System change, systemic change, paradigm shift, Great Transition, Great Transformation, the big shift… Are we talking about the same thing?
Recently, Forum for the Future launched its report, Creating the big shift: system innovation for sustainability. The report explains in a nicely didactic way the six-steps approach that Forum for the Future developed and uses in its system innovation work, and it reminds us of the useful insights we can draw from the systems thinking work from Peter Senge, Donnella Meadows and others. We should use their tools and methods to get more systemic in our work. For the Smart CSOs Lab’s ambition to improve our theories of change, this report is a good resource to look at.
However, the report also made me quite nervous, as it reminded me that we often mean very different things when we talk about system change and the report talks a lot about system change.