Linda Booth Sweeney

As a systems educator and award-winning author, Linda works with people of all ages to develop systems literacy, or a deeper understanding of living systems. In much of her work, Linda translates complex systems theory into accessible materials and programs for innovation in organizations, schools, museums, public television and communities.

Combining complex systems theory + systems mapping + story telling, Linda also works with organizations to move beyond bullet points and matrices, to language and visuals that more closely match the interdependent, dynamic, complex reality of their work.

NEW SYSTEMS VIDEOS

What Are Systems?

In this Just-in-Time video from WGBH, systems educator Linda Booth Sweeney considers what is a system and what’s not, what systems do, and why understanding systems is important.

Understanding Causal Loops

In this Just-in-Time Professional Development video, systems educator Linda Booth Sweeney describes how systems thinking supports the Next Generation Science Standards and provides an example of how to use diagrams to help analyze systems behavior.

Teaching About Systems

This STEM professional development module for teachers guides you through the basics of systems thinking and shows how you can integrate systems literacy across the grades and across disciplines, including STEM and social studies.

Thinking About Systems

Living systems are everywhere. These systems elements and processes interacting to form a whole shape us and surround us. When we look closely, we see living systems on all scales, from the smallest plankton, to our own body, to the planet as a whole. When we understand what constitutes a living system, we also see that our watersheds, families, communities, organizations, and nations are all living systems.

To think about systems means we pay attention to interrelationships, patterns, and dynamics as well as to the parts. The field of systems thinking has evolved over the past 50 years as a set of methods and tools that focus on systems rather than fragments as the context for defining and solving complex problems, and for fostering more effective learning and design. At its best, the practice of systems thinking helps us to stop operating from crisis to crisis, and to think in a less fragmented, more integrated way. More

Example

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Talking with Kids About Exponential Growth During COVID-19

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Young people are watching. They’re worrying. From climate change to our current pandemic, adults don’t seem to have the answers. How can we support young people to look to the other side of the hardship and disruption they're experiencing now, to feel confident that they can solve complex problems and innovate their way to healthier futures? Whole-systems learning - experiential opportunities to improve our ability to see, understand and work with interdependent systems -- may be one answer.

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Avoid overwhelm and get started framing complex issues with this "systems thinking" checklist

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