Our Systems Approach to Strategy
Posted by: admin on Thursday, September 11, 2014 Comments (0)
Our Approach to Strategy
What do we mean by “Strategy?” Here’s how we approach business strategy for sustainability at Seed Systems.
First, first and always first comes Vision. What do we want? What do we want to create in the world? What will be different because we were here? What legacy do we want to leave for those who follow in our footsteps? Make it as big and audacious as possible. Shoot for the stars. Re-create the vision as often as necessary to keep it fresh, ...
Fomenting the Necessary Revolution: LEED-ing the Green Building Revolution!
Posted by: admin on Sunday, July 6, 2014 Comments (0)
When asked why he robbed banks, the infamous Willie Sutton replied:”Because that’s where the money is”. In terms of energy use and savings, most of the money is in our buildings- offices, malls, factories, apartment complexes, schools and homes. Our “built” environment. Heating, cooling and lighting our buildings create twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as our cars. But with so many buildings built by so many contractors, how could you get a movement started to build “greener” more energy saving buildings?
Fomenting the Necessary Revolution: Biofuels from Waste Wood!
Posted by: admin on Friday, June 27, 2014 Comments (0)
Sweden is the industrial country most weaned from fossil fuels. Petroleum only accounts for 30% of Swedish energy, down from 77% 40 years ago. IN the US, we still rely on fossil fuels for 85%!
But now 15% of all cars in Sweden run on ethanol, increasingly made from wood waste, which this forested country has a lot of.
Fomenting the Necessary Revolution:" 3 Disciplines for Living a Green Life!
Posted by: admin on Thursday, June 19, 2014 Comments (0)
If we want to be fit, we need to exercise, eat right, and get enough rest. These disciplines help us get the most out of life. It’s the same for living a “green” life. Whether you are a Fortune 500 executive, a stay at home parent, a student or your own unique creation, there are 3 simple disciplines- habits of action- that can help you be green in everything you do.
Fomenting the Necessary Revolution: Living Beyond the Bubble
Posted by: Joe Laur on Friday, March 21, 2014 Comments (0)
In our last segment, Fomenting the Necessary Revolution: Life Inside the “Bubble Economy”, we addressed the issue of living in a "bubble economy" based on ungrouinded, incomplete, and outdated models, assumptions, and data. Like a fall from a tall building, you may think you are flying for awhile, but the landing can be a rude awakening.
Life in a bubble can be fun for a while, but how to we let ourselves come back to reality? How do we move to an economy that is not separate, ...
Fomenting the Necessary Revolution: Life Inside the “Bubble Economy”
Posted by: Joe Laur on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 Comments (0)
We used to love bubbles when we were kids, soap bubbles, bubble bath, bubble gum. Bubbles meant fun. But when we grew up, we met a different, more sinister kind of bubble. Dot-Com bubbles, Real estate bubbles, stock market bubbles. They were fun at first in their own way, but when they popped, we got hurt. We lost money, jobs, livelihoods. From inside the bubble, everything looks rosy- we’re in our own little world. But the bubble is based on faulty or missing information about the real ...
Petitioning to Repeal the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
Posted by: admin on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 Comments (0)
Today I’m petitioning to repeal Newton’s 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Futile you say. Even if you don’t remember from high school science what the heck that law is, you’re pretty sure we don’t get a choice about it. Joe and I teach some fundamental sustainability principles this way: there are non-negotiable rules on planet Earth. Like Gravity: it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.
Newton’s 2nd Law is one of them. It says that all ...
Fomenting the Necessary Revolution Part 3: Put on Your Snowshoes and Move!
Posted by: Joe Laur on Monday, March 17, 2014 Comments (0)
In our previous blog,Fomenting The Necessary Revolution, Part 2: How We Got Here, we reviewed how human society fell out of step wiht natural law. The laws of nations and the laws of nature have been diverging for 200 years, and the laws of nature aren't changing anytime soon.
So given where we’ve been and where we need to head, how to begin? “The ocean is so big and my boat is so small”. Well, small steps are good. Many necessary revolutions have started and continued on ...
Fomenting The Necessary Revolution, Part 2: How We Got Here
Posted by: Joe Laur on Saturday, March 15, 2014 Comments (0)
Fomenting the Necessary Revolution Part 2: How We Got Here
For tens of thousands of years, people lived in a balance with natural systems. The economy and ecology were interwoven. We lived within our means- we ate what food was available, found or built shelter from materials at hand, banded together in clans and tribes for comfort, help and protection. We might trash a field or forest, or hunt out the local game, but we’d move on and the earth would regenerate itself. Our numbers were small and so was our impact. We didn’t have much choice or awareness about this. You might say we were “unconsciously sustainable” Read on...
Justice for Justice
Posted by: Sara on Friday, March 14, 2014 Comments (1)
My daughter Maya now 10, discovered fashion last year on her 9th birthday. In the year that’s past I’ve learned, “If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em” applies 1000% to trying to dress your girl child. Evidence: the perfectly fashionable in-my-eyes sleek, valore, black pants that sat lonely in the drawer, all year, unworn.
“Maya, those are really chic New York City style pants. Any classy lady would wear them out on the town for a fancy night ...
Fomenting the Necessary Revolution
Posted by: Joe Laur on Thursday, March 13, 2014 Comments (1)
Part One of a series on Implementing The Necessary Revolution toward a deeply sustainable and resililent future.
Posted by: admin on Monday, December 30, 2013 Comments (0)
Celebrating the opening of our new retreat Space!!!
Seed Systems vision:
To integrate personal transformation, people, culture, vision and purpose
all with the goal of creating a vital and sustainable planet for all.................Stay Tuned!
Mayor Bloomberg -- Systems Thinking Hero
Posted by: Sara on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 Comments (0)
The day after Hurricane Sandy ravaged our coast, I was on Email with my systems thinking buddies with our age old lament. Why are none of our leaders connecting the dots? Why are people still seeing these merciless weather extremes as isolated events? When will it be “safe” for two presidential candidates to even name the issue in their debates? What will it take for Americans to wake up to the deeper patterns of climate disruption?
Enter New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, my ...
Mesa Verde Goes Global
Posted by: Sara on Monday, November 12, 2012 Comments (0)
There’s’ a Mexican place nearby called Mesa Verde that makes great burritos, using local healthy ingredients, at a price that works for our family of 4. I was awed yesterday, when while listening to our small town radio, I heard the owner of Mesa Verde, a woman in her late 30s come on the air with this message (more or less.)
“Hi I’m ____ the owner of Mesa Verde. I love to eat at my place because it’s so healthy and affordable. But when I don’t want to eat ...
The Ten Truths of Thank You
Posted by: Sara on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Comments (1)
I’m presently writing a book 1,000 Thank Yous. To warm up for this I chose to write one thank you note per day for 60 days. The good ol’ fashion long hand kind. I suppose, unknowingly, I “signed up” to do a deep inquiry about the nature of gratitude. What did my 60-day Thank You note practice teach me? What did I learn? Ten Truths of Thank You.
1) Offering gratitude is a BIG gift to those on the receiving end. They are re-minded of the Glory of their true nature. Their ...
River Story: Sustainability from the Inside Out
Posted by: Sara on Thursday, May 3, 2012 Comments (0)
Check out our new webinar. A conversation with Ashley Welch and Sara Schley describing purpose, content, curriculum and more.
Take a deep dive into River Story. Learn more about our initation weekend this Aug 23-26 here:
For complete description and registration information go to our River Story Initiation page. Thanks!
Welcome to the River Story Initiation!
Posted by: Sara on Friday, March 23, 2012 Comments (0)
Your Time and Place for Sustainability from the Inside Out
4 Day Initiation, Aug 23-26, Wendell, MA
The River at our Site
A 4-Day gathering, Aug 23-26, Wendell, MA
Welcome to our inaugural River Story weekend. We invite you to join us for this unprecedented transformational experience. Together with our master teachers, we'll journey inward and outward, increasing depth, strengthening aspiration: Learn more here.
Thank You Dr. Margulis
Posted by: Sara on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 Comments (0)
Jennifer Margulis, my brilliant, funny, demanding, cheerleading, writing coach and editor (who would hate this opening sentence because there are way too many adjectives; “Show don’t tell!” she’d admonish) is a published author and expert on Mothering. When she first read and critiqued my manuscripts on ecological sustainability, I was surprised by how knowledgeable this woman with a PhD in English Lit was on the sciences of the natural environment. “Oh,” ...
I'm Dreaming of a White Halloween, but this Dream is a Nitemare
Posted by: Sara on Friday, November 4, 2011 Comments (0)
Imagine a grade school aptitude test, “What’s wrong with this picture??” The photo shows pristine blue sky, maple and oak trees in their full glory of burgundy, orange and yellow. Carved pumpkins on the front porch. And 18 inches of fresh snow on the ground. The child would be correct in her answer: “What’s wrong with this picture? You can’t have fall and winter at the same time!”
Well not anymore in New England. On October 30th we got slammed with ...
Thank You and Farewell to Ray Anderson
Posted by: Sara on Thursday, August 18, 2011 Comments (0)
Like so many, I was saddened to hear that Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface Carpets and giant of Sustainability died last week at the young age of 77. Many wonderful tributes have been shared about Ray’s life. I want to add mine. Thank you Ray. You touched my heart deeply. I first learned of Ray through an article that Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael wrote in the early 90s. Quinn described this industrialist who “got” sustainability. At the time I was working with Fortune ...
A Living Systems Approach
Posted by: Sara on Thursday, June 30, 2011 Comments (0)
To create a sustainable world, and to address pressing issues such as vulnerable food systems, climate change, energy demand, environmental degradation and more, requires us to see, understand and be guided by living systems. Yet in school, most of us, including our industry and government leaders, were taught that the best way to understand a subject is to analyze it or break it up into parts. When we don’t see and understand systems, we can find ourselves operating from crisis to ...
Sustainability Inside Out
Posted by: Sara on Thursday, June 30, 2011 Comments (0)
Like many leaders in this field, we believe purposeful, lasting changes on this planet require a clear and compelling vision of sustainability combined with sound principles, guiding frameworks, savvy strategy, and thoughtful, targeted action. This is the outer work of sustainability.
And this is only half the story.
Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” How we “show up” directly impacts the systems we seek to influence. Perhaps the most ...
Systems Maps of Thomas Friedman's article "The Big American Leak"
Posted by: Sara on Monday, December 13, 2010 Comments (0)
Tom Friedman speaks the language of Systems consistently in his NYT articles on the geo-political impact of our petroleum addiction. In the following systems diagrams, I map Mr. Friedman's recent article The Big American Leak. For more on this approach, see Linda Booth Sweeney's Friedman Project. As I said in my submission to the NYT, we use the systems maps because we believe they may make Mr. Friedman’s powerful arguments even more accessible to readers. Note if you are new to ...
Why We Might Fight, 2011 Edition
Posted by: Sara on Monday, December 13, 2010 Comments (0)
By Thom Shanker, New York Times, Week in Review, 12.12.10 Countries thirst for oil, compete for minerals and confront climate change. The American military, with surprising allies, worries that these issues represent a new source of conflict. Introduction: A Need for ‘Natural Security’
Why We Might Fight In 1997, my partner Joe Laur and I along with colleagues from the MIT Organizational Learning Center including HP, Intel, Amoco, Harley Davidson and the US Army War College ...
Radical Renewal: You, Your people, Your Planet
Posted by: Sara on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 Comments (0)
It is Friday afternoon and the deadlines are looming. My 3rd grader, Sam will be getting off the bus at 3:15. Get him and then his twin sister who goes to a different school and is at a friend’s 20 minutes to the west. We’ve just completed our weekly finance meeting and I’m a bit down. How can we make as much money as we are blessed to, and still be in the red every month? Doesn’t seem like we buy stuff or are extravagant. Still. . . .where to earn more revenue or cut ...
The Iceberg Cometh: Leaders for a New Climate
Posted by: Sara on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Comments (0)
Go Deeper to Go Higher. Reflections from the first gathering of “Leaders for a New Climate.” With Drew Jones and Sara Schley at MIT; Oct 19-21, 2010 It is the evening before the last day of Leaders for a New Climate a workshop that Drew Jones of Climate Interactive and I have created. The title has two meanings by intention: 1) How to be an effective leader in abating Global Climate change and 2) How to create new respectful climates for engagement with others. Others with a ...
Participants reviews of "Leaders for a New Climate" workshop held in October at MIT
Posted by: Sara on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 Comments (0)
Here are some testimonials from participants:
The course was excellent with enthusiastic and well-informed instructors presenting cutting edge and needed information. - Walter Zachritz, National Park Service Thanks for all the inspiration, creative tools for looking at the world, and ultimately – hope! - Katie Lund, Graham Institute for Environmental Sustainability As a student studying System Dynamics this was a unique opportunity to learn how people, in various ways, are ...
Posted by: Sara on Friday, July 2, 2010 Comments (0)
Imagine you are a Petroleum executive in the CEO – Suite. It’s the end of the 3rd Quarter and your company’s numbers don’t look good. You didn’t make your revenue targets. Wall Street is not impressed and your price per share is going down. Share holder pressure is up. Meantime you know that Oil reservoirs are decreasing world-wide. The proverbial low hanging fruit has been picked and you have to invest in exploration in uncharted territory. With the ...
Design for a New World: The Bucky Fuller Convergence
Posted by: Sara on Monday, June 7, 2010 Comments (0)
Last week I had the privilege of attending the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI), “Design Science Revolution Convergence,” in Washington DC. “Bucky,” the affectionate term by which Fuller is known, was a pioneering systems thinker, visionary, inventor, and an inspiration to many. I’d heard the rough outline of his life’s epiphany and found it described as follows on the web: "In 1927, at the age of 32, Buckminster Fuller stood on the shores of Lake ...
Save the Date!
Posted by: Sara on Friday, May 28, 2010 Comments (0)
Climate Interactive’s Drew Jones and Seed Systems’ Sara Schley invite you to join us for a new Workshop: Leaders for a New Climate: Systems Thinking and the C-ROADS Simulation October 19-21 Boston, MA
For more information or to register now please go direct to:
Attend to develop your capacities in:
Systems thinking: Causal loop and stock-flow diagramming.
Leadership and learning: Vision, reflective conversation, consensus ...