Course from Acumen+ & the Omidyar Group, Systems Practice Learn to use a systems thinking approach to move from “impossible” to impact

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    Profile photo of Craig Zelizer
    Craig Zelizer

    Systems Practice

    Learn to use a systems thinking approach to move from “impossible” to impact


    Course Details

    • Price: FREE
    • Start Date: JUNE 12TH, 2018
    • Time: 5 hours/week
    • Duration: 11 weeks
    • Partner: The Omidyar Group

    Start Date:

    • June 12th, 2018

    What You’ll Learn:

    • Map a complex system to gain clarity
    • Identify specific points in the system where you can make a big impact
    • Create leverage hypotheses to describe how you will aim to create systemic change
    • Develop a framework for learning and adapting over time as your system changes


    Striving to create enduring change in our complex, dynamic world can feel daunting — and sometimes downright impossible. With so many interconnected forces at play, it’s easy to get discouraged by detours, false assumptions, roadblocks, and dead ends.

    Systems Practice is a way to make sense of complex environments and uncover the dynamics that have the greatest potential for impact. This course will lead you through each step of understanding a system, analyzing it to find points of leverage, and learning how to adapt in a changing environment. You will also gain access to a portfolio of step-by-step tools, processes, and mindsets to apply to your current and future work. This course is ideal for professionals working on complex problems across any field of social impact.

    Format and Timing:

    • Team-Based Course: We strongly encourage (but do not require) that you form a team of 2-8 people to take the course with. It works best to find friends or coworkers who can meet in person. Need to find team members? You can post to the discussion forums a month before the course starts.
    • Platform: NovoEd (+Acumen developed the course. We host this course on the NovoEd platform.)
    • Timing: This course will be open for 11 weeks. You can work through the materials at your own pace during the time the course is open. There are no required times for you to log in. There will be suggested deadlines for you to complete each assignment. The final deadline is the final day of the course.

    Course Syllabus

    Supported By

    The Omidyar Group is a collection of companies, organizations, and initiatives focused on empowering individuals to cultivate a thriving world. The Omidyar Group applies the systems approach to many complex issues and has assembled a dynamic team, led by Rob Ricigliano, to coach and support its initiative teams.

    Rob Ricigliano has been in the field of conflict management and complex negotiations since he attended Harvard Law School almost 30 years ago,  engaging in numerous peacebuilding efforts in the social impact field.

    What People Are Saying

    “Systems Practice is something we recommend to our partners a lot. This is a great crash course into the principles of it.”

    Pauline N, USAID.
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