Systems Literacy Presentation

The videos from the “Systems Literacy” presentation are embedded on this page, as you will see when you scroll down, but first a word of orientation.

The content for this presentation was chosen in the context of the earlier “What Time Is It?” and “Human Operating-System Literacy” presentations. In particular, it was chosen to:

  • introduce and explore the systems perspective as a major toolkit for the Planetary Era “mind”
  • ground systems thinking in an understanding of the human operating system
  • show how a systems perspective can be applied in a wide variety of situations, many of which don’t require any math
  • convey the systems perspective as a practical, everyday tool for dealing with life’s many challenges and opportunities.

The presentation was given 28 January 2015 in Seattle to a small group of friends and friends-of-friends who served as a studio audience for creating the videos.

With a focus on “literacy,” these videos provide an introduction to a territory. As such, they are foundational for much that is still to come.

The videos are:

These videos are full HD (1080p) and best viewed full screen. If you have trouble viewing them because of your internet connection speed, please try the link before each video that says “YouTube alternative.” This will give you more resolution choices.

Part 1 – What are “systems”?

This video has an introduction by Chris Clark and then introduces “systems” as an approach to understanding ourselves and the world in which the relationships among parts are as important as the parts themselves. (YouTube alternative.) Click here for a PDF of the slides used in this video.

Part 2 – Examples: Diagrams and Descriptions, Relationship Ping Pong, Ocean Fishing, Habits

Here we explore examples: the multiple connections between a Congressman and a lobbyist; interpersonal and intrapersonal relationship ping pong; ocean fishing with the role of constraints; and habits. (YouTube alternative.) Click here for a PDF of the slides used in this video.

Part 3 – Examples: Food-Limited Population, Home Heating

We explore System Dynamics as a form of mathematically-based systems through examples of food-limited population growth and home heating. We also explore tipping points and their application to culture. (YouTube alternative.) Click here for a PDF of the slides used in this video.

Part 4 – How to use a systems perspective and Moving into the Planetary Era

When and how might you use a systems approach? How can you use these tools and the Human Operating-System ideas to help make your transition to the Planetary Era? (YouTube alternative.) Click here for a PDF of the slides used in this video.

Systems Literacy Q&A

A wrap-up conversation. (YouTube alternative.)

A PDF of the original presentation slides is also available. The links to the demos on slides 35, 62 and 66 are live and you are welcome to play with these demos.

Many thanks to the following people who helped with the presentation and the videos:

  • Event planning and coordination: Lianna Gilman
  • Introduction: Chris Clark
  • Presenter cinematography: Brian Overholt
  • Audience cinematography: Ian Gilman
  • Sound engineer: Oliver Stellfox
  • Event volunteer coordination: Joe Shirley
  • Event volunteers: Lianna Gilman, Chris Clark, Eldan Goldenberg, Jeff Hammerquist, LightFoot McBride, Josie Straka, Woosi Wildwood
  • Post-production and editing: Robert Gilman

Robert Gilman
Original page: 23 February 2015
Update: 5 January 2016