Introduction to Compassionate Systems Framework in Schools (Virtual)

July 20-23, 2020

11:00 am - 4:15pm EDT (includes a 30 minute break) each day

Facilitated by Peter Senge & Mette Boell

Offered by the MIT JWEL & the Center for Systems Awareness

MIT Workshop day 3 65
Due to the global ongoing conditions of the coronavirus in the US and beyond, the Center for Systems Awareness has decided to hold a second virtual Introductions to Compassionate Systems in Schools workshop in July, on four half days July 20-23. To our pleasant surprise, the June workshop, originally scheduled to be at MIT and held virtually June 2-5, was remarkably effective. Obviously, not being face to face makes a difference but the upside is the reduced costs and much greater access, especially for those who would have had to travel internationally.

Like the June session, each day will have two sessions with a short break between. In June, we set the time to accommodate the large part of our community in southern and eastern Asia – though we still had some hearty Californians join us for a 3:30 AM (their time) start. This time we will reverse the scheduling and go from 8:00 AM-1:15 PM PDT (11:00 AM-4:15 PM EDT). Hopefully, this will again work for Europeans as well, and, who knows, we may now get some hearty Asians as well. (Our wonderful Australian contingent can now get up very early instead of staying up very late!)

In addition to working with the basic tools and principles of compassionate systems, we will focus the July workshop in Reopening Schools with Attunement to Today’s Reality. There is no greater issue on the minds of educators everywhere than ‘the new normal.” Adults and students alike have been through a period of extraordinary disruption, a period that is, in all likelihood, far from over. Learning how to remain better balanced and connected in times of strong emotional tension is a core aspect of compassionate systems leadership. We will also include in the sessions some partners from the extended community who are world leaders in trauma-sensitive education practices.

There is so much for us all to learn in partnership with our students. There are no experts in this new reality, and educators who attempt to simply reassume traditional authority roles are likely to not only miss their own needs for personal support, but also the opportunities for profound change and growth in these times for the institution we call ‘school.’

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.” These tools are being used at both the level of classroom innovations and collective leadership in shaping a more generative school culture. In addition to introducing some of the tools in use, we will share examples from prototypes with International Baccalaureate (IB) schools with the aim that participants can begin working together on similar prototypes in their own school and classroom settings. To support this, we recommend people come in teams where they can support one another moving forward.


Author, Senior Lecturer at MIT, Center for Systems Awareness Co-founder
Visiting Research Scientist at MIT, Center for Systems Awareness Co-founder


President and CEO, PolicyLink
Founder & Senior Science Advisor, Turnaround for Children

Follow the link below to watch a one-hour webinar with Peter Senge & Mette Boell on Compassionate Systems:

If you have any questions, please contact Miho Kito at