We live in an interconnected world. Each of us is part of a complex global system, and our daily actions­—big or small—influence the system in both healthy and unhealthy ways. Seeing Systems: Peace, Justice and Sustainability helps participants recognize and respond to the interconnected systems of our world. Together, participants expand their people power and begin to make a real difference for good.

NWEI’s self-led discussion courses are designed to spark shared learning, shared stories, and shared action. Each course book also includes tips and guidelines to help facilitators organize a course.

A detailed list of articles and resources included in the Seeing Systems course book are available in the Table of Contents.

Participants read each week’s material (which may include brief articles, book excerpts and/or links to online content) on their own. During each session, group members take turns facilitating by leading others through discussion questions provided in the course book.

“NWEI’s latest course introduces values that underlie, visions that spur, and practical actions we can take to achieve a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.”
 -Dave Oakes, Center for Ecological Living and Learning


Sample Discussion Questions

  • In “Dancing with Systems,” Donella Meadows says, “We can’t control systems or figure them out. But we can dance with them.” Describe a way you could implement one of her “systems wisdom” practices.
  • How can you apply the recommendations of constructive communication in your daily interactions and in your role as a citizen?
  • We read in this session about how the American standard of living is dependent on moving our environmental costs elsewhere. Can you think of a specific way that the consequences of your consumption might be shifted elsewhere? Explain.
  • Name one example of structural violence you’ve observed or experienced in your own life. How is this violence explained away in our society?

To preview a short discussion activity drawing from this course, please fill out this request form.