Systems Thinking

There are three critical types of thinking necessary to be empowered creators in the new economy – three types of thinking we are challenged to develop in our students.

There is Design Thinking, where we are called upon to listen deeply and empathetically to users in order to develop, through iterative discovery, new _solutions_.

There is Process Thinking which calls us to think abstractly in complex logical structures to develop new _processes_.

And then there is Systems Thinking, which challenges us to understand patterns of relationships in order to create self-sustaining systems. In the Industrial Age, these systems were thought of as mechanistic. In our new creative economy, at the threshold of what might be called the Imagination Age, complex systems are understood to be more like living organisms, Holonic in nature.

Great innovators are system thinkers. Leonardo da Vinci certainly was. At the root of his immense capability was his insatiable curiosity about many diverse areas. He would explore each of these areas deeply, linking his observations to create complex webs of understanding – each a Meaning Matrix.

Each of these matrices could be thought of as sitting on independent planes of consciousness. He was then able to draw connections between these planes that allowed him to create powerful insights that felt, to others, magical.

Developing all three of these types of thinking allows us to unlock the potential of the Whole Mind.

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