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Systems Change In Innovation Education Convening

Over the course of two days, a group of forty professionals convened to learn from and with each other on the topic of Systems Change. Those who participated came from impressive and diverse backgrounds which helped to deepen the conversations and provide plenty of opportunity for networking and collaboration.

Day One

On Wednesday, participants began the event with an introduction from Kyle Jensen -- the Associate Dean and Director of Entrepreneurship -- who gave a warm welcome to all those participating and shared an overview of the Program on Entrepreneurship.

Daniela Papi-Thornton, Yale SOM Lecturer and one of the main organizers of the Systems Change Summit, led the group in a learning session about what people felt were the best aspects of “systems” and “change” in relation to businesses and educational institutes. The activity helped to gear the participants towards open conversations about how they define systems change and what they hoped to gain from their participation to cultivate desired change in their professional world.

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Participants ended the afternoon with an activity that focused on visualizing their future goals for supporting systems change and discussing next steps. Through group discussions, individuals were able to vocalize their own desired outcomes and also see the connections with each other in their passion for driving systems change forward.

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Day Two

On Thursday, participants began the morning with a Gallery Walk through the Honest Tea Entrepreneurship Suite. The rooms were treated with the same quiet deference given to art galleries as individuals took their time to explore the work and ideas offered by those attending or supporting the event.

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Through a ‘fishbowl debrief’ the group had time to listen to their colleagues reflect on how the information they’ve gained from each other connects to the what they wish to bring back to their professional settings. The activity allowed time for participants to discuss their ideal systems change curriculum and what they hope to pass on to other stakeholders to help build upon these goals for the future and determine next steps.

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Daniela Papi-Thornton then led the group through their final work together for the day in an open space forum. This allowed individuals to engage with one another regarding final thoughts and concerns about systems change that there may not have been time to cover in the activities prior. It was clear by the end of the afternoon that all those involved felt connected to the group’s learning and that everyone gained valuable networking experience and new information and energy to bring back to their work setting.

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