Introduction to Compassionate Systems Framework, September 2021
September 27-29, 2021 (3-day)
8:30 am - 5:30 pm (Eastern Time)
At MIT (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Facilitated by Peter Senge & Mette Boell
Offered by the MIT JWEL & the Center for Systems Awareness
*Important Note* - If the workshop changes to a virtual format, then the dates will be September 27-30 (4 days) and each day starts at 9am and ends at 2:30pm Eastern Time.
Young people throughout different cultures and circumstances are confronted with the complex contradictions of the interconnected, interdependent systems in our world (e.g. climate change, human migration, terrorism, substance use, Covid-19, etc.). An essential question for the future of education is how do we help students to reflect on, deeply understand and respond mindfully and compassionately rather than just feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of these systems. With the growing interest in education in social and emotional learning (SEL) and mindfulness today, we feel it is especially timely to show how these can combine with skills in understanding systems and complexity to establish a cognitive and affective foundation for global citizenship.
This hands-on workshop is an introduction to the tools and approaches that have been developed for implementing what we call a “Compassionate Systems” framework. A framework that is being used at both the level of classroom innovations and collective leadership in shaping a more generative school culture. We conceptualize compassion as an essentially systemic property of mind: to cultivate compassion is to be able to appreciate the systemic forces that influence people’s actions. It is the capacity to hold paradoxes - to see and sense the larger system with all its interdependence and interconnectedness and all the unintended consequences of human behavior - without judgment but with real care for the system and everyone involved in it.
The program will be co-facilitated by Dr. Peter Senge and Dr. Mette Boell, both of MIT J-WEL and The Center for Systems Awareness.