Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing: Online class on ‘Understanding the Nature of Systems’ July 20 - August 14

Submitted by Daniel Wolpert
A photo by Daniel Wolpert of the mural for George Floyd created by a group of community artists on the side of grocery store Cup Foods in Minneapolis, just down the street from where Floyd was arrested and died. The artwork not only pays homage to Floyd, it has become a place to pay tribute to him.

    We are trained to think about and see individuals.  We are taught that we are an individual, separate from all others, and we are taught to analyze problems and situations from the perspective of individuals.  This vantage point is so ingrained that we don’t even notice it; thus when analyzing police brutality, or what’s happening in our job, or family, we unconsciously seek answers from this individualistic perspective.

    But the world doesn’t function individually but rather systemically.  Systems are what rule the day, and yet they are almost completely invisible to us.  

    Our inability to think and view the world systemically handicaps us when it comes to understanding the issues of our time and seeking solutions to the problems we face.

    During these recent uprisings I have noticed the clash between individualistic thinking and systemic thinking on almost a daily basis.  This has led me to create this course because I know that being able to ‘see’ systems can be of tremendous help as we seek justice and try to create a better world.   

    This course, meeting online - both in person and through discussions, videos, readings, and case examples - will provide you with the basics of systems theory and thinking and give you tools see the world through different eyes.  Such an ability will be tremendously helpful as you work for good in the world.

    Topics will included (but not be limited to):

    • What is individualistic thinking and analysis?

    • What is systemic thinking and analysis?

    • Process vs. Content Thinking: a key tool for viewing systems

    • Roles vs People: The formational power of systems

    • The emotional triangle: The basic building block of systems.

    • The Corporate Ego: Unveiling the basic assumptions that drive a system

    • Differentiation: A key tool in making systemic change

    • How Do Systems Change and Becoming a Change Agent

Course Objectives:

    • Develop an understanding of individualistic vs. systemic thinking and analysis  

    • Learn to recognize the difference between individualistic and systemic thinking

    • Develop an understanding of how systems work and the impact they have on individuals.

    • Understand the nature of corporate egos and the difference between individuals and rolls.

    • Learn about the process of systemic formation: how systems create behavior and world view in individuals.

    • Examine how systems change so that you can become a systemic change agent.

    Suggested Cost $100.  Pay what you can afford.

    For more information, visit micahprays.org.