Shifting systems from within

Jerry McGrath

Jerry McGrath

We live in a world where people are very good at finding answers. But whose questions are we answering? What approaches get squeezed out in the relentless search for efficiency and scale?

This stream gives us the time and space we need to pull back from the daily habits and routines that get in the way of our personal and work-related goals. Unlearning invites us to notice our default ways of approaching problems. By becoming more aware of the spoken and unspoken rules and assumptions that shape our mindsets and our work, we are better prepared to create the world we want to see. We will develop a sharper problem-solving lens and become more confident in making courageous personal choices. We will be able to see economic, social and environmental opportunity where others see obstacles.

You will leave this stream with a toolkit for changing how systems work. You will learn how to

  • intervene in systems

  • create disorder by design (breaking up routines so that new things can happen)

  • change structures so they embody shared values

This stream is for anyone ready to shift how we show up with each other, so we can shift the culture around us and do new things. 

Jerrold (Jerry) McGrath is a strategic designer and advisor. He as served as Director of Innovation at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and as Director of Programs for Artscape Daniels Launchpad. He currently is the Special Projects Lead for the School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario and the President of Ukai Projects, a non-profit that frees up resources from declining systems and makes them available for new cultures to grow. He continues to work with organizations and projects that span sectors and geographies. Jerry writes on designing for interactions, systems thinking and community development. He is a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

Susan Szpakowski