Session E - Pre-Conference Session
Systems Thinking: Context and Perspective
Presented by Jon Bergstrom, Steve Byers, and
Lori Steed


Description: This interactive workshop invites participants to experience systems thinking through the work of Donella Meadows, author of “Thinking In Systems”. We will explore systems thinking as a language, a set of practices, and a way of being in the world.

Target Audience: We are all systems thinkers, though we might be out of practice after years of emphasizing rational analysis. Donella Meadows says, “We are complex systems – our own bodies are magnificent examples of integrated, interconnected, self-maintaining complexity.” All such magnificent examples are invited to contribute to this learning experience.

Organizational Issues: What persistent problems – that no one deliberately created, no one wants to persist, and which persist nonetheless – exist in your organization? How can we do things, or at least see and think about things, in a different way? This workshop is about different ways of seeing and thinking, and then being more effective in making things better.

Objectives: Convene a group of systems thinkers to learn together how to be more effective agents of change in the world.

Date: Thursday, April 15th

Length: 3 hours (1:15-4:15pm)

Location: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne - 6633 Canoga Avenue, Canoga Park

Cost: None

Handouts: Available for download after the Forum

Jon Bergstrom

Biography: Jon Bergstrom provides a wide range of business consulting services through the Bergstrom Learning Center in Tehachapi, California. Prior to his recent retirement, he worked for Shell Oil Company for 35 years in a variety of engineering and management positions.

Through his consulting practice, he assists organizations in Leadership and Management, Strategic Planning, Organizational Success, Executive Coaching, Personal Mastery, Systemic Thinking, Team Skills, Change Leadership, Meeting Planning and Facilitation, and Conflict Management.

He has provided team skills workshops to more than 800 students at International Space University since 2000. The workshops for the Masters Program in Strasbourg, France and the summer sessions at locations around the world provide students with concepts and processes that enhance their team experience at the university.

Contact: Jon can be reached by e-mail at for additional information about this pre-conference session.


Steve Byers

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Steve Byers consults with leadership teams, organizations and other communities seeking to establish or renew their essential conversation. His passion is helping human systems ( think, learn, and work together - better. Steve is a graduate of the Organization Systems Renewal (OSR),, program at Seattle University, where he learned to design and lead significant change through collaborative relationships. Lately he’s contributed to a bloom of World Cafés in the Northwest, and in Olympia hosts a monthly First Wednesday Conversation at a local fair trade café. His favorite quote is from the poet and consultant David Whyte: “The conversation is the relationship.” Steve, with two colleagues, offers a public systems thinking workshop called New Habits of Mind for New Solutions (NHOM). He also offers several workshops through South Puget Sound Community College (Olympia): “Conversations That Matter”, “Thinking Together – Better”, and “Better Together at Work”. These workshops are highly interactive and based on the principles of co-learning. Prior to developing his practice as an organization consultant, Steve worked in quality management roles and shared his understanding of W. Edwards Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge. Steve is a life-long learner. In the last year he completed the “Powers of Leadership” seasonal retreat at the Whidbey Institute at Chinook, “The Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter” (Berkana), and “Sensing and Shaping Emergent Change” (OSR). He is co-chair of the OSR Alumni Association. He is deeply involved with the In2:InThinking Network, helping with the monthly Ongoing Discussion teleconference and contributing to the design of the annual Forum. When he and his wife, Janet, aren’t working, they can be found paddling kayaks, tending their garden, staying fit at the gym, or walking with Iris, their attentive Australian Shepherd.

Contact: Steve can be reached by e-mail at for additional information about this pre-conference session.

Lori Steed

Lori Steed graduated from California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo with a degree in Applied Art and Graphic Design and had already been hired in the travel and transportation industry. Working primarily with a focus on operations, information technology systems, and business process improvement, graphic design and photography took a side line, but has remained important. With these diverse interests, experience facilitating meetings and trainings, and exposure to Whole Systems Thinking with the In2:InThinking Network and Nexus for Change Conference, she altered her path and turned her attention to facilitating conscious change.

Lori studies various Whole System Change Methodologies, including: Future
Search, World Café, Open Space, Appreciative Inquiry, Non-Violent
Communication (also known as Compassionate Communication), and Community Weaving. She continues to expand her capacity for connection and understanding by exploring cultures, belief systems, patterns of thought,
and human behavior and interaction. Current roles: partner, mother,
photographer, philosopher, business owner, consultant.

Contact: Lori can be reached by e-mail at for additional information about this pre-conference session.

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