International, Online

25 – 25 May, 2023

Systems Leadership and Transformation Literacy with Petra Kuenkel

Systems Leadership and Transformation Literacy: How understanding patterns of systems vitality becomes the cornerstone of transformative change initiatives 

This masterclass will explore the idea of systems leadership and the kind of literacy we need to contribute to social change more effectively. It will explain what it means to recognize and co-creatively generate life-enhancing properties, in the context of a desirable large system change through multi-actor partnerships and networks. The approach presented can be applied in collaborative change initiatives around sustainability and social development. The key is to find a way to collaboratively fit multiple actors, levels, initiatives, and other pieces of the change puzzle together in a desired direction, so that they bring vitality and functionality to existing systems, rather than dysfunctionality. Bringing the approach of systems vitality to transformative change requires attention to six interrelated principles that affirm and enhance the overall effectiveness of multi-actor partnerships and networks. The principles help look at the transformation designs in a different way by suggesting that planning, implementing and evaluating occur in the context of seeing humanity and the planet as a vast living–and alive—collaborative system. In this session we will learn from specific examples to help us deepen our understanding of these concepts. 

The masterclass will address the following key questions:  

  • How can understanding the fundamental property of systems aliveness help us design and implement more effective change initiatives? 
  • What are the patterns of a system and how can this understanding help us in the process of transformative change? 
  • How can multi-actor partnerships and networks especially, benefit from the systems vitality approach? 

Petra Kuenkel

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As an executive committee member of the International Club of Rome and founder of the Collective Leadership Institute, Dr. Petra Kuenkel is engaged in thought leadership and collective action for transformations to a world of human wellbeing and planetary health. As a seasoned systems scientist, visionary author and expert in complex multi-stakeholder settings she promotes systems transformations by scaling-up collective stewardship skills for decision-makers. Petra Kuenkel’s ground-breaking publications “Stewarding Sustainability Transformations (2019)”, “The Art of Leading Collectively (2016)”, “Leading Transformative Change Collectively (2020)” and “Transformation Literacy” received international attention; her writings have appeared in numerous professional journals.,,