Academy for Systems Change
(2012?; Norwich Vermont; 5 staff, 24 affiliates;

A global community of individuals, organizations and networks involved in developing living examples that show what is possible in transforming social systems “to foster biological, social, and economic well-being.” The 10-year initiative seeks to crystallize and disseminate emerging knowledge, values and practices, grounded in the teachings of natural systems: harmony, balance, integration, and ongoing evolution. The new knowledge we see emerging in the world shapes organic processes of change that result in social systems that are more resilient, sustainable, and adaptive. These ‘integral’ learning and change processes knit ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ change, and are both deeply personal and inherently collective. Using tools for systems thinking, organizational learning and systemic change developed over more than two decades, we help people create ‘learning circuits’ that test and spread knowledge, values, practices, and leadership capacity within and across diverse settings.

Focus Areas:

  • Education
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Marine Ecosystems
  • Business
  • Community Development.

Programs and Projects:

  • Academy Fellows – A group of change-makers who try to develop core systems-leadership capabilities that enable them to foster collective leadership within their organizations, networks and wider communities.
  • Systems Leader’s Fieldbook – “This online Fieldbook provides tools and resources for system leaders to develop skills in collective leadership. This ever-growing collection of tools, methods and approaches aims to support people and groups as they develop the skills to accelerate progress on intractable problems together.
  • Partnership Fellow Programs – As well as working closely with our Academy Fellows, we collaborate on other fellowship programs, focused on domain specific areas. Our current partnerships include the Sustainable Food Lab, The Nature Conservancy and the One Health Institute at Colorado State University.
  • Workshops and Webinars – “The Academy offers several workshops, and free webinars, to introduce the practical application of key systemic change tools and practices. Academy staff and faculty also contribute to a number of other workshops, including those organized by the Society for Organizational Learning.”
  • Academy Stories – “By capturing and sharing inspiring examples of deep systems change, we aim to not only support such change, but to “tell the story” in such a way that fosters a deeper level of understanding of the subtle interplay between the “inner” and “outer” dimensions of change. We are constantly exploring new ways of telling these stories in distinctive and compelling ways that that integrate deeply personal and systemic insights.”
  • Donella Meadows Project – “The mission of this Project is to preserve Donella (Dana) H. Meadows’s legacy as an inspiring leader, scholar, writer, and teacher. We aim to maintain an easily accessible archive of Dana’s work online, and to develop new resources and programs that apply her ideas to current issues, making them available to an ever-larger network of students, practitioners, and leaders in social change.”
  • Learning Hives – A “highly interactive online video learning model, which introduces participants to tools and practices that can accelerate system transformation. More than an online course, a Learning Hive is designed to support participants in their current critical working challenge, providing a space to learn and share experience with other individuals and/or groups with similar experiences.”
  • Camp Snowball – A “five-day professional development program bringing together teachers, administrators, students, and community members with renowned leaders in the fields of education and systems thinking. Camp Snowball focuses on empowering educators and their students to think deeply and critically, manage complexity, work collaboratively, communicate effectively, and achieve academically.”


Leadership: Darcy Winslow (President, Founder)

Note: Co-founder and Chairman of the Board: Peter Senge, author and co-author of The Fifth Discipline, The Necessary Revolution, and a number of other books; a seminal thinker in the field of organizational learning.