With almost 2 decades of experience in funding and deeply engaging in collaborative networks for systems change, our colleagues are sharing their observations.
Our colleague Jennie Curtis at the Garfield Foundation shares her insights from 16 years of leading foundation support for #collaborativenetworks of #systemschange — Digging Out of Philanthropy’s Entrenched Practices
Institute for Strategic Clarity CHOICE Fellow Ruth Rominger, who serves as the Collaborative Networks Program Director with the Garfield Foundation, reflects on why Garfield invests in the development and evolution of #systemsinformed #collaborativenetworks — How Living into our Questions Led us to Fund Networks
An awesome, state-wide, systemic approach to strategically shifting public K-12 education towards truly equity-based flourishing as regenerative communities
What is a system? A system is a set of interrelated elements. Elements that interact. Another word for how elements interact is an agreement. Human interactions form a field of agreements, an agreements field. An agreements field engages the energy of people connected to a purpose, changes that energy into another form, a form that others want and are ready to receive. From whom, how, to whom. That is how systems metabolize energy: systems that are fields of agreements.
We distinguish four types of energy fields in an agreements field.
- EFA. Material energy fields (EFA) are the physical dimension we experience as tangible. Crystalized, mineral structures. We live in a world made physical through the structures of material energy fields, of which humans are also made.
- EFB. Accessing energy fields (EFB) are the reaching out within an energy field, as structures of access, to get the needed resources. As humans, we are also EFB, reaching out with accessing structures for resources.
- EFC. Relational energy fields (EFC) are the energy fields that relate one energy field to another. Mobile in space and time. Humans are also EFC, relational energy fields.
- EFD. Aligning energy fields (EFD) are the energy fields that align an entity’s purpose with what it experiences, what it remembers, and what it chooses. Humans are also EFD, aligning how they relate to other energy fields (EFC) with accessing (EFB) structures (EFA). EFABCD. Human systems. Agreements fields.
What is change? Change is a shift in behavior. A shift in outcomes and in experiences.
Systems change is a shift in the outcomes and experiences of an agreements field, of its interactions in its four levels of interpenetrating energy fields, EFABCD. A shift in its structures, its material energy fields (EFA), is a change in the amount of material resources it has. A shift in its accessing energy fields (EFB) is a change in its capacity to reach out towards other resources. A shift in relational energy fields (EFC) is a change in its ability to relate to other energy fields. A shift in aligning energy fields (EFD) is a change in the ability to align the agreements field with its intended purpose, its relationship with other fields, and with its accessing structures. A change in human systems requires a shift in all four energy fields, EFABCD.
How ready is any given system for change? How ready is the agreements field ready for a shift? The agreements field’s readiness for a shift assesses its state of all four energy fields, EFABCD.
- Added valuation. What is the current added value of the available resources (EFA)?
- Network readiness. What is the current access to basic structures (EFB), to form a network of nodes?
- Collaborative capacity. What is the current relational capacity, to collaborate with other energy fields?
- Systems understanding. What is the current ability to align one’s own energy fields?
These four capacities SCAN form the Strategic SCAN, a strategic assessment of an agreements field’s (S)ystems understanding, (C)ollaborative capacity, (A)dded valuation, (N)wetwork readiness.
Where are you in your readiness for systems change? The Strategic SCAN assesses the four energy fields (EFABCD) of your agreements field, to let you know where you are with what capacities you have, and what you need to do to shift to the capacities you need for the desired experiences and outcomes.