Introduction. Systems Literacy is a coordinated ongoing action to create a greater awareness and understanding about “Systems” in our lives, in the world, nature, society, science and art, schools and universities and engineering and beyond and with that awareness and understanding an ability to make informed decisions and communicate using systems approaches . This Systems Literacy initiative builds on previous “literacy” work facilitated and/or contributed to by the College of Exploration and by many other Literacy projects combined with the many “systems” education programs around the world. These range across many disciplines and many related topics, including cybernetics, complexity, complex adaptive systems, systems thinking, network literacy and network thinking, pattern literacy, developments in neurosciences and many others. Please send in suggestions
Other Literacy actions. The College of Exploration efforts in the above efforts and the associated guides are possible models for systems literacy. A collection of worldwide literacy efforts that we can consider is collected here http://www.coexploration.org/literacy
Vision. The vision is to create a systems literate world. The aim is to create a broader awareness and understanding of the science (and art) of systems. To achieve that we are building a collaborative learning system for systems literacy that coherently and systemically includes as many individuals, groups, societies, associations and other organizations from around the world who are concerned with systems research, education, theory, methods and applications to map, understand and describe big ideas, principles and concepts of systems.
Project at the College of Exploration. A Systems Literacy project at the College of Exploration began in 2008 when we presented a poster on Geosciences Literacy at the American Geophysical Union annual conference in December 2008. The natural development of this idea was to suggest a Systems Literacy initiative as described on this College of Exploration Systems Literacy page created in 2008. These two projects remained as ideas for lack of funding.
Exploratory Workshops since 2015. Many workshops on Systems Literacy have been conducted at IFSR, ISSS and INCOSE meetings. One member of INCOSE, Bill Schindel, has stated that system phenomena are the starting point for traditional disciplines in the natural sciences and engineering. See his presentation “Got Phenomena” at the Sirocco Summit in 2016 and his related paper presented at the 26th Annual INCOSE International Symposium.
Other References to Systems Literacy. Subsequent to initiating this cooperative effort with ISSS, INCOSE and IFSR and the worldwide systems community at large in 2015 we have found the term “systems literacy” has been used in different ways. All these uses of the term “systems literacy” were unknown to us in 2015 when we made the impromptu suggestion at the ISSS Conference in Berlin to create a systems literacy project.
Another view is presented by Hugh Dubberly proposing a Systems Literacy Manifesto, All these uses of the term “systems literacy” were unknown to us in 2015 when we made the impromptu suggestion at the ISSS Conference in Berlin to create a systems literacy project.
In 2017 Howard Silverman wrote a chapter for book The Community Resilience Reader – Essential Resources for an Era of Upheaval. The chapter is called “Systems Literacy: A Toolkit for Purposeful Change”. You can read the book here https://reader.resilience.org/
As can be seen from the term “systems literacy” is not without it challenges, even for the English language. We acknowledge that these two words already have different meanings, The term literacy is also not easily translated into many languages.