Details: expectations, logistics, grading


This course covers topics and approaches that are relatively new, rapidly changing, and at the edge of the practice. So there is no primary text for the course, and we will be drawing from a wide collection of sources. Each week the required readings and/or videos to watch will be posted on Google Drive. Please take the time to go through it and come prepared to discuss what you have learned.


This course moves into new territory. It will stretch and challenge our current assumptions and ways of working. We ask that you:

Stay open – be willing to try new things and see in a different way.

Be kind – to yourself and each other as we learn and work together.

Be honest – with yourself and each other about your own experience.

Show up – Come to class on time and be present during the class.

Engage – Read the assigned readings before each class, do the homework assignments, participate in class discussions and contribute your share to group efforts.


In our minds, the best possible outcome of this class is for everyone (that include us) to shed beliefs that keep us from engaging effectively with social complexity and discover more generative ways of seeing, relating, communicating and working. We ask that you to engage as best you can during this mini. Your final grade will be comprised of the following

  • Attendance and class participation: 20 %
    Participation is evaluated on your willingness to engage in, contribute towards and learn from readings, discussions and activities. And, of course, be kind to yourself and fellow classmates.
  • Four assignments: 15% each  = 60%
    We have divided the class work into four chapters. At the end of each chapter, you are required to write a two-page paper demonstrating that you have internalized the key concepts we discussed.
  • Final reflection presentation: 20%
    We see you as a change leader on an important  journey. For the final project you are asked to show us the journey you are on, how this course has shaped you and the future you intend on participating in.

Attendance and feedback

It’s important for us to start the class at 11:30, together. This way we all participate in the experience. We’ll take attendance through the use of index cards. During each class there will be a stack of white and blue index cards as well as a box. Before the class begin, please take an index card (white if you are on time, blue if you come in after 11:30.) At the end of the class, you are required to write something on that will help us get a sense of the class experience. What surprised or frustrated you? What question went unanswered? What suggestion do you have? Fill out a card at the end of each class, put your name on it, and drop it in the box. This is how we keep attendance and a pulse on the class experience. When we notice a pattern in your attendance (like Sandy Smith has a lot of blue cards), we can talk about it and gain understanding into your world. Also, if for some reason it is hard for you to be on time, please talk to us.  


The full-semester version of this class includes a track focused on development of of personal skills that help you to stand in complexity. We will give you optional readings and exercises each week as an encouragement to build certain skill and practices into your life. These include being mindful, compassionate and present, working with fear, shame and unresolved pain. You are welcome to make an appointment to discuss this with us at any time, but in this half-semester course we will not dedicate class time to these topics.

Office hours

We are available after class every Monday from 1:20 to 2:20. Please email us if you would like to reserve a time to speak with either or both of us. Alternatively, please email us to set up a Skype or off-site appointment. Our office is in Polish Hill, not too far from CMU. We welcome your questions and conversations.