Saturday, March 11, 2023
|This Saturday: Matthew Shapiro Mary Parker Follett: Prophet of Systems Practice|
Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933) was a pioneer in the theory and practice of integration, both in the public realm (democracy) and in the organizational realm (management, leadership, and conflict resolution). She is credited as author of the concept of “win-win” solutions and emphasized mutual, on-going creativity as the essence of any modern society or organization that would thrive. The renowned management consultant Peter Drucker is said to have referred to Follett as his “guru.” While recognition of Follett’s remarkable insight has been growing in recent decades, she remains to a large extent a gem yet to be discovered. We will review Follett’s key ideas and how she sought to put them into practice, discuss the value of her ideas to today’s challenges, and explore how she exemplified systems thinking and systems practice before most others in the modern era.
Matthew Shapiro is an evolutionary activist, writer, educator, and entrepreneur. He has been involved with systems thinking and practice for nearly three decades, with a particular focus on General Evolution Theory, also known as Evolutionary Systems Theory. His grassroots work has focused on fostering the capacities for dialogue, democracy, and participatory design. The late systems pioneer Bela H. Banathy was a key influence and early collaborator in this endeavor. Matthew’s interests and activities have spanned diverse arenas, from neighborhood organization to educational transformation to metaphysics. He is the author of a variety of books and articles, and recently completed a work titled Early Voices of Conscious Evolution—an anthology comprising more than 120 passages from more than 100 thinkers and actors of the Industrial and Progressive Eras evidencing a major shift in consciousness and the beginning of a new evolutionary era on earth.
Matthew has a BA in Elementary Education and was “All-But-Dissertation” in the doctoral program in curriculum and instruction at Boise State University. He co-founded a progressive charter school and taught its middle school group for two years. A true polymath, in parallel with the above streams Matthew has been involved in renewable energy development since the 1990s. Since 2019 he has led the development of new pumped hydro energy storage projects in the US through his firm rPlus Hydro.
Apropos to the ISSS presentation, Matthew was founder of the online Mary Parker Follett Network and was instrumental in getting one of Follett’s key works re-published in 1998.
Matthew’s primary focus in systems practice today is the catalyzing of change through catalyzing the creation of locally-based “evolutionary cells,” an example of which is his group Boisevolve (www.boisevolve.org).
Saturday time zones for March
San Francisco: 7 AM on a Saturday
Mexico City: 9 AM on a Saturday
New York: 10 AM on a Saturday
London, UK: 3 PM on a Saturday
Central Europe: 4 PM on a Saturday
South Africa: 5 PM on a Saturday