Systems Innovation London2019-06-16T22:02:54+00:00

Systems Innovation London

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Systems Innovation is a conference on applying systems and complexity thinking towards innovating new solutions to complex challenges. This will be the second in this series of events and will take place in London on the 6-7th of September. This is an open forum for those organizations and individuals applying complexity and systems thinking in various areas of economy, society, technology or environment towards enabling systems innovation and whole systems change; it is for anyone who feels that complexity theory or systems thinking is central to what they do – or wishes to learn how to apply these new ideas – and is interested in engaging with peer organizations and individuals in open discussion and ideas exchange.

The event will bring together up to 10-15 organizations and some 100-200 individual participants, for an active two days of presentations, workshops and brainstorming sessions on applying the ideas of complexity and systems thinking. The forum will be an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and perspectives with others in an open space, to foster collaboration and awareness across the community, to hear from our speakers and brainstorm on specific issues of interest to participants. Whether you are a seasoned complexity thinker or new to the area this is a place to connect, learn and see what is happening when it comes to the application of these exciting new ideas to tackling some of today’s most complex challenges across many domains.

Basic Info


This will be a two day event of presentations, workshops and open discussion sessions


The dates are set for a two full-day event on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th of September


This is for those interested in applying complexity thinking to tackling real-world issues and enabling systems change.


This event will take place at Coin Street Conference Centre just 5 min walk from Waterloo station



Keynote speakers that will present a broad overview to the topics of systems/complexity thinking and systems change/innovation


This format is for sharing real-world experience and applied knowledge, presentations are focused on specific domains, eg health, finance, energy etc.


This event will include educational presentations, workshops and training seasons, both in the theory of systems and its applications

Panel Discussions

Panel discussions focused on specific themes with 3-4 guests and open to audience engagement

SI London will be the second in our series of SI events, see the first one in Barcelona

See Video

Keynote Speakers

Alexandra Penn

Complexity scientist at
the University of Surrey

Alex will talk on how the same “complexity” ideas that apply to microbial ecosystems can help us to understand and “steer” complex human ecosystems

James Greyson

Founder and CEO of BlindSpot
Think Tank

James will be talking on global system change and methods to map & expand the imaginative space for solutions through “blindspotting” and leverage points 

Rika Preiser

Senior Researcher at the Center for Complex Systems in Transition

Rika will give an overview of the key concepts in complexity theory and how they can inform a new kind of “Anthropocene Thinking”

Tom Bosschaert

Founder and director of Except

Tom will talk on his integrative approach to sustainable development drawing upon his 20 years experience working on over 600 projects with some of the worlds largest organizations.

Martin Sandbrook

Leads Systems Learning at
Schumacher Institute

As an overview to his Schumacher Institute’s course, Martin takes us deep into systems thinking as a “world view”


Ray Ison

Professor of Systems at the Open University in the UK

Ray will draw on the nearly 50 years of educating systems thinkers to explore with those present their own systemic sensibilities, systems literacy and systems thinking in practice (STiP) capabilities

Nabeel Goheer

Assistant Secretary-General at the Commonwealth Secretariat

Nabeel will talk on his experiences in transforming large bureaucratic systems in the Pakistani Government and the United Nations

Sharon Zivkovic

Cofounder & Chief Innovation Officer Wicked Lab

Sharon will talk on the theme of addressing wicked problems through social entrepreneurship and her hands-on experience at Wicked Lab

Francesco Filia

CEO Fasanara Capital alternative asset management company

An expert in systemic risk Francesco will illustrate how complexity theory applies to understand nonlinearity in capital markets

Florian Rutsch

System Change at Ashoka UK and Europe

Florian will talk on “funding systems change” exploring different funding and business models for systems change strategies as well as best practices for funders and recipients of funding across the social innovation spectrum.


Benjamin Taylor

Chief Executive Public Service Transformation Academy

Benjamin will present on the Viable Systems Model and how it relates to his work in public sector transformation

Katie Boswell

Systems Change Lead
at NPC

Katie will present on NPC’s insightful research on “Thinking big: How to use theory of change for systems change”

Sanne Pelgröm

Senior service systems designer at Livework Studio

Designer by heart, systems thinker by head, Sanne will take us into the world of designing integrated service systems

Deon Cloete

Research Associate CST, Principal Consultant Transformability

Based upon his PhD research Deon will run a workshop on change agents; how different actors take different roles in trying to change a system

Plus 4 more
speakers to be
confirmed soon

Why London?

The ideas of system innovation and systems change are quite new and growing in popularity but London is emerging as a primary location globally when it comes to systems change, with a growing collection of organizations, from Forum for the Future to Nesta, RSA, Ashoka, or the Financial Innovation Lab, among many others, all in the business of innovation and changing systems. With members from many of these organizations participating we see this as an opportunity for convening and assessing the state of systems innovation/change both locally and globally.


We are teaming up with the social enterprise at Coin Street Conference Centre to avail of their great, contemporary, environmentally sustainable venue, ideally located 5 min walk from Waterloo station.

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Why Attend

SI events are more than just a gathering, we are working to co-create the agenda when it comes to applying systems thinking, guiding the development of the global systems innovation movements and work to set future visions and directions for this burgeoning area.


The applied systems and complexity community is hugely dispersed consisting of many small organizations spread around the world, we design the SI events as physical connectors, as places to get offline and make those lasting face to face connections.


We know that not everyone is an expert in these ideas so we work to bring in not just great thinkers but also great educators making this a place to learn about systems and complexity thinking, both the abstract ideas but also how they apply within specific context.


This is a place to join the discussion on how to move forward with the application of systems thinking and systems change, both generally and within specific areas of interest; it is a place to get diverse and fresh perspectives that challenge your narrative.


More than just a platform for networking and learning this is a unique place to synthesize different perspectives, spark new ideas and get re-energized. You are sure to come away with new insights and motivation.

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