A Course on Systems

Course Instructors

Michael Chender Michael Chender Teacher

Michael Chender has had a dual career as a business and social entrepreneur, and also has been a long-time student and teacher of meditation in the Buddhist tradition. He was the founder in 1999 and initial chair of ALIA (Authentic Leadership in Action), an innovative series of programs in Nova Scotia and Europe bringing together training in organizational and social change methodologies, mindfulness and arts-based awareness.

Gaynor Watson-Creed Gaynor Watson-Creed Teacher

Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, was recently appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia, having previously served as the Medical Officer of Health for the Capital District Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre. A native of Prince Edward Island, Dr. Watson-Creed completed an MSc in Biochemistry before completing her medical school at Dalhousie University in 1999. She provides consultative advice and strategic oversight to district health authorities by working with district health authority public health staff on matters of population health and is also responsible for administering the Health Protection Act of Nova Scotia. She is on the Board of Engage Nova Scotia and served on the One NS commission. She is a dedicated leader and a passionate advocate for the role public health can play in advancing health equity.

Course Information

A Course on Systems
Why is simple change sometimes so difficult?

Climate change, poverty, mental health, racial justice, collapsing business models: only a few examples of challenges we face that are influenced globally and reinforced by invisible, complex systems. At this moment in history nothing we do is in isolation. Thinking and acting systemically is key to making an impact in whatever we are trying to achieve. This course explores the qualities of complex adaptive systems and introduces tools to examine our own roles within systems, to anticipate unintended consequences of our interventions, and to foster organizational cultures that are receptive to change and poised for impact.

Course Format 

The course is delivered in five weekly modules. Each module consists of a series of short video episodes. A module takes around 1 hour to complete and consist of a few 10 to 20 minutes video lessons.

We will meet as a cohort during the course for a live video conference. Each week there will be discussion forums to engage your questions and insights with other participants and with the instructor. There will be optional readings and small assignments to support you to integrate the material into your practice.