System Change for Sustainability

Bringing the power of systems thinking to civil society, government, business and research.

Generating hope for positive change in our interconnected world.

“As our world continues to change rapidly and become more complex, systems thinking will help us manage, adapt and see the wide range of choices we have before us. It is a way of thinking that gives us the freedom to identify root causes of problems and see new opportunities.”

Donella Meadows

We are a diverse network of fellows and associates dedicated to delivering innovative systems solutions to the world’s most pressing problems through research, training, events and consultancy. 

what we offer

Evidence shows that dominant economic, social and political systems are not working – for the majority of people, and certainly not for the planet. The Schumacher Institute seeks to find more sustainable options to enable all species to flourish while protecting and conserving our environment for current and future generations.

Watch our most recent event below hosted by our director Ian Roderick

Check out our UPCOMING events


New economy new systems (NENS) Book ~ Download the chapters below (PDF)

Latest News

Find out about our latest events, courses and projects

This day is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960.

As fellows and members of the Schumacher Institute let's all stand up to racism!

#saynotohate #standuptoracism

The first session was last week and was a great success and part two runs tomorrow at 2pm!

Join us for Part II on March 19th at 2pm.

Meeting ID: 848 2293 1753
Passcode: 693574

#systemsthinking #ukeconomy #circulareconomy #systemsthinkingapproach

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organisations & Businesses

Are you looking for ways to bring sustainability more fully into your strategy, delivery and evaluation?

We can help you find ways to uncover the risks and opportunities for organisations and business in our rapidly changing natural and social environments. 

Find out about our Design for Change approach.


individuals & Fellows

Are you active in the fields of sustainability, systems thinking, economics, ecology, social science or other relevant disciplines? 

Join The Schumacher Institute and become part of an exciting network, sharing ideas and support.

Explore Our Themes and become a member.

Students and Graduates

We collaborate and support students on their projects and thesis as part of their degree undertaking.

Contact us with your proposed project and we will see if we can support you.

Meet our Director Ian Roderick


Our research explores and proposes solutions for a fairer and more sustainable world, engaging a wide range of stakeholders.


We put systems thinking into practice through our projects, bringing the ‘systems sauce’ to our partnership work.


Our learning courses and events encourage people to explore systems thinking and its implications for social, environmental and economic sustainability


We draw on the expertise of our Fellows to create design customised teams, geared up to meeting the needs of your organisation

systems thinking

A game-changer in the next stage of evolution

The early scientific way of thinking sees the world as a ‘machine’ – it can be taken apart, analysed and understood. But new ecological and evolutionary thinking understands that life and reality is complex, and always in a process of change and adaptation. 

Recognising this, systems thinkers seek to understand the world as a series of interrelated systems. This means that solutions can only be found with an awareness of the systems in which we are trying to intervene. As things change, and our understanding develops, we need a learning and adaptive approach.


applied systems thinking


Making sense of a complex world


Identifying your best role


Clarifying goals and problems in wider view


Helping ask the right questions


Developing systems capacity in individuals, teams or groups


Providing systems research to support your work


Identifying risks and unintended impacts


Planning for values to be outcomes - making them real

a networked organisation


Contribute to the transformation of society, so that countries and communities can converge to similar levels of development within the limits of the earth’s resources, and with increasing equity for people today and for future generations.

Help people prepare for a future in which disruptive change will happen with increasing speed, and will demand a high degree of adaptability.

Build on the ideas expressed in the works of E. F. Schumacher, particularly working with nature, appropriate technology at the right scale, meaningful work, people-centred development, local actions, peace and non-violent approaches.


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