Fritjof Capra created his on-line Capra Course in order to provide people with the conceptual tools to understand the nature of our systemic problems and to recognize the systemic solutions that are being developed by individuals and organisations around the world.
The fourth edition starts on 6th September, and we have now received a wide range of praise and very encouraging feedback from those who have already take the course. For example artist and designer Susan Umbenhour from Cleveland wrote an open letter to Fritjof in which she wrote:
As I continued, I found each lecture fascinating often listening more than once to clarify and understand an integration and exchange of systems – essentially, the network, the characteristics of the cell and how it sets the stage for interdependence. I now have a renewed sense of purpose as a designer.
One of the major aspects which Fritjof and the Capra Course team consider was how to support alumni after having taken the course. The answer was to develop the Alumni Network where all alumni from all editions can come together on-line to discuss their insights and to begin to develop collaborative projects.
One of the elements which Maria and I have introduced to the alumni network are regular masterclasses. These one-hour sessions are designed to talk through the many different aspects of how to put the systems view of life into practice in organisations, with Maria and I sharing many insights and practices based on our many years of doing so in a business environment.
Our most recent masterclass was titled Strategy for Activists. For Maria and I an “activist” is someone who has the ability to make sense of complex situations and understand the best approach for change depending on the specific contexts, personalities and cultures in each specific organisation. In the on-line discussion after the masterclass one of the participants defined strategic activist as”a enzyme to speed up the needed change” – a definition we really like.
We always like to ask people for questions they would like to discuss. In this masterclass some example questions were:
1. In its present form, can capitalism eradicate poverty in the world, and create a sustainable world?
2. What type of economic system you see best to create a just and sustainable society ? Take Brazil for example.
3. Who are economic thinkers that you recommend in order to evolve beyond unregulated global capitalism?
In order to give you a short taste of the masterclasses, I thought you may like to see an extract, which you can watch in the video below:
In this extract, we discussed a recent trade convention I had spoken at, where many senior executives had discussed the need to develop a more systemic worldview. In this conversation Maria and I discuss the value of communication and the role which senior leaders have to play in inspiring meaningful disturbances. We also cover business culture, innovation and our observation that “the most disruptive word in innovation is soul“.
In this extract we end the conversation by looking at the role HR departments now have to play in facilitating organisation-wide change and how they are now taking on a more strategic role, as opposed to their previous role which was often seen as more operational and reactive. The reason Maria and I discuss this is that people who have taken Capra Course often wish to move into a line of work involved in helping organisations develop a more systemic view of life, and Maria and I discussed the way that it is often the HR department in an organisation which should be the first port of call for people who see themselves as catalysts for change.
Of course the alumni network is just that, a network and not a one-way flow of information. The masterclasses have now inspired other alumni, who themselves have extremely interesting backgrounds and a great deal of experience, to start to look at how they too can create video discussions about there own projects, allowing other alumni to discuss, comment, provide feedback and in some cases join in.
It has been wonderful for Maria and I to take such an active part in Capra Course and to have such interesting conversations. Registration is now open for the Fall 2017 edition. It really is an incredible opportunity to develop our understanding of systems thinking, and so should you be interested in taking part, please visit the course website: www.capracourse.net