Linda Booth Sweeney
Linda’s articles have been published by Highlights Magazine for Children, Solutions Journal, the Utne Reader and numerous academic journals and newsletters. She is the author of several books, including The Systems Thinking Playbook (co-authored with Dennis Meadows) and When a Butterfly Sneezes: A Guide for Helping Kids Explore Interconnections in Our World Through Favorite Stories (Pegasus, 2004). Her most recent book Connected Wisdom: Living Stories about Living Systems (Chelsea Green, 2009) is translated into nine languages.
Linda received her doctorate from Harvard in 2004. She is on the board of directors of the Balaton Group and Gaining Ground and is a member of her local food policy council. She lives outside of Boston with her family, dog, chickens and rabbit.
My co-authors, Dennis Meadows and Gillian Martin-Mehers and I look forward to the publication of The Systems Thinking Playbook for Climate Change, in mid-2013.
My first picture book, When the Wind Blow (Putnam), illustrated by Jana Christy, will be published in early 2014.
WGBH/PBS: Developing a proposed on-line systems literacy collection and an on-line farm simulation/game for PBS Learning Media.
CHILDHOOD OBESITY: Partnering with researchers at Tufts University and Shape-Up Somerville to convey the systems story of a 10-year, community-based participatory research (CBPR) project focused on childhood obesity. I will post a link to the systems map and related journal article when it is published. Recently completed a similar systems mapping project with New Entry Farmers.
Working with the Mishkat Interactive Center for Atomic and Renewable Energy and the amazing team at KCA London to integrate systems thinking into the Saudi Arabia 2050 traveling exhibit designed to encourage middle school students in Saudi Ariabia to rethink energy consumption habits.
SYSTEMS LITERACY FOR STUDENTS
I particularly enjoy helping young people to "connect the dots:" to see beyond the surface, to recognize interconnections and dynamics among people, places, events and nature, and to begin thinking about how to use those interconnections to improve their world. Here are a few related projects:
• Acting as a content expert for SEED — Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development, developing materials, workshops, on-line learning modules and activities appropriate for ages 10-18 on a variety of complex system science topics that facilitate students¹ applied problem solving and systems literacy.
• MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media Learning Initiative A collaborative initiative of the University of Indiana, the National Writing Project, the Institute of Play, and Digital Youth Network to produce a series of digital design activities to cultivate systems thinking in middle school students.
• Conducting Integrated Student-Teacher Workshops: Workshops designed to go beyond traditional science and technology education to educate students to deal not just with technical-based problems but to foster “systems citizens” able to manage the complexity of socio-technical issues in their communities, such as those related to water, energy, health, climate and more.
• Developing systems playkits for use in a variety of settings, including nature centers, schools and after-school programs.
This website and blog will continue Linda’s exploration of these fundamental questions:
What does it mean to think and act systemically?
How do we understand our realities, our families, our schools, our communities, as a living system?
How can systems thinking help us to stop operating from crisis to crisis, and to think in a more interrelated, non-fragmented way?
What does it mean to design in the context of living systems?
What does it mean for human communities to deal with fundamental problems and solutions over time?