Thinking in Systems: A Holistic Approach to Business

At BGI and Organization Systems Renewal (OSR), looking at the whole picture and taking a bird’s eye perspective is a way of being. To create truly sustainable solutions, an analysis of all the variables at play is necessary. Through this process, we are able to see the where the right levers to activate change exist. This way of viewing and perceiving problems is referred to as systems thinking.

Systems Thinking is a core part of the curriculum at BGI and OSR. The principles and perspectives of thinking about problems as part of complex systems are weaved throughout the coursework, giving students a deep understanding the impact that changes — sustainable or otherwise — have on a system. This way of thinking also forces one to think about the unintended consequences of a proposed solution.

This April, our focus will be on Systems Thinking. Throughout the month, we’ll be blogging, sharing, and starting conversations on Systems Thinking. Below you’ll find more information on the events happening this month and how you can participate on social media and the blog:


April 8 | Entrepreneurship Reception and Keynote | BGI Pioneer Square

Join BGI as we welcome the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program, sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI).

>> More information and register now!

April 8-10 | Entrepreneurship Facilitator Training | BGI Pioneer Square

Sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program is a revolutionary new learning program designed to inspire and engage participants in the fundamental aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset and the unlimited opportunities it can provide.

>> More information and register now!

April 10 | Net Impact BGI: Systems Thinking | BGI Pioneer Square

Net Impact BGI is pleased to present the latest installment in our series of community events, this time focused on Systems Thinking. Colleen Ponto, core faculty member at Organizational Systems Renewal (OSR) Graduate Program at BGI, will lead the audience through a systems thinking workshop.

>> More information and register now!

April 12 | Building a Sustainable Economy (BASE): Sustainable Building Lecture | Bainbridge Island Library, Bainbridge Island

Explore how B-Corps’ unique legal structure allows businesses to address their impact on people and the planet by operating both for-profit and for-good with Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder, B Lab (bio below).

Building a Sustainable Economy (BASE), the Bainbridge lecture series, has been developed in partnership with Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Bainbridge and Bainbridge Public Library.

>> Free — RSVP!

April 13 | OSR Annual Conference – A Design Challenge | BGI Pioneer Square

Join us for our day-long annual OSR conference with Peter Coughlan, an OSR faculty member as well as a partner with IDEO, a design and innovation consulting firm will guide this day. The OSR annual conference is perfect for prospective students considering the OSR Master’s Program as it will give you a glimpse into the OSR curriculum and methodology. For alumni, friends and colleagues of OSR, this day will add new tools to your repertoire of approaches to working with your clients and colleagues in bringing about innovation in a rapid and engaging manner.

>> More information and register now!

April 28 | Raphael Cushnir – The One Thing Holding You Back | BGI Pioneer Square

Raphael Cushnir is back by popular demand! Join us to explore the concept that what keeps most people from realizing their full potential — an unwillingness to find and feel long resisted emotions. These emotions give rise to negative “tapes” and self-sabotage. They often prevent today’s popular cognitive therapies from succeeding fully.

>> Register Now!

April Change Agents in Residence (CAIR)

As part of the integrated MBA curriculum, CAIR gives current students and the BGI community the opportunity to talk to industry leaders. These pioneers advance sustainable business practices, research social and ecological sustainability, and lead organizations for social and economic advocacy.

This April, BGI is honored to host the following Change Agents:

Gina Warren, VP of Diversity and Inclusion, Nike

Gina Warren is the VP of Global Diversity for Nike. Warren, ten-year Nike veteran, focuses on further integrating diversity into Nike’s global business strategies and employer of choice practices.

Warren has led the Office of Global Diversity since 2002. Under her leadership, Nike conducted its inaugural global Cultural Assessments, which have helped Nike examine its workplace culture, and informed the company on how to better optimize the talents of all employees. Warren organized Nike’s first two women’s leadership conferences and helped establish the Global Women’s Leadership Council.

From 1999 to 2002, Warren served as director of Nike Global Community Affairs and the Nike Foundation. Prior to joining Nike, Warren directed community relations for Levi Strauss and Co. and its foundation, and worked for AT&T and its foundation in community relations, human resources and other capacities. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Arizona State University.

Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder, B Lab

Jay is the co-founder of B Lab, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Lab’s primaryinitiatives are: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and just good marketing; 2) increasing adoption of the GIIRS impact rating system to drive institutional investment to high impact global private equity investments; and 3) advancing supportive public policies, including creation of a new corporate form — like the recently passed Benefit Corp legislation in Maryland — and incentives for sustainable business — like the recently passed B Corp tax break in Philadelphia. Prior to B Lab, despite having no game, Jay co-founded and sold AND 1, a $250M basketball footwear and apparel company based outside Philadelphia. Jay led AND 1’s product and marketing and was AND 1’s CEO during its period of most rapid growth.



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