notes that, when
disaster strikes, donors often react by starting new charities.
He suggests that better coordinating the organizations we already
haveand helping them strengthen their services and capabilitiesmight
be a more worthwhile effort.
Source: Robert G. Ottenhoff, "A Report from the Frontlines,"
The Nonprofit Quarterly, Vol. 11, Issue 4
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