Resource: System Changers
January 5, 2016
Through their work, The Point People have seen pioneers emerging in the field of “systems innovation” from different sectors, leading very different kinds of organizations and speaking very different professional languages.
They had a hunch that these frontrunners could tell a compelling story about what systemic innovation looks and feels like in practice. So they put them in front of a camera and asked them a handful of questions that ranged from climate change to poverty to healthcare and the large, complex social, environmental and economic problems we face today – that seem too big for any one organization to tackle alone.
The failure of many of the systems that underpin modern life is increasingly difficult to avoid, so it’s not surprising that interest in ‘systems innovation’ is growing fast.
To The Point People, the problems we face today require us to work together in new ways to address the root causes of problems and to create new outcomes that can change entire systems.
Systems changers do not have the personal/professional divide that has underpinned industrial models of working life. They can’t just ‘switch off’. This is a vocation rather than a career. Systems changers are playing the long game though, they recognize the dangers of burnout when taking on entrenched complex problems. They are often passionate about what time with friends and family and space to reflect can bring to the project of systems change.
They want to orchestrate huge social and cultural changes. They have a strong sense of their own and others’ agency, best summed up by the view that ‘we created these problems, so it is within our capacity to solve them’.