Community Panel: Systems Practice Course

  • NMC University Center 2200 Dendrinos Drive Traverse City, MI, 49684 United States

Systems Practice - Learn from your Peers how to move from Impossible to Impact

Some problems persist despite all of our best efforts to solve them. At a macro level these are wicked problems like homelessness, poverty, climate change, obesity, and food security. With complex problems like these, our traditional ways of seeing and solving problems don't work and can even unintentionally make things worse. Rotary Charities is actively learning how we can adapt our approach to inspire and support work that is aimed at making core impact within complex problems. With Rotary Charities technical support, three groups of peers have been taking an online course through the Omidyar Group and +Acumen, Systems Practice: An Approach to Move from Impossible to Impact. They have learned to:

  • See complex systems in a new way;
  • Find patterns;
  • Identify places where a small change can have a big system impact; and 
  • Design experiments that will move toward a healthier state of the system.

They are eager to share what they've learned, walk through some practical tools and discuss with the audience how this practice could be leveraged more broadly in this region.


  • Freya Bradford, Rotary Charities

  • Becky Ewing, Rotary Charities


Representing Everybody Reads

  • Mary Manner
  • Jim Rowlett
  • Becky Beauchamp
  • Woody Smith

Representing the Homeless Youth Initiative

  • Marjie Rich
  • Abby Jordan
  • Susie Greenfelder
  • Linda Smith
  • Mark VanderKlipp

Representing the Oral Health Coalition

  • Emily Llore
  • Pam Evans