Sowing the seeds for change

Pinkhouse plants at Lankelly Chase

About a year ago I decided to make a once vague dream become a reality. Working to create a better world where business and brands do good for society and for our planet.

Naturally, it took several extra months of procrastinating, contemplating and tentatively exploring how I might actually go about doing this, before I found myself having a somewhat emotional conversation with an incredible and understanding boss (*note to self — I have a lot to live up to when I become my own boss)

Just like that, it was time for me to travel on from The Future Laboratory, a place that had come to feel like a second home for the best part of 5 and a half years, and somewhere that I can credit with playing a significant role in shaping my worldview and future visions.

Around the same time, Forum for the Future were in the process of launching their School of System Change. The course appeared at the perfect moment, a serendipitous opportunity, and a signpost to step straight onto this new pathway that I had been searching for.

Little did I know that the path would lead me to a world of infinite possibilities. I found real sense and meaning in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words:

‘Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’

It is now April and I have been studying system change for just over 6 weeks, during which time my mind has been opened wider than ever before and my world view shifted. Opportunities seem abundant, limitations feel removed, and I’ve been able to start to piece together thoughts and feelings that have been bubbling under the surface for a long while.

I have come to think that perhaps for me personally, the start of System Change happened even before I knew I had stepped into this world. In a sense, coming to that decision a year ago was about changing my own life ‘system’.

Lecturer Ray Ison, professor of systems at the Open University gave some wise advice for success:

‘Act always so as to increase the total number of choices.’ (Heinz von Foerster)

A significant sentiment for both the practice of system change itself and for me personally — the importance of creating as many opportunities as possible for all systems to thrive and to flourish.

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