Academy for Systems Change

Founding Year: 2010

Staff: 31


Darcy Winslow (President & Founder)

It is “focused on advancing the field of awareness-based systemic change to accelerate ecological, social, and economic well-being.” And it delivers proven tools, knowledge and experience to leaders worldwide “across multiple domains and ecosystems, recognizing the interconnectedness between them and the applicability of capacity-building tools and frameworks across all.

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 LabThe 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.”



Academy for Systems Change contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • 1. No Poverty

    Calls for an end to poverty globally by 2030 and promotes increased access to basic services and social protection.

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  • 2. Zero Hunger
    Aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
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  • 3. Good Health and Well Being
    Aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, by reducing mortality rates and increasing access to equitable health care for men and women.
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  • 4. Quality Education
    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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  • 5. Gender Equality
    Aims to end gender discrimination in all forms and promote equal opportunity for all women and girls in terms of education, career, and sexual/reproductive rights.
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  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitisation
    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by promoting global access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.
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  • 7. Affordable and Clean Energy
    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by promoting affordable and reliable energy sources.
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  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
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  • 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.  
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  • 10. Reduced Inequalities
    Aims to achieve economic growth by reducing inequalities regarding social, economic and political opportunities and freedoms.
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  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Aims to promote the globalization of sustainable cities and communities in turn providing universal safe and affordable housing.
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  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
    Aims to create responsible and sustainable practices involving consumption and production through efficiently using natural resources.
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  • 13. Climate Action
    Calls to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through global awareness, education, and integration into government policies.
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  • 14. Life Below Water
    Calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and prevent and reduce marine pollution in order to protect ecosystems and achieve healthy oceans.
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  • 15. Life on Land
    Aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
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  • 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
    Aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Calls to reduce all forms of violence and deaths related to violence and to end abuse and exploitation
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  • 17. Partnerships for the Goals
    Aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development by mobilizing domestic resources in order to provide support for developing countries.
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