With a typically frigid New England winter finally
settling in here at Pegasus, it's tempting to imagine
that the whole climate change dilemma is nothing but
a bad dream. Luckily, in this month's Face to
Face column we have the clear (and encouraging)
words of a key leader in the sustainability arena to
remind us how critical is it to keep thinking and acting
We are also pleased to
announce the latest additions to the keynote line up
for the 2007 Pegasus Conference, and share some
thoughts on taking a diversified approach to
promoting sytems thinking in your organization.
|Economic Activism for a Just Planet: An Interview with Alisa Gravitz
Alisa Gravitz is the executive
director of Co-op
America, a nonprofit sustainable economy
advocacy organization that helps consumers,
businesses, and investors use their economic
power to create a socially just and environmentally
sustainable society. In a recent conversation
with Leverage Points editor Vicky Schubert, she
talked about her organization's focus on speed and
scale in responding to climate change.
LP: When I first heard of Co-op
America I thought of food co-ops, but your work is
much broader than that.
AG: Yes, Co-op America advocates
economic strategies for a more just and sustainable
Our name comes from the idea that people in their
economic roles as consumers, investors, business
leaders, and workers can cooperate with each
other to create a more sustainable economy--the
foundation for a more sustainable society.
LP: Starting on the individual level, can
you give us some examples of how you help
consumers adopt greener ways of living and working?
AG: In the consumer arena we hold
festivalsand provide publications
and web-based resources, such as our
National Green Pages
directory, to help people make more sustainable
As a first step, we advise people to make
consumer choices that support a life of elegant
simplicity. If you're lonely, don't go out and buy
three new dresses and then stress out about the
growing balance on your credit card. Instead,
think about joining a civic organization, or go for
a walk with a friend and sit outside with a cup of
tea and talk.
The second thing we ask people to do is to buy
from companies that are shifting towards
sustainability. Everybody needs to buy real
things, obviously; you have to wear clothes, and you
have to buy food. We have a whole program to help
people make sustainable choices and green
Real Money, our consumer newsletter,
looks at everything from beer and wine to clothes and
furniture to carbon offsets.
Next we ask people to take the money they've
saved in step one and make socially and
environmentally responsible investments. And
we ask them to use the time they've saved in step
one--since they now have a more elegant and
simple life--to engage in community and civic life.
Wherever their passion lies, whether it's in
education, or the environment, or human rights,
there are lots of opportunities to connect with
communities working locally, nationally, and
internationally to create positive change.
|Keynote Announcements: 2007 Pegasus Conference
Debra Meyerson, Van Jones, and Boeing
panel to Join Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer
in Leading the Conversation.
As diverse in their interests as the
cross-sectoral Pegasus Conference community,
this year's keynote speakers are sure to
growing capacity for learning together across
Senge, author of The Fifth
Discipline and founding chair of the
Society for Organizational Learning
Scharmer, co-author of
Presence and primary architect of
Theory U, a process for facilitating profound
innovation and change
Meyerson, author of Tempered
Radicals and an associate professor of
education and organizational behavior at
founder of the Ella Baker Center for
Human Rights in Oakland, California
Weertman, vice president of Technical
Customer Support, along with other innovators
Boeing's Commercial Aviation operation, who
will share the story of their launch of a
state-of-the-art "Ops Center".
Save $700 when you register by February 28 for
Even lower rates are available for teams of
Call us at 1-800-272-0945 to
discuss team registration options.
|Systems Thinking: The Bigger Picture
by Bill Harris
As a professional
systems thinker and system dynamicist, I've observed
something important about promoting simulation
models for learning and insight. By presenting a range
of approaches and inviting clients to view them as
alternatives rather than pushing one technique, we
can help them to view systems thinking in all its
forms, including simulation, more positively.
Clients don't react well when we act as though we
have the one tool that will fix all their problems.
Because such a wide range of issues can be
addressed with modeling tools, we may sometimes
sound as though we believe the first action in any
circumstance is to start building a stock and flow
diagram. But there are many other tools that we might
For example, Soft Systems Methodology
(SSM) provides a framework for building a rich picture
of a system by viewing it from multiple perspectives.
The Futures Wheel model is a systems tool for
looking at the likely future evolution of a current
situation. And Qualitative Politicized Influence
Diagrams (QPID, pronounced Cupid), a tool built
on annotated causal loop diagrams, can help a team
create a strategy for moving forward.
Three reasons to use these kinds of
techniques in conjunction with modeling:
- People are more likely to become excited about
system dynamics when they select a modeling
approach because it fits their problem and not
because they perceive it's all I've got.
- Sometimes another approach is truly a better and
faster way to solve the problem.
- These and other approaches can inform our
model building in those times when creating a
simulation is appropriate.
Tools for Moving the Conversation
This learning package contains everything you need to
start hosting and engaging in World Café
conversations around the questions that matter most
The World Café: Shaping
Our Futures Through Conversations That
by Juanita Brown with David Isaacs and the
World Café Community
- A Resource Guide for Hosting Conversations That
- The Art of Powerful Questions
- The dissertation that started The World Café
- Five supporting articles from The Systems
- An Innovative Approach to Dialogue pocket
#LP0603, Various formats, $79.00
Systems Clues in Everyday
by Linda Booth Sweeney
The next time you hear someone in your
team say, "This is spiraling out of control" or "We're on
a rollercoaster", don't miss the chance to start an eye-
opening conversation about the underlying behavior
of complex systems. This pocket guide offers
guidelines for looking and listening for such
"systems clues" and starting to talk about
the most effective ways to implement change.
Laminated pocket guide
20 for $70 (Save 30%!)
40 for $100 (Save 50%!)
leave behind is not what is engraved in stone
monuments, but what is woven into the lives