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Jürg Thölke

In our current society, the need for academic knowledge in system change has become crucial. However, scholars like Scharmer argue that the combination of deep individual and collective development and learning is often overlooked in these endeavours. Oshry further emphasises the concept of system blindness—a metaphor for lack of consciousness of relational and inter-relational processes—as a major obstacle in solving complex issues. 

This workshop focuses on the exploration of system constellations’ potential in addressing wicked problems and promoting systems change. The workshop aims to shed light on leadership, actorship, and ownership within transformation processes. By utilising constellations, participants gain a deeper understanding of their “individual  blind spot” within the larger collective system, as described by Scharmer. These constellations enable individuals to recognise their blind spots and comprehend their roles in the problem and solution. Through systemic exploration of relationships and engaging in challenging conversations, constellations reveal hidden patterns and facilitate the collective unveiling of blind spots.  

System constellations employ physical representation of system elements through stand-ins, creating a systemic field where hidden dynamics are exposed. Grounded in the systemic perspective, this method draws on holistic scientific traditions such as complexity theory, systems thinking, cybernetics, and chaos theory. It recognises that human interaction systems possess an invisible field of information comprising underlying dynamics and unwritten rules. Constellations provide a means to make these dynamics and patterns visible, facilitating insights, solutions, ideas, and movements that can initiate fundamental change processes individually and collectively. The workshop emphasises that consciousness and ownership are crucial in enabling co-creation and transformation. From the stillness, insights, solutions, ideas or movements may arise that are the first steps in a fundamental change process.  

KEYWORDS: wicked problems, system change, blind spots, systemic awareness,  intuition, embodiment systemic constellations, leadership 

Presentation dates


Expertisenetwerk Systemisch Co-design




Citation Data

Author(s): Jürg Thölke
Year: 2023
Title: Enhancing System Change by Systemic Constellations 
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Amsterdam, NLD
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 3 July 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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