The #3Wedu Podcast #17: What is Systemic Change and Why Does it Matter?

We had the pleasure of meeting Kristin Powers at 2016 #OLCaccelerate last Fall. Patrice spoke with her after our #3Wedu panel session where she shared her experiences working in a primarily male tech community. Kristin shared a story about the success she and her current team have had making systemic changes to their organization that has led to a more inclusive, diverse work environment.

What is systemic change and why does it matter?


When we talk about change initiatives they usually involve ‘one-off’ programs that are not connected or aligned with the whole system. We then wonder why, when we have so many ‘successful’ programs we are not seeing the needle move. There needs to be a shift in systems thinking. We need to consider all aspects of the system, and systems are complex. The Accelerating Systemic Change Network discusses the importance of including the individual, department, and inside and outside the organization.  Organizations come in a lot of different sizes with different cultures and histories. The structures put in place at many institutions and organizations were put in place my men and there has been little systemic change since then. What needs to happen? We need to consider all the subsystems within the larger system when designing programs and take the time to understand what they real problems are, the challenges people are facing and gain empathy for one another. Everyone within a system needs to feel cared for, supported and that they belong. How do we permeate care and a sense of belonging to the system? Systems thinking + design thinking = A caring, inclusive work environment.

Join Kristin and the #3Wedu tribe this coming, Wednesday, May 24th at 6 PM ET/5 PM CT/3 PM PT.  Have resources you would like to share or issues you would like to discuss:

This blog post is cross-posted at EdTech Is Gorgeous.

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