Last month, the second-annual Waters Foundation Milwaukee Systems Thinking Institute took place. The Institute was put on in partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools (who also hosted the event), Learn Deep Milwaukee, The Urban Ecology Center and the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The event brought together over 150 participants from around the country and from various fields, including education, community organizations and business. While they came from different places and work environments, they certainly had one trait in common: the desire to learn how the Habits, concepts and tools of systems thinking can be applied to solve challenges and achieve desired results.
Waters Foundation leadership and partners of the Institute offered a variety of 2-day workshops. In addition, participants heard from keynote speakers actively using systems thinking to tackle important topics, ranging from social issues, to national security, to human life on Mars.
The event opened with a Systems Leaders Spotlight Panel, featuring leaders in systems thinking from across the country. At this event, panel members shared their own journeys using systems thinking, and participants had the opportunity to ask the panel questions about applying the Habits and tools in their own work.
The Institute was a wonderful opportunity for collaborative learning, networking, problem-solving … and a lot of fun along the way!
Check out this brief Milwaukee Systems Thinking Institute montage video!
Also, take a look at some participant feedback on what they took away from the Institute:
“By looking at problems through the lens of systems thinking, students have an entry point, no matter what their prior knowledge or experiences may be.”
“I came to understand the personal impact that this could potentially have on my students. Allowing my students to think in different, systematic ways seems intriguing.”
“The leaders talked about their struggle to incorporate systems thinking into their class at first. I have felt the same, and it helped me to understand that I just need to do it!”
“I want to use systems thinking to start breaking down silos that seem to inhibit a truly collaborative partnership between my department and others.”
Are you interested in attending a Systems Thinking Institute? Be sure to register on our website to stay in the loop about our next event!