Our Mission: to bring economic, social and environmental systems into closer harmony with the realities of a finite planet and a globally powerful human race by using the disciplines of systems thinking, system dynamics, and collaborative learning that were pioneered by our founder, Donella Meadows.
“Systems thinking can lead us to the edge of what analysis can do and then point beyond—to what can and must be done by the human spirit.” Donella Meadows
Since its founding in 1996 by environmental leader Donella Meadows, our Institute has been at the forefront of sustainability thinking and training. We have encouraged the adoption of sustainable strategies by providing the tools and resources needed for informed decision making, mapping systems and leverage points for change, training leaders in positions of influence, and partnering with businesses and community organizations.
Today, our Institute is dedicated to two primary goals. The first is to preserve Donella Meadows’s enormous legacy as an inspiring leader, scholar, writer, and teacher. So much of her work is still highly relevant to today’s sustainability efforts, and we want to ensure it is widely available as a resource for all now and in the future. Our second goal is to use northern New England as a learning laboratory where we can test and apply the tools and processes of systems thinking to move the world closer to sustainability. In this work, we have chosen to focus on the New Economy and regional resilience movements as the ideal points of engagement for applying systems thinking. Our Sustainable Economies Program is focusing on Vermont as a model as we build networks to help achieve collective impact in the area.