Colleen Ponto: Plenary Highlights

We've just wrapped up our first plenary session for STIA+NOW with Colleen Ponto! Here are a few highlights from the session. Check back with the main conference schedule page for the recording of the plenary session, in case you missed it. We'll also be posting an interview with Colleen Ponto with even more contextual content surrounding her plenary talk--that too, like all our podcasts, will be available from the main conference schedule page. Enjoy!


Colleen began by asking participants to sketch the trend of a particular challenge in their own life. What pattern of behavior are you seeing related to one variable in your personal system? On of us wanted to change the amount of personal space we give to ourselves each day. Someone else wanted to shift the percentage of time their work environment spent looking at holistic, versus linear solutions. Yet another call member wanted more sustained passion and vitality in their relationships. We began by sketching the trends of how these variables change in our lives and workplaces over time.

Think about the systems in which you are a part. What one variable would best describe the aspect of the system that you want to change? Is it your amount of sleep? Is it the percentage of time you work proactively? Is it the amount of litter you see on your city block?


We also took a brief look at the various contexts in need of Systems Thinking. Colleen took us through a tour of those issues occurring at the level local to the Pacific Northwest by showing the headlines from newspapers and magazines she's been accumulating throughout the summer. Each headline represents an adaptive challenge to a system whose proposed fixes are most typically technical in nature. According to Colleen, "using technical fixes to adaptive problems only recreates the problems further down the line."

Kinds of Changes

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