Systems: From Fragmentation to Holism
NEW! Last Updated: 03/05/2010
Faculty: Kathy Kelly whole systems design, transformation
Major areas of study include systems theory applied across an array of disciplines such as biology, sociology, environmental studies, business and management.
Class Standing: No restrictions.
Note: This 8-credit program will meet on five intensive weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (Apr. 3 & 4, 17 & 18, May 1 & 2, 22 & 23, Jun. 5 & 6). First class meets in SEM 2 D2105.
What is a system and how is it different from a pile of parts? What is a whole system? In what ways does understanding whole systems contribute to wisdom and well-being? This program will introduce students to systems theory. Students will learn the basic characteristics of systems, examine mechanistic-scientific and living systems frameworks, and explore systems across an array of disciplines such as ecological, organizational, cosmological and family systems. Working with several case studies, students will identify systems dynamics at play in a variety of organizations to identify internal and external dynamics of these systems. Further linking theory with practice, students will work with one case from their professional or personal experience to observe and identify system dynamics, and then imagine and anticipate possible interventions and consequent systemic effects. We will continually examine our own group’s dynamics as related to what we’re learning about systems. Through reading, participatory exercises, reflection, writing, and through stories and expressive arts, students will cultivate a systems perspective as a way of understanding complex systems.
Credits: 8 per quarter
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in leadership, management, sociology, public policy development, and organizational development.